A portrait is a funny thing. You meet a person a couple of times and try to tap into what it is they're really after. It's about those secret fantasies and yearnings we have about ourselves and never really have the courage to admit in public. Taking a commission is kinda like being a chaplain again. Encouraging the sitter to open up and trust you to reveal something deeply personal about themselves.
And then you spend weeks and months with it building the layers of skin and fabric, building a likeness and a sense of sensuality about the surface. By the end I always feel as though I am brushing the skin of the sitter. That's when I know it's finished; when it has it's own life. And then I have to part with the person who has inhabited my space and life for all those weeks.
Marsha collected her portrait this evening, the rain just started and and I can move on to the next piece.