Three family portraits: John-Paul and Jasmine Tooth and Holly Rogers
Three portraits, painted at different times, and at different life stages of three very important people in my life.
Portraying an intimate
How do you portray an intimate, someone you have seen through all their ups and downs? Well, I find such portraits tend to paint themselves.
My first of the three portraits, of my niece Holly, was done when I was still studying portraiture at Heatherleys. My sister had sent me a photo of her to paint from, where she was looking at her beloved Scottie Monty who was sitting on her lap. I loved the angle - from above as if you were privy to a private moment. It summed Holly up for me at that stage of her life, self-effacing and tender.
Jasmine asked me to paint her portrait and I was delighted to as she was at that age when she was hovering on the brink of adulthood - before she went to university. The sun was strong in our garden and the sunlight dappled across her face. I photographed her from above which I felt fleetingly described our roles then, when she still was still of an age, at 17, where she still looked to some of the world’s answers from her parents.
I painted John-Paul - five years older than Jasmine - soon afterwards in a short, indoor photographic session. He knew what was required, studying broadcast journalism as he was at university. His face had turned from teenage but hadn’t fully rounded out into the man he would become. He was laid back about the portrait, popping in occasionally to see how it was going along with encouraging words.