The completion of a painting often brings a number of mixed feelings – an uncertainty of what is finished?.. have I achieved all I set out to do.. and importantly listening to that gut instinct that says stop!
A portrait, as a culmination of work by both artist and sitter can be particularly rewarding, even more so when the painting has been ‘in progress’ over a period of three and a half years.
When working with a model I try to have regular sittings, preferably weekly but obviously my models availability dictates. The first three or four portraits I made of Beth were painted in between her University terms, and so I don’t mind sittings being spread out too much as long as I have an idea of when the next one is going to take place.
This portrait of Jonathan began in April 2008. From the outset I knew that our sittings would be rather infrequent but I was determined to continue as I’d wanted to paint his portrait for some time. I first met Jonathan through our musical connections, both being violinists, and so I felt it was natural to include his violin in the portrait.
We had a few intensive sessions on the painting some time ago and I have been patiently awaiting a time when my sitter was back in the country for long enough to have one more sitting for the painting which this autumn I finally got.