I am inspired by bizarre human faces and expressions. And I love to play with colours, lines, and textures, and the scale and balance of them all. Starting with sketches, I explore the size, angle and position of human features. When choosing one to develop further, there is usually something that makes me laugh, is strange, is elegant, or just speaks to me in some way. I then start to apply colour and texture and I am finished when a unique personality is revealed.
For quality and longevity, I choose to work with Golden acrylics. When I looked at getting into painting, I was not in love with the idea of dealing with the chemicals involved with oil paints. The idea of having to wait for ages to varnish was also really unappealing. I’m way too impatient for that! Golden Acrylics prides itself on providing a wide variety of colours, consistency, texture mediums, and sealants. I have become a huge fan because I know that I can combine any number of their products together and still be able to guarantee that these ridiculous faces I create will last for centuries.
They say eyes are the window to the soul. In my opinion it’s the entire face that tells the more interesting story. An eyebrow that is high, a nose that is tilted, lips that are curved ever so slightly; all contribute to some fascinating narratives. I could decide beforehand what a new painting will say, but, like coming across something that stops me in my track, making me laugh, tear up or just say “wowza”, I would never want to prevent my own reaction to the reveal. It’s just too magical and fun to want that part to stop.
So what is the meaning of these faces I create? Because of what they are, it’s hard not to think of us humans in general. We all have personalities and life experiences that define who we are. Most of us try to fit in with everyone else and avoid being strange or unique. But let’s face it; we’re all a bit weird in some way! I believe my art is here to tell the world that it’s okay to be different. It’s even good to embrace it and laugh about it. With all the tragedy we see and negative words we read and hear, it’s no wonder mental health is a big thing. I want my paintings to add a bit of humour, comfort or just plain joy to someone’s life.
I believe my paintings are successful when I hear that one has given someone else happiness, comfort or moved them to be philosophical. One woman told me recently that “Morning Person makes me smile every time I see it!” Nothing is better than that.