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Royal Air Force War Artist in Afghanistan sketches life behind the scenes

Sara WaymontSara Waymont has been visiting parts of the Royal Air Force 83 Expeditionary Air Group including 617 'Dambusters' Squadron to record the work of the RAF and raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Sara Waymont, a professional artist, visited the RAF’s 904 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) at Kandahar and 903 EAW at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

She said: "Primarily I’ve come here to work with the RAF and see what everybody is doing behind the scenes, not so much front line imagery but people working in maintenance roles and all the other maybe less obvious jobs that go on in a war zone."

She will then turn her sketches into paintings. 

904 EAW is host to transport aircraft and the GR4 fast jets which provide imagery and shows of force in support of Afghan-led operations against insurgents.

Speaking of her visit, she explained: "I've been with 617 'Dambusters' Squadron commemorating their disbandment but I've also been with the Hercules (transport aircraft) and the fire crews.

"For me it's a chance to meet the people and get a sense of their personality and to understand the smaller things that make them tick. When back in the studio it helps me to decide how I'm going to portray that person. It helps to build the small clues for when you’ve got more time painting." 

Flt Lt Grant DickinsonSara believes it's an important time to visit because: "It's really important to commemorate the important work the RAF is doing but secondly it’s an opportunity to put money into charity and with all the attention on drawdown, ensure that the money doesn't stop." 

Prior to going home from the busy airfield run by 903 EAW at Camp Bastion, Sara spoke of her work not stopping: "I've also got a busy year coming up. As soon as I'm home I’m going into my studio and turning my sketches into portraits and sifting through my photos. The final product is a series of exhibitions in November and a book, with the proceeds going to the RAF Benevolent Fund." 

In addition to this painting and her work as Head of Department at Heath Mount School, Hertfordshire, Sara serves in the RAF Reserves with 600 Squadron, based at RAF Northolt who commissioned one of her paintings.

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