There was a full house to watch Nick Bashall perform his magic creating a portrait of Piers Fletcher, whilst holding a conversation.
Those people who were able to join us for the evening had a glass of wine by the river, looked at the various pictures exhibited for Hampshire Open Studios and had a chance to see what classes are coming up in the autumn. And feasted on delicious Spanish crisps.
There was an element of Blind Date about the evening with Piers and Nick meeting in front of the audience. Clare Dryden made the introductions, no reference to Cilla, then Nick and Piers were left to get on with it.
I hadn’t seen Nick work through a portrait before so was as intrigued as the audience. The shape and tone was established very early on. Nick works in a loose fashion letting the face emerge from darkest charcoal and white, and then uses two mid tones. There are barely any lines until the final touches.
Throughout the portrait Nick discussed his methods, where and what he learnt, and how he works with the ‘resting bitch face’ of sitters, until the moment of revelation when the character comes alive. All the while artist and sitter were holding a conversation, about Everest, Norse Sagas, the law, Cleopatra, past careers – anything really.
In November Nick is returning to Hampshire to teach a course Self Portrait in the age of the Selfie. For more information about this course see: Self Portraits in the Age of the Selfie with Nick Bashall
For more information about Nick go to Nick Bashall