David Bowie – My first portrait
‘David Bowie-Drip Portrait’
30H x 24W inches
Oil on Canvas
What initially began as a commission, thinking ‘I don’t really do human portraits’, this seemed like a huge task and well out of my comfort zone. However, once I began it seemed I was worrying far too much! It was actually very refreshing and highly enjoyable doing something so different to my usual subjects and style. Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy, in fact when I first sent the photo of it to the client, they had quite a bit of constructive criticism and so I was quite deflated at that point and went back to it to improve it. This was a blessing in disguise, I lost the commission as I took too long to complete it - it was supposed to be a birthday present, then Christmas present and I had taken too much time altering it, so it was not ready for either of the dates. I was disappointed yes, but it was such a great experience to have been challenged so far from my safety net and I was adamant to finish the piece to a high standard no matter how long it took, and I feel it was worth it in the end, especially considering it is my very first human portrait. I am proud to say it is my creation and I am glad it was commissioned even if it wasn’t sold to the client at the end because I would never have created it had they not requested it.
The piece was created using oil paint and refined linseed oil to create the ‘drip’ finish. It’s the first human portrait painting I’ve ever done, using the album cover ‘Aladdin Sane’ as my reference. I wanted to create a contemporary feel to the image as well as keeping to my own unique style. I’m fascinated with colour and texture, and creating expressive, fantastical backgrounds with depth and details to draw the audience in for a closer inspection of the surface textures and qualities created. I hope to achieve a contemporary expressionist style of portrait, yet still for the subject, in this case David Bowie, to be easily recognisable and the first impact to achieve an emotive reaction from the viewer. The background colour choice was determined by the client who had originally commissioned the piece and although they did not purchase it in the end, I had grown fond of it and kept the colour blue.
I have since entered the painting into the Visual Art Open 2021 Uk & International Emerging Artist Competition along with another of my pieces - ‘The Magnificent Elephant – No 2-with gold leaf’, (30inch x 24inch/76cm x 61cm), Oil on canvas with 24ct Gold Leaf - Vulnerable to extinction (VE).
David Bowie – My first portrait
Why I do
what I do…’The Art of Healing’
wonder why I decided to go Full time with my Art practice, to turn my ‘hobby’
into a business and income. Well, I thought I would take the time to explain how
I came to the decision to become an independent artist…
As many of
you may know I have struggled for about 8 years with my health, this has been a
big part of my decision. I came to realise recently, that my body has been
screaming at me for years to change how I am living and what I am doing, and I
am finally listening.
has the confidence to speak their minds, not everyone has the verbal ability to
speak their minds, but one thing that everyone does speak, is the universal
language of Art.
Art is my
voice, my expression, my truth, my escape and my joy.
I create Art
as a form of therapy for my own personal therapeutic benefit. Sometimes I use
it to express my thoughts, experiences or emotions and sometimes I use it to
escape from them, into my own alternate reality, my ‘Fantasy Land’, my ‘safe
space’. And sometimes the simple act of artmaking itself, I do purely for the
love and enjoyment I get form creating. The therapeutic benefits I feel in my
deepest core, as I transcend into a meditative state, while immersed in what I am
creating, the act of creating, without thinking, without the constraints of
rules or time, blissfully unaware of the world around me. For me, there is no
me, feeds my soul, fills me with joy. This is why I do what I do. Once I was
aware of it, it was almost a jerk reaction to go full time, how could I not? How
could I go back to forcing my body to scream at me? How could I ignore the
healing effects art has on my mind and body?
Most of all,
this realisation of the healing effects of Art, from my own experiences, coupled
with my time working in a special educational needs school, has given me the greatest
desire to share my experiences and knowledge with others, so they might benefit through
creative expression in the same way I have been able to. That, for me, would be
incredibly rewarding, to help others discover the healing benefits of Art.
During the first lockdown, I was on furlough leave, isolated from friends and family, like so many others…I felt alone, worried, scared and vulnerable. I felt a huge sense guilt for my partner at the time who was a nurse, working all hours, exhausted, stressed, but most of all trying to constantly reassure friends and family, when in reality, she was terrified.
What’s most interesting and incredible during this unique and uncertain time, to me, is that among all the awful suffering, illness, deaths, global economic impact and massive disruption to everyday life to all of us effected by Covid19…simultaneously the world is healing, breathing, recovering..it seems as though Mother Nature has taken control to help our planet by forcing us to stop and let our world begin to heal itself before it’s too late.
It is incredible how at the same time as causing devastation, Coronavirus has provoked such kindness, respect and appreciation in so many people around the world, which I hope will stay long after the virus..it seems like an extreme, harsh lesson, but I hope we learn from this…I hope when we come out of this pandemic we find a way to live better, cleaner, kinder and more respectful, to not only our key workers, our NHS and each other, but to our plant too.