Talking to a friend who is a psychiatrist in NY over the phone the other night, I heard myself say that if I could start my life over, I would like to become a neurologist because I am fascinated by human behaviour. "You mean a psychiatrist," he said. "No, that's too open to interpretation," I said. "I would like to really understand how the brain functions."
I am flying over to the US for a couple of weeks at the end of January to execute some portrait commissions, so grabbed some local children of friends to hone up my skills. As I was working on them, I realised of course that I am studying people when I paint them, and interpreting them in an artistic way.
I am far more interested in drawing people than anything else, and want to get away from illustration because I like the open ended freedom of painting from life. What happens, happens. If the portrait becomes winsome, or irritable or dark, it's a result of a living interaction between the sitter and the painter. My portraits of children are almost always commercially successful because children have not developed the complicated and sometimes conflicting nuances of adults. Adults usually have a preconceived image of themselves which does not always tally with my vision of them.