PAOTM – Elaine Paige – September 2021

Elaine Paige, worldwide star of musical theatre, was our subject this month with a choice of painting her as herself or as a character she has played. Several members created her portrait in different mediums.

Steve used charcoal and pastel on Mi-Teintes pastel paper beautifully portraying Elaine as Grizabella from the musical Cats. Elaine’s version of the song ‘Memory’ went to number 1 in 1981.

Chris W used black ink for her portrait of Elaine in a dramatic pose. Creating a portrait in profile is just as effective as face-on, as Chris’s portrait proves.

Brenda used soft pastels and pastel pencils for her portraits of Elaine on velour pastel paper. Using a picture of Elaine with a tri-coloured background as inspiration Brenda decided to use a different coloured background on her two portraits. Each one brings different values to Elaine’s skin tone. Brenda uses sponges on the top of her pastel compartments to stop them rattling about and getting damaged, which is a great idea.

Tracy is a huge fan of Elaine Paige, first seeing her as Grizabella in Cats when it opened in the West End in 1981. She has seen Cats 18 times now and it remains her favourite ever musical. Elaine was also amazing in Sunset Boulevard so Tracy has used white coloured pencil and white gouache on black sugar paper for her portrait of Elaine as Norma Desmond, spotlit on stage in her white furs.

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