Artist Stella Tooth paints veteran journalist Kate Adie
Artist Stella Tooth paints veteran journalist Kate Adie

Two more TV journalists have come in for some close scrutiny by the artist who exposed a softer side to veteran broadcaster John Humphrys.

As a former public relations officer, Stella Tooth, from Lammas Park, Ealing spent a fair amount of her working life looking after the public image of news journalists so last month she visited the Today studio to paint Mr Humphrys.

She has now completed 40 minute colour studies and taken reference shots of Sky News political editor Adam Boulton and ITV News at 10 presenter Julie Etchingham, on the back of her session with John, as part of her news journalist project that links her past and present careers.

She is still in talks with other BBC correspondents about painting their portraits. Her aim, once she has them all under her belt, is to hold an exhibition.

Stella, who is currently attending the first Egypt biennale art exhibition, said: “Much of my working life was about looking after the public image of journalists at Sky News or the BBC – news presenters, correspondents, editors, inquisitors and storytellers.

So I am now relishing the chance to portray some of journalists with whom I have worked in a more personal way, as a figurative artist painting their portraits.

“For my session with Julie I travelled to her East Sheen home and painted the study of her in the study where she prepped for the Royal Wedding. For Adam’s I visited his home just off Trafalgar Square just before he moved house. In the background you can see a painting by one of his daughters.

“These are not the finished portraits but a means of capturing a sitter’s true colour, something that photographs cannot tell. The finished portraits, which will take up to six weeks each, will also allow people to judge instantly whether I can, not only, capture a likeness, but, as I hope, some of the energy and defining traits that makes them who they are. I hope is to have at least one exhibition of the finished series.”

Artist Stella Tooth
Artist Stella Tooth
 

Adam Boulton said: “Because we are looking out from ourselves most of us don’t know what we really look like let alone what impression we make – a portrait is the best way to find out and Stella has an artist’s eye and professional insight when it comes to people from the media world like me.”

Julie Etchingham said: “Being scrutinised by an artist’s eye is a world away from sitting in front of a news camera – a far more personal and exposed experience – but the fact I know how gentle and endearing Stella is made it an altogether easier time than I’d imagined.”

As Stella has looked after the public profile of these top presenters for more than 18 years, she was delighted to combine her journalistic knowledge with her artistic side.

She took regular evening classes in life drawing and painting, a part-time course at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art – which specialises in figurative art – while working at Sky, before deciding to study full-time for a two year portraiture diploma.