Women of Substance: 50 Portraits of High Profile Women of Our Times


Tess Barnes, acclaimed portrait artist has produced this stunning book, which features 50 portraits of some of the most successful and inspirational women of our times.From well-known faces such as Carol Vorderman and Maureen Lipman, influential media personalities, such as Lynne Franks and Jenni Murray to campaigning voices Shami Chakrabarti and Camila Batmanghelidjh, politicians, businesswomen, authors and sportswomen alike all gave their time to sit for Tess to be a part of what is surely a unique collection.With her distinctive style defined by colour and non-conventional backgrounds illustrating her sitters’ passions and personal lives, Tess’ portraits are engaging and accomplished.

The reader really gains an insight into these powerful and important characters as each also carries a full biography of their achievements and a revealing set of answers to questions set out by writer, and fellow sitter, Kathy Lette.To one of these questions, “What is your biggest obstacle that you have faced?” Stella Rimington (former M15 chief) answered “Men!” and Fiona Phillips (from GMTV) revealed “Self-consciousness – although you wouldn’t believe it”.

Another question “What are your top 5 to 10 survival tips?” is answered in a myriad of ways!”There is an illuminating foreword where Tess explains her journey before and during the painting of these 50 portraits. Alongside of this are thumbnail pictures of a selection of the portraits en route.One page is devoted to comments from some of Tess’ sitters on their experiences of having their portrait painted and there is a full-page document by Art Critic Sarah Kent entitled “Being painted”Tess’ ability to understand the real women behind the achievements is a tour de force and her campaigning drive for a 50/50 representation for women in the workplace and in salary structure is another inspiration behind publication.

As a documentation of women’s achievements in the late 20th and early 21st centuries this charming book stands alone. 30 per cent of each sale will go to the charity Breast Cancer Haven which provides centres delivering a free programme of care specifically designed to complement and enhance conventional breast cancer treatment.


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