The striking artwork of Emma-Leone Palmer
A visit to Emma-Leone Palmer’s website will be an outing well worth taking. The home page will bring you face-to-face, in a literal sense, with her figurative oil paintings. Emma has chosen Squarespace as the platform to power and present her artwork. As a consequence, her fine art is sharp, with faithful colour rendering.
“I paint ‘faces’, although I like to say I paint ‘expressions’. Not just what is on the aesthetic surface but the dialogue of what’s underneath. The internal dialogue versus the external portrayal. I am not interested in painting bowls of fruit but living, breathing expressive human beings. Give me something gritty, something real. Show me!”
Award winning artist Emma-Leone Palmer graduated in Fine Art in 2005. After some crazy, fun years painting in her ‘Old Fire Station’ studio in Surrey, she shut up shop she says. With a rucksack full of art supplies she ventured forth to paint in Italy. By this stage, she was already somewhat of a veteran. Behind her were many exhibitions, awards and the setting up of various creative projects.
Her love of figurative oil painting grew whilst living in Umbria. Here she painted alongside artist Lorenzo Fonda in Raffaelo’s Perugian studio. This culminated, on her return to England, in a prolific solo exhibition at the Watts (national) Gallery. Here Emma-Leone exhibited 38 portraits, exploring the character and colour of a single community.
“You can now find me in my Wimbledon studio, tunes on loud, a camera or paintbrush in my hand. I’m likely to be smearing paint around — not least on an obliging face!”
Some of her recent exhibitions include:
• #Tribe16 (Tanner Street, London, 1–2 October 2016)
• Portrait16 (Degree Art, Vyner Street, London, 14 July to 8 September 2016)
• SWA Mall Galleries (London, 27 July to 7 August 2016)
• WAS, Open Studios, Wimbledon, London, November 2016.
She participates in The Wimbledon Art Studios (WAS) Open Studios on a regular basis.
Her work is in collections around the world. She has received many interesting commissions from celebrities too. Most recently, a 9-year-old boy with ‘Chelsea’ blue smeared all over his face.
Article source material (amended): website of Emma-Leone Palmer (2016)
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“Last January I was having the typical cold weather blues and existential angst. I often look within myself, scrutinise myself at these times, looking for something. Some inspiration, some emotion. Sitting in my studio with a mirror and a camera I stared at my image — started poking and pulling my face around. Who am I? A woman? An artist? What am I doing?
The next thing I had a tube of paint in my hand; the feel and smell of it make sense to me. It is me or it is more than me. I explored this relationship whilst applying this beautiful, powerful, turgid stuff. Where do I end and my ‘art’ begins? Was I covering myself up? Is it make up? Am I first a painter or a woman? ‘Cerulean Paint Play’ is a self-portrait of my vulnerable exploration into my identity.”
Award Winner — London Art Prize. SWA Mall Galleries, London, 2016
The Paint Play Series
“Paint, lube, glitter and water are smeared, dripped, flicked and splashed onto the subject’s face. They act as props to trigger the subject’s reactions — their emotions; to let it all out! This ‘theatre’ is not premeditated. I take 100’s of photos. The paintings made from these photos emphasise the moments when the subject is ‘lost’ in themselves.”