In the studio – working methods

work in progress
detail from work in progress

I am always amazed with how a painting evolves from just a vague idea into something with a life of its own. I’ve been working on this particular painting for a few months. It has been constantly changing, but I think I may have arrived at the final layout.
The section above has seen the most changes. Originally it just had the settee with the two figures on it, but that left the composition unbalanced. So then I had the idea of adding the Three Graces; or a contemporary equivalent: three archetypal women. I already had an idea for a couple of the faces (Marilyn Monroe and Madonna), but I still had to find a model to pose. This provided me with the sketches at the top for my reference.
But still this little corner of the painting looked a bit empty. And then these two male figures in the background almost inserted themselves. As well as balancing the composition, they also tied up a few loose ends in the narrative – archetypal alpha males Presidents Trump and Biden), either waving their arms about trying to get everyone’s attention, or invading some poor woman’s space (or rather nuzzling their neck and giving an unwelcome “shoulder-squeeze).

Hand Maid

maxine the three graces

I will be showing my painting “Maxine – The Three Graces” at the upcoming exhibition “Hand Maid”, which will be held at Hoxton Arches, London E2 8HD, from 5th-9th March. This exhibition has been organised by Sweet ‘Art, and is in aid of International Women’s Day.

‘Hand Maid’ will take place at the Hoxton Arches Gallery in Shoreditch and will showcase the work of local and international artists exploring the themes of femininity, feminine identity and women’s day. Works will celebrate, critique and reflect notions of femininity in our society and internationally, created by artists identifying as any gender.