Painted in 2007, Sir Ed was retired and living at his home in Remuera where I did the initial drawings for this portrait.
Sir Ed often wore braces with a belt together with black corduroy trousers and a blue shirt with its pocket filled with pens and reading glasses. The axe was at home so we grabbed it. Sir Ed asked if the finished work could include Mt Everest. The blue hue of this painting symbolises the coldness and harshness of Mt Everest but also helps to emphasise the warmth of the face, hands and pick handle. The pose is relaxed for a standing portrait. There is a quiet assurance in the way the face is portrayed which shows the softness and humbleness of Sir Ed. This is what I wanted to capture and is the essence of this artwork.
Prior to commencing a painting the linen is prepared by applying Grundiennasse by brush. Once dried I lightly sand the linen. This process may be repeated 3 or 4 times until I get the required texture. Painted oil on Belgian linen, my technique is Schminke RAPID Medium mixed in with oil paints which gives the painting a very translucent finish. The final luminosity is achieved by a build up of many many layers. The painting is signed on the lower right by myself and on the lower left by Sir Ed. On the reverse of the canvas Sir Ed has drawn with a marker pen one of his many illustrations of Everest. These illustrations were often sold individually for upwards of $25,000.00 at fundraising auctions.
The framing comprises of four frames with the centre piece being the painting free floating. Each frame section took hours of consultation to create the perfection in the composition. All solid timber, the framing was designed to complement any existing art collection but was intrinsic in capturing the integrity of the artwork and the man himself.
(Dimensions: 970mm x 1380mm)
In addition to being signed on the right hand corner by myself and signed off centre by Sir Ed with his favourite quote and standard that he lived by there is also a sketch and signature on the rear. Sir Ed joked at the time that he wanted to contribute artistically.