8E is a Portrait of Mette Finderup. The Danish author sat many hours for this head and shoulder portrait. When we arranged to work on the portrait, Mette was touring the way many authors do. I.e. public speaking about her books and work as an author as well as writing workshops or book signing. It meant that she afforded me four longer sessions with her, where I could paint her. I suspect she saw it as an opportunity to use the peace and quiet to meditate, rehearse her presentations or work out the plot and character development for her next book. We did have a few interesting conversations, though, and while she entered deep and serious reflections, she quickly countered them with a wicked sense of humour.
As Finderup was pleased to know that she could influence the composition to some degree. For instance, one of her requests was that the portrait should not all be nice and pretty. There should be suggestions of the bright as well as shadow side of life. We agreed on the Ravens, crows and rooks that appear in the painting. Corvids are highly intelligent, but historically they have been regarded Ill omens. It is not for nothing that multiple crows are called ‘a murder’, and they have always captured the public imagination. Another request was – if possible – to add specific Irish Celtic ornaments to the painting. Now, Mette is normally based in Copenhagen. But she has lived and worked in Ireland, and that has been a source of inspiration for a couple of her books.
You can view other portraits here.
Title/Titel/Titel/Títolo #8E, (Mette Finderup), Acrylic and oil on canvas/ Akryl und Öl auf Leinwand/Akryl og olie på lærred/acrílico e óleo sobre tela 100x80cm.