Ginny Page

Grand Prize is a four-page ed­i­to­rial fea­ture in Amer­i­can Art Col­lec­tor mag­a­zine

International Artist - - Art Challenge - Con­tact De­tails Web­site: www.gin­ny­page.dk

Sim­ple Mo­ments

In­spi­ra­tion is found around ev­ery­where for artist Ginny Page, who re­sides in Den­mark. She is par­tic­u­larly drawn to pat­terns, tex­tures, re­flec­tions and more that cre­ate unique im­agery. Ex­am­ples in­clude shad­ows through a lace cloth on the wash­ing line that makes pat­terns in the grass or re­flec­tions and dis­tor­tions from sil­ver­ware. She also finds in­spi­ra­tion from the Old Mas­ters, with artist Al­brecht Dürer’s art­work be­ing the rea­son why she wanted to be­come a pro­fes­sional painter.

“There are cer­tain el­e­ments in my work that I con­sider very im­por­tant for per­sonal rea­sons. I be­lieve whole­heart­edly that an artist must be true to his or her­self. What is the point oth­er­wise? De­spite some­times crit­i­cism and ad­vice from others, I choose to paint the things I con­sider beau­ti­ful and in­spi­ra­tional in my own heart,” she says, adding that it is im­por­tant for her work to have el­e­ments of na­ture and to cap­ture sim­ple pleasures or un­der­stand­ing from the viewer.

For all of her paint­ings, Page will take pho­to­graphs, pick out the best el­e­ments from a se­lec­tion of im­ages and ar­range them much like a jig­saw puz­zle. For her fig­u­ra­tive works she be­gins with an idea in her head fol­lowed by a photo shoot un­til she has im­ages she can chop and change ac­cord­ingly. Her still life works, on the other hand, in­clude ob­jects as sym­bols that re­fer to what’s hap­pen­ing in her own life at that mo­ment in time.

Mu­sic has al­ways played a role in Page’s art­work, as she lis­tens to mu­sic while she is paint­ing and songs have in­spired the ti­tles of a num­ber of paint­ings. “My series of fig­ure paint­ings started back in 1999,” ex­plains the artist. “I painted my first oil paint­ing of my lovely sis­ter-in-law He­len in her gar­den in Eng­land. She was lean­ing up against an old tree hold­ing a glass of wine next to her chest wait­ing for a glint of sun to warm her face. I ti­tled the paint­ing Wait­ing for the Sun af­ter one of my favourite al­bums by The Doors.”

My In­spi­ra­tion

The paint­ing was in­spired by lis­ten­ing to the words of a song by Nor­we­gian singer Ane Brun, thus the ti­tle All We Want is Love. The paint­ing de­picts a young woman re­lax­ing on a bed of crum­pled li­nen and feel­ing the first rays of morn­ing sun­shine warm­ing her skin. She is at peace, con­tented, safe and loved. A mo­ment of sim­ple plea­sure we of­ten take for granted.

I have al­ways en­joyed the chal­lenge of paint­ing creases and folds in var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als— cot­ton, silk, vel­vet or damask—and at­tempt­ing to cap­ture the tex­tures in­volved in one paint­ing. For ex­am­ple, the smooth­ness of the skin, the fine strands of hair, del­i­cate lace, the hard­ness of wood fur­ni­ture. I adore the Old Mas­ters who were ex­perts in this field.

My De­sign Strat­egy

My model was po­si­tioned pay­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to the play of light on her face and skin. She had just been sleep­ing so it was easy to re­cap­ture her in a drowsy and re­laxed nat­u­ral pose. I wanted her cloth­ing to “merge” with the bed li­nen, cre­at­ing a wa­ter­fall-like flow of ma­te­rial spilling over the edge of the bed.

The chair was added to bal­ance the paint­ing and to give a strong con­trast with its dark wood against the soft­ness of the rest of the paint­ing. The tiny glint of light on the chair back and the neatly ar­ranged cloth on the seat were care­fully

planned from the start. I chose an al­most mono­chrome colour palette to il­lus­trate sim­plic­ity and pu­rity—black and white, with only a few hints from red, blue and yel­low.

My Work­ing Process

I de­cided to make the paint­ing “life-size” to give max­i­mum im­pact. At this stage my can­vas is taped to a large board to en­able me to change my com­po­si­tion if nec­es­sary. Due to the com­plex­ity of the mo­tif, I de­cided to roughly paint the com­po­si­tion in acrylics first (us­ing large flat hogs hair brushes) to get a gen­eral idea of the over­all look and to help me find my way through the in­tri­cate creases and folds. Next comes the oil paint, which I build up with many thin lay­ers, dry­ing be­tween each one.

The paint­ing is var­nished af­ter ap­prox­i­mately one year to bring out the colours and to give a fine, lus­trous fin­ish and pro­tec­tion to the fin­ished piece. All We Want is Love took nine months to com­plete but would no doubt have taken con­sid­er­ably less time if I had both­ered to iron the sheets.

Email: art@gin­ny­page.dk

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