In 2012 I decided to focus on portraits. I’d painted one several years before and really enjoyed it, and had always meant to try it again. To prepare I sat close to the model in life drawing and concentrated on heads, for a year, then I painted a friend for the first painting.
They are painted in oils. I used a spatula apart for almost all of the image, resorting to a brush only when there was a fine pattern on fabric to replicate. Aside from a few friends, I sought out writers I knew so that I could begin submitting to prizes that required the sitter to be a well known person.
In 2018 I decided to do a series of small portraits of friends portraying only their head only. The large portraits took me six months of weekly sessions to complete, of which up to five sessions were spend on the head. I felt I wasn’t getting enough practise to improve, and hoped the small portraits would provide that. It also took the pressure off finding subjects ‘worthy’ of entering into prizes, and was a lot of fun.
Where to from here? Even before Covid19, I was beginning to crave a change. With the weekly open workshop cancelled and lockdowns adding to the difficulty to arrange sitters, I decided to see where circumstances and inspiration took me.