Budapest

Faces of Fiction \ The Ice Queen

Anybody who knows me knows I love to draw portraits. Most of the time those drawings/paintings are from life and sometimes the drawing from the memory of characters I encounter in life and some completely ficticious faces constructed by my mind and the moment in which I find myself. 

Well here we have one of my semi fictitious characters. The Ice Queen, conceived in my mind over two years back now, is a subject based on certain qualities of an individual that you could say I know very well, or at least I thought I knew very well, mixed with my ideas and visions of what a true Ice Queen really is. Obviously elements such as coldness, or 'lack of' warmth come to mind. Blues, icy blues, hard edges and strong contrasts alongside some implied character traits suggested in amongst the distorted facial features. I was liberal with the oils and richness of the blues whilst refining the lines with charcoal as I went, what you see below is the outcome of about 5 hours painting, enjoy the ice queens but be warned, don't get too close, frost can bite, hard.. 

My idea of Heaven \ Portrait

I cannot say I am a huge believer in love at first sight. This being said, I feel I’ve gotten as close as I’m ever gonna get. Only a handful of times in life have I, for the first time, laid eyes on a member of the opposite sex and been sucked into suspended animation. The world dissolved around me, I would be reduced to a rabbit caught in headlights. In this transfixed state I would try my hardest to recoil my grounded jaw, replace my eyes balls into their sockets and find some resemblance of a functioning human being within myself once again. Id say it is these moments in life that I would most resemble to this notion of “love upon first sight”.

I remember these few occasions vividly, as if all could have happened yesterday. Even the first, I was just 15 in a new city and a new school. It appeared to be as normal as any day could be for a fairly new student, from a distant land speaking a respectively foreign English. As I made my prescheduled commute between class with a couple of friends, it happened. The double doors that created regular intervals along the absurdly long corridors of the school, flew open ahead of us. What followed were 3 girls heading our way, chatting amongst themselves, laughing and giggling somewhat shyly. None of this really registered in my brain at the time, stunned and infatuated, Amelia Heaven “first love” a “firs sight”. What came to be is another story entirely, for now, heres a pretty picture. My idea of Heaven.

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In terms of my process, I worked from a photo using a pencil to lay down the basic structure, from then on, it was all pen Bebe.  

GALLERIES ARE DEAD \ Long live the Painters Palace.

  I set off on an adventure to travel and draw, I had a dream of opening studios. Studios to accommodate drawing and painting but most importantly studios with open doors and public participation. All in the aim of supporting and connecting travelling or local artists on their journeys but most importantly, studios that support and to every extent encourage, the creation of art itself, by anybody who feels that desire to create.

The magic of art is lost in galleries. And the connection between audience and artist severed. They are dead spaces with (not often enough) some nice "art" on the walls. My studios would be tactile and approachable, inviting not only the artists inside to work but the laymen, the public, the people who normally would not have the connection to art, artist or 'the process'. There is a little bit of artist in all of us and I want my spaces to nourish that character.

Im writing this post as it so happens to be the one year anniversary of the first major step towards my dream. I came to Budapest little over a year ago to open my first studio, I arrived with my Dutch brother Jesse, who wanted to help build something special. Armed with big ideas and a crumbling basement we set upon opening the Painters Palace. An open studio space in the centre of Budapest where people could feel free to be themselves, create their art and connect with others along the way. 

It's been a truly great year, most days we have welcomed people from all over world through our doors. (This is great because if I'm not travelling go its nice having the world to come to me instead.) During the first year establishing a core group of artists was key to keep the paint of the palace flowing, thanks to this core group the studio has hosted a multitude of events beyond the realm of drawing/painting sessions and workshops. From concerts, jams and recordings, markets, parties (may we not forget Indian New Year...). From all this the Painters Palace has inspired life and art in people, it has brought them together and forged tight friendships. Encouraging all to be and express themselves. 

Don't get me wrong, it has by no means been a breeze. Reality is that 99% of the big ideas you have at the beginning of a process do not come to fruition in the first year of operation or in other cases tested and proven to be a sour tact. But that's just life, you win some and you lose some. For now my aim is to keep the palace rocking the best I can, we will see what comes of it.  

So Happy Birthday to my studio, may the Painters Palace live forever! 

Sneak peak from the party:

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It was a great party to celebrate, we had food, drinks, life drawings, portraits and Palinka Republic took the rook of the place with their epic upbeat tunes which eventually lead to the police being called and party time capped! Thankyou to all those who came down, and to all those that have made the palace what it is, no matter how big or how small your contribution, it is invaluable!