Wednesday, 30 January 2013



I've tried, but I can't stop myself, I have to address the issue of the first official Duchess of Cambridge portrait by Paul Emsley. I was born less than 20 miles from the city of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire, England, making the young couple my local royalty. The Duchess is beautiful person both inside and out and I'm sure someone can create a lovelier rendition of her! Check out the portrait below to make your own assessment.

Link to Duchess of Cambridge Portrait by Paul Emsley

I have thoughts that go something like this... 
I am connected to thousands of Artists through social media and each one could create a portrait of the Duchess in their own unique style. Are you with me? In fact I would like to challenge ALL Artists whether they are portrait painters or not, to create a two dimensional representation of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge that the Duke and Duchess would be happy to hang on their wall.  

I am putting out the call to submit a portrait of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The finished works will be submitted to the Duke and Duchess and I hope they will select some for their own collection and auction the remainder for their favourite charities. What do you think? Wouldn't it be fantastic if your painting was selected by the Duke and Duchess? What an amazing opportunity. Are you as excited as I am? I am not a portrait painter but I'm going to give it my best effort.

If you would like to take up the challenge check the submission details below.

Links to You Tube interviews with artist Paul Emsley about the original commission

Press Release "The first official painted portrait of The Duchess of Cambridge has been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, where it is unveiled today Friday 11 January 2013. The National Portrait Gallery's painting of its Patron was commissioned with the support of Sir Hugh Leggatt, in memory of Sir Denis Mahon, through the Art Fund. The Duchess was involved in the selection process, from which artist Paul Emsley, the 2007 winner of the Gallery's BP Portrait Award competition, was chosen by Director Sandy Nairne to paint her official portrait.

The Duchess took part in an initial meeting to talk through the process of the painting. This was followed by two sittings, in May and June 2012, at the artist's studio in the West Country, England, and Kensington Palace. Emsley later made use of a series of photographs produced during the sittings. His subjects are frequently located against a dark background and emphasise 'the singularity and silence of the form'; while utilising a meticulous technique of thin layers of oil paint and glazes.

Paul Emsley says: 'The Duchess explained that she would like to be portrayed naturally - her natural self - as opposed to her official self. She struck me as enormously open and generous and a very warm person. After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling - that is really who she is.'

Following three-and-a-half months of painting, the completed portrait was presented to the Gallery's Trustees at their November 2012 meeting."

Please feel free to pass this on link on to anyone you know who would enjoy the challenge or following the adventure. 

(sorry incorrect submissions will be auto discarded)
Submission email in this order
Email Address
Phone #
Medium (Oil, Acrylic etc.)
Substrate (Canvas, Canvas Panel, Watercolour Paper etc.)
Dimensions Height x Width in inches and cm 
e.g. 10" x 8" (25 cm x 20 cm)

Title Email - "Submission for Duchess of Cambridge Portrait" 
Attach ONE top quality JPG file no larger than one mega byte, showing the painting without frame. (Hover over the photo thumbnail to find the size)

Submit ONLY 8 Feb 2013 - 8 March 2013
Submit to blue sky red earth at live dot ca

Please take care not to breech copyright. You must own the copyright of any photo you copy or request permission of the copyright owner. 

(by submitting, you confirm you have not breached copyright laws and agree to your name and image of your painting being used for promotion.) 

Be prepared to mail the completed painting to the Royal couple at your cost to be used at their discretion.Therefore I would suggest keeping it small, but not too small, perhaps 10" x 8" (25 cm x 20 cm). 

There is no submission fee, so read everything thoroughly. I am unable to deal with individual queries. I will address any issues in my blog so register on my blog to "Follow by Email" to keep up with the news. I do not nor do I ever intend to sell or loan personal details about any individual who trusts me with their information

Good Luck to all


  1. I have to agree, I am not overly impressed with Paul Emsley's portrait... Kate seems a bit tired and annoyed, and older than her years. It is well-executed, but perhaps too much attention was paid to details (such as wrinkles)!

    1. Right! I hope you are going to have time to put in an entry Endrene. Please send this out to any Artists you know.

    2. I would have loved to participate, but you had to get rights to whatever photo you were going to use. I tried and got no response. Just wanted to let you know that it would have been so much fun.

      XO Barbara


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