Artist #5: Audrey Bishop

7 Feb

Audrey Bishop is most definitely a gal with talent! Her frantic styled portraits, bursting with raw energy, succeed in capturing the picture’s subject; the person. She’s been working hard on many projects, which she’ll be telling you all about in a moment. One of these endevours is 200 portraits, where she’s painting – you guessed it – 200 portraits. You can get involved in this and help her out by donating money or sending along a photo of yourself in the name of art. She’s even painted yours truly, which I absolutely adore! So, now I’ll encourage you to read the interview, of course, then click on all the fabulous links for some great art!

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What first interested you in art?
My Dad is an artist. His art was all around the house when I lived with him when I was younger and I thought it was amazing and I wanted to do that too. I was never very good though. Over the past few years I’ve discovered how to do it for myself and I’ve improved greatly.

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
I have had plenty of encouragement. Not the real in your face ‘you-have-to-make-a-thing-of-this’ kind. Just like…you know…the ‘if-that’s-what-you-want-to-do-then-do-that’ kind. I recall talking about it and saying that I wasn’t going to put too much energy into it because I knew it wasn’t filled with money and having my Mum respond that I should NOT just give it up. So that was nice because I thought that she would tell me I was being rational.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
At the very most, I did the normal school-art-classes (when I went to school, because I was home educated) and because I went to school in Australia, I mostly just learned about aboriginal art and paper mache. Two things which haven’t come much into what I do (aside from paper mache. I started using that for something recently).

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Where don’t I? Mostly people, because I do a lot of portraits. But I find it hard not to look at things and imagine what they’d look like if I painted them. Also one of my favourite artists/best friend/my online assistant extraordinaire Bekki makes me these fantastic folders filled with pictures of all sorts of things she knows I’d like and sometimes if I am feeling particularly uninspired I go through them and draw random bits of faces and things. I also like to watch movies with a lot of colour and lots of surreal things happening. And I like seeing/hearing about other people’s personal histories and I think that’s one of the things that drew me to portraits.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
A few I know personally (as they will always deserve special recognition in my eyes): Lucy Coombs, Sylvia K, Beth Hommel, Johnny Marble, Paloma Smith, Bekki L, my Dad. Aaaand a few I have never and probably will never meet: James Jean, Julia Kuo, Molly Crabapple, Brian Froud, Stuart Ruel…There’s more, but those are my favourites and the ones I try and keep up with. I also love how director Michel Gondry does things.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
Well…I wouldn’t call it a career now, but right now it is basically the only way I have of making money. I hope I can work like a normal person but also work on improving my art and one day I will be able to really make something of it.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
I did a painting of a girl with orange hair looking like she’s yelling or something…It’s not the best thing I’ve done, but after I did it, I was like ‘YES. That is the sort of thing I am going to do over and over.’…and I have. I’m also very proud of something I am working on on and off at the moment which is a very large painting of circus performers looking in the mirror adjusting their costumes and applying make up. I usually work very fast but it’s taking ages due to it’s size. I am very proud of it so far.

How would you describe your style?
I wouldn’t. I don’t know what it is. I’m still trying to work it out. Usually when people ask, I say I do a lot of portraits and use a lot of inks and make a lot of mess.


What made you focus more on that area more than another?
My boyfriend works at a university with a lot of art courses and sometimes he brings home different things for me to try to use and I experiment and play around with them and when I find something I like, I do a lot of it.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Watercolours. At the moment. Before that, ink. It changes often and depends on what I feel like using.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
The previously mentioned circus painting, my 200 Portraits project (where I paint or draw 200 different people) and I am preparing to do a second round of ’31 Paintings in March’ (the name says it all) by blogging a different drawing for each day in March.

What drew you to working mostly with portraits?
I like drawing people…I like faces. I like hearing about people. I got pretty good at it because it was what I’ve always focused on the most and I’d be told that my portraits weren’t flat looking and lately I’ve been hearing more and more that I’ve captured the energy of a person. So mostly the fact that I’ve gotten better at it than most other things and then a lot of encouragement.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
Sometimes it’s as simple as ‘find picture, sketch, paint’ (usually when I am working on 200 Portraits), sometimes I spend hours looking at magazines and books and things with doing something nice in mind before sitting down and drawing the first thing that comes to mind. Sometimes I’ll just be playing around in my sketchpad and it will turn into something good and that’s harder to explain.


One Response to “Artist #5: Audrey Bishop”


  1. Artist #11: Lucy Coombs « Bewitched, Bothered & Bespectacled - March 8, 2011

    […] are some of your favourite artists? A few friends, Sylvia K, Audrey Bishop and Robin (who you’ve already interviewed), as well as Hieronymus Bosch, Dali, van Gogh, […]

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