To make a long story short: I lead with my heart. It led me to Maude Adams. She was a turn of the century theater actress. She was very famous for her time and most well known for playing the part of Peter Pan.
To make a short story long: The story in which I came across Maude and her image goes like this.
For the last 16 years I've been painting people from photographs that I found in someones trash from the 1890's. You could say that I fell in love with them. Last year I was commissioned to paint a piano in Iowa and in searching for a famous pianist to paint on the piano I found Roger Williams. He was born and raised in Iowa and is the only solo pianist to ever have had a number one hit (before the dawn of rock and roll). In researching Roger I found that he had done the music for the closing credits of a movie called "Somewhere In Time". I read the synopsis. It's about a man who falls in love with a photograph of a woman and goes back in time to have a love affair with her. This sounded right up my alley and very similar to my story. Another coincidence(?) - the movie stars Christopher Reeve - I had just painted him for Superman Fest which takes place in Metropolis, IL every year.
All of these things combined added up to one thing: I gotta watch this movie. So I watched it and it was great. I also watched the special features and there was an interview with the man who wrote the book that the movie was based on. He said that he wrote the book after seeing and falling in love with a picture of Maude Adams. When her photograph came on the screen I got crazy chills. Like the author, I too fell in love and had to paint her.