I have just been reminded that it has been a while since I last published a blog! Where has the time gone?!
Well, alongside a busy term of teaching and a series of trips over the summer I have been busy in the studio and today finished the 25th portrait in my series of 50.
Here is a quick view of the latest faces…
Here’s Hilary. Love her or loathe her she is the best chance America has of keeping Donald Trump out of the Oval Office. Just as I thought this was going to be the next political highlight we were rocked at home in the UK by the Referendum result. Suddenly the Britain we knew had decided to change its relationship to the world and our PM had resigned.
If you came along to my demo last Saturday … here, as promised, is the finished portrait of Liz Hodgkin, politician, mayor, gardener, singer and all round mover and shaker in Henley on Thames. As you can see I have exchanged her mayoral gown for her Greys Church choir robes and the photo background for Henley in Bloom Green.
My latest addition to the “Fifty Faces'” collection is on display today! Locals of Henley on Thames may well recognise master (mistress?) baker, Nicola Taylor. Lawlors the bakers have been supplying the town with quality bread, buns and cakes for decades and Nicola’s daily Facebook posts keep my tastebuds tickled all though the week.
This is Angela Tilby, the Diocesan Canon at Christ Church, Oxford.
As it is Holy Week she seemed a perfect choice for my seventh face out of 50 in 2016. Angela recently visited Harpsden Church where I work as organist and choir leader. She was instantly likeable with a warm, lively personality and down to earth approach.
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.
One of my most enjoyable commissions so far. A family of 5 requested a large painting of a Chilterns landscape, with them in it, for their living room wall.
They supplied a photo of the scene, but as it was taken on a dull, grey day, the colours were very muted. The brief was to jazz up the colours and give it an autumnal feel. I also had to add the whole family plus dog!
The wall it was destined for was painted a bold ‘heritage’ red, so the canvas had to work both in terms of colour and dimensions.
Discussing the size with the family took some time, but we eventually settled on a large 90 x 60cm box canvas.
I took a bold approach with the colours (possibly inspired by the dynamism and energy of my clients as well as the wall hue). I added a windblown sky, full of light and shadow, and simplified the shapes of fields and trees, creating them out of large blocks of intense colour. Dark shadow tones were employed to add depth and drama.
If you too have a favourite place, why not ask me to do a personalised picture of it for your house?