06 juni 2019

Stephen McKenna #3

Stephen McKenna in his studio, 2009(?).

"There is a tradition in the Royal Hibernian Academy for a retiring President to ask a fellow Academician to paint their Presidential portrait. When Stephen McKenna stepped down as President in 2009 after four years at the helm, he asked me to paint his portrait.
Once I agreed to paint the portrait, we discussed various possibilities, eventually determining that the painting should feature Stephen in his studio – he may have been President of the RHA, but he was primarily a painter.

A date was arranged and I asked Stephen to prepare the studio for my visit. When I eventually arrived with my acrylics and paper to the house and studio in Bagenalstown, I was greeted by BethAnn and Stephen; we had coffee and then Stephen and I walked across to his studio. We decided that he should stand for the portrait. There was the issue of the President’s gown and medal. Rather than portraying him wearing them, we hung them on an easel, arranged his paintings in the background and placed his pallet and brushes in the foreground.

He looked left, he looked right and then he looked at me with that gaze of his, and that was it!
(bron: Irish Arts Review"

Mick O’Dea: Stephen McKenna PPRHA, 2009(?). (bron: RHA)

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