Thursday, 31 July 2014


So this was the Editors letter is the Acrylic Artist Article. I only spotted it recently, and had a bit of a laugh - hyper-photorealist? Surely not!
They did chat about my opinion in the article though -

I chatted to Marzé Botha about it when I delivered paintings to her gallery, after a customer had come in, and freaked out a little about how realistic a recent candy wrappers painting was, told her how strange it still felt that people referred to my work as realist, because I don't think of my style in that way. And she said well you can't deny that they're realistic, can you? But there's certainly more to your style than just that. And then - like me - she sort of ran out of words to describe it further! And when I re-read this article, I thought it might be time to rethink my denials.
The thing is, that I realise people think of Realism as a complement (like saying you have a lot of talent - but don't get me started on that) like the more realistic a painting is, the more skilled you are. And there is a smidgen of truth in that. But Realists actually try to emulate every single detail, they paint the pores, the blackheads, the little embarrassing hairs that everyone pretends aren't there.. So implying that I'm trying to go for that (to me anyway) means that I'm failing, because my work can be so much more realistic than it is!  BUT I also can't deny that the objects that I paint look like the actual objects that I photographed, and that also means realism. There's a very thin line there, and I'm not entirely sure where it is!

What I try to do, is paint what I see. But I also try to sneak in as much colour, brush strokes and movement as I can, without taking away from the painting. I'm trying to find the perfect balance between expression (but in MY way) and realism, and I'm fairly sure that I'll be chasing that dream until the day I kick the bucket. And that's fine with me. But when people 'complement' me by saying its photorealistic, it's like a jab in the ribs, because that isn't my aim. 
That make any sense?

To illustrate what I mean, some of James Hollingsworth's paintings. Which I think are photorealistic. 


And then some of Heather Horton's work, which - in my humble opinion - is not Realist, but has very realistic moments. Instead its all about a balance of brush strokes and colour, and concept. - I assume her work is more Figurative actually, but I'm specifically referring to the more painterly style.

Love, love, love her work!

What I'm trying to do is capture something in-between these two, that still has a painterly feel, but also details that essentially show that I had to be working off a photograph. It's about trying to work instinctively, trying not to over-work, trying to keep myself excited and challenged, and trying to please a viewer or two as well!

*this was not a rant, only an attempt at clarification*

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