This painting was the first of my more recent work, following what turned out to be a very long summer break. It was completed towards the end of October and features a delightful model by the name of Victor Caulfield – a man with a rich, varied life, and many wonderful stories to tell.
For the past few years Victor has made Florence his home, where he has been available to the well known art schools of the city as model and muse. As a result, he now has a sizeable collection of wonderful portraits that he is in the process of curating in order to exhibit. Completely unexpectedly, he arrived at the studio in Salisbury in late summer, and stayed until Christmas. It was lovely having him around and I suspect the studio will feel rather less colourful now that he has returned to Italy.
What I particularly enjoyed about this portrait is how relaxed we made the sittings. We worked in a room away from the main studio and as a result were able to chat away without disturbing anyone else. Usually I find it too difficult to concentrate myself, and certainly too difficult to see the features properly with that level of movement. For some reason however, it just wasn’t a problem in this case, and if anything I think it helped to capture something else of his character. If only all paintings were this much of a pleasure to work on!
Progress shots follow: