Helen makes the hall of fame of portrait sitters. Not only is she an incredible person, but she sang for me. We had talked about a whole host of topics and it came up that she was the singer in one or more bands and then somehow she started to sing (maybe I asked her to) and I mean she sang beautifully, so much so that I had to refocus on me painting her and not being an audience member of this wonderful private concert that was going on. It didn’t start out this way but at some point I realized I could use this enterprise — this portrait project — as a way of challenging myself to paint people who were not sitting incredibly still. I was very conscious of this when I painted Damion Ward later on, but maybe Helen was one of the first people who didn’t sit quite still and I took it as a challenge to try to paint her while she was talking and singing.