“I was self-taught until last year when I started studying off and on with a teacher. I paint scenes from my life and am influenced by the seascapes of Thierry De Cordier, Antonio López Garcia’s interiors and Charles Paget Wade’s collections at Snowshill, England.
My paintings are meant to be a conversation with the viewer. They’re small because I love the concept of a cabinet of curiosities – peculiar bits of the world collected to be examined close up, at leisure. In my more recent work I’m exploring what makes an image mysterious or slightly disturbing.
A couple of my recent pieces are in a show right now but I’d like to be represented by a gallery so I can paint rather than sell my work myself.”Purchase a portfolio critique
Partial Video Transcript
“Hi Siobhan, I am very excited to be be giving you a portfolio critique today. The way that this works is I will go over your whole portfolio first, with my first impressions and then we’ll go through each piece individually, and finally I can give you some advice about what I think about gallery representation, and how you could possibly move forward with that if you would like to.
What I really really love about your portfolio is the kind of narrative you’re working with, the intimacy of each image, how you want things to be small because you want people to look really closely at them. The details that you’re picking out are very particular and they guide the viewer in a particular direction. I think that makes your storytelling and your images really unique and draws the viewer in and has just enough of that mystery in there, that it’s really fun to try to complete the story with the details that are missing.
You’re very good at showing only a little bit and letting the viewer kind of extrapolate from that. I also like how you are collaging images together. In some areas this is working really really well such as the The Boar’s Head on the table, with that light streaming in and others I feel like it is not quite there. Such as the bird on top of the text, the red text in image five, I can go more into depth about that later.
I think you have a really strong sense of storytelling, of the feeling of objects, of preciousness, of places as well just from your first and second image to your tenth and eleventh image you have a really strong sense of being there. I think this is really helped by your handling of lighting, your handling of lighting and your understanding of tonal range. You have a very wide variety of tones in each piece and I think that really helps to bring the image alive especially when you’re working in such a—I’m not going to call it quite photo-realistic style—but almost film style this is really helpful.
I think a lot of filmmakers that are working in black and white have that same kind of attention to lighting that you do. I’m thinking a little bit of Alfred Hitchcock in particular because you’ve got that horror quality there, that uncanniness, uncanniness in particular with that mammoth skull , like why is it there why is that light shining on it right there.
You also have this sense of the traveler of Mythology of even maybe the occult. I’m noticing in your writings in your collages is it really makes me think of the story books by Nick Bantock called ‘Griffin and Sabine’ and those books used this collage element of different painting techniques and photos and text all combined into one image. Those are like little postcards, he’s making little postcards of letters. These collages and what’s in the collages kind of contributes to the overall narrative of the story and I’m seeing that a lot especially in images 3 through 6.
Let’s get into these individually now the first two in particular this one and this next one right here, they really remind me of Monet’s cathedral pieces. He paints this cathedral over and over and over, you’ve probably seen them, it’s like the haystacks. He uses different color variations each time to demonstrate different lighting situations, like what is summer lighting compared to winter lighting, sunrise versus sunset.”