“The Anatomy of Life” is a body of work, inspired by my father’s sudden and surprising triple bypass heart surgery. It is composed of traditional portraits of my father, but also anatomical works. I have always been interested in anatomy and felt this was the avenue to let me explore this interest. There is an educational aspect to the works – as in medical illustration, but in a more gothic/romantic style. My aim was to combine the emotion and psychological pull of a realistic portrait with anatomical depictions of the heart, veins and other organs.
This is my portrait of Amanda Whitely. In this portrait I was trying to capture the real Amanda, in a relaxed pose. Amanda Whitley, founder of media brand HerCanberra, lives by the Nietzsche philosophy, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Having overcome an eating disorder, and lived through miscarriage, infertility, and the premature birth of her youngest daughter she’s now riding the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.”
Amanda is resilient to me for many reasons. One is how she takes an action-orientated approach to adversity; for example when her father recently died, she had the service, wake and funeral notice sorted within three hours!
Amanda has the qualities of a strong person: Passion, enthusiasm, positivity, warmth, calmness, and a desire to do things differently and to connect to people.
This still life completed in 2015, oil on canvas, was my first venture into still lifes, as I usually paint portraits. I enjoyed capturing my pretty objects I own such as the French crockery I hold dear. I focused on capturing a pleasing palette using blues against yellow, and I can’t help myself with details of pattern. I feel if you enjoy what you paint, that will come through to the painting. Capturing the different textures of porcelain against the fruit was of particular interest. I plan to continue to do more still life’s in the future.
My impression of Amanda is of a strong, confident woman combined with fierce determination. She strives to do what she loves, so she can achieve what she desires.