This is a special painting for the RP (Royal Portrait Society) competition this year. The subject is a family member Eileen Ellis RDI - a magnificent lady, now in her 80s, who spent her life designing textiles. Most of us at some point in our lives will have sat upon or walked on her work - in tube trains, aeroplanes and airports throughout the world. Achieving success was never the main driver for her and many generations of students at the Royal College of Art will testify to her imense generosity and infinite knowledge of her subject.
Recognised in the 1980s as one of the most influential designers in her field, she too her place at the RSA alongside such giants as Terance Conran, Peter Blake, Brian Eno and Norman Foster.
In our family, we know her simply as Eileen - mother, grandmother, great grandmother and wife to Julian, provider of tea and wonderful cook. Here she is placed in a room that we are all familiar with, surrounded by objects and furniture that we have all used and in a pose that sums up how we see her in the everyday.
You can see the painting at the Mall Galleries in London during May 2017.