A friend of mine wanted me to paint a portrait of her Mother. A simple enough request. But she didn’t want any photos taken of her. When I asked my client what her Mother’s name was, she looked surprised. She replied: “Her name is Phyllis but everyone calls her Nana.”
This portrait of Nana was done from a tiny iPhone photo. However I was able to borrow the hat – Nana’s Melbourne Cup hat. My friend had to be clever about borrowing the hat as Nana was unaware that a portrait was in progress.
If you’re Australian you will know about the race that stops a nation. Everyone, everywhere, frocks up and goes off to lunch. A hat or fascinator is obligatory.
Somehow the spirit of this remarkable lady came through and the painting evolved without too much of a struggle. The natural colour of the linen support was in keeping with the simplicity of the composition. It seemed logical to leave much unpainted.