New Painting Series 2017

So I’m currently working on a new series of paintings in the studio for 2017.  This was mainly inspired by a small group of paintings I did late last year that were inspired by fashion and our modern day ‘selfie culture’.
I am experimenting working on a much larger scale. There were many different things I wanted to explore – as well as improve my painting style and technique. I have always had a strong interest in portraiture and fashion, and had hundreds of inspiring images I’d collected in the past from fashion magazines and fashion brands/advertising. So I selected around 15-20 images from these to use as references.
I have also been wanting to experiment with painting techniques, bold colour, motifs and text.  I imagine the subjects almost becoming different characters, having their own personality – with kind of narrative or story emerging. The idea of how images in social media are often just snapped and then they’re gone; whereas I liked the idea of ‘freezing’ a moment.
Getting into the habit of sketching and doodling daily has helped with developing style, technique and ideas.
The first piece of this series entitled ‘Party Girl’ is now complete . I had done a sample beforehand that was very bold and colourful. For the large version I wanted mute colours slightly and go for a light illustrative, almost ‘anime’ feel.
There were many challenges throughout this first piece, and lots of learning involved. I feel as you look at the piece there is a constant pushing and pulling of methods. From the very smooth ‘tight’ painting of her face and background –  to the messy confidence of her hair, and washes and drips of paint of her neck and shoulders. This was pushing and pulling between what I was comfortable with and where I wanted to take risks at the same time! It’s a painting of opposites…lots of thick paint in areas versus thin washes in others. Thick lines in some areas and unfinished lines in others. This has come from wanting to break away from a very restrictive ‘tight’ way of painting and drawing and have more fun with the work.
I have since begun the second piece of this series – which will be quite different – stay tuned for updates!