My diamond painting "The Portal of Eternity" pays tribute to the epic Asscher cut diamond, a cut of royalty. The inspiration for my painting came from Elizabeth Taylor's quote as she described her favorite diamond - the 33.19 carat "Krupp Diamond", now known as the "Elizabeth Taylor Diamond". For me, her quote is by far the best description of the magnificence of an Asscher cut. The original Asscher Cut and the Royal Asscher Cut diamonds were both invented by the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, with whom I have the privilege of working in creating iconic jewelry, such as this Royal Asscher Cut Tiara. The Asscher cut will always be a very special cut for me!
In 2011, Lita Asscher, the sixth generation of the Asscher family, and I had an incredibly rare chance to privately view Elizabeth Taylor's legendary "Krupp diamond" at Christie's New York. We even got to wear this magnificent ring briefly before it went up for auction. For the lover of diamonds that we are, to hold this legendary Asscher cut diamond...is a day we won't forget.
The painting took three months to complete. The orange steps lead up to an epic Asscher cut and into eternity and beyond. Just like in Elizabeth Taylor's quote, steps hold a symbolic meaning in this painting, and are metaphoric of entrance, journey, of moving up and forward.
"The Portal of Eternity" painting is from the 'Diamond Portal Series'. In this series, I explore the moments of human emotions as seen through the lens of the diamond as a storyteller. You are invited to enter portals where subtle references exist but the story is completed based on your life experiences and desires. I hope that each time you see the work, a new set of questions, solutions and possibilities emerge. The qualities of diamond act as metaphor and hold the stories together.
Here are a few images of the painting and the process!
If you are interested in acquiring or commissioning an original Reena Ahluwalia painting or to request prints, please contact us.
The making of "the Portal of Eternity"
Diamonds are not specimens to me, they have soul and story. That's what makes a diamond, a diamond!
I spend a lot of time thinking of what story I want to narrate through my paintings. Compositions are critical for me in telling the story. In this video you can see a few of my exploratory sketches as I decide my composition. Next, I start plotting an under-drawing, a framework that has to be precise and will guide my decision on facets and colors. I like to draw from the real diamonds as much as possible, rest from my memory. Having studied and handled them throughout my professional career as a jeweler, they are almost etched in my mind. I love the poetry in their geometry. Just like any piece of jewelry I create, painting facets takes a lot of patience, concentration and judgement. I love being in that magic space! There is great beauty in a well cut Asscher, its symmetry and proportions... if you know your diamonds, then you know what I mean!
Here's a quick look back at my three month long process, compressed as a short video: