This painting was a breakthrough for me. I’ve always enjoyed figure drawing, I taught myself to draw by copying comics and picked up pastels later on.
My earlier work is very pretty, but lacks emotion. When I switched to oils in 2006, I struggled to get the same look that I had in my pastels and I fell on my face more than a few times. I cut my palette back to the basics; burnt umber, alizarin crimson, ultramarine, yellow ochre and white, which left me free to break away from the form and explore something more raw.
Collection of Claire Greenen.