I have always wanted to paint my beautiful friend Harriet. Harri is a work mate, but before that a friend for many years. She keeps me laughing constantly with her weird sense of humour and was an obvious muse from the minute I met her. Her stunning pale blue eyes and dark hair always reminded me of a doll, and when I found one in my sister's collection which resembled her, I thought it would be interesting to paint them both. I have never painted a doll before, but I have to say I found the whole thing very strange. The proportions were so different it was almost a bit spooky. It was a relief to start work on Harri's portrait. I found her expression of barely contained laughter an absolute joy to capture. Vacant, staring faces are not beautiful. Character is. Harri is the real doll.