Michael says: "Like many people, I wanted to support the NHS and I had been creating small paintings to donate funds to my local hospice. I had heard that some artists were approaching hospitals, offering to paint the portraits of NHS staff, but was worried that, although well intentioned, this gesture might be adding to their stress. However, the amazing Tom Croft had the perfect idea, as it allowed NHS staff to see which artists were offering portraits with a hashtag & green label in instagram. That allowed interested NHS staff to take up the offer without artists hassling hospitals. I was amazed by the response (some from the USA) and heard from a wonderful nurse in one of the main London hospitals, Alina Nicodim. She kindly shared some details of her experiences as an ITU sister, an incredibly difficult job, made ten times harder by the epidemic.
Working with Alina was very humbling as she was obviously working unbelievably hard under exhausting conditions. This meant there could be no sittings & it was important not to add to Alina's stress by making lots of requests for quality photos to work from. So, we just worked with a few selfies that Alina was able to take between work and sleep. Alina wanted a painting of her out of her PPA, so we included a little snap shot in the background with it on. I think that this was one of the most difficult, but most rewarding portraits I have painted. Alina is an incredible person and I am so grateful to her and NHS staff for their dedication taking care of us all."
Alina says: "My name is Alina Nicodim & I work as a sister in ITU in a very busy environment. I heard from my colleagues that they have their portrait done & I find it very interesting. I find Michael, who kindly agreed to do my portrait and I've got very excited. I did not have high hopes about it, not because I did not trust Michael, but because as far as I know for a portrait you should sit in front of your painter and not to send pictures. This was my first portrait ever!
When the portrait arrived I was actually very pleased because I think that Michael manage to capture my features. I was not expecting it to be so real. I did not have high hopes, but I was mistaken & I am lucky that being my very first time the experience was good and the end result so real! Thank you."