Back in November, the citizens of New Mexico and Kansas made history by electing the first two Native American women to Congress. In a Congress full of historical elections, this one touched me the most. In part, because I have been painting my First Citizens series for more than a year, and also because I was surprised to learn, during the election, that they would be the first. I still have so much to learn about the history of Native Citizens and the impact of Western Culture. It seems impossible to believe that the first legal residents of this land had yet to be represented by women. I knew then that I would be painting these women as part of my series. It presents something new to me. I have painted all my previous subjects from photographs that are 90 to 100 years old and black and white. I would be painting living subjects this time. I used a black and white image for the first of the two, Deb Haaland of New Mexico.