portrait of Kathleen by James Earley

Kathleens’ Diary

Original Oil Painting
102cm x 76cm
Oil on Canvas


I was commissioned to paint a portrait of Kathleen. Kathleen had died a few years ago and her son wanted me to paint a portrait of her. I was given some photos and a description of Kathleen to work on. I learnt that Kathleen who was born in Ireland had quite a tough start to her life. She enjoyed playing cards, she smoked Senior Service cigarettes and she was religious. Kathleen also kept a diary and the diary was so important to her. I wanted to make the diary prominent in this piece. The focal point was to be Kathleens’ eyes and below and above the eyes I wanted a reference to the Diary. I also wanted to create a small image on the wall of her two children whom she was so proud of. I also saw in an old photo of the living room a still life painting so I created a still life to go on the wall.
I wanted these objects, these things and these ideas to have a huge significance in the work so I decided to cross out all the rules of perspective and create almost a virtual space where everything is detailed and not blurred.
It was an honour to paint Kathleen. I spent many hours looking into her eyes on canvas and I learnt so much about her courage and her commitment. Although I never met her I am proud to have known Kathleen.

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Tags: award winning portrait artist, hyperrealism art, James earley portrait, portrait artist, realism portraits

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