I rarely share any of my portraits because almost all of them are private commissions, but this was a personal work. Paul-Erik or Ekki was my grandfather and almost like a father because my real father has never been in my life.
I think the clock was a bit over 11.00 pm when my mother sent me the news. I never got a good photo of him and immediately when I heard of his passing I started looking for any photos I had of him. Even though we all knew that he was in bad condition, it still came as a shock because to me he was the closest person to my whole family.
I just had to start painting him right away from one very unfocused and dark photo I found. I think I painted this almost the whole night just to get the eyes right. It was also good that I did this because no one else had a good photo of him for the funeral either, so instead we used this portrait I painted.
No matter how much I've developed my skills or style since then, I still always want to show this because this was done purely for love and not as a paid commission.