Heatherley student and model, Suzon Lagarde, recently featured on Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2019.
She told the Mall Galleries
‘I had a brilliant time participating in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year; it was an incredible experience! A friend encouraged me to apply, so I happily gave it a go, but it was a real surprise when they invited me to be part of the show. I would never have expected to get that, so my friend’s encouragement meant a lot.
‘I was nervous on the morning of the filming, but everything was so well-organized and everyone so friendly that I couldn’t help but feel enthusiastic from the first moment. The conditions for painting the portrait are very different from the usual classroom set up, which made the challenge even more exciting. I had no choice but to take a playful and intuitive approach. The day was very moving for me, because it brought to the forefront how much I love painting and how much joy it brings me, even under stressful circumstances.’
‘My sitter was the wonderful Geraldine James. I was struck by her beauty and incredible stillness. The way she sat for us had something profoundly generous, and even though she and I didn’t know each other, a special connection forged between us while I was painting. I felt so happy when Geraldine chose my portrait to take home with her.’
‘This experience was as amazing as it was unexpected. It brought me a lot of joy, and I met many wonderful people. I would definitely encourage anyone who feels like they would enjoy such experience to give it a go. There’s nothing too loose, and many beautiful things to get out of it! Applications for Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year are open until 22 February.’