jenny and vincent
Here is a quick sketch that I did of my friend, Jenny, and her fiance, Vincent. Jenny and I had agreed that her fiance would be a great sitter for a portrait. She and I met at the Charles Cecil Studio several years back and have been in touch ever since. Years ago, Margaret and I went and stayed at her house in southern England, and the three of us went rambling through the countryside, visited Jane Austen’s house, drank hard cider beside a rabbit warren. This past time in Florence, we met and became friends with her fiance, Vincent, as well. Vincent is an Anglican priest who served at the Saint Mark’s Anglican Church in Florence. He is often whistling some piece of music which he had been previously playing on his piano. He was very generous with us, had us out to his house in the countryside, and kindly tolerated Liam smashing and destroying his belongings.
I did this sketch in about two days time, or five hours or so. It was a really fun piece to do, as it was a unique perspective on the typical portrait sitting. The way things work at the Cecil Studios, there are two models for every one portrait sitter. Canvases are placed directly beside the sitter, and the easels remain in this position for the entire pose. On the day we began, I decided that I simply wanted to do something different. I backed up about fifteen feet or so, placed the wooden panel in such a way as to best view the scene, and started painting. I really enjoyed doing this piece, and the other artists in the studio chimed in with their enthusiasm. I think we all liked that it was a variant on the same old theme.
Jenny’s painting of Vincent is seen here in its early stage. She is a very good painter, very good at depicting emotion, and I really love her work. This painting turned out exceptionally well for her. I guess it is that she somehow captured Vincent’s unique, wry smile, and that is what made her painting.
Before their marriage, Jenny and Vincent visited us in the States this past spring. They returned to Europe, and were married in the summer. Shortly after, they moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. Margaret and I were unable to attend the wedding, which took place in England, but I was able to give them this painting as a wedding gift. It is a nice thought that, somewhere in Aberdeen, both Jenny’s painting of Vincent and my painting of her painting Vincent are, perhaps, hanging side by side.