Introducing Murad, a commissioned portrait in white coloured pencil on black paper.
Once in a while a commission comes along which has extra significance and importance, and Murad is one such subject. I was approached by the client, his daughter, as she wanted a portrait of her late father.
Murad was from Turkmenistan, and as well as a being a much loved man, he was a highly skilled engineer. Over the course of his 50 year career in aviation he developed over 190 inventions, of which over 120 were patented.
As a memorial to Murad, at his final resting place he has a gravestone with his image and a dedication engraved. The image however is not a true likeness, so although it is impressive, it does not capture the man he was for his loved ones who visit him there. His daughter, who lives in London, has long wanted to address this, so she sought an artist here in the UK who could help, and a wonderful collaboration between she and I was born.
As is often the case for portraits of those loved and lost, the photographs of Murad that were available were limited, and the one that best represented how his family wanted to remember him was very small and out of focus. This posed big challenges for me as an artist, especially as one who thrives on detail. With a lot of communication, additional reference images of Murad as a younger and older man, and taking an approach with some trial and error involved, his daughter and I were able to work together to create this portrait which captures the beautiful man that he was, in a way that all his family were happy with.
Turkmenistan’s borders have been closed for some time, so for now this portrait is living with his daughter in her UK home. When eventually she is able to return to her birth country, she will oversee the creation of a new headstone. This will be made from black marble, durable enough to withstand the harsh desert climate. It will be engraved with my portrait, and will remain as a monument to Murad long after I am gone.
To know that my art can have such importance in the world of a family thousands of miles away, and to think of it standing there and representing Murad’s life is both humbling and remarkable to me in equal measure.
Commissioning an original piece of art is a simple process which is a collaboration between us both. I can offer a range of options depending on your preferences and budget, and I make every effort to ensure that I exceed your expectations with the portrait created. As each picture takes many hours to create, if you have a date in mind for a gift for example, the sooner the commission is planned the better to ensure that it is possible to achieve. I am always happy to discuss any ideas you may have, so drop me a line or give me a call and I will help in any way that I can.