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An hour to spare? Why not become an artist's muse?

PUBLISHED: 16:58 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 September 2010

A MUSWELL HILL artist is offering a charcoal portrait sketch to shoppers who can spare an hour to sit still. Professional portrait artist Caroline Wade can be spotted in Borghese Luce Arte Designer Lighting Shop in Park Road, Crouch End

Charlotte Newton

A MUSWELL HILL artist is offering a charcoal portrait sketch to shoppers who can spare an hour to sit still.

Professional portrait artist Caroline Wade can be spotted in Borghese Luce Arte Designer Lighting Shop in Park Road, Crouch End, every Saturday from midday to 6pm.

This week, John Hajdu, chairman of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, sat for Ms Wade.

Mr Hajdu said: "I did it because it was my birthday and I thought it would be a bit of fun.

"I also thought it would be good to support someone in this area who is young and trying to succeed."

Mr Hajdu refused to reveal his age because he wanted "to keep Broadway readers guessing".

But he added: "Caroline works in all different mediums and she's very talented."

Ms Wade, 28, grew up in Tetherdown, Muswell Hill, and has a studio in Coppetts Road. She said: "I decided to sketch shoppers on a Saturday to widen my clientele.

"There is often a sentiment that only wealthy people have their portraits painted, but I've had all sorts of people sitting for me.

"One girl came to Crouch End from the East End because she thought it sounded like a fun thing to do and is interested in art.

"I feel like a therapist sometimes, because people come into the shop, sit down and open up. A lot of people have commented on how much they have enjoyed sitting still and taking an hour out of their day."

A graduate in Fine Art and English from Exeter University, Ms Wade has been a professional painter for five years. Portraits she has been commissioned to paint include: the parents of snooker player Anthony Hamilton; beautiful women for their besotted boyfriends; cute toddlers for proud parents - and even an older lady who was keen to see in oil paint, how aging had affected her looks.

She enjoys sketching and painting people from real life, rather than photos, because it allows her to interact with customers and gain a sense of their character.

"Working from a photograph is never the same because it alters a person's skin tone and flattens their features.

"If I'm painting someone's portrait in oil I like to get to know them over several sittings because it influences the end piece."

A sketch, which takes an hour, costs £35; a detailed drawing costs £150 and an oil painting costs £600.

Anyone interested in sitting for Ms Wade should email info@ faceportrait.co.uk or telephone 0208-4440652. To view her work online visit: www.faceportrait.co.uk.

charlotte.newton@hamhigh.co.uk

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