In 2012, artist Elizabeth Thayer entered her painting Tony in the BP Portrait Award contest. The Portrait Award is in its thirty-third year at the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2012, there were 2,187 entries from artists in 74 different countries. This painting was one of 55 paintings chosen to be exhibited this year. Thayer first learned about the competition when she moved to England in 2010 and was thrilled to be part of the show in 2012.
"…After our fourth child was born in 2010, Tony told us that our son was the first baby he had ever held. I wanted to paint Tony because as I gradually got to know him, I wanted others to know him too. I chose to paint him just as I remember seeing him: dressed casually and insistent in his gaze."