C Lucy R Whitehead
"My current work is centred around the idea of the female body image..."
Lucy, what do you want your work to say and explore?
My work is an exploration of the painting process. I usually start with a memory of my subject, whether it be a body or a landscape and then I put together a colour palette. From then on the process is trying to materialise that memory. Each body of my work has a particular motive, I used to spend a lot of time looking at the contrasts between natural and manmade structures within a landscape. But my current work is centred around the idea of the female body image and how that is perceived in art and in other imagery. I work solely from memory, using a range of shapes and marks to retain a sense of ambiguity in the painting, it helps me to play with the viewer’s own assumptions of the the subject of the painting.
Talk to us about your colour palette?
Colour is the most important aspect in my current work, and I purposefully use a fairly uniform palette in each piece. That palette is centred around flesh tones, and the extensive variety of colours within that. When everything else is instinctive, colour allows me to thread all those changing lines and shapes into something relatable.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Learning from other artists, especially those around you. The support of your peers is as important in your career as your own determination to do well. Oh and very importantly, keeping your chin up when you get a knock back.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I get a lot of my inspiration from memories of past experiences, relationships and other artists. But actually not being able to be in the studio at the moment has made me realise, just how influential my studio mates are. Although we’re still managing to support each other by sending pictures and having mini crits etc, which is really helpful.
And the question I ask everyone… Your favourite female artist?
Agh tricky! I I have favourites for different things I’m interested in. At the moment, I’m looking at a lot of Cecily Brown for her use of colour and how she explores the female body. I’ve also been finding my conversations about materiality with Alexis Teplin really helpful, and how she applies that to her paintings is really inspirational and something I’m beginning to experiment more with in my paintings.