A while ago, a good friend asked me if I would offer a commissioned portrait as a prize in an auction at a fund raising event. Not only am I still struggling a little with the "look at my work, I'm an artist" approach, but there were to be some well-known, influential people at the event, so this was pushing me way out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, it was too good an opportunity for me on so many levels, and for a cause I am happy to align myself with, so last Tuesday I packed up a few paintings, put on my best frock and off I went, my husband offering a supporting hand.
At dinner, (thanks to my friend, who devised the seating plan!), I was seated next to Paddy Ashdown, (for the benefit of non-UK readers, he is, or has in the past been, a spy, a senior politician, a diplomat, a baron, a knight etc etc). He was extremely charming, and is one of the most fascinating and intellegent people I have ever had the good fortune to meet. We chatted a bit about politics, the dire state of the world we live in and about portrait painting. He has been painted several times but, although I felt very comfortable in his presence, I completely bottled out of asking him if I could paint his portrait. I had even left my camera at the other side of the room!
Still, it was a valuable experience, and I had a few enquiries about my services. What more could I ask for?