My favourite painting: Susannah Constantine

Susannah Constantine chooses a painting by her own father, Joseph Constantine.

Susannah Constantine on ‘The Priory’, by her father Joseph Constantine

‘My dad was a prolific, self-taught artist and this pastel is of my childhood home. It captures much more than the image portrays: memories, good and bad, people and pets. Most of all, it represents my “surrogate” mother, Mrs A. She was my constant North Star – loved by so many and always there to keep me on the straight and narrow.

‘My father was a master at painting clouds. I can picture him now, sitting in the front field, fag hanging out the side of his mouth and glasses on the end of his nose. Today, when I look at this work from my bathtub, I feel safe and marvel at what a quiet talent dad was. I miss him, but feel his presence through his pictures on our walls.’

Susannah Constantine is a television presenter — one half of the famed ‘Trinny and Susannah’ — and an author. Her latest book is ‘Ready For Absolutely Nothing.

Charlotte Mullins on Susannah Constantine

Susannah Constantine lived at The Priory in Lincolnshire for much of her childhood, spending her days exploring the nearby streams and woodlands, riding ponies, fishing and picnicking with Lady Theresa Manners, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland of nearby Belvoir Castle. It is The Priory that appears in this pastel completed by Constantine’s father, Joseph, in the early 1980s.

Joseph Constantine was an officer in the Coldstream Guards and a successful businessman, but he was also a keen, self-taught artist. In this work, he places the family home at the heart of the composition. Four chimneys rise above the low-slung house that stretches across the mid-ground.

A copse of russet trees lines the hill that gently rises behind. Time spent observing the different shapes of the trees around The Priory allowed him to differentiate between the distant evergreens, the slender-stemmed copse and the tall, skeletal trunks in a corner of the garden.

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The foreground is a broad expanse of field, with clumps of grass and undulations visible in his careful working of a variety of green pastels across the surface. The field balances the vast blue sky above with its scattering of light clouds. Sunlight breaks through and catches the side of the house, warming it to an ochre glow, as the rest remains in shadow. A touch of lemon in the clouds suggests the sun is sinking towards the horizon, drawing the day to a close.