After graduating from my Fine Art degree at the Winchester School of Art in 2012, I became obsessed with fashion illustration, having quickly been snapped up by Amoena UK and gaining the opportunity to fashion illustrate a new collection of Amoena UK's lingerie for Amoena Life magazine. I was in a whirl-wind of excitement, as I had always been intently interested in fashion design; remembering that I had always drawn fashion outfits and illustrated the little 'catalogues' I made (pretending I was a fashion designer myself) as a child.


The 'French Lessons a la Coco' article I illustrated took inspiration from Coco Chanel and subject to her iconic statement, all my illustrations had to be in black and white only. Whilst initially finding this a little limiting, I began to study all the many different ways to express beauty using the black and white form only. I became engrossed by the fashion illustrator David Downton and learnt how to create 'white negative space' and also how to develop different textures using different brushes and black Indian ink.

Soon after, I was given the opportunity to create 6 large-scale canvas paintings for a cafe I began working at in Salisbury and I decided to depict historical visitors to the building (which was frequented by the likes of William Shakespeare and HG Wells, to name a few). I decided to embark on continuing my black and white style but instead of using ink on paper, use paint and other more experimental mediums (including spray foam and high gloss radiator paint) to depict the portraits. This eventually led me down an avenue into creating more large-scale portrait-like works on canvas, but with a very fashion-illustration-like feel. My love of Art Nouveau and particularly the renowned painter Gustav Klimt has more recently started to capture my attention and I now feel I am going in the direction of almost trying to recreate a kind of modern Art Nouveau - watch this space! I now hope to add a similar sparkle to my paintings that Klimt added in his, but with a pure modern minimalist feel rather than Klimt's use of lavish gold. We shall see how it turns out over the next coming months!

Copyright 2020 © Gemini Brookes

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