Research – artists Part 1

Chantal Joffe [1]

I like the style of this artist so much I bought a book about her [2] where the artist is quoted as saying ‘ I was always trying to inhabit other people, particularly other artists…I love them so much I want to be them’. She painted poets she loved – Plath at the beach and Sexton preparing for her suicide. In this latter collage, Sexton is presented as a young smiling face. Later paintings are like snapshots of life, but they obviously interest her. She uses diluted paint that runs with thinners, that  like to do. Vivid coloured grounds show through the flesh tones – an idea  I will try! She stands to paint, which I think shows in the expressiveness of her marks. A lo is left to the viewer’s imagination, which again is something I strive for, rather than adding every tiny detail.

Its a naive style in my view, but I like it. It reminds me of how Lucien Freud would enlarge some features such as eyes, to give a feel of the person to the viewer that a standard reproduction can’t do.


Chantal JOffe. Esme in the garden 2015

Gerhard Richter 

I borrowed a copy of his Atlas [3] from the library. His found images are very organised and wide ranging  from catalogued images from books and magazines to photos of poignant moments from his own life such as the birth of his child. The sketches in there are detailed. He appears to think deeply about his work on paper before beginning.

The images in Atlas closely mirror his works year by year. His style to me is hard to pin down. There are realistic portraiture such as his wife reading with a fantastic use of light on the back of her neck.


Gerhard Richter. Reader. 1994

His style seems hard to pin down – from hyperreal paintings to quite abstract. Again he seem to use life around him to influence his work. His Atlas is a lesson in organising of images and I have started Pinterest boards to keep mine in better order!

Alli Sharma [4]


Alli Sharma. Ingrid 2

I like her paintings. They are well drawn with the loose brush strokes I’ve come to use a lot. Her choice of subjects is fun, birds, zoo animals, 50’s film stars. In an interview [5] she discusses how she uses secondhand objects in a sentimental way to transport the viewer to a different time. With this module I’ve started looking at vintage artefacts including old photos and am interested in this looking at the past. She describes her style as vigorous and immediate which sounds a contrast from Gerhard Richter’s careful planning!

Eleanor Moreton [6]


Eleanor Moreton. young Rebecca. 2013


Eleanor seems to use thin paint with a minimal approach to brushstrokes to get the image she wants. They are simple but effective. She looks at historical figures for her inspiration I can see [7]. This is something I would like to try out – but it relies on good drawing. Perhaps this style feels to me a little too simplistic for me to like it? I think I need a little more information in the composition than she gives me.

John Piper [8]

Another artist I’ve come to really like since seeing a painting in the Usher Gallery, Lincoln. His architectural drawings are exquisite. Then he does something amazing with the colours of them,  the thickness and thinness of the paint and the range of expressive marks he uses.

Piper, John, 1903-1992; Interior of Coventry Cathedral, 15 November 1940

John Piper. Interior of Coventry Cathedal the morning after the Blitz. 1940

I get the sense of desolation and being smashed up here but the colours add something else. Is the yellow the new day and hope? The red for blood of the war? Theres a lot of grey and scribbled marks for decay, but I see something rising out of it. Was he trying to say God was still looking over the city despite this?

Elizabeth Peyton [9]

I bought the book for her ‘Live forever’ exhibition even though it had been and gone. I like the way this artist depicts a snapshot of current time.


Elizabeth Peyton

She has described how she paints people she has an affinity with – stars who have remained true to themselves and not constrained by record companies etc. I really like this style of painting. It is enough to convey expression with out being overly fussy. Her paintings tend to be quite small, which I like, the star’s egos are constrained in a small area!




  2. Chantal Joffe. Victoria Miro. 2016
  3. Gerhard Richter. Atlas. Thames and Hudson. 2006

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s