This coming Sunday the children in our church are holding a sale in the church hall after morning service. They are busy baking cakes and making things to sell – all to raise money for Children in Need.
I started this painting a few weeks ago – a rare occasion when I was able to paint just for me rather than to demonstrate or for a commission. The photograph of the little girl was on a website where photographers post their pictures for artists to paint – with no copyright or royalties. I was trawling through the site some months ago and came across this picture – I loved the little girls face and the `lost and found` effect around her. I had a small canvas – just perfect – selected my acrylic paints and began enthusiastically – working away like a beaver. I didn`t stop – which, of course, is a great mistake and I should know better! I took it into the art group that I attend on a Thursday and continued working on it – not too happy but carried on. A former pupil of mine who now belongs to the art group came and stood behind me and said `She`ll be OK when she`s had the surgery`. I stood back and took a look – it was truly awful. In an attempt to capture those lovely eyes I had not paid enough attention to their positioning – it was all wrong. I did no more than scrub out the whole picture and went back home at the end of the morning with a blank canvas. The man sitting behind me in the group said `I never thought I`d see you do that!`
At home, after dinner, I went into the little corner of the room I call my studio – put on the daylight bulbs and began to draw the picture properly by squaring it up – this ensured that all the features were in the right place and she didn`t need surgery!
Whilst working on her it occurred to me that I was getting my pleasure out of doing the painting but I didn`t really want to keep it and I hit on the idea of running a competition to guess her name at 50p a guess and all proceeds to go to the childrens` Save the Children effort on Sunday. U ran off a list of some 100 girls names and have been trotting it around family, friends and art groups. I`ve raised £47.50 so far and then on Sunday I`ll take her into the church hall, on her easel to continue the competition until the event closes when all names will be put in a hat and the one pulled out first will win the painting.
I should add that the photograph doesn`t really do her justice – there is a shine which the flash has caught – this is caused by the medium I use with the acrylic and will be corrected when the painting is varnished all over. I usually use matt varnish because, personally, I don`t like shine.
So now it will be back to work – I have a painting to do of the manor house we sat a couple of months ago …