Carolyn is someone who Bert loved (and will always love). But early in 2009 Bert had a very upsetting breakup with his girlfriend Carolyn and there was a lot of grief on Bert’s part after she left him. He tried to apologize to her but she wasn’t having it and this painting was his attempt to show her how much she meant to him.
When they were in a relationship he had discussed painting her portrait – and she had posed for many photos (but not specifically for a painting). Once Carolyn had left Bert he decided to paint her portrait and this particular image was chosen out of hundreds of photographs.
It turned out to be a very difficult painting due to the scale of the work. Painting the human figure (as well as the trees, the grass and surroundings) in a photorealistic manner on such a small scale is incredibly difficult. Quite a few hours were spent on trying to perfect the painting. Bert was never really happy with the result due to a simple mistake – he chose the wrong sized board at the very start of the work – it really needed to be around 60x90cm.
Upon seeing this painting Carolyn told Bert that she didn’t like it at all. Agreeing that it wasn’t the best portrait Bert then went on to paint a second portrait of Carolyn. She didn’t like that either.
The location for this image is the Yarra Glen cemetery.
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