A heartwarming portrait by Abbots Langley artist, A. S. Morrigan, has featured in a new book showcasing paintings of brave frontline staff working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
A. S. Morrigan, who was raised in Abbots, participated in an initiative started by artist Tom Croft in which NHS key staff could contact professional artists to receive a free portrait as a thank you for their incredible work.
Morrigan’s portrait, called Susan’s Smile, features in the book, which is called Portraits of NHS Heroes.
Morrigan said: “It was a real pleasure to participate in such a heartwarming scheme during a year which challenged all of us.
“This was an opportunity for me to personally thank the NHS for the incredible strength, support and courage they have shown – and continue to show – throughout the pandemic.
“I was delighted when Susan, a neonatal nurse from the Midlands, reached out to me to commission a portrait as part of the scheme.
“We immediately agreed that it would be best for her to pose in her full personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Whilst this meant that part of her face was obscured, we felt that this was an important reminder of the current events and the considerable efforts being undertaken by the NHS to protect both their patients and staff.
“The challenge was in creating an emotive portrait with only half of the facial features we use in expressing our emotions. Fortunately, everyone is familiar with the notion of people’s eyes smiling, and in this instance, Susan’s eyes absolutely beamed.
“The result is a work that reflects the human side of the pandemic. It isn’t just NHS staff who help us in our time of need, it is people like Susan.”
Portraits for NHS Heroes is currently available to buy through Bloomsbury publishing at bloomsbury.com
All royalties from purchases go to NHS Charities Together.