Nothing therefore could give me greater pride and pleasure than to open Catherine’s exhibition here at the National Portrait Gallery tonight.

Having known Catherine for many years, as a friend, as a sitter and as a somewhat reluctant pupil, I may be a little biased about her as a person, let alone as an artist of ever-growing repute.  Watching her development of style and artistic expression over the years has been fascinating and she has now become truly accomplished and deeply perceptive in her observation of human character as we have seen in her brilliant portraits here tonight.  These portraits have a freshness and immediacy that belies the amount of hard work and time she puts into them.  Nowadays I’m reliably informed that her sitters can choose their favourite book tape and sit happily in silence whilst Catherine paints them which may explain why my portrait minus book tapes and plus a great deal of chat from both of us took nearly three years to complete!  

As the Director of my husband’s increasingly successful Drawing School, she has presided for twenty-five years over a much needed revival in observational and life drawing and, in her unique way, has somehow managed to combine this demanding task with producing paintings of superb quality, while caring for the welfare and professional development of hundreds of devoted students.
 
Nothing therefore could give me greater pride and pleasure than to open Catherine’s exhibition here at the National Portrait Gallery tonight.