In late June, Kelly and I visited London for the private view of the 2010 BP Portrait Award. I was very pleased to be exhibited in the show, and was ecstatic when I learned that my painting would be used for the majority of the promotional material! My painting "Blue Coco" was used for the gallery guide, on posters placed throughout the city, on postcards, the cover of the exhibition catalogue and on a huge banner draping the front of the National Portrait Gallery. It was a surreal experience to see my painting all over London, where the show is exhibited until September 19th before travelling to the Usher Gallery in Lincoln.
We had an incredible time, it was truly an amazing experience and the high-light of my career thus far. Appreciation for realist painting in London runs hot and was on a level that I had not experienced before. Everyone at the gallery was so interested, from the shop workers to the front desk to the security guards! We met a dozen or so of the other exhibiting artists, and got a chance to view my painting with my model Dearbhail "Coco" Bracken-Roche (who is living in London) and meet her wonderful parents and handsome fella Joel.
Last Sunday, Toronto art critic Murray Whyte put the icing on the cake for me. He wrote an article about my experience, speaking with both myself and Dearbhail which was featured on the front page of the Toronto Star. I have since received scores of emails from people congratulating me from all over Ontario and throughout the UK. Thanks everyone! You can read the article here.....
Thank you to Dearbhail's father Jim Roche for bringing 0ur story to the attention of Murray. This whole experience has given me a renewed push to hunker down and do my best work; a truly inspiring few months that I will never forget.