It was a pleasure meeting soft-hearted, gentle cocker spaniel Pippa for a June photoshoot in 2015. Afterwards, her owners also sent pictures of how she looked as a puppy, and the result was two portraits of her, one as a youngster, and one as an old lady.
Six months later, I received a call from her hum an family, explaining that Pippa had recently developed terminal bone cancer behind one eye, which, tragically, will have to be removed. I was touched when a family member kindly phoned me and said they were glad they had got her portrait done before her diagnosis, and commented that they remembered I had gone to a lot of trouble to get her eyes right.
In these paintings, Pippa is remembered as the family knew and loved her for so many years.
To celebrate my 50th birthday in March I will be starting a challenge to do 50 portraits over the course of the year. I am not sure quite where this will take me but I think it will evolve into a mixture of faces seen in the mainstream media and out of it. I will be looking for variety in features and life stories and hoping to learn a bit about techniques of portraiture on the journey. Watch this space for the unveiling as it goes and count with me as I aim for my target over the next twelve months.
If you would like to participate in the project as a model please contact me!
Lola is a miniature schnauzer full of character and energy. I was uncertain how long it would take to do the initial photo shoot for her portrait but she amazed me by standing absolutely stock still when her owner asked her to stay and she did not budge while I wandered around her with my camera taking shots from all angles. We allowed an hour for the photography (not all dogs are as obliging!) but in fact it was all over in five minutes.
“Lola” is a 40×50 cm oil painting on a box canvas.