Portrait Testimonials

The commissioner’s point of view

The testimonials below give an insight into the process of commissioning a portrait. The Portrait Gallery carries a larger collection of Rachel Clark’s portrait painting.


Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of the playwright Edward Bond

Portrait Painting of Edward Bond 1

“It is really brilliant, you know – not just of me, but because it is of a writer, it shows what being a writer is; and on top of that as a work of art it is also brilliant.”

Edward Bond Writer

Rachel Clark portait painting of Dr Marco Catani, a study for the portrait commission 'The Maudsley Portrait'

Portrait Painting of Dr Marco Catani

“The ability to make very deep psychological portraits is your uniqueness.”

Dr Marco Catani Institute of Psychiatry London

Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of Anthony Ward

Portrait Painting of Anthony Ward

“Weirdly the portrait of Anthony seems to grow more like him on a daily basis. Clearly Rachel could see far deeper into his soul than I thought possible.”

Mark Thompson Theatre Designer

Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of Mark Thompson

Portrait Painting of Mark Thompson

“I commissioned two portraits from Rachel, one of my partner and one of myself. I was truly amazed and somewhat floored by the portrait of Mark. Rachel had captured his spirit and wicked wit more perfectly than any photographic likeness I had seen. I felt if I were never to see him again that this picture somehow burnt his very being into my soul, it somehow had captured something that was essentially Mark.”

Anthony Ward Theatre Designer

Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of Andrew Barrett

Portrait Painting of Andrew Barrett 2

“I sat for a series of portraits by Rachel expecting that I would only want to purchase two of them. Rachel’s style is so bold and distinctive I loved them all. Each captured a different mood and each was painted with subtle variations, such that I purchased them all. They remain to this day treasured mementos that are an important part of my art collection”

Andrew Barrett Retired MD Heinz UK

Rachel Clark portrait commissions - portrait painting in oil of Michael Cole

Portrait Painting of Michael Cole 1

“Oil on canvas – a personal gift to myself for an achievement that brought me into my own – in a new career as a Chef de Cuisine. Art and food are wonderful joys in my life today.”

Michael ColeĀ Chef de Cuisine

Rachel Clark portrait commissions- detail of the portrait painting 'The Maudsley Portrait'

Portrait Painting of Professor Robert Howard

“I wanted to celebrate the team of people I found myself working within when I became a professor. We all found the process of sitting for the portrait enlightening and revealing. This portrait is a beautiful painting that has captured the individual spark of my colleagues and the way we work together.”

Professor Robert Howard Institute of Psychiatry London

Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of Dr Tony Druttman

Portrait Painting of Dr Tony Druttman

“Rachel’s portraits, like her abstracts are intelligent, deep and challenging. She doesn’t paint a photograph in oils, she gets below the surface and picks up the personality. This gives the portrait energy. I don’t spend much time in front of the mirror, but I do enjoy looking at Rachel’s very fine representation and I love the warmth that comes from it.”

Dr Tony Druttman Dentist

Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of Phil Parker

Portrait Painting of Philip Parker

“The sitting was a very intriguing process. Each time I viewed it the person staring back at me looked quite different, yet strangely familiar. At one point it looked exactly like my father, which was particularly weird, as although many people comment on how similar we look, I’ve never seen it myself! The finished work was extraordinary. I felt it captured the essence of me. It remains as much more than a snapshot of me at that time, but as a remarkably unclouded perspective of me, which although provided from an external source, sings of me.”

Phil Parker Osteopath

Rachel Clark portrait commissions-portrait painting in oil of Angie Rounsaville

Portrait Painting of Angie Rounsaville 2

“When we commissioned Rachel to paint our daughter’s portrait, she actually did two. The first was of a radiant, self-confident young woman, open to the world. This was the Angie most people saw. A second sitting resulted in a portrait of a more introspective, sensitive person with a sense of insecurity. They were both Angie and we agonised over which to take. We chose the latter since at that time it seemed more personal. We had lived with and loved this portrait for four years when Rachel told us she still had the other portrait. We now own it as well and side-by-side we enjoy the complete person every day.”

Ron and Joan Rounsaville Houston, Texas, USA

Rachel Clark portrait painting commissions- portrait of Lucy McPhail charcoal on paper

Portrait Drawing of Lucy McPhail

“Commissioning this portrait felt marvellous – and intensely personal. I wanted to mark my daughter’s special birthday with something really distinctive. The result is a triumphant vindication of the idea. It shows Lucy with a very characteristic expression of engagement, interest and amusement, and brings out a sense of her energy and concentration. Rachel has produced an image that is subtle and full of character. We all – Lucy, the family, friends – feel that it shows her in a way that she will be happy to live with over the years. Her pleasure in receiving the portrait also adds to my pleasure at having had the idea.”

Helen McPhail Writer