When I was finishing my Portraiture Diploma at Heatherleys in 2012 I had an unusual request from my former Sky News colleague and military historian Rob Kirk. Would my husband Nigel and I like to accompany him, his wife Elaine and friends to the site of the first tank battle of WWI in Cambrai and paint Deborah.
Deborah, it turned out, was a tank from D Division that had been involved in the mass tank battle of Cambrai. It had been reported on Sky News that it had been discovered by local historian Philippe Gorczynski in Cambrai earth. Among Rob and Elaine's friends on the trip was John Taylor is to write Deborah and the war of the tanks 1917, which will tell of the tank and her crew and will track down their descendants to uncover the human story.
When I first saw Deborah I felt I was looking at a wounded animal, which is how I have portrayed the fighting machine.
Oil on canvas. Framed.
Size of image: medium
Size of frame: medium