Many Faces

One of my favourite places in London is just round the corner from one of the city's most famous sites, Trafalgar Square. The entrance to the National Portrait Gallery is much more discreet than that of its big sister, the National Gallery that faces grandly onto the square, and it has a more personal feeling to it; although well frequented, it's seems far less touristy.

What I love most is wandering around the galleries, with the faces of people from throughout time gazing down, admiring them back but really absorbing their life stories and what they experience and went through. It's the same when I read magazines; I am fascinated by the stories of people's lives, whether famous or less well known, how they got to where they are today.

The NPG has the Faces of Britain exhibition spotted around the gallery, which is accompanied by a TV programme by Simon Schama. If you also love portraiture, it's a great insight into the stories behind the works of art, picking up on elements that you might not have seen at face value, and exploring the themes of Love, Fame, Power, People and Self-Portraits.

Since freeing myself from studies, I really want to get back into painting again. During art at school, the people around me were my subjects, my A level portrait of brother Dowle is testament to that and endless sketches of friends in the common room. But it's not only a portrayal of the human form but who the person is. The mixed media portrait of my Nanna didn't go down too well as the crinkled textures highlighted what I saw and what she didn't want to see: old age.

So it's time to get the easel out, me thinks, I've got an idea of my first victim... so watch this space!!

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