Spear has long been an artist beyond my pocket, a Modern British painter who has a loyal and determined fan base amongst collectors and dealers alike. I was delighted to find these two portraits tucked away in a country saleroom during the first lockdown for something of a steal. Both paintings portray Claire Stafford and therein lies a story. Spear had a long and presumably happy marriage to Mary who he remained with all his life. However in the mid-1950s he met the 16 year old Claire while she was working as an artists model. They began a long affair, including a daughter that Mary seems to have brought up as her own. What complicated lives people lead. Anyway Claire seems to have flourished, ending up as the Keep of Tigers at London Zoo.