Artist: James Taylor
Medium: Digital Painting/Print
Artist Statement: My former colleague and still friend John took his own life in January of 2018. Before his suicide he had often talked of commissioning me to create a picture for him, but could never decide what he wanted it to be.
Shortly after his passing his widow, Marissa, contacted me requesting that I do a portrait of him. Given I had long planned on doing a picture for John anyway, this seemed like an effective way to help myself deal with his loss.
The work was created in Adobe Photoshop, painted from scratch but with reference to several photographs.
Given John’s outgoing personality, we decided that a ‘fun’ portrait of him would be more appropriate than a somber one. I based the final work on two photographs of John alone, and another where Marissa was kissing his cheek.
The process of creating the work was indeed very cathartic, and helped me deal emotionally with the loss of my friend.