Artist takes portraiture to The Paseo

Recent
visitors to Camana Bay have been drawn to a winning but less obvious attraction
to the charms and tranquillity of its lush courtyards, waterfront ambience and
great shops and restaurants.

Painter
John Broad is now drawing portraits for sitters on the steps of the Observation
Tower every Saturday throughout the summer, from 2-5pm. The painter and his
family have always enjoyed the amenities offered by the area at weekends and he
was prompted to approach Dart Development three months ago to suggest the idea.

“If
you go to Europe you see portrait artists working outdoors and for passing
clientele everywhere. The Paseo is a lovely open-air location and I thought ideally
suited for this kind of activity.”

Having
got the go-ahead, Mr. Broad attracts sitters from all works of life, including
the two sisters in their 20s who sat for a joint portrait to give as a Father’s
Day present and mothers with their children. The latter type of sitters
represents a challenge, the painter says, as “children are not used to staying
still for long”.

Each
sitting lasts half an hour and cost $60. Clients can choose to follow up by
commissioning a watercolour or acrylic portrait if they want to develop the
theme further. Mr. Broad also displays a selection of his artwork, including a
number of watercolours of Camana Bay’s courtyards.

The
thrill of a challenge

“I
enjoy the challenge of trying to capture their character and expressions,” said
the painter.

The
West Bay resident, who was commissioned to create the Wall of History alongside
the courthouse in Heroes Square, and has exhibited abroad and locally said:
“It’s a totally different discipline when you’re drawing from life with someone
in front of you rather than taking your time over several days or even weeks
painting from memory, using your imagination and from photographs. It’s really
like jumping in at the deep end.”

So
far the reactions from his sitters have been positive. “They seem very pleased
with the end result and I’m finding that the more I draw, the quicker and
better I’m getting,” he said.

In
fact, the sittings are going so well that the painter has extended his outdoor
residency to Friday afternoons as well. “I’ve now taken to dropping by on
Fridays and depending on the amount of pedestrians I’ll stay for the full two
hours or for an hour.”

“My
latest art venture is proving to be a great partnership with Camana Bay and
really complements the ambience of the area,” he said. “It’s probably the only
place on the Island where you can get an on the spot portrait drawn.”

John
Broad recently received an honourable mention for a piece that was submitted to
the Ogier Art Award and is presently exhibiting in both the Ritz-Carlton and
Arteccentrix. He was also awarded the Cayman Islands National Cultural
Foundation’s prize for Artistic Achievement in 2004.

CAYLIFEArtisttakesSTORY

A portrait of Paris Broad by her father.
Photo: Submitted
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