Love is the inspiration

The onset of Valentine’s day, combined with a friend’s 22nd anniversary, made me think about love and how frequently it is the inspiration for paintings.

One of my very first commissions was for a man, age 43, who asked for a painting of the Sacre Coeur for his wife. He had proposed there years earlier. He proudly told me that he had been to Paris on a school trip age 14 and whilst there had vowed to propose at the Sacre Coeur as an adult. A true romantic.

A lady with a new partner had spent several weekends at his bachelor pad on London’s South bank and contacted me to request a painting that would remind them both of romantic strolls by the river. The following Christmas she called me for a painting of Brighton to remind them of a weekend break in the city (I couldn’t put ‘dirty weekend‘ in case she reads this, obviously). Six months later he had completed a cycle trip around the Isle of Wight and she commissioned a painting of the Needles for him as a memento. Long may their relationship flourish!

One guy made a sophisticated request for a painting for his strong, curvaceous and striking red-haired wife. His requirements were very specific. It had to be based on the Mad Men series which they both loved and particularly about Joan, the flame-haired secretary; with whom the parallels with his wife were obvious. The resulting painting is reminiscent of a fashion illustration and is collaged with 1950’s icons from Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall as well as Time and Life magazine. It is a sassy and unique painting. He went on to commission a painting of the Manhatten skyline when they married there in 2000. Ahhh.

Two ladies have requested paintings of their partner’s treasured “boy toys”. The fact that they would consider having a painting of a Lambretta scooter and a Gibson guitar in their homes is, I believe, a testament to TRUE LOVE!


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