Not too long ago I was a guest on the show The Brothers F Bookcast with my friend Francisco and his brothers. They invited me to pick an art-related topic for discussion, so I went with a short story by the incisive Dorothy Sayers.
We had a fun time. You can have a listen here: https://www.thebrothersf.com/episode/dorothy-sayers-making-art-with-john-folley-
Let me know what you think if you listen! Literature fans may want to add The Brothers F to their regular list!
Guest Author: Deirdre M. Folley
A few years ago, John had a portrait commission that was a little different from other such jobs he's received: a mother, Mary, requesting a memorial painting of her recently deceased daughter who had suffered tremendously from a seizure disorder and other difficulties and disabilities in her short life of twenty-two years. John knew Courtney only through what he heard from her mother and from the photos Mary provided as source material. He did his best to capture this young lady, by talking with Mary and by keeping her closely engaged in the painting process with frequent updates of his work in progress.
Recently, I had a chance to ask Mary a bit about that experience of working with John to have this portrait done. Below, she shares about what the process and the product meant and mean to her:
DF: What made you want to commission a painting?
My daughter Courtney passed away in 2014. I wanted a permanent reminder in our home of our daughter. I love portraits and after some research I decided to see if John was available to paint one of Courtney using photographs of her. It is the focal point of our living room and the most talked about piece of art in our home.
DF: And did it come out to be what you were hoping for?
Oh yes. It is a stunning piece. His attention to details is amazing. The details of Courtney’s face are spot on. He even got her smile right which is tough because she had buck teeth. The shading of Courtney’s hair and his attention to the texture and size of her curls make the portrait come alive. Courtney was in a wheelchair for most of her life and had severe scoliosis. John was able to paint her in such a way that you would never know that. She is just beaming with joy. He captured her personality perfectly. It’s so beautiful.
DF: How was the experience of working with John?
An absolute delight. John communicated a clear and concise timeline for the project, worked out a just and fair payment plan and included me in every step of the process. He was sensitive to my grief and honored every request I made from adjusting the shade of her hair, the bend of her nose, to the color of the background of the painting. He left nothing to chance.
DF: Do you receive feedback from others who see the painting?
People love it. Anytime we have people over, the portrait makes them stop for a moment and ask about Courtney. It’s a conduit for sharing about our daughter and the amazing young woman she was. We are blessed that John shared his gifts with us.
I highly recommend John Folley for his portraiture and other fine art. He incredibly talented and we are honored to have his work in our home.
Learn more about commissioning a portrait by visiting the Portraiture page, or by reaching out directly at email@example.com.
Hello there, I'm John H. Folley, an oil painter in the Boston School tradition. Thanks for visiting the Beauty Advocacy Blog, where it's my job to help you become a more discerning art appreciator.
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