Portrait of Jo

This painting was completed a couple of years ago for Jo.

Now, it has taken me a while to come to friendly terms with this one. Nothing to do do with the sitter.  Jo is  a fantastically generous person who supported me in my work for years and I couldn’t be more in debt to her. She was responsible for commissioning my last solo exhibition and also gifting me some unforgettable experiences.

No, my problem was with my style of painting here. The painting was done with only two or three days notice  if I remember. Usually I do a lot of thinking and designing and humming and hawing when starting a work, but I didn’t have the luxury of time on this one. So I just had to get stuck in. This meant that I had painted it to a finish and before I knew it, it was out of my hands and away to the framers, without having that breathe out time where you get a chance to live with the picture for a while. No time to get to know it really.

So I was worried that it didn’t look like my hand in the paint, as it is a bit different in style to my other stuff. To be honest I haven’t been able to look at it for ages. I don’t think I liked it. Perhaps I would have liked to spend some considered time to give Jo what I believed to be a more worthy gift.

Anyway, time heals. I was looking for something else tonight when I came across the portrait and I had a real look at it. A retrospective once over. I was so relieved to find I really like it. It does differ stylistically but what the hang, I like the fact it looks like someone else painted it.It looks like Jo and it has that determined smile of hers, showing her sense of fun and enthusiasm. (says me!)

Looking back, I wasn’t able to trust the reaction of those that saw the portrait at the time. Even Jo’s reaction that she loved it, I wasn’t sure of. Now, I trust Jo and her family enjoys the painting and I certainly feel more content at the result.

~ by David Reid on December 5, 2011.

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