A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Lisa Grainger of The Times newspaper. Lisa explained that she was writing a feature about artists who take commissions on painting houses and requested that I contribute.
I really enjoy doing house portraits, to me, they are not just straight architectural images, they are about the history of the people who live there. When I visit a client, I have a conversation with them about what they see as important about their home. These unique experiences are then incorporated into the painting, so the house and the family history are merged.
An example of this is the featured image of a house in West Compton, Somerset. At the bottom left, you will see a cat with pheasants. The origin of this is that the cat ran away for a few months to move in with a group of pheasants. It wasn’t eating any of them, it just decided to live with them. The gamekeeper put the word out about this curious partnership, tracked down my client and returned the cat.
The full article is in The Times here
From his home in Somerset, “12 minutes’ walk to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury”, O’Farrell (liamofarrell.com) creates paintings that “celebrate ordinariness”, he says. His detailed, illustrative paintings are far from ordinary, though; in oils, watercolours and sketches, the artist — who regularly contributes to books and publications from Tatler to The Times — captures not only the architecture of a place, but its inhabitants and their daily life. “I see myself, a bit like John Minton, as an urban romantic,” he says, “someone who likes community and the stories that go on within them.” The homes he paints, which might be in Norfolk or New Zealand, he hopes “are representations of a place their owners love. What I try and capture is their relationship with it: their memories, their past, their future.”
The online version is available on the 15th May 2020 and in the printed newspaper on the 16th May 2020