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I came across Natalie’s artwork in November, running into our local art gallery to get out of the Plymouth rain.  Two pieces had just come in, still wrapped in foam and shrink wrap – not even on the wall; I bought them immediately.

As Covid-19 caused a global shutdown in March this year, operational changes were introduced into healthcare and my partner, a GP and his practice partners were all put into raspberry-pink scrubs to indicate infection control along with other PPE measures to do their bit.

I contacted Natalie via email. My plan was to have the doctors captured in Natalie’s unique style, however two of the partners were missing from the photo. Natalie and I had a FaceTime call which was more of a chit-chat, getting to know each other.  Natalie sent me away with homework to find out a little about each of the partners – their quirks, hobbies, interests and personalities. I gave her all my scouted information, including that on the missing two partners. We kept in touch during the whole process. The hardest part was keeping the secret and containing my excitement whilst the finished painting was being shipped from Australia to the UK at a time when there was so much restriction on foreign travel and border crossings.

The result was a very close to tears 6ft3, 18 stone doctor, one extremely excited and happy customer, a relationship with an artist I’ve never met, as though we’ve been friends for years, and prints being ordered by the other GPs at the practice.

Natalie is the most approachable human being I’ve ever [virtually] met.  The process of commissioning was so much fun – I was expecting to like the painting, but really I have no words…

For most, Covid-19 is a time many will want to forget.  For us, it marks a change in healthcare culture, very challenging times professionally and strengthening of team bonds.  We’re very grateful and proud to have such a wonderful, unique painting to remember just how crazy the world became during Covid, and to celebrate my partner’s hard work.

Natalie – from me, Kyle and the “Hot Docs”, we cannot thank you enough.  xXx

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