A painter’s plea
observe take in explore interpret…
the paint, the marks, the interaction of colour next to another, the boldness of a shape, the weakness of another, please.
This art of mine is not 2 dimensional in any way
it deserves your time, your interaction.
This is no momentary fling with paint, it absorbs me, it defines a part of me.
Give it time to breathe in your presence.
Really what interests me when I have a person sitting for me is their persona.
This interest in visual un-peeling is a human desire in me to understand who I have in front of me and how best to portray them.
Which layer or layers that finally gets portrayed in paint or pastel is dependent on both sitter and me artist: do they want surface looks or something deeper portrayed?
The context in which they sit on the canvas, their position on the canvas, the colours I use are up for interpretation and manipulation. Will they look directly at me as I paint them or out of the canvas, transporting themselves somewhere, sometime else?
They have to be comfortable with this essential observation on my part, and the gestural way in which I work; my style.
Playing around and evolving the bigger meaning of Portrait is an ongoing journey in my work, and I was totally stimulated by the Howard Hodgkin exhibition Absent Friends at The National Gallery, all abstract paintings in response to specific people from his life.
I would rather be unpeeled, represented as an entity of non-human form as a true portrait of myself…it’s a leap of faith and understanding but crucial in gathering an essence of the true self – I will see what unfolds over the coming months and years.
She is a beautiful woman whose calmness I was keen to capture.
As the sittings unfolded, there were three two-hour portrait sittings, I wanted to wrap a narrative around her, a wisdom, a relation to the land and a waterfall. I had encouraged her to wear a white skirted dress which created almost wave like shapes. The base of the painting remains quite fluid and suggestive, which crashes against the diagonal of her descending braided hair. Where she stops and starts is intended to be ambiguous. A theme current in my “Falling Series”; where do we dissolve into the landscape to reappear again?
If you would like to discuss a portrait commission, please contact me here.
Being a painter for me is about constantly exploring, responding to the present and the past, and expanding my practise.
It seems that at present I have 3 distinct approaches: Expressive movement inspired abstracts, large female subject based gestural paintings and detailed precise small technique orientated works again with the female as the subject. This isn’t contrived but just intuitive, next week I could have 6 or 7 approaches: I don’t want to restrict my work by pigeon hole-ing it.
Life interests me and the past fascinates me. I am always watching and absorbing via sketchbooks, notes and logging moments in my head library; recall of past events and sensations combine with themes to inform what and how I paint. I am a living sponge of art.
I see the human form in landscape, we are part of it, we are it.
Sketchbooks are my camera on the world out there and the world in me.
I can make a line, engage with thoughts and ideas through them and develop at a later stage.
This sketch fits into my theme of “a change in conversation” The Dream Series. The image was done on a train journey, as I observed those around me; all at different stages of life trying to balance the external demands of life with their essence/ their individuality.
If we can find the way to unravel a bit of us I think we discover ourselves.
In the final painting, I needed to create a connection between the figure, the sky and the earth. The bandages of the sketch became less obvious, but I retain the movement, the whirl/swirl of life.
The colours are quite restricted, the lines are important. There is a resemblance to the artist, and that just is. I think the gaze is outward and searching and challenges the onlooker.Is she comfortable in her own skin?
Myself and dance artist Marie Louise Flexen have collaborated on many pieces exploring movement this year, with a recent performance as part of the Stroud Open Studios. We carried out several enquiries into the creative language we explore in dance and art. In one piece we explore line and enter into each other’s spaces. The connection is exciting. A video will be coming shortly.
Starting as we mean to go on……
At the preview evening “A Change in Conversation” on 6th May in my studio there will be 2 dance and music performances. The piece I am involved in, as a dance performer, is a piece by a female trio.
Dance has been a constant throughout my life, even though I did not take up a place at ballet school in London at 6.
My paintings has often been linked to dance in subject choice and strength in gestural paint marks.
Since setting up my studio I have been fortunate to dance weekly with trained dancers and we will be performing a piece with elements of improvised and choreographed dance.
We have been working with violinist Thol Mason who has composed the music for the piece.
“Falling to Myself” will be performed in costumes designed by Sara Felicia Rodrigues and Maya Gewily who are studying MA in fashion at London school of Fashion. I am delighted that they will be joining us for the night of the performance.