Read artist's 50-portrait exhibition to raise funds for Maggie's

Lucy Gordon with a selection of her portraits.
Lucy Gordon with a selection of her portraits.
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An altruistic artist is harnessing the power of the paintbrush to raise invaluable funds for Maggie's Centres by selling over 50 portraits of her female friends and family from her '50 Portraits and Me' exhibition.

Having been inspired to contribute in "even the tiniest way possible" to Maggie's, which has offered free support to those affected by cancer since 1996, former Clitheroe Grammar School student, Lucy Gordon (38), took on the challenge to paint 50 portraits of female family members, friends, and people who have received support from Maggie's, as well as one of herself at the beginning and the end of the project. The paintings will then put on exhibit and sold with all the proceeds going to Maggie's.

For Lucy - an art psychotherapist who works with primary school children in Glasgow, where she lives with her husband Chris and their three children, Matilda, Louie, and Robyn - the motivation behind the self-funded project came not only from the fact that is was a challenge for her as an artist, but that two close friends of hers had received support from Maggie's themselves.

"It's been a really interesting process," said Lucy, who is currently working on portrait number 45. "It's been really good being able to include people from different cultures and backgrounds, ages and different stages of life.

"I decided to do portraits of women because I wanted a continual theme through the body of work and I thought it would be more striking if it was exclusively women," added Lucy, whose project also coincides happily with the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave some women the right to vote in the UK.

"It was a nice commemoration with it correlating with the centenary of women getting the vote."

Having been born in Abu Dhabi before her family moved to East Lancashire when she was five, Lucy grew up in the North West and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2002 before going on to complete a masters in art psychotherapy and settling in Scotland.

And despite most of Lucy's personal artwork - which she works on when her children have gone to bed in her converted attic which is strictly off-limits to the rest of the family - focusing on animals, the prospect of painting so many portraits only encouraged her further.

"It's been new territory for me," said Lucy, whose parents, Kathy and John, live in Read. "Even 45 portraits in, it's still exciting; every face is so different, and it's been so interesting being reliant on people sending images in from me to work from and seeing how people perceive themselves."

Lucy doesn't have a date set for her exhibition as of yet, but she is keen to try and make it part of Maggie's 'Culture Crawl' in September, a sponsored walk through Glasgow in which buildings of cultural and historical significance house a variety of events - a dream for someone destined to let her artistic side shine.

"You know when you get asked the question 'what do you want to be when you're older?' It was always an artist for me," Lucy said with a smile. "I paint in the evenings; I pull the ladder down and crawl up to the attic and get painting.

"It's really meditative, it's nice to have peace and quiet and immerse yourself," she says simply.