Oil on Canvas, 20” x 16”
At this time I had no commissions so I decided to invent some by asking the family if they wanted a portrait for Christmas, and if so, of whom. Daughter Vicky chose a portrait of her Nan, Christine’s mother, my mother-in-law.
Betty died in the year 2000. She was a lovely lady, with a great sense of humour. She often deliberately set herself up to be laughed at, for the amusement of others. She enjoyed home-making, and was a keen member of the Women’s Institute. Her claim to fame was that she was once a secretary to Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine. She also had a spell at running a boat hire company in Torquay.
She spent most of her life living at the family home of Greenacres, Braunston, Near Daventry in Northamptonshire. The house backed onto the Grand Union canal. It started as two workmen’s cottages, and was extended by the family. It always had an ‘eccentric’ feel to it. The house was sold in 1999 to British Waterways, who had future plans for it (it was next door to a boatyard). However, nothing happened, and the house and grounds were left to deteriorate.
I chose the house as a background so that there would be two objects of affection in the portrait.