Portrait of Richard Demarco

‘Portrait of Richard Demarco’. Blackboard paint, gesso and pencil on 36×36 inch wood panel. Rose Strang, January 2018

Above, my portrait (created in January this year) of Richard Demarco.

I submitted this for the Scottish Portrait Awards but wasn’t successful. I didn’t feel too disappointed about this though, since most artists who submitted work are dedicated portrait artists (and my usual work is landscape) also those shortlisted are very talented.

I do think it’s a good portrait though! So I’m submitting it for another exhibition and will see what happens in the next month or so.

Here is the official description of the portrait …

This portrait of Richard Demarco is my response to his dedication to meaningful art and its potential role in society. Like many people involved in the arts in Scotland or beyond I’ve worked and been involved with the Demarco Foundation in many ways, over the years.

The portrait began with sketches of Richard in person at Summerhall, which were then worked up later in my studio. The backdrop of the portrait is a wood panel painted with blackboard paint, the portrait itself is painted free-hand with gesso, on Richard’s left is a rough copy of Beuy’s drawing of a stag, its antlers reach up to the pencil drawing (more visible when viewed in person) of three telegraph poles representing the road to Meikle Seggie.

I wanted to capture the qualities of courage and determination, also a certain humour, but ultimately I hope this portrait expresses renewal of faith in art in the most challenging circumstances – the concept of art as a healing force that might encourage dialogue and understanding across boundaries of place and prejudice.

More info on Richard Demarco CBE, and the Demarco European Art Foundation Here


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