Caroline Deane

“As an artist, I describe myself as a classically influenced contemporary artist. I also draw much of my inspiration from ancient Chinese philosophy – more the ideas behind traditional oriental painting than the actual painting itself.

In recent years, my focus has increasingly become centred on an exploration of the human figure, balancing the muted subtle tones of the human flesh with at times strikingly colourful drawing surfaces. My approach in all my work is to first explore “what it feels like” then “what it looks like”. In the first stage my drawings are completely abstract. In the latter stage, they become more structured, representational pieces.

I set out with the idea of creating this yin yang contrast between abstraction and figuration, spirit and structure, emotion and intelligence. My other priority is the drawing surface. Its colour, texture, shape and how it communicates with differing media and the pre-planned length of time given to complete the drawing. I draw my influences just as much from abstract expressionism as from representational artists such as Degas, Bonnard and Modigliani. In my larger works I tend to experiment with less conventional media such as coffee, saffron, paprika and onion skin, creating what I call “rivers of light”. The line drawing of the figure meanders seemingly defiantly in and out of the transparent darkness created by the coffee and spice wash. Some pastel has also been applied earlier.

I believe we have two different parts to our brain: the emotional and sprirtual and the intelligent and structural. My aim or challenge is to express myself with both these sides simultaneously – to go beyond the drawing and make a piece of art with conscious emphasis and de-emphasis, points of impact, points of subtlety, good pictorial design and above all meaning what I say intelligently and honestly.’”.


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