14 Mar The meeting and the drawing
I got the train to Tring from Euston and a taxi to Martine’s house, as Tring train station is handily out of town. Gorgeous countryside, so really enjoyed the journey.
Arrived at Martine’s place, a little nervous and excited too and was greeted by her at the door. Wow, what a whirlwind she is, full of energy and so friendly and dynamic. We spent the first hour chatting about stuff and Martine was quite candid about how far she has come since 2005, she talked how she has had the metal to cope with re-building her life and how lucky she is as a survivor to carve a new career/direction for herself. It is really quite remarkable and not without the help of her supportive husband Nick and family.
Martine’s mobile phone kept buzzing (as apparently her team were going to hear today whether they had been chosen to represent GB in the Paralympics), so she was bristling with excitement (and I was wondering how I was going to get the portrait done!). After an hour we got down to business and I asked Martine to sit next to the large living room window, as the light was good there (Husband Nick was in his photography studio at the bottom of the garden). Beautiful garden and lovely sunny day, I managed just one portrait drawing in an hour (see attached) before an ITV film crew arrived to film Martine receiving the call. I hung around, met Nick (Wiltshire), Martine’s husband, who is also lovely (and a very talented landscape photographer) and I was lucky to be present when the call came to say Martine’s team, had, in fact, been chosen! What a seminal moment it was, and very emotional at one point. Well what a day! I am pretty pleased with the portrait all in all and if I cannot get any more time with Martine, I will work from that.