Today is International Artist’s Day, a day when the universal appeal of art is celebrated by a rainbow of artists and appreciators alike. As lovers of art, we all know that art really is anything and everything; a political message, a record of the past, a window to the soul or a simple visual indulgence.
Originally founded by Canadian fine art painter, Chris MacClure, IAD is intended to highlight the way in which all artists bring their own unique perspective on the world, through their individual creations. In the spirit of the occasion, three of our members, Maria Esmar, Julia Rogers and Jasmine Ai Zhen Norris took the time to pay homage to their own favourite piece of work. Let’s see what they said…
The Allure of Emotion
Maria Esmar is an abstract painter from St Helens, Merseyside, her speciality is incorporating textures and colours on large canvasses. Her most coveted work is a piece called ‘Allure’, a two-panel acrylic and gold foil painting on canvas, focussing on the dichotomy between money and nature. The gold colours represent money and the other shades depict nature, like the precious green of the forests.
Maria says: “What I love about this piece is how it communicates the message about the everyday choices we make. What do we give value to: money or life?” She says this is the reason why the artwork is split in two separate physical pieces, to make the distinction between the different decisions we make and continue to make.
A former designer and entrepreneur who studied at the Fine Art School of Timisoara in Romania, Maria adds: “Being an abstract painter allows me to go beyond any inspiration someone can take from a physical reality, there is no limit when it comes to my imagination.”
When it comes to imagination, there’s plenty of it in Julia Rogers’ selection from her own artwork collection. Her striking medical creation, ‘Self-Diagnosis’, represents the start of her journey into medical illustrations and signifies areas of the brain, tongue, nerves, blood vessels, skull and vertebrae.
Julia, from Ramsgate in Kent, says she loosely reworks and applies colour for the purpose of teaching herself where parts of the body and internal organs are. She creates her pieces using high colour, confessing to being too ‘squeamish to bother with blood and guts’.
She adopts a method called sgraffitto where a preliminary colour is applied to a surface with another layer of colour on top. The top layer is then scratched into shapes to reveal the lower colour. Julia creates with thick paint, draws with different size marker pens and uses a range of different brushes and pallet knives to hone her perfect piece of work.
She says: “I take time to consider where I need to apply paint then execute at speed to capture the excitement and movement of the hand moving across the canvas and the vitality of the human body.”
The visual double entendre
Another interesting way when it comes to creating new perspectives, can be seen in Jasmine Ai Zhen Norris’s work, and in particular, her favourite painting, ‘Syncing’.
Jasmine is an artist from St Albans in Hertfordshire, who simply describes herself as someone who ‘makes images of people and things’. She says ‘Synching’ is made from a still morning of St Anthony’s Day (Dir. João Pedro Rodriguez, 2012). The piece is transcribed from a digital image to a small, simplistically painted piece of cardboard to enable people to find their own new perspectives on it and ultimately, to take more away from it than they would if it was just a photographic image. She says of her work: “I often use images I haven’t created, ripping them from their original context and repurposing them.”
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