“Let art be your fashion”.
-Barbara a Tyler Ahlfield.
WAS THERE A PIVOTAL MOMENT WHEN YOU DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOUR PATH AS AN ARTIST?
“Not really – I have been drawing since I was two years old and always knew that I wanted to become an artist. This was a blessing as I had a clear path from an early age.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK FOR US?
“Figurative, stylized, and semi-classical with an emphasis on fashion, drama, and mood. I am a fashion illustrator turned portrait artist.”
Sea Bride, 66″ x 48″ – Oil On Canvas.
WHEN LOOKING BACK, WHAT PAINTINGS EMERGE FROM YOUR WORKS THAT MOST RELATE TO YOUR LIFE STORY?
“There is a self-portrait illustration done in art college that is a seminal piece as it depicts some things I love best -animals, architecture, fashion and drama— later on- a painting called “Cotton Candy” ushered a new direction for me in fashionable portrait painting. Portraits done of my family and friends followed and finally commissioned portraits.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG ARTIST FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?
I think I would say that you must love creating your artwork and be willing to put in long, solitary hours and perhaps years before being recognized, as what they say, you cannot make a living through your art alone. Additionally, if you are planning on becoming wealthy, art may not be the right career path for you. If the aforementioned fact is acceptable to you, then go forward, create, and never give up!
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR WORK FITS WITHIN SOCIETY IN OUR PRESENT TIMES?
I think my work is a throwback to some of the work done centuries ago. However, I believe there is a niche for my work that is probably a constant in society, no matter what era it is. I appeal to a segment of society that likes classical beauty with a touch of the supernatural and a strong interest in fashion, which is timeless.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK AIM TO SAY?
There is comfort, peace, and “centering” in art.
Untitled, 8″ x 13″ – Charcoal On Paper.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
John Singer Sargent, Giovanni Boldini, Thomas Dewing, John White Alexander, James McNeill Whistler, and J.W. Waterhouse are among the painters from centuries ago that influenced me.
At the current time, I am influenced by the works of Jeremy Mann and Nick Alm.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
I begin by being inspired by something I’ve seen and photographed. Then, I do a rough sketch of my plan for the painting and determine the size of the canvas I’ll be using. I transfer my rough to the canvas—loosely. Then, I begin by blocking in my shapes and values and then work in layers of glazes until I am satisfied (or nearly LOL!) and then I decide when I’m finished, which is actually the hardest thing I consider when painting.
WHAT VISUAL REFERENCES DO YOU DRAW UPON IN YOUR WORK?
Photographs and direct painting from life.
ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS FOR 2023?
I’m working on a new series of paintings called “Cafe Society,” which will be released in 2023.
Vapor, 60″ x 48″ – Oil On Canvas.