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Saturday, 1 September 2018

Portrait of Vivienne, Vincent and Scooter, 2018


‘Picture perfect: omg I have A Susan McFarlane!!! I commissioned a portrait of Vincent from this dear friend and phenomenal artist, for him to experience the process of being depicted, being on the other side of the canvas, without the final product in mind. But Susan’s particularly keen on painting couples - how their relationships manifest on the canvas - so, er, I’m in it too. What an extraordinary experience: to see oneself through someone else’s eyes; to see how my husband (oo I still feel weird saying that?!?) and I naturally fell into our positions, with an element of contact (after 5 weeks at sea together, I had wondered how this would pan out...); to see Susan manipulate the paint - conjure up so many colours from the 3 primaries; approach her subject like a bird, head side to side, in a fluid choreography of feinting and dipping with her long brushes; to muse on artists and creativity; to have to sit still for FIVE days. The flowers were on the turn, and I wanted them slightly degraded to give a sense of impermanence to the picture; to avoid the feeling that this is a fixed point in time - but they died, uncompromisingly, so have been resuscitated here in paint. So, in a very short time, this has materialised, complete with Scoots, and pics of the kids on the shelves. A sheer privilege.’ Vivienne Golding


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