Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Caricaturing .Browne Willis without a picture…or subject

OK, so it sounds daft, impossible even! But it can be done, as I’m finding out. I’ve been commissioned to complete a caricature of a Browne Willis, who died in the mid 1700’s. To celebrate 25 years of the “Old Gaol historical trust”. I have a sketchy portrait c1700 and a display model in his likeness. And that’s it!

It could be worse, I could just have a description, or nothing at all! But I have this picture in which he looks quite smart! Browne WillisTrouble is the description has him as being something of scruff-bag who was often mistaken for a tramp!

I also had to give him full costumes and shabby boots!

The boots are important! His nickname was “Ol’ Wrinkly boots”! I have no idea what colour his eyes were,… or his skin tone,…

or his hair colour… Thank goodness he wore a wig!

So who was this guy, this Browne Willis?

MP for Buckingham and the main force behind the building of the Old Gaol, a major landmark in Buckingham! He was apparently a very wealthy man…who disliked spending money on his appearance!

©2010 Cathy Read - Browne Willis - A3 - watercolour on paper

And here is my caricature of him!


Sorry,  you didn’t need me to say that did you? It’s just like when you’re showing someone around your house when it’s up for sale. This is the kitchen… you get the picture!

Having struggled with the dead, I’m going to concentrate on the living. Maybe John Travolta? Hmmm…


Newsflash! I had a phone call on Wednesday to say I’ve been selected to exhibit work at John Lewis in High Wycombe. They want 3 local artists to exhibit and demonstrate what we do! I’m feeling elation and panic in equal measures! I’ve got until Thursday to sort myself out!

I did mention it’s this weekend, didn’t I?

Headless chicken time!!!!!! Too many pieces of work unframed. Not enough frames… etc, etc!

Will let you know how I fare next week?

Unless, of course, you come on down to High Wycombe to see me in action! In which case, I’ll see you there.

Oh BTW, apparently someone called Heston Blumenthal is signing books there as well!

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