Barba Rossa is a portrait of my late son Ciro which was shown at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2014.
Maria Vajente is a portrait of one of my dearest Italian friends who sadly passed away shortly after this painting was completed. The portrait was exhibited in 2019 at the PS exhibition.
Grace,Alexi and Ellie were art students in their final year (2019/20) studying fine art,sculpture and fashion respectively.
I originally sought them out in order to create portraits of contemporary beauty that would stimulate curiosity about these highly individual subjects.
They each hold a single bloom.
Exhibited at the PS 2020 exhibition.
The theme of the subject holding a single bloom began with “Samuel Froggatt with Peony”. (2017) The solitary flower emphasises the beauty, fragility and brief life of youth.
The floral theme continues with the large bouquet that Grace (in the Garden) holds,completed this year.
Several parts of the drawing are unfinished-alluding to experiences not yet lived.To be exhibited at the PS 2021 exhibition.
Botanical and other still life elements also feature in a large double portrait of Alexi and Ellie, “Metamorphosizing” ,completed this year,
to be shown in the Pastel Society’s 2021 exhibition.
This and the current portrait I am working on are inspired by the classical portraiture of artists such as Holbein who frequently incorporated still life with symbolic meaning.
This is a completely different approach for me as I have always favoured no backgrounds at all, but now I want to fill the canvas with clues about the sitters and tell a story.
In the new year I intend to expand on floral and still life painting in an exploration also inspired by the Flemish School of painting, and more contemporary floral photography such as Leendert Blok’s work from the 20s.
To this end I have expanded my practice to include ceramics and ceramic sculpture, to use in still life and nature photography, to then incorporate into my drawing
The human being is at the core of my work.The face, the hands, the incredible beauty of the human body. The expression, the demeanour, and what hides behind that or is expressed through that. My background in fashion is evident in my continuing interest in costume and adornment and how it can be used to denote or deny a presence. I am very passionate about drawing as well as painting and sculpture,but in 2012 I decided to focus entirely on drawing and began using pastels for the first time
I was born in 1955 in Exmouth, Devon.I went to Italy in 1977 for three weeks and remained there for 27 years. I returned to the UK a few years ago and have recently moved to Norfolk.
My career began in the fashion industry,working in Italy as a freelance designer and consultant collaborating with some of Italy's major brands including Stefanel, Benetton, Replay and La Perla. After 18 years I left the fashion world and set up a new art and design studio,creating collections and illustrations for editorials and children's books, stationery, ceramics and glass.
After a few years I returned to the UK and went back to school to study fine art in London.
The Pastel Society
2018 The Artist Magazine Award for "Sam at 19"
2017 The Pastel Society Henri Roche Award for “Samuel Froggatt with Peonies”
2016 The Pastel Society Award for Non-Members Award 2016 (joint winner) for "Tweedy in Centaur Costume” - The Thunders - Giffords Circus 2014"
2015 Faber Castell Award for "Nancy Trotter Landry and Bobby" -The Thunders - Giffords Circus 2014 - Pastel Society
2013 Conté a Paris Award for "Red Monocle" - Pastel Society
2012 First Prize, Art Academy Drawing Award for "Ciro 30" judged by Brendan Kelly
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2020 Mall Galleries London
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2019 Mall Galleries London
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2018 Mall Galleries London
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2017 Mall Galleries London
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2016 Mall Galleries London
FirstSite Arts Centre Colchester Open Exhibition 2015
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2015 Mall Galleries London
Royal Society of Portrait Painters Open Exhibition 2014 Mall Galleries London
"The Story of the Creative" July 25th - Sept 10th 2013 (Digital Exhibition held by See.Me)
Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art NYC USA
The Pastel Society Open Exhibition 2013 Mall Galleries London
Royal Society of Portrait Painters Open Exhibition 2013 Mall Galleries London
KPMG East London July - October 2012
"Artists to Watch" An article about emerging pastel artists
The Pastel Journal (USA) December 2017
To view or download the article [Download]
Artist Gail Sibleys Blog "howtopastel.com" February 2017
A perfect description of the Nancy and Bobby painting.
HertsAndEssexObserver February 11, 2016 By Tom Durham
"Takeley artist wins award for third time after selection for prestigious London exhibition"
Cotswold Homes-Featuring my portrait of Tweedy of Giffords Circus alongside an interview with him.
View on issuu.com Published Summer 2015
Cotswold Homes-Interview on my work and cover.Published Spring 2015
Drawing and Painting: Materials and Techniques for Contemporary Artists by Kate Wilson. Thames and Hudson
Featuring "Red Monocle"
Published February 2nd 2015
Artists & Illustrators magazine Featuring "Red Monocle"
Published January 2014
Modelling and Sculpting the Figure by Tanya Russell Featuring 8 drawings.
Published in 2012