Emma-Jayne Holmes

I prefer to work from life, often starting my exploration and enquiry of a subject with a pen and paper. I’m looking for pattern, colours, line quality and compositions that excite me and that I want to spend more time looking at. If I’m not interested, how can I expect anyone else to be? The image needs to convey more than just what I am looking at; it needs to be uplifting, giving me that feel good feeling, or calming, being ‘a place to rest my eyes’ to quote one owner of my work. If I’m working in oils I will draw with paint straight onto the canvas, or if printmaking, I’ll draw directly onto the plate. I like the honesty and immediacy of working from life. It all comes back to the drawing; something that bridges all the various media available to me, and something that underpins all the techniques and subjects. There is a luxurious meditative element to the process, allowing yourself to be completely focused on what you are looking at and materials you are using. That practice sounds indulgent but can be nigh on impossible to attain sometimes, and that is why it is referred to as practice, you just have to keep doing it.

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