Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A Funny Thing Happened …….

Yesterday, I received the loveliest message from a client, Val, who collected the portrait of Princess Rosie a couple of weeks ago and had finally hung her on the wall. 

Rosie - still with us - has been somewhat challenging to photograph, totally unfazed by everything, and looked at us as if we were daft trying to get her to put her ears up. 

She's quite grey now, but the flow of the drawing let me easily give her some of previous colour back, and it was lovely to do a less than conventional expression for a change! (As a bonus, it's actually two portraits in one, as if you look closely you can see Mr Rosie's silhouette in the reflection in the eye!)

This is the photograph I worked from.

So, to the point - the message. Val has very kindly allowed me to use it on the Testimonials page.

**Jenny's portrait of Rosie (a difficult subject as it took a year and near enough 200 photos plus an assignation in a carpark to get a usable photo) is perfect! When I saw it I was reduced to tears, but in a good way as it is really her looking out at me. We brought her home and hung her on the wall next to her beloved Sammy (he was also painted by Jenny) who went over Rainbow Bridge three years ago. This may sound spooky but I swear this is true - her expression changed from the "whatever" look she had in the photo/portrait to one of contentment that she is reunited with him again.**

I was blown away by what she said, not only because it was incredibly kind and flattering, but also because it shook me slightly. 

I work in such detail, that I necessarily immerse myself into the work. I do sort of disappear from what goes on around me and am guided by the feel of the personality I'm portraying. 

When I am working from photos of animals that I have never seen, and are no longer with us, I have no personal point of reference to know when I catch the moment of character, or the soul. But often one final touch of colour or line as I work seems to surge a huge emotional response in me. That's when I know to stop messing with it. I accept that as part of what I do, and don't really dwell on it.

I'm mildly spooked, but also pleased that it seems to have gone further than me in this case. I hope Sammy's happy too! 


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