"Lucy's Dream", oil on canvas, 76 x 122Cm, Charlie Kirkham 2014.

Lucy’s Dream 

The painting developed from a life drawing of Lucy, seen from above. The drawing was a good exercise in balancing on a box as well as drawing from a high view point. Something about the drawing reminded me of flying and so it seemed natural that Lucy developed wings in the pairing. Rather than being in the studio sun lounger she is transferred to a textured dreamy space. I limited the colours to reflect the initial drawings limited graphite colour shades, but I added in the bursts of bright yellow. The painting will be on display at Tanner & Co….

After Rembrandt “Portrait of Margareth de Geer”

The best time to visit the National Gallery is when it’s sunny as all the tourists stay outside! Bearing this in mind, I took my watercolour crayons along to room23 where Rembrandt’s double portraits of Margareth de Geer and Jacob Trip hang.  http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/rembrandt-portrait-of-margaretha-de-geer-wife-of-jacob-trip This portrait is imposing and captivating. It is thought that Jacob Trip’s portrait was posthumous, created from a selection of other portraits. This may explain the contrast between the two portraits.  De Geer is a presence we notice from across the room. A woman in mourning, determined and strong.  Drawing from Rembrandt is always a challenge and…

The Model Has Flu! 

Sometimes working from life presents a unique set of challenges. In portraiture one of the most problematic is what to do to the painting when the model’a appearance changes? This can be caused by haircuts, changing make up or in this case the dreaded flu! In a typical English winter, more so in a drafty old art studio, flu is bound to strike artist and model at least once. So, over the three weeks of sittings for this portrait the flu developed. I found that it added another dimension to the portrait. Increasing the number of breaks and working faster…

Portrait with stuffed fox cub and escaping armadillo

This painting explores composition. I wanted to create a diagonal focus and give as much attention to the objects surrounding the sitter as to the portrait itself. Working on a full figure, on such a small scale, presents its own set of challenges. When the face is only the size of a 5 pence coin every stroke becomes important. Capturing the posture of Tara was important in getting a likeness. Initially the set up revolved around the fruit and stuffed fox cub, the elements of the Yew tree and armadillo developed more organically. My first idea for the large space…

"Four Figures in the Studio", oil on canvas, 10x12", Charlie Kirkham 2014.

Four Figures in the Studio

Completed over nine days this small scale painting was first drawn out using the sight size method. As the left of the painting looked empty an extra portrait, canvas and rug were added in fading into the space of the wall to create an imaginary dimension to the room. The colour palette was more extensive and I glazed the final layers of the painting using a linseed oil and oil paint mix (2:3 ratio).  

Bernadette Sleeping

One hour oil study sketch of Bernie sleeping. Using a low view point, painting from a kneeling position with Bernadette high up lent a new dynamic. As I was kneeling my right foot kept going numb at the same time as Bernadette’s arm, giving a synchronisation to the artist-model breaks.

Lucy’s Summer Hat

Inspired by the current Matisse exhibition at Tate Modern, the set up includes ferns cut out of cream paper on a turquoise background. Lucy’s hat matches them and her peach summer dress stands out wonderfully against the fabric. This is an oil on canvas, 38×42″. Displayed as part of the Heatherley School of Fine Art end of year show 2014.