“I had noticed Kate’s eye portraits on her Instagram account and really liked them. I immediately thought what a fabulous idea it was, and the way she presents these beautifully painted eyes is superb. I simply emailed Kate just two photos – one of my partner’s face and then a close up of her eye. The finished object is like a jewel – a precious, icon-like portrait which immediately evokes the spirit of my partner whenever I look at it.” Testimonial from client, 2021

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The eyes are the window to the soul, and I offer unique and personal portraits based on a single eye. They are inspired by 18th century ‘Lover’s Eye’ tokens, created to keep loved ones close, even when apart.

Family/friends groups can be painted together in a grid (like the example above), set out as a family tree formation (in a triangular formation of child/children, parents, grandparent etc), or individually framed in small glass frames to hang from a shelf or use as a decoration. I can also make bespoke, hand-painted/decorated frames on request.

Hanging brass frames with recycled sari ribbons

Hanging zinc frames with recycled sari ribbons

These make very personal and striking gifts for family and/or friends. If you want copies of the final piece to send to others, I can supply as many giclée prints of the painting/s as you need (a quote can be supplied for this service, if required).

Size and medium: Each eye image is approximately 50 mm (2 inches) square and I work in acrylic on heavy, acid-free paper.

How I work: I work from photographs (supplied by you), so the eye portraits can be painted remotely. I can paint your pet’s eye too, if you want them in your family group! Ideally, you should supply two photographs for each person – one showing a single eye and surrounding area only, close up and in good light so I can clearly see the colour of the iris. The other should show the whole face, so I can get a feel for your facial expression. All photos supplied need to be sharp and as high resolution as you can manage – a blurred or dark photo won’t give me enough visual information to paint with subtlety.

Click here to see the project that inspired the commissions – this is a large personal piece I’m working on called ‘Family and Friends’, and shows a number of the eye portraits set in a grid. Yours may just be one or two, or a larger family group.

Karen

Noah

Rodrigo

Pricing: Each 50 mm square eye portrait (unframed) takes at least two–three hours of careful study to paint, and costs £75. If you would like it in a hanging ‘antique zinc’- or ‘antique brass’-edged frame with colourful recycled sari hanging ribbon, it is an additional £10 for the frame (so one bespoke painting individually mounted in a small zinc frame is £85 / two paintings in a single frame, mounted back-to-back, is £160 / a family of four mounted back-to-back in two frames is £320 etc). The little frames have glass on both sides, so if you opt for a single-sided framed eye, you can insert your own message on the reverse.

Bespoke frames (style/size of your choice, or a hand decorated frame), frames for works painted in a grid/other formation, will be costed according to requirement and will be charged in addition to the  cost of the painting/s. You may prefer to frame the work yourself and just pay for the unmounted painting. We can talk through your options.

Payment: You will be invoiced for the work, and payment is in two stages for a typical piece: 50% non-returnable deposit before work commences, and 50% on completion. For larger commissions, the 50% balance may be spread over more, smaller payments, at intervals to be agreed with you.

Contact Kate