|Nancy Fletcher - Portrait of Don Whyles - 36 X 30 in.|
Nancy Fletcher hails from Lincolnshire, a large agricultural area in the United Kingdom. Raised on the family's farm, Fletcher was profoundly affected by her father's love of his work, and his motivation to nurture his surroundings; it was this that instilled in her the desire to create, and helped to shape her ideas of beauty, happiness, and the discipline of hard work. After a brief period of time studying art in Florence at age eighteen, Nancy entered The Edinburgh Art College to study Fine Art Photography. This led to a professional career in London, where she worked as a freelance photographer for a number of years.
In 2002 Fletcher returned her focus to the study of Fine Art and Classical Representational Painting, which she has loved ever since. She has studied at the Charles Cecil Studios and The Angel Academy of Art in Florence, as well as with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier and at The Grand Central Academy of Art in New York City. Her work has been shown at galleries in Georgia, Maryland, Texas, New York, London and Florence. Though she currently lives and works in London, Ms. Fletcher travels frequently to America for portrait commissions.
"The portrait of Don Whyles was a commission," states Fletcher. "He came to me with a very precise brief saying that, as a self-made business man who had faced many challenges along the way, he wanted to mark all the hurdles and triumphs in his business career with a portrait of him standing as if in front of the board, addressing them on the up-and-coming tasks. A particular trait of his, is to hold his glasses in hand while thinking, so that's what we ran with.
Mr. Whyles sat for three, 2 hour sittings and allowed me to take the suit to the studio so that I could paint it from life.
I try to approach each client or sitter individually so that I might transfer a little or a lot of their personality to canvas. This is my favourite part, getting to know my client; more often than not I make a good friend by the time I have finished my painting; asking numerous questions of their lives before I've entered into it.
My general approach to starting a portrait is to put my sitters on a raised model stand and place my easel a little in front to the side, doing comparative measurements if need be. I start by doing a block-in of the portrait, using graphite, never rubbing out until all the information is on the paper; I then carve into the graphite to create the true likeness in both form and personality. Once the whole composition is complete I transfer it all to canvas, after which, I do an ebauche, and then start by working out of the shadows, creeping across the forms."
To see more of Nancy Fletcher's paintings, please visit her website.