"I have always enjoyed undertaking portrait commissions, largely because I relish the challenge of meeting someone else's expectations as well as my own. It's nice to feel like I'm being pushed to create something that is outside my own comfort zone.
I'm often described as a narrative artist and it occurred to me some time ago that I didn't have to paint portraits in the traditional sense but that I could incorporate a portrait subject into one of my narrative paintings.
Through a process of interviewing my client I get a feel for their personality and interests and include these in the painting, then going one step further I'll put them into a narrative setting, therefore bringing the two genres together and giving the client something that is entirely unique to them.
This approach has really excited previous clients. I've put people in a favourite film, or made them a character in one of my Western or Noir inspired settings. To my delight some clients have given me free reign to portray them in a general sense rather than a traditional likeness. Indeed, clients have even appeared with their backs to the viewer. This is a particular challenge and I've enjoyed describing someone's personality through their posture and stance alone. I find this sort of collaboration invigorating and thankfully the results have been very warmly met.
Being a huge movie fan it's always exciting when someone picks a favourite film as a setting. Indeed, the first commission of this nature I undertook was to put the client into his favourite film. Hard Times is a depression era set drama and my client requested to be portrayed in one of the opening scenes, rolling into town on an American boxcar. It was a match made in heaven as many of my own pieces are set in the bygone age of the 30's and 40's. He was delighted with the results and indeed we've remained friends ever since."
If you are interested in finding out more please do contact the gallery.