Instagram Feature - Q&A about my work

I was lucky to receive a lovely shoutout in January for 3 of my paintings on The Flux Instagram page recently and it was interesting to answer their interesting questions such as who is my favourite painter and which painting would I love to own (see the links for the images at the end of the blog) 

Self-taught or art school?

I would say both, I went to art school to do a BA Fine Art degree but previously to that I did such a lot of life drawing in order to build skills, I became quite obsessed with it

If you could own one work of art what would it be?

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche which is in the National Gallery. When I first saw this painting it took my breath away, the size and scale of the composition is incredible. It has such drama and narrative. I love seeing it time and time again.

How would you describe your style?

To me the paintings are full of narrative that can be read in several ways. I enjoy weaving tenuous ideas into my paintings but ultimately I am hoping to achieve a serenity and calmness in the work. The paintings are figurative in style, loosely painted and are quite stage like, I was very fond of Piero della Francescas groupings of figures.  My paintings are largely based on a framework of drawings and then pieced randomly together to create a narrative. This collaging together of figures then presents its own challenges of colour, space and freedom.


Is narrative important within your work?

Yes it is, for me there is incredible  power when placing figures in groups or on their own. Each pose has its own narrative and suggestion so the research for lots of poses takes a lot of time especially as I am never sure of what will work in the final piece.

I find also that my narrative for a painting can be read in very a different way by others.

Who are your favourite artists and why?

One of my favourite artists is Lita Cabellut a Spanish/Dutch female painter who paints large scale figurative paintings, the paintings have such a depth and passion to them that is hard to describe. I admire her for her hard hitting approach with paint and tackling whats important to her with regards to culture and religion. A really influential and important artist.

Another artist I am intrigued by is Ian Francis who has a dark side to him but who creates other worldly scenes for his figures. I enjoy seeing his groups of figures who seem to be battling with a demon. They are for me, part computer sci fi quite structural and full of narrative.

What or who inspires your art?

Seeing art exhibitions in London usually fuels me up and I can paint feeling inspired for ages after a trip. I go to galleries with a sketchbook and note any random ideas I have as I am wandering around. I get a real buzz too at looking at colour combinations of virtually anything, interior decor photos on Pinterest, my own photos and sketches which I now have so many of but are a type of library that I can go to when I need something to collage into a painting. I find too that when I am working solidly on paintings  I am getting new ideas coming in for more paintings.


Are there any recurring themes within your work and can you tell us about them?

I keep coming back to a ‘stage’ type of theme. For example I was painting dancers for a long while and once I started to create my own stage settings for them it felt right. The table series are also very staged with figures creating a strong narrative in a restricted almost forced space.


Where’s your studio and what’s it like?

My studio is at the bottom of our garden, it is a renovated old apple store. It has a high pointed roof which is quite unusual and it was in quite a state of disrepair, with a leak that used to drip a lot whilst I painted. Since we had it renovated it now has a big glass front panel and roof facing north which I am constantly in awe of and it is a totally transformed space to paint in.


Do you have any studio rituals?

It is a real sanctuary in the studio so I try not to answer any calls or have any music, I tend to work all day with no breaks except for lunch and until the light goes in the winter.


What are you working on currently?

My next big painting of 1m x 1.50 which will be a table scene. The ideas are still forming but it may have lots of figures around a table after a party or it may be just a table in light after everyone has gone. The idea is based on the pandemic restrictions and how gatherings of people were allowed and then not but it still has to be developed yet.


Where can we buy your art?

Mainly online, I am a self representing artist so all of my paintings are on my website with prices and can be bought online. I also exhibit whenever I can.


What are your ambitions?

I have big ambitions with my  painting progress. I see it as a journey of progress.  I love being a painter and each challenge it brings, there is so much to explore and I get so excited by possibilities it is hard to fit it all in. A solo show would be amazing!


Lita Cabellut

Execution of Lady Jane Grey

Ian Francis Instagram

The Flux Review 


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