The unexpected limitations this year dictated a slightly different approach to my artwork. I set up a small studio space at home in mid March, the week before lockdown in the UK. Alongside working on commissions, I felt it was an important time to do some creative work.
Being so focused at home has given way to a few new series, the most current first:
Videocall portraits - Musicians in Lockdown
Tattoo design explored through self portraits
The Dead South exhibition paintings
Artwork will be available to purchase as prints through my Saatchi Art gallery page in August.
The Videocall series has been a development of the music I've been listening to while painting through lockdown. I've been fortunate enough to connect to the musicians and, through the power of Whatsapp, conduct a small photoshoot to take screenshots to work from. The friendliness and willingness to be part of my series has been phenomenal and finding a way to combine the elements that lockdown has imposed on us all has been exciting. The paintings are mostly individual, dark and introspective. Isolated but connected to the viewer in a videocall format, the method being of particular relevance as a primary source of communication in 2020. The phone icon at the bottom of the painting is discreet but important, the titles reflecting the place of the call. 10% from the sale of the paintings will be donated to a cause supporting the recovery of live music.
Having done a photoshoot on the 29th Feb with The Dead South for reference images, I started work on a set of paintings for an upcoming exhibition.
The painting opposite is for the band to keep as a thank you but it will be available as prints. Sign up to the newsletter/follow on Instagram to stay informed. The whole image will be uploaded soon.
I spotted the 'portraits for NHS heroes' initiative in May started by artist Tom Croft on Instagram. Being in a position to offer free portraits as a thank you to the folk staring this situation in the face was one I couldn't pass up. Working in quicker, lighter oil sketches seemed quite apt, focusing on the eyes and keeping the masks as roughly suggested shapes; trying to capture both the depth and the transience of this time.
All of the people in this gallery have been working hard in difficult circumstances, Each one represents a whole team, working long hours and putting themselves in harms way for us. Painting each one is an emotional experience that really makes me thankful for their efforts. For details on the individual people featured and their role in dealing with COVID-19, click here for my Instagram page.
A huge amount of artists documenting this time through portraiture is creating a very interesting record and one I'm pleased to be a part of.