Portrait of Peter Kirkup
This portrait was commissioned by Peter’s wife Sandra as a 70th birthday present. The process of painting this portrait of Peter was so satisfying and rewarding for me as an artist. I visited the couple in their home and spent the afternoon chatting to Peter getting know him a bit. Photographs were taken and then we sat in the garden and I sketched away, making visual records of what I wanted to remember about the landscape of his face. Things that maybe would be lost or flattened in a photograph. After lots of cups of tea and a wonderful afternoon I returned home to play with the images I had. A few weeks later the Kirkups came to visit me in my studio and we had another session of gathering material to work with, making sure that they were both happy with my intended composition.
I painted the portrait in my studio, mostly working from a photo and sketches. Painting is like therapy for me and painting Peter was wonderful medicine. During the process of painting, I feel I get to know my subject really well by being with them for hours, focusing on the details of their features, trying to capture something of the essence and depth of their character.
Peter and Sandra were really pleased with this portrait and I too feel very happy with my finished art work.