One of the most fascinating aspects of an artist’s work is the way a painting is born. And inspiration can be found absolutely anywhere. Fran’s White Stories is a unique opportunity to follow her ideas from the moment of conception to the final painting.
At the Charleston Literary Festival in May 2019, I asked the reader if I could take her photo. She was reading Normal People by Sally Rooney. As you can see, I played with ideas, mediums, collage and, as I often do, accommodated previously used backgrounds.
This story started with a postcard in my collection of The Magdalen Reading by Rogier van Der Weyden 1399-1464. I traced this painting to Room 56 in The Sainsbury Wing of The National Gallery and did a pencil sketch to add to the ones I’d already created directly from the postcard – see images in the ‘book’ I made of my subject.
All the Light You Cannot See is a book discussed at my book club. In fact, it refers to radio waves not electric light but it is such a nice title I felt it is appropriate for the painting. I photographed Sue reading the book under a standard table lamp then worked from this photo to produce all of the studies which start with watercolour, then beautiful water-soluble coloured chalks from Viarco, through to acrylic & mixed media. The final piece is on paper.