Thoughts About Portraiture
Painted in oil using old master techniques these portraits are labour-intensive and are substantial works.
My portrait commissions come mostly through the personal recommendations of my clients, or from those who have seen my work. I enjoy this serendipity which has also allowed me to keep a low profile.
Over the years I have kept in contact with many of my portrait subjects and a common theme often arises when they talk about their portraits. They appreciate the strength of the design, the proficiency of the painting and the accuracy of the likeness, but most of all they love the intrinsic quality that reveals the best of their true personality.
I love the unique way that people hold themselves; especially their hands, and I incorporate the personal stance of my subjects into the work. In the same way that you can recognise a loved one in the far distance by their walk, so I want you to be able to see your contemporaries, colleagues, friends and family, and for them to see you, as entirely familiar in the portraits I paint.
It was only when I had painted my brother Sam that I fully understood the place that a portrait holds in a family. It is a wonderful celebration of the subject’s life as they are now, becoming more and more loved as they move away from it in time. Eventually the portrait becomes a treasured family heirloom and the visual legacy of a valued life.
As an artist I am grateful for the aesthetic vision that I have inherited and the painting skills I have learned. However, I agree with my clients that it is this gift of insightfulness, when put into the portraits, that makes them special.