I’ve been a figure artist for around 20 years now, but made a conscious decision to dedicate much of this time to learning to draw and paint the figure as proportionally correct and realistically as possible before deciding to delve into my own style. A few years ago I started getting really into painting portraits and figures with kaleidoscoping shadow shapes created by lace and other found objects. I choose to use models, many of them being my own personal friends, of many ethnic backgrounds with different body types because it’s very important in my work to highlight the natural human form in a wide range of diverse beauty.
My paintings are actually three dimensional mixed media works. First I start off with the figure painted in oil, usually on an aerosol background, and then I construct a shadowbox frame around the completed painting. Then I add in all kinds of amazing dried ferns, flowers and other plants, found objects, and often dead insects or lizards I’ve collected to be ensconced in clear acrylic resin. Being an avid hiker and naturalist, I’ve come to appreciate not only the beauty of the human form, but the beauty of so many organic forms in nature as well.
I believe the message of inclusion and body positivity for all the wonderfully unique men and women of this world is an important stepping stone for universal empathy, tolerance, and appreciation. My works celebrate the natural and perfect imperfectness of all of us in hopes of being a catalyst for a world which exchanges love and acceptance exponentially. ~ @caleighbirdart