|Danzig's Spirit, Linda Squair's talented eventer|
Linda Squair's hubby took me aside during a Pony Club rally one Saturday morning and asked me to do a portrait of his wife's eventer. His only request? To make him look like the brilliant horse he is.
Of course, I always hope that when I hand a portrait over my client will be happy with it. Despite the fact that I've been doing commissioned portraits for almost 20 years; I'm still taken aback when the recipient bursts into tears.
"What do you see when you draw?" someone asked me recently.
"I don't know."
I mean, I do know. I draw what I see in front of me, and yet I'm still surprised when I see what I've done. Clearly there's a process taking place that I'm unaware of. Something happens that doesn't pass through my logical mind.
I longed to draw as a child. I yearned with all my heart to be able to draw well and be 'good at art'. I wasn't much good at school and it was only in art school that I discovered my true ability to put something on paper that looked good and earned a decent grade.
My deep love and reverence for animals is what people are seeing when they look at one of my pet portraits. I'm grateful that what my clients see is a likeness that they recognise. A sense of familiarity which resonates with them.
I know that tears mean truth. You can't fake that kind of emotion. When it happens, I know that I've followed my heart, that I've listened to my inner voice and allowed it a space in the world.
It's something that moves through me, isn't of me.
That's the only way I can explain it.