Gwen Adair

‘My recent work has been split between landscape painting, birds and portraiture, with some figurative painting when I can. I love portraiture, and I am fascinated by the way the disposition of figures can create a story in the mind of the viewer, which possibly comes from my training as an illustrator. The arrangement of several figures creates challenges in how to balance positive and negative shapes and the spaces between them. Images have sometimes been chosen to appeal to memories we share from childhood, or to explore stereotypes and contradictions. I am drawn to performers and their enigmatic lifestyles, sinister and exciting, drawing you into their world like the faeries in ancient folk-lore.

Birds began to appear alongside the performers, and have now become a subject in themselves, as their colours, shapes and textures are lovely to paint. There is also something knowing about birds. Landscape painting is fairly new to me, and demands a balance of pattern and shape, giving scope for exploring colour and mark-making in a way that i hope feeds back to my figuartive work. My themes are quite traditional, and I tend to work quickly in an “alla prima” fashion. Hopefully this gives a certain spontaneity to the work. I strongly believe that the paint should be part of the painting, and that the marks themselves should add to the image, so I use square brushes and knives to build texture.’

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