The subjects are taken from, female leading characters from recent European crime dramas and thrillers, women frequently portrayed as in a state of inner conflict. These are women who are strong, dominant and seemingly aloof, routinely cast as unable to form lasting relationships and for whom a private life and a work life are at odds (an issue rarely touched on in male character leads). They are fascinating, flawed, avowedly anti-feminine subjects; subjects who refuse objectification. I hope to capture a moment, a gesture, an expression that conveys some of their pragmatism and turmoil and also their strength and beauty.
Using the tradition of portraiture the paintings have been adapted from fiction, superficially the image is taken from a photographic source, but the image is allowed to develop through the process of applying the paint; gestural brush marks and the heightened use of colour add an emotional and expressive dynamic to the work.
The subjects for these two paintings are the female leads from Spanish and Swedish thrillers (respectively). The titles are lifted directly from dialogue (subtitles). The title is an important aspect of the work, in part, to acknowledge the fiction that inspired the pieces and also to hint at a possible drama waiting to be uncovered.
I like the flexibility of oil paint enabling you to build up a surface, adjusting the consistency to work in washes, glazes and thicker impasto. I work through a painting, from initial drawing with thin washes of paint, to applying thicker mixes of colour. Some of the mark making is intentionally quite abstract but at the same time designed to capture form and expression. I use colour in a way that I hope serves to enhance the vibrancy and heighten the mood of the piece.
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