NI artist had been in talks to paint Carrie Fisher portrait

Artist Colin Davidson met Carrie Fisher at a red carpet event in Los Angeles last year
Artist Colin Davidson met Carrie Fisher at a red carpet event in Los Angeles last year

A renowned Northern Ireland artist, who had been making arrangements with Carrie Fisher to paint her portrait, regrets not having the chance to capture the iconic actress on canvas.

The Star Wars actress died on Tuesday, just days after suffering a heart attack on a transatlantic flight.

Colin Davidson had met Miss Fisher at a red carpet event in Los Angeles last year when they hit it off.

The meeting took place at the US-Ireland Alliance’s Oscar Wilde Awards in February where the artist was honoured alongside the actress.

Mr Davidson was photographed on the red carpet alongside Miss Fisher at the event in the production studio of director JJ Abrams, the man behind the new Star Wars films.

He said: “It was a real privilege and honour to have met Carrie and to have a shared a stage with her in LA last year.

“Whilst we did talk about a portrait of her it was something that didn’t happen.

“Regrettably we didn’t get round to it.”

Mr Davidson was receiving his award for donating a portrait which was auctioned to raise more than $20,300 for the Alliance’s scholarship programme.

The Belfast-born artist has also painted Seamus Heaney, Angela Merkel and HRH The Queen.

Recalling the night he met Carrie Fisher, whose great, great grandfather came from Donegal, he said: “From meeting her it was obvious how close she was to her daughter Billie who accompanied her to the event and of course Gary, her dog, who was always at her side.”

Mr Davidson said the pair got on well that night, chatting about the possibility of him painting her portrait. Afterwards they stayed in touch, making contact occasionally via social media.

He said: “Her death has come as a real shock to most of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s and who were Star Wars fans.”