Utilising rich oil paint and preferring the smooth texture and rigidity of wood panel, my professional career as a Portrait Artist spans over ten years of commission experience. Previously I focused on providing traditional commissioned paintings, working closely with clients’ personal requirements. Changes came with lockdown and a new baby so adaptations were made and work started on collections of paintings to eventually exhibit, discuss and sell. After some exploring and experimentation I spotted a subconscious reoccurring theme concerning psychology, human behaviour and mental health in its varying forms. Topics currently under investigation are masculinity and mental health, insomnia, maternal mental health, isolation, social withdraw, humiliation, social unease.
Mental health as a topic features widely in our daily interactions, and I wish to discuss some of the complex emotions that I and many of us have experienced with a wider audience. Painting has been a cathartic tool, helping me to deliver clarity to the doldrums of my own over-analysis and self critique.
Colour manipulation aids emotional interpretation of my paintings. Hue is utilised in a universal manner with cold blues, hot reads, sickening white tints, alien greens, and concealing shadows. The aim is the audience will recognise a familiar situation within the paintings and connect with them emotionally and intimately.
Portraiture has a direct link to the human condition. It records the ‘now’, something we don’t often view as very significant in the moment however becomes more important as time passes. Portraiture can make the sitter feel special, powerful or relevant. It survives the sitter, leaving behind a lovingly hand crafted, bespoke and tactile representation of the person who has passed.