Melissa Mailer-Yates describes how the portrait of Nick Mason became reality:
“Both of the canvasses went up on display at the gallery for an evening with Nick Mason, the drummer from Pink Floyd, as a preview to gauge public reaction. There was little need to doubt how successful the works are as the Toyah one didnt make it past the evening without being bought by a local collector already. A fantastic guy whose enthusiasm for the piece has already given me a great boost.
The main reason for us attending was to make the most of the night and get some source material for the painting of Nick. Not the sort of situation I like to work in for getting to know someone, but for all that I got the photos I needed (despite an embarrassing slip up with my camera equipment), and eventually I had enough time with the man to dig deep enough under the skin to be able to create the painting.
I took a much more graphic approach to the representation. There are many internationally recognised images associated with Pink Floyd, and I felt I wanted to exploit that without plagiarism. The obvious start was the Dark Side of the Moon prism which became a neat halo for what I consider to be something of a saintly man. He is not the archetypal rocker, despite his years of dedication to one of the greatest bands of all time, but his sense of adventure bubbles up from under that placid exterior. The final image of him has the timeless immensity of a Roman Emperor, very fitting I feel.
Subsequent comments by some of those who know him well have proved my sense of understanding him to have been accurate. I hope so as he did agree that if he liked the painting sufficiently himself I would get to have a go in one of his infamous Ferraris !”