• Christoper Byrne

Strike a Pose

Studio production had slowed down. I was getting frustrated by everything and I couldn't even mix colours without being annoyed, never mind painting a piece of work. It's a familiar feeling for artists. The 'confident, happy, the sun is shining and all is good with the world' production peaks are far too short and you find yourself really having to grind out the work, trying to search for that period where it all clicks and you produce 30 paintings in 2 days. I was stuck in that bogged down grind after a good start to the year, so I decided to switch it up.

Portraiture and figure study was my original focus in the art world (it wasn't always gloomy urban environments!). My high school portfolios and general work growing up around that time focused on portraiture and figure study and it was even the building blocks for my GSA portfolio, which allowed me the choice of a few undergraduate degree courses in the Fine Art department. I chose Painting and Printmaking, and in 2nd Year, I abandoned portraiture for edgier urban work.

So i was rusty. Out with life drawing classes, I had done hee-haw figure work for the best part of 4 years. So i started small. Working on 5"x 5" canvas boards and limiting myself to 10, 15 and 30 minute periods. The focus was to engage with colours that I normally wouldn't with my urban environment work. I got to use BRIGHT COLOURS! Also, to leave confident brush marks on the canvas, which meant no blending and no over-working an area. When the brush mark was put on the canvas, it stayed put. This was an exercise to not be overly controlling and to enjoy putting paint back on the canvas.

It worked! (celebration emoji) The monkey was off my back and I couldn't stop producing work. So much so, that I had to replace all my materials before heading up north. The feedback was good too, so I'm back on the portraiture bandwagon and will be producing more alongside my usual gloomy, urban work. Attached is an example, with the full lot now on my website. Check them out and let me know what you think.



​© 2020 Christopher Byrne

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