About me

I am currently in my fourth year studying Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone Collage of Art and Design, Dundee

My home town is in North Manchester; my secondary education was at Bury Grammar School for Girls, and later The Blue Coats School Oldham. I had a break from my studies to pursue an apprenticeship in Sports Coaching, which although I enjoyed I felt my heart lay elsewhere so I swapped the cones & whistle for a paint brush & easel and headed north to Scotland to study Art.

I am interested in figurative work, with a sense of realism especially those which capture the character of a person. My interest is not so much an argument between a photorealistic verses painterly approach but is more to do with how the individual likeness is captured. To see the evidence of the human hand in the rendering of an image. There is something about a portrait painting which makes you stand back and think about the person. When an artist paints a portrait, the labour behind that process makes the image significant, they must have connected with the image and for me that is largely the draw of portraiture.

The way we chose to represent ourselves to those around us whether it be through clothing, body language or expression, is a subject which I would like to address within my work. Rendering the face as a depiction of the inner self as opposed to a recording of outer form is an area of interest and one which has been shared with many artists throughout the centuries. Sandy Nairne writes for The Portrait Now:

“The idea of the portrait connects themes of identity, representation, power and nationality, providing artists with fertile ground for reinvigorating the depiction of what are arguably the most intriguing of all subjects: ourselves to others.”
The portrait remains relevant to artistic practice as it is a method of exploring the world through the presentation of the people in it.

There will always be a place for portraiture, because we as humans are innately connected with those around us and as social beings will always have an interest in each other. Alexander Smith (2008), when speaking about the BP portrait award, noted:
“Painted portraits still have a totemic significance. At a primitive level they are a link with the subject, they represent him or her in the same way in which the relic connects the faithful with the departed saint.” 

The depiction of a face can say a lot about the person, a face is after all just an outfit worn by the skull, but it is shaped into who we are as a person and how we are received. The subtleties of angle and expression can dramatically change how a face is read. Physiognomy is often the key element in portrait painting and can show a lot about what it means to be human, about our vulnerability, hopes and ambitions. 

I have produced all the imagery on this blog and have chosen not to watermark my images as it spoils the aesthetic. Please appreciate that these images are Copyright © to Stephanie Drake. 

If you would like to use any material from www.stephdrake.blogspot.com please request prior consent.
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