Why I love my job

JP's portrait unveiled by his son and daughter

I was lucky enough to be contacted by a lovely chap named Chris back in the Spring with a request to paint a posthumous portrait of JP. JP was a much-loved, charismatic and dedicated member of Fleet Cricket Club. As such a valued and sorely missed presence, the Club had raised money for a portrait to be painted of him to be hung in the clubhouse.

Chris supplied a link to a database that JP’s friends and family had uploaded photographs to, in order for me to choose a picture to work from. Looking through the huge collection of memories, it was hard not to see what a fun-loving and generous person JP was, and how highly regarded he was.

I was able to choose a high-resolution photo of JP at a formal function, with beaming smile and wine glass in hand. However, Chris’ instructions included the need to paint JP holding a beer glass – not by the handle, but around the middle, a customary sight and particular to him!

It was a joy to be greeted by his friendly face in my studio every day, and a great relief that once finished, his family were delighted with the result.

Portrait of JP by Caroline Richardson

The painting was unveiled last weekend at a special memorial event, hosted by his family at the club, and Chris kindly sent me a video and photographs of the day. When I saw JP’s son and daughter reveal the painting, and could see by their reactions what it meant to them, I was truly moved and so grateful to have had the opportunity to paint this tribute to him.

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