There's a little gag doing the rounds on social media among artists that shows what an artist looks like before Covid-19 struck, another during lockdown and finally one after it's all over. As you can guess the picture accompanying it (an artist at their easel) is identical in each case.
For those working in the NHS their working lives couldn't be more different. Putting their own health and wellbeing aside, doctors, nurses and other professionals have given us all a big lesson in dedication and compassion and truly are the heroes of the hour.
With this in mind, artist Tom Croft has launched a brilliant initiative via Instagram called #portraitsfornhsheroes - which I signed up to as soon as it launched. My first portrait will be of a doctor and surgical trainee working at John Radcliffe Hospital and Stoke Mandeville. As is the case with great numbers of those working in the NHS, she has been diverted away from her usual role by the virus and is working in new surroundings to help cope with the crisis. I'm really excited to get started and take my hat off to Tom for this fantastic idea - a great way to show our appreciation for our NHS heroes and everything they do for us. If you would like to offer a portrait to an NHS key worker, follow the link to his Instagram above, which gives instructions on what to do, and paint a hero!
Ben Laughton Smith
Contemporary works of art in the classical tradition.