Intimate Distance – Portraits by Nina Cook

20 February - 20 March

Intimate Distance – Portraiture

Painting a portrait is a very intimate act, and creating a portrait of someone dear to me adds to that intimacy. With deeper familiarity I am clearer in what I want to say.

Whilst I do like to convey a certain amount of visual realism – a ‘likeness’, I also want to say, or put on record, something about who he or she is. I want most of all, to record fantastic qualities that are often overlooked. I try to capture a vivid sense of a real person's presence – to cut through superficial pretence and show their deeper selves. This is largely intuitive.

Distance enables me to intellectualise this information and make technical decisions about how it might be best conveyed.

I greatly admire the old masters, who with the discovery of oil painting during the sixteenth century in Europe, developed and refined techniques that remain unsurpassed to this day.

I use both old and new techniques in my work. Where the media is representative of old, my compositions are based on current knowledge and aesthetics. I love the tension between current content and old classical technique.

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