Commission: Amy Selwyn
I met Amy at a news conference when I worked for Sky News and we enjoyed meeting up annually at different venues around the world. When I retrained as a portrait artist, she asked me to paint her portrait. As she lived in America, to keep the cost reasonable, the portrait had to be completed entirely from photographs which she had taken by her sister. As I’d met her and seen her skin tone, that helped hugely when it came to paint it.
We discussed the home context for the portrait - should it be outdoor or indoor? The light very different in each scenario, coming from all around outside and directionally indoors. American Gothic - one of my favourite US paintings - sprang to mind with its wooden building behind the two protagonists and made me think of a wall of garden shed might provide an interesting background. Amy loved the idea and, after sharing photos of the portrait as it progressed for comment - and then the finished version after about six weeks' work - it was soon time for it to find its way to Amy's home on the East coast.