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Eminent Portrait Painter: June Mendoza

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									Eminent Portrait Painter

June Mendoza
Talks to Judith Monk


      rtist June Mendoza is tiny, lively and very
A      lovely. Unlike most homes where photo-
graphs of loved ones dot the walls, June’s
beautiful London home has real portraits
everywhere; children at varying ages and
grandchildren too.
    Leaning against a hall stand was a part
finished, instantly recognisable, portrait of
conductor Mark Elder and removers had just
taken a large group painting of Chelsea
Pensioners off the wall where it is on loan to
Kensington Town Hall. It was about the
dozens of musicians she has painted that I
especially wanted to talk though.
    June was born to John Morton, musician           Barry Tuckwell, the background is a
and Dot (neé) Mendoza who was also a                 leather horn made by an artist friend
musician, composer, violinist and pianist
respectively. As a child June toured with her
mother revelling in the exposure to opera,          12 years old, art was her obvious and                   To list all the subjects June has painted
ballet, musicals and revues. She worked in          unquestioned career path and she started life       would be a long, long listing but start with
small mime parts and crowd scenes in La             classes at 14. Since then June has created          every major Royal including the Queen more
Boutique fantasque and Petrushka with the de        hundreds of gorgeous portraits. I asked how         than once and then think eminent politicians,
Basil Russian Ballet Company and sketched           many? “No idea, I’ve never counted them!”           sports, stage, arts, radio, film and opera stars,
during class, rehearsals and performances. By       she replied, laughing.                              bu
								
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