Melissa Mailer-Yates describes how close it was to get the final portrait completed of Carol Decker:
“Initially we were to have Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham make the last slot, however, although we met up at St Pauls Gallery, due to time and commitments he was unable to fit in to this collection. He did say, however, he felt sure he could get Alice Cooper to take part as he was playing golf with him soon. Scott Gorham has some great ideas for his portrait.
The guys at the gallery, Neil & Symon soon came up with the perfect answer, more perfect because we had a very misbalanced exhibition with only Toyah representing the women. Thus I came to go and visit Carol Decker of T’Pau. A long journey down to Henley proved to be a wonderful meeting. Carol Decker was so full of life I realised why she and Toyah Wilcox are doing so much touring together. Carol Decker was every bit as lively as when she was at her height in T’Pau, and her hair just as wonderful too.
Immediately we talked about the photos and how she sees herself she said, ‘Well my best bits are my hair and my legs so I’m taking my trousers off.’ Her character was easy to understand and translate and the photo session went well. After I was treated to lunch in a local pub were I felt we could have carried on talking for the rest of the day. Unfortunately she had to pick up her daughter from school, so I went off home happy with the day.
The painting was very much centred on that image of herself , legs, boots, hair, and I felt a need for a bit of 80s/90s fun. I knew her hair had to be exaggerated, and I also wanted to introduce something new, but very clean into the composition. The sense of herself couldn’t be confused with a lot of abstraction, so I applied real petals to the canvas and sealed them with medium. The result was very pleasing to me and kept the simplicity and solidity of the painting un-obscured. It was a rush time wise, but in reality a week of working until four in the morning meant that I had put in the hours to get the right result.”