Portrait of Dipo created from life, acrylic and paper on canvas, 24″ x 30″, 2019

Dipo and I got chatting at Club Deluxe. As fellow North Londoners we had lots to share, though Dipo knows a London I never knew, me having left many years before him! As I painted Dipo I realized this portrait was about identity…Dipo had a strong identification with his family roots in Nigeria (hence the Nigerian flag represented in the painting), though was also a born Londoner (hence the Union Jack flag), and yet was now established in San Francisco (hence the Stars and Stripes US flag)! The piece of paper is some coding he wrote (touching up on an algorithm which was traversing a “tree”, which is a popular way in which data can be stored) created during a lunchtime engineering challenge which he did with his coding coworkers. Since this coding is related to “trees”, the parallel struck me in the wider context that trees also relate to family trees, branching from continent to continent, a tree searching for identity…

Dipo introduced me to “Afrobeat” music and dance.. a whole different world from swing music and swing dancing! We listened to the “This is Burna Boy” Spotify playlist as he sat and I painted.

Here are two detailed views of the acrylic painting:

Here is the iPad portrait, and the time-lapse replay video, of Dipo created from life using iPad Pro 12.9, Apple Pencil 2 and Procreate app:

This iPad portrait, which took about 30 minutes, was created in parallel with the acrylic on canvas portrait of Dipo I created, also from life, that was painted in two five hour sessions and shown at the top of this page.

Leave a Reply