Artwork > Portraits

Portrait of Blair Clarke of Voltz Clarke Field of Flowers
Field of Flowers
Acrylic on Canvas

This piece started with some photos the artist took in an attempt to develop a fresh and poetic approach to portraiture. The beauty of the figure and portrait is universally one of the most compelling subjects in art and therefore ripe for further experimentation. Modern and contemporary portraiture brings to mind artists such as Marlene Dumas, Frida Kahlo, Alex Katz, Andy Warhol, Alice Neel and William Cotton, so she spent time with their work as well as a survey of portraits from all different cultures and traditions. The photo that was selected to work from had a very classical expression, like an old Italian painting, but Burch wanted to do something very modern with it. Blair is an old Gaelic word for a field which brought to mind the Italian word campo which also means field. In Rome, many are familiar with the famous Campo di Fiori or Field of Flowers, which is one of the city’s famous piazzas and the site of a beautiful outdoor market of flowers, fruits, produce and spices. This image derived from her name suited her and captured the idea of abundance, sensuality and something of the exotic, and these qualities are brought out in her portrait. From there, the palette and imagery developed in a very fluid way, and the resulting image is quite lyrical.