Clemmie is the second child of four, belonging to my friends Angus and Kath; the younger sister of Isla, who I painted 2 years previously. Planning ahead, we made the collective decision when we started this project, to paint all 4 children at approximately the same age – 12. And that, while treating them all individually and celebrating their differences, it would be good to be able to have the flexibility to hang them separately, or in two pairs or all together, in a group of four.
With that in mind, I was aiming for a composition that could reflect her sister, Isla’s portrait – not just in size – 60 x 70cm, but in pose and ‘feel’. But it was also very important to emphasise the differences. Clemmie is also very keen on her pony, like her sister, but one major difference is that this sitting took place in the summer, whilst Isla’s was in early January . So this portrait became more about those lovely relaxed endless sunny days of the summer holidays. Her gorgeous olive skin, fringed denim shorts, ankle bracelet and bare feet sing out the song of summer.
In the background are family photos and one of them is Clemmie as a baby. (Only hinted at!)
I love the relaxed feel of this portrait. And the warm colours of summer.