Detail from 'Londoners'
Artist: Sandra Neary
By Sandra Neary
Sandra's paintings have an almost photographic quality, which is no surprise as she often uses photos to form the basis of her work. Sandra shares her passion for painting and tells us what inspires her.
I am an artist based in Harrogate and although it is not my full time occupation, painting is one of the things in life that brings me the most pleasure.
My paintings take a while to complete as I work very intricately with an eye for detail; my style is very 'illustrative'. Many people comment that my work could pass for photographs but I can echo artist Peter Doig's words that: "I'm not trying to make my paintings look like photos. I want to make paintings using photos as a reference, the way painters did when photography was first invented."
Since discovering acrylics whilst painting at school, most of my work is done in this medium. I love acrylics as they give you the freedom to experiment and make mistakes but finish with a colourful and striking image.
I find painting on watercolour paper achieves the desired effect as I find canvas too rough for my style of painting. Once I have sketched out the composition, I proceed with a white wash then continue with each section in detail.
Detail from 'Je T'aime'
Although I have painted landscapes, figurative painting remains a preferred subject matter for me. Expressing human beauty and emotion is at the core of my work and I aim to capture particular emotions in each painting e.g. loneliness, longing, joyfulness, passion.
I really know when a piece I am working on starts to come to life and this is always the encouragement I need to complete it. Artists who inspire me include Renoir, Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper and contemporary artists Jack Vettriano and Hamish Blakely.
Detail from 'The English Patient'
Films I watch also provide inspiration for my work and featured here is 'The English Patient' depicting the actor Ralph Fiennes as a pilot. The story is one of love and tragedy set during World War II. I wanted to capture in this painting this man's vacant and longing expression as he looks out across the burning sands of the Sahara Desert.
I intend to continue painting more film stills in the future and I hope to exhibit some of my work at Holmfirth Art Exhibition in July.
last updated: 18/12/2008 at 12:08
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