One of my favourite paintings is Dame Laura Knight's Self Portrait with Nude. It's such a rich and powerful painting and on the occasions I've be able to visit the National Portrait Gallery in London, it's this painting that I look forward to seeing the most. The composition is fabulous and the drawing monumental, and it's extraordinary that when it was shown during her lifetime it was met with such negative criticism. Though sexism was the cause of such criticism, since its obvious qualities as a painting shine out like the sun.
I've just completed a self portrait called Double Portrait inspired by Laura Knight's painting. For the last 3 years I've been doing profile portrait drawings of people in the arts and this has influenced my choice of composition.
On the easel is a work in progress, a portrait of Deborah Klein, which was taken from a brown oil paint wash drawing. Turning it into a pencil drawing has associations with my profile portrait series which features many pencil portraits.
The painting is also about the act of drawing as well as a double portrait, so my aim was to capture the thought that precedes the mark making.
Double Portrait, 2019, oil on canvas, 107 x 84 cm
Self Portrait with Nude, 1913, oil on canvas, 152.4 x 127.6 cm