Portraiture has long been part of Nicola Green’s artistic practice. She has always been interested in capturing the essence of her subjects - wether its individuals, families, Barack Obama, Elle Macpherson or the Dalai Lama. She devotes countless hours to research and collecting primary materials to truly understand her subjects. This is also true for her private commissions to which she dedicates the same amount of research and time. Green’s method of portraiture is a time-honoured process associated with the power of tradition. However, unlike traditional portraiture, which relies on the artist’s interpretation of a sitter’s identity, Green moves one step further - creating her portraits directly with her clients.
Green creates priceless heirlooms for her clients by employing an unusually collaborative approach. She works directly with her clients from beginning to end: from gathering family narratives, capturing countless photographs and sketches and building a storyboard which will become their portrait. As with her other series, she formulates which narratives to represent in the portrait masterfully. Clients are involved with the process from beginning to end to ensure an entirely bespoke portrait is created. The end product is a living conversation for future generations and a grounding piece within a family home.
Green works with three mediums: printing on Quasar Frames, silk screen printing and oil painting.
NB Please click on any image to enlarge.
Mark, Emma and Kyffin Prichard
Portraits in Quasar Frames TM
Nicola has developed and trademarked the uniquely vibrant Quasar Frame™. These are created on a sheet of clear Perspex, mounted in front of a dramatic fluorescent Perspex layer attached to the back of the frame. When hung on display, the frame emits a remarkable light. This gives the appearance that it is glowing without any power supply. The result is a dramatic statement which can transform a space, creating a striking focal point.
As an American family whose children had spent the first six years of their life in London, the Davis family commissioned a portrait commemorating those precious early memories. The Davis’ knew their children would not remember much of this special time so Nicola worked with them to make a piece that would remind them forever. The final work is a portrait of London and a memento of their life there.
A map of London forms the foundation of the portrait. This highlights the places in which the family lived and worked. Nicola photographed the family in the playground in which they had spent countless hours and both children can be seen swinging and playing across the map! The father and son can be seen scaling the side of Big Ben reflecting their love of climbing. The family are keen travellers so mother and daughter are seen sightseeing in Trafalgar Square. These elements come together to create a portrait that will honour the memory of these formative years in London.
The House That Charles Built
This portrait incorporates three-colour silkscreen prints hand-printed onto Perspex and mounted in Quasar Frames. It is composed of 12 panels - each carefully chosen to reflect the family and their home. This includes four traditional portraits. The other panels make architectural reference to the family home that Glen Charles designed and built as well as his highly successful property development business. The design utilises the family’s shoes which are placed underneath rows of bricks and other architectural details taken from all the homes that they have built together.
Nicola’s most recent commission is still a work in progress. This portrait utilises the family’s antique map of the River Thames in the background. It is a reflection of their shared love of the sea, the different cities they have lived in and each family members individual interests. As the children become adults, the work represents the complete journey of their family. Nicola is particularly fond of the Emmanuel Cambridge University Lion which can be seen in the central panel meeting their family dog ‘Otter’ in their driveway!
Silk screen Portraits
Isabel and Ryan
These portraits combine hand-painting, drawing, silk screen printing and photography. They have been designed to fit in harmoniously with the client’s existing eclectic art collection - encompassing diverse pieces ranging from classic oil paintings to modern Alex Katz portraits.
This portrait was commissioned to celebrate Sir Alex Fergusons’ 70th birthday. The family originally wanted an oil painting but after lots of discussion everyone agreed a silk-screen print would better capture the family and their abundance of energy. The background colours were carefully mixed to reflect their South African heritage and the time they have spent in Africa as a family. The grandchildren chose the football specifically as it was a treasured memento from the Champions League.