We caught up with artist Carrie Stanley to talk about her painting process, her inspirations and how for her art is a need that shouldn’t be ignored.
Tell us a little about you, your practice and the mediums you use
I am a fine artist and tutor working from a rural studio in north Oxfordshire. I'd say I’m an oil painter first and foremost but have a huge love for drawing and mark making too. My own work could be described as abstracted realism with a figurative element. I’m hugely inspired by colour and form and let the paint dictate how the work progresses. I'm incredibly experimental and in recent works have used fluorescents as an underpaint allowing them to show through the oils layered on top. My work is also driven by music and there is a dynamic within my mark making which reflects this.
Describe your practice/artwork with 5 words
Dynamic, colourful, experimental, layered, fun.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without?
At the moment my 2-inch chisel hog brush. I love the contemporary feeling that the chisel brush gives to a painting.
What/Who are your biggest influences or inspirations?
Ohhh this is always changing as I’m introduced to exciting new artists every day on Instagram. At the moment I’m loving the brave, gestural, strong paintings of Daisy Parris, the dislocated and luscious figurative paintings of Justas Pranevicius and I worship at the easel of Ruprecht Von Kaufmann - the most accomplished and contemporary painter working today. I’m inspired by character, light, poetry and music amongst many other things.
What is your earliest art making memory?
I remember mixing squished flowers in washing up bowls to release the colour and scent then smearing the paste onto my Mums patio.
How and why did you start making art?
I think art is a need which, if restrained or ignored, can lead to illness of some sort or other. I was dissuaded from following a fine art course when I left school but the need was so great that I took a course immediately after completing my BA in art history. I studied in Florence, Italy and it was the most mind opening and exciting 18 months of my life. I started working professionally fairly recently after my kids were of an age where they needed me less. For me, it is as important as breathing and through my tuition I strive to help others feel the same way.
What is the biggest challenge you face when making your artwork?
At the moment it is overworking the canvas. I’m terrible at not knowing when to stop and it means I can ruin something quite quickly. I’m trying hard to overcome this.
What is the one artwork by another artist that you wish you had made and why?
It's actually a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois called Spider. It’s incredibly powerful and beautiful and also slightly dark - all things that I love.
Can you tell us about any projects you are working on right now?
I’m about to embark on a new series of work exploring the interior of my studio space. I’ll be taking all the elements of my recent work; colour, line, reduction of form and abstracting the whole to really explore mood and the ‘inner world’. There will be figurative elements within these canvases and a personal narrative. Can’t say too much at the moment!
Carrie runs regular workshops in painting and drawing from her rural studio in north Oxfordshire. To find out more visit www.carriestanley.co.uk