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Interview with an artist - Becky Buchanan

Interview with an artist - Becky Buchanan

We introduce emerging British Artist Becky Buchanan:

Becky Buchanan who is an emerging British Fine Artist. She creates beautiful, colourful large scale abstract pieces with resin and many other mixed media materials. Using surprising, and sometimes jarring contrasts between materials and texture – between the natural and the artificial.  

By focusing on contrast through the means of line, colour and texture, Becky Buchanan creates bold markings that are offset by dynamic, vivid areas of colour.

And, it’s her wonderful use of colour and texture that grabbed our attention at Pebeo. We particularly enjoy her fluid movements and gestures, in which the energy of her creative process is apparent. And also her unconventional use of materials, such as industrial floor resin, combined with Pebeo Prisme paint. 
Becky has had her work featured in numerous exhibitions, and is currently showing at the Edgar Modern Gallery in Bath, and the Cube Gallery in Bristol. 


Intrigued, we invited her to answer a few questions:  


Please can you tell us about yourself:
I have always been creative and this led initially to a career working in the fashion industry where I was able to immerse myself in a world of textiles. 
A decision to move to Somerset led to an opportunity to re-discover my love of painting and this is where I began the wonderful journey into art. Colour, texture, form, tone and pattern – all juxtaposed in surprising and sometimes clashing ways. It’s what we see every day and yet it’s what we rarely notice. Recreating and also creating new visual contrasts is something I love to do. I am also something of an alchemist - mixing paint mediums to create a new and unexpected visual dance on the canvas. 
I love to work with a mix of mediums but I use a great deal of resin paint - an unpredictable and yet fascinating medium. It allows me to achieve some high chroma colour and maintains a freshness that can be likened to the first application of watercolour. Working wet on wet, it’s akin to working flooded watercolour on a large scale. 
 

                                   

Is there a general theme to your work? 
I paint in a very intuitive way and paint much in the way one might have a conversation. I don’t begin with a ‘topic’, I begin with a word - a mark. Just as in a conversation, this leads to a natural response - something to balance the mark perhaps, or contrast with it. In this way a painting can develop from apparently no starting point. What inevitably does happen in the process is that I will reflect on how the colourings or mark making is reminiscent of something I have seen or somewhere I have visited recently and subconsciously have brought to the painting. 
Complimentary and repeating colours - how is colour important to me? 
Seeing the sun rise into a clear blue sky can bring a smile to our faces - for me the positive energy of high Chroma colour has the same effect. 
I love to use bright colours in my work, particularly because it makes me feel happy. 
What I find interesting however is how the ‘rightness’ of a painting can be altered by apparently small changes to the colour balance and it has taken a lot of experimentation to be able to use intense colours whilst maintaining a harmonious whole. 
Repeating colours throughout a painting can be a useful technique to draw the eye of a viewer to travel around a painting. Done well and an apparently simple composition can become quite captivating. 

                                   

What makes a good piece of art? 
There are great tomes of writing deliberating over what constitutes ‘good’ art. Personally I am a simple soul and like a piece of art to be challenging, engaging, have integrity and to speak of the artist. 

                                  

Describe your creation process… 
The process of painting for me is an immersion into a world of possibilities. By virtue of the fact that I use resin paint, there is an unpredictability and finality to every decision that can be extremely challenging but at the same time utterly exhilarating. I like to term my painting process as one of ‘painting by the seat of my pants’ - that is my painting process constantly hovers between being in and out of control of the activity on the canvas. 
One of the most exciting parts of the creative process comes from introducing new untried and untested media and gauging how best to bring them to life in a new artwork. Occasionally something will not work and I will have to scrape away parts of the painting. The amazing thing is that often the best and most exciting things happen when you are on the brink of disaster! 
Sometimes my paintings develop very quickly - other times a painting will build in layers so that there are only glimpsed windows into previous workings. A painting in a day or a painting in two months - to me it is finished when it’s finished! 

                                     

Any advice for young painters? 
The piece of advice I would offer to artists, young or old and whatever the medium is in my opinion the most important lesson to learn as an artist.  
Challenge yourself. Push the boundaries of whatever medium you use and when you get proficient at using it, throw something else into the mix. As an artist you have an intuitive ability to adapt and adjust according to what happens in front of you. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes - embrace them, and don’t be afraid of destroying what you have already done. 
Be confident, be courageous and you will be a better artist. 

You can see more of Becky's work on her website: http://www.beckybuchanan.co.uk

 

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