Commission: posthumous portrait of Olav Bratli
Two visitors to my September open studios last year - a couple - made a connection, which often happens, between my portraits and my interest in portraying performers.
Nicola told me that her sister had, sadly, lost her pianist husband Olav in 2023 and that she, and her partner Jason, would like to commission a portrait of her brother-in-law. They hoped it would evoke his memory for her sister and their children as they prepared to spend their first Christmas without him.
Nicola says, "We had an incredibly positive experience with Stella, who created a mixed media portrait of my late brother-in-law, Olav, at his piano. Stella was extremely professional and sensitive – and we are absolutely delighted with the results.
"She very much captured a sense of Olav as a person from his wry smile to his pianist’s hands and I’m sure the portrait will be something my sister and her children can treasure in the years to come. Highly, highly recommended."
It was our collaboration - from the selection of the reference photo, to the discussion of Olav’s character and meaningful colours - that helped fuel my imagination for this drawn A3 portrait.
If you're interested in commissioning a portrait yourself, to keep alive the memory of a loved one who has passed away, please visit Commission a portrait.
You may also wish to visit my Art & Soul blog about undertaking posthumous portraits.