We all Cast Shadows at Focus Gallery, Nottingham

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I was so happy to get some of my daily portraits from June and July (really? was it that long ago?) framed up for my latest exhibition at the Focus Gallery in Nottingham. Honestly, when I was creating those portraits it was a way back into me creating art again after a slow few months and the purpose was not to create finished or exhibition worthy pieces. I was just glad to be creating at all! But once I gathered them all together, there were a few that really stood out for me and it ended up that they were a great complement to my other work that was going in the show. Six of the painted portraits and six of the conte portraits ended up at the framers.

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They also prompted a lot of interesting comments and questions at the preview for the exhibition which was last Friday.

Why do I focus so much on the eyes? When I talk to people it is always the eyes I am drawn to – ‘the windows to the soul’ of course. Our eyes speak of our emotions, of our story, of our history. They also reveal so much more about a person – for instance if you are trying to communicate with someone who is distracted or cannot connect with you when they are speaking with you.

Are they of people I know? Some are based on folks I know, some are inspired by images I have collected – I usually work with those very briefly when I begin a portrait and then go my own way, allowing the marks to respond to what is already there and the emotion to reflect what I feel I want to say on the page. Many of the latest ones have elements of myself in them, not accurate self portraits but definitely a reflection of how I see myself at any particular time.

Where do the names come from? Some are of people from my family – Archie my grandfather, Harry, my Great Grandfather. I also have a book of names that I draw on, using names that again, reflect the character I am trying to portray. So for these portraits I chose many names with a Scottish basis – Ailsa, Jessie, Morna. The names definitely add something to the connection I have with these characters.

I got these framed up in dark wood again to complement the larger pieces. Framing can add so much to a piece of art and presentation is key for an exhibition of course. I was over the moon to see these all together. Creating art for me is not about the final work – whether it sells or not (of course that is part of it, I can’t deny that). Most of all it is about expressing what is inside, it is about tapping into images that speak of my soul, it is about creating characters that resonate with me and that I feel I have known or would like to know. The icing on the cake however, is seeing my art on the wall of a gallery and seeing the response of folks who come to see it and having conversations about the work I am doing – connecting with people through the art I create.

We all Cast Shadows exhibition is now on at the Focus Gallery till the first week in November.

When I return from America in October I have a few months of dedicated time in the Studio and I can’t wait to get back to creating art again!

There are a few of the painted portraits still available in my shop and as soon as I can, I will also be adding a few of the conte portraits there too.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Life Book 2016! You can find more information on this post here – Life Book 2016

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