The Power of the Portrait

I am an artist who always looks at the world around me and I want to transfer my vision onto canvas. My collection of People and their portraits holds an important role in my portfolio of work. I have had the pleasure of being commissioned to make some wonderful portraits of friends and collectors as well as making a number of self portraits, all with thought provoking messages I hope.

I have used portraits to convey many moods and moments throughout my work. The portrait of the wistful ‘Niki’ gazing out through a window at the London skyline draws the viewer into her thoughts. My stylised lines and shadows are used to draw the eye into every corner of the canvas, exploring and slightly intruding in to Niki’s private moment. She is stylishly dressed, her hat suggesting she may be about to leave or has just arrived, is she waiting to see someone, nervous or just contemplating the scene presented to her? I’d like the viewer to build their own scenario of what they see in each portrait, to let the faces tell a story.

I painted a similar emotion with The Boy’ , again there is a contemplative moment depicted of someone gazing out of a window, only they know what they are looking at and  the viewer can only guess at what they are feeling. The image invites the viewer to join the sitter in looking through the window and empathise with their feelings.

‘Niki’
The Boy’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another favourite of mine is ‘Husbands’, here I wanted to display the gentle affection of the husbands, comfortable in their home environment and framed by the wonderful light streaming through window shutters. I maintained my structured style and form within these portraits whilst still sending subtle messages, emotions and a sensitive translation of the moment.

Self -portraits have been another area I have explored , having fun with the messages I wanted to convey. From my geometric  ‘Golden Boy’ images to the impactful Alive & Well’ portrait, where I wanted to share my medical history to display my gratitude to all those that have helped me and to share the joy that I felt at being alive and well at the age of sixty. This portrait took a long time to complete;  I had to climb a ladder hundreds of times to create the surrounding collage on this life size image. I had to climb the ladder at least once to first measure how the piece would fit, the down to cut, up to check, down to glue and back up to place every surrounding piece and there were hundreds of pieces. It was time consuming and hard work taking six to eight hours each day for three months with no time off for weekends, but ultimately very satisfying  and I hope something the viewer can take time to explore, understand, enjoy and maybe take comfort in.

Husbands
Alive & Well’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For me the portrait is an important and intrinsic part of art and a vital part of my artist’s journey. It’s an opportunity to empathise with my sitters and produce a piece of art that is timeless in its style and mood – something that can never be replaced by momentary selfies!

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