For so many years of artistic pursuits I was uncertain of what was ‘unique’ about my way of working. All I knew for certain was that I was fascinated by ‘people’ as a subject and how a face became recognisable on a two-dimensional surface.
Watching time-lapse videos of artists painting portraits is still one of my favourite things to do and I never cease to find them amazing.
Strangely enough, a large turning point for me was getting an iPhone last year (very late to the party) and documenting my own drawing process. I then joined Instagram and through endless artist research and image scrolling, became obsessed with finding my own visual signature within my work.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that I wanted to capture the behaviour of the material as well as the subject matter. The looseness of brush strokes, drips and mark-making were as important to me as the representation of what or who I was painting, and in searching through my ‘favourites’ and ‘likes’ I’m surprised this didn’t occur to me sooner. It’s one thing that they all had in common.
I felt like a light bulb switched on. Once I knew what I ‘wanted’ to achieve it was much easier to simply experiment and set about getting there. Even my failed attempts with my new large brushes and watered down paint had details and a freedom to them that I loved, standing out from my previous ‘copying a photo’ way of working.
Before long people started really responding to my new style of working, and commissions and requests came in thick and fast!
It feels great to not only find new motivation for something that I’ve always loved to do, but it’s fantastic that so many people are enjoying it along with me.