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The Warmth of Spring Painting

Emma Plunkett


Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 21.7 W x 18.1 H x 0.6 D in

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About The Artwork

Sometimes, when I’m painting, things start turning into different things, as I apply the paint. Every single mark on the canvas changes the feel of the painting and takes it in a new direction, which is good because I want things to happen and change on the canvas. That’s why artists keep standing back to look at their work, it’s to see how much each brush stroke affects the artwork as a whole. I started this painting off with the intention of practicing my skin tones (before getting right into some larger nudes) but I got lost half way through. I hadn’t considered the background – I’d painted it with two bands of completely flat colour that didn’t work with the figure. So, I reasoned with myself that a beach scene would be a fitting background for a nude. My next mistake came when I decided to use Instagram to look up #beaches. This beautiful model ended up worshipping the sun (in all her natural perfection) in an instagram like false promise. I spent ages pushing loads of yellow paint around on the canvas, experimenting with interesting mark making and basically trying to make it look a bit less like a paradise. Even though the painting was now looking like a commercial success, I wasn’t happy with it because it said nothing to me about what I’m into or what I’m happy to endorse. I came back to it a few days later to view it with fresh eyes – I still hated it and I was willing to take the risk of ruining it, to wrestle more from this painting. I even bought a new canvas to paint the whole thing again, however I considered how much it would irritate me to see it, in it’s current state, on somebodies wall. I delved back in to tackle it some more. Next, I decided to put her into an interior setting with a shard of light hitting her through an open door, “Another likely scenario for a nude” I thought to myself. As soon as I defined the rectangle of light that she’s sat on, the suggestion of a landscape became apparent and with the tiniest bit of encouragement, the painting started to unfold. I just went with it because I’ve been wanting to paint the blocks of flats, that are set into the hills round here, for a while. Painting this piece then became a pleasure, as it all fell into place. All I had to do was paint over the skin in places – matching the hues of the nude to that of the landscape, to tie them together. I only painted this as a practice piece but I ended up on a whole journey of learning, one that I’m looking forward to bringing into the next paintings!

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:21.7 W x 18.1 H x 0.6 D in

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Emma is a London born and educated artist, digital video maker and designer – her artwork straddles stoneware sculpture, cyanotype printing, painting (watercolour, oil and acrylic), illustration, photography, fabric art, animation and vector design. Emma's art is highly personal, her subjects include her friends (animal as well as human), places she’s visited, experiences and things that capture her imagination. Her artwork is uncontrived and free from trying to be anything other than what it is. "At the core of Emma Plunkett's work is the female. Not feminine or politicised. Whether it be a disappearing view of trees into the Spanish horizon, a slithering viscous ceramic or a candid nude. It is always individual and genuine. This we must celebrate”. Gareth Lister - Artist & Curator

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