Wednesday, April 27, 2011

portrait study, Martin's friend

My friend Martin Wainwright who is a noted author and journalist, not to mention the husband of Penny, my long-ago flat-mate in London, can claim among his millions of interests a passion for the study of moths. He writes a blog on the subject which is by turns esoteric and amusing as well as a totally accurate written form of the way he talks! My father, who was also a journalist, was much the same: he wrote as he spoke, so when I read back over his letters now, it is as if he is still in the room. Martin's writing has that quality too. Recently in his blog he posted a photo of this gentleman Sir Harrison Birtwistle - a composer and, like Martin, a moth enthusiast. Even though the photo is a little blurry for painting purposes, it has a wonderful and very British feeling about it, what with the hyacinths in the vase at the back. So having nothing particular to do today since my model is coming tomorrow, I made this study. I hope, if Sir Harrison Birtwistle ever sees it, he finds that I did justice to his extraordinary face.