New Forest Oil Pastels, by Marie-Anne Breakspear

From oil pastel landscapes I moved to non-representation, making over 100 in small watercolour sketch pads using oil pastels, as I tried to produce images that didn’t resemble anything recognisable; sometimes evoking odd lavatory cisterns or containing a face appearing from nowhere. It was very liberating, although only working on a size of 6”x4”.

The circles and squares series was really an investigation of colour in a controlled way and I worked systematically in acrylic paint starting with works in bright strong colours, balancing small and large areas of flat colour, contrasting their tonality in one painting and then trying to harmonise them in another. I finally produced my largest piece to date ‘towards the light’ where the colours slowly progressed through a number of canvases to whiteness to express the stages of a spiritual journey.

Towards the Light, by Marie-Anne Breakspear

In between each series I usually draw from life, either actual life drawing or still life objects, or anything that I find around me. I have just finished drawing the skull of a seal borrowed from a friend. Each time I draw I fall in love with my subject again whatever it is, and it always becomes a fresh way of seeing the world.


Where and what are you working on now?

Photography Acer leaf, by Marie-Anne Breakspear

Artworks have increasingly become about exploring and playing. I like to challenge myself with something different, which can be a new medium, a new subject or varying shapes and sizes of canvas or board. Alongside the artwork I have a strong interest in photography; in traditional landscapes and portraits, or digitally manipulating images to create a totally different effect, sometimes to the point of abstraction. I also create photomontages and in one work for 2D3D’s exhibition ‘Waiting in the wings of war’ I have photographed one of my paintings and used it as part of a collage.

Collage has been my main medium for about 3 years now. I am enjoying the graphic quality that it can have especially when using coloured paper, making me think carefully about composition, also about the sharp defining lines produced between different colour fields. I have just started using images from magazines as well, along with newspapers, paper bags and anything else which is easily glueable. Sometimes I like to draw into the collage with ink or felt tip pen.

Collage Series 2, by Marie-Anne Breakspear

I started on one long term project in December 2013, where I am gluing (using an acrylic medium) images from magazines, and also cutting up my own art works, and drawing and painting directly on to a canvas. It is intended to be a comment on our wasteful society but it may evolve.

Time is always present in a work of art but it is usually an unobtrusive constituent. With my other long term project, I am working with time as the subject of two different paintings, working in acrylic on both of the canvases every day but only allowing myself 5 minutes on each one. One is very structured, the other is completely random. I intend to photograph each work as I go to record progress; something I have never done before and am interested to see the contrast between the two different working practices. Art continues to be an adventure.