Painting Personal Projects: Ella Budgen, Georgia Mallin & Lucy Hensel - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

Painting Personal Projects: Ella Budgen, Georgia Mallin & Lucy Hensel

Fri, 08/14/2020 to Sun, 01/31/2021

curated by:

Painting Personal Projects is taught by Dan Coombs. Its aim is to give students an opportunity to develop their own work whilst receiving guidance and mentoring in a supportive community of artists and is intended to increase confidence, creativity and a sense of direction; helping to provide strategies for establishing and growing a body of work. This year Sikelela Owen will be joining Dan in teaching this course.

My work explores the relationship between Beauty and Identity. As I go into my last year of A-levels I will continue this exploration of gender roles and stereotyped behaviour. Often reflecting on my own experiences.

GEORGIA MALLIN @georgiamallinartist (Instagram)
I am a figurative artist working mainly in oil painting and drawing. Born and raised in London, I read English & Spanish at the University of Oxford before realising that art needed to be at the centre of my life. After several years of evening, weekend and holiday courses, I took a Diploma in Portraiture at the Heatherley School of Fine Art from 2017-19, where I won the Daphne Todd Portrait Prize in 2018.

This past year I have been studying with Alison Harper and Dan Coombs on the ESOP Painting Personal Projects course, thanks to the ESOP Newman Young Artist Scholarships 2019/20. This has been transformative in developing my artistic voice and my ideas: The ESOP has provided a contemporary frame of reference for the traditional painting skills I had spent so long developing.

I love painting the figure, often working from direct observation to explore the subtlety and nuance of the human form, as well as the psychological insight that can come from the intense act of looking. As a language and literature graduate, I am also interested in how imagery and narrative intertwine – in painting as a way of storytelling and creating the sense of a complete and believable world. Now under Alison and Dan’s tuition I have been looking at how imagination, memory and feeling can be the springboard for making images.

The works in this exhibition show my development over the course of this year. They are intensely personal, as I turn to my own emotion, intuition and experiences, and my own body, as a source of narrative and inspiration. The common thread is change – whether chasing movement in my smaller figure studies, or considering the weight of emotional baggage and the pain of letting go (in ‘Cargoes’), or celebrating the feeling of transformation, hope and exploration that falling in love can bring (in ‘The Garden’).

I grew up in Montreal, and except for eight years in Germany and Switzerland, I have always lived in Canada – until ten years ago when I started to split my calendar year between Ottawa and London.

My curiosity about the process of painting, and my desire to learn to express myself through painting began in earnest 12 years ago. By accident, I was introduced to the absolute thrill of moving wet smooth acrylic paint across a surface and the surprises that happen moment to moment with each different colour, mark and brush stroke.

Determined to see where this eye- and heart-opening discovery might lead, I attended the Ottawa School of Art for two terms. Since then, for the last ten years on a regular basis when I’m not abroad, I have been painting with a small group of women, guided by a local/Ottawa artist, Vanessa Coplan.

From 2010-2016 in London, I attended numerous painting and drawing classes all excellent in various ways.For the last four years, I have been a student at ESOP, taking various courses in the autumn and winter terms. This year, after returning to Ottawa in March ‘just in time’ before The Lockdown took effect, I was able to Zoom into the ESOP classes for the third term of classes taught by Alison Harper and Dan Coombs. Surprisingly and interestingly for me, it has been a very positive experience to learn/paint/discuss in a group, online, from afar.

When painting, I’m on an adventure. I am happy with a big canvas stapled to the wall and seeing where my imagination takes me, but equally happy and challenged by a live model in front of me and a smaller canvas to work with. Colours and shapes are what excite me most. Attempting to get ‘a likeness’ or sticking to ‘a plan’ can sometimes quell my enthusiasm but I do also welcome those opportunities; there is always a lot to learn! A non-judgmental risk-taking exploration of what my brush with wet paint can reveal and express is my current, albeit enormous and hopefully never-ending, project.

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