LOCKDOWN SERIES

During these turbulent, unsettling times, we want to share a glimmer of beauty to break up the fear and anxiety. Each week we will be highlighting new artworks from emerging artists and share their thoughts and inspirations during this time. This week we are showcasing the work of Fine Artist and Graphic Communication and Illustration Student, Charlotte Witts.

ONLINE EXHIBITION

‘Skull by candlelight’ by Charlotte Witts

2019
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"There are startling correlations between human and robot brains, and with advancing technology brings a new depth to Artificial Intelligence. Here, I wanted to portray a projection of an artificial dreamscape. I was inspired to make this piece after reading Alienation by Inéz Estrada; A futuristic story about technology and virtual reality comes a part of day to day life, and in the end proves too powerful as it eventually takes control."

Shop Now

‘Stare’ by Charlotte Witts

2020
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"This painting was inspired by Italian Renaissance art. Five years ago I visited the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where I saw the art of masters such as Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci. The majority of works at the Uffizi were done in oil paint, and since then I have practised using the medium. I love how the smoothness of oil enables you to paint skin in such a flawless way, and I wanted to try and capture that in this painting."

Shop Now

‘Embrace’ by Charlotte Witts

2020
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"For this drawing, I wanted to portray the infamous grim reaper in an ambiguous, somewhat positive light. For many, the grim reaper has connotations of being evil and sinister. However, in some beliefs, the reaper is only a psychopomp - a spirit whose responsibility is to guide the deceased to the afterlife, without having any control over how or when the victim dies. I, therefore, portrayed the reaper as being almost protecting and empathetic of the woman in the drawing, emphasised by the skeleton’s hand on her shoulder. I also sketched the reapers cloak as enveloping the woman to not only convey this protection but to also symbolise the woman’s transitioning from Earth to the ‘afterlife’."

Shop Now

'Hamartia’ by Charlotte Witts

2018
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"This painting is inspired by Shakespeare’s dramatic tragedy ‘Macbeth’. This play tells the story of a man consumed by ambition, leading him to murder the King and take the throne for himself. I represented the guilt of Macbeth’s actions by painting the crown above his head with blood trickling down from it. This symbolises the fact that Macbeth’s kingship is tainted by his crimes, all of which stem from his hamartia. A hamartia is a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero- in Macbeth’s case, his hamartia is ambition."

Shop Now

‘Santa Maria della Salute’ by Charlotte Witts

2018
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"I wanted to push myself to draw more architecture, as I predominantly draw portraits usually. Because I love making art with intricate detail, I drew a church that I once saw in Venice, called the Basilica of Saint Mary of Health (in English). After finishing the drawing in ink, I painted a light wash of watercolour over it to add some vibrancy."

Shop Now

‘Blood will have Blood’ by Charlotte Witts

2019
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"This painting is based on the theme of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. After Macbeth murders the King, he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. I named this painting ‘Blood will have Blood’ to represent the fact that the blood of a murder victim will seek out the blood of their murderer, and thus a murder will always be brought to light. The drawing of the castle below the skull represents the setting of Macbeth’s first victim."

Shop Now

‘Dragon’ by Charlotte Witts

2019
29.7cm x 42cm
Limited Edition Giclée Print on Hahnemüle German Etching Paper

"This drawing was largely inspired by my boyfriend - he loves dragons (I think they’re pretty awesome too) and so I decided to draw one. It was fun drawing in graphite - when I was younger, I drew in pencil all the time, so it was good to get back into the practice of it."

Shop Now

INTERVIEW

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I’m from Solihull, near Birmingham.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?

I studied Fine Art A level at sixth form, and I’m currently studying Graphic communication and Illustration at Loughborough University.

WHAT IS/ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUMS?

My favourite traditional mediums are oil paint and watercolour; however, I don’t paint in this media as much as I used to. I use my iPad to paint digitally more often now (on the Procreate app), which I really enjoy.

WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR KEY INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS ARE?

I studied the Baroque artist Caravaggio whilst doing A level art and his work influenced my paintings. I admired how he wasn’t afraid to employ realism into subjects that were dark and sinister. I think looking at his work inspired me to take a macabre approach to art.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES THAT INSPIRE YOUR WORK? OR ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS/SONGS YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO WHILE WORKING?

I have a really broad music taste, so I’ll listen to a lot of different types of songs when working. Though, I find that movie soundtracks get me really into the work I’m doing. The musician Hans Zimmer is great for this, songs such as ‘time’ and ‘cornfield chase’ inspire me a lot. Woodkid also creates powerful music that is great to work to, e.g. ‘run boy run’.

Do you paint from photos or from actually sitting in front of the subject? (Or even from your imagination with no reference?)

I always paint from photos instead of having a person in front of me, as my oil paintings will normally take days to complete. Also, I can zoom in to pictures to make sure I’ve captured all the detail.

You’ve mentioned Vanitas and the Baroque period as influences in your work, are there any other art movements or particular artists that inspire you?

For the work in this exhibition, the main influences are the Vanitas and Baroque movements, however I want to do more digital art which would be inspired by current artists I see on instagram, e.g. Anna Podedworna.

Check out this playlist by Charlotte to hear what she's listening to right now.

I’m doing good! I’ve had a couple down days and dealing with PMS during this whole thing has been an interesting experience to say the least. I was away from January, and was meant to come home April 30th but, obviously, had to come home earlier. That was weird as I had to be isolated in my room for 2 weeks so as not to put my family at risk, I had some rough days during that. I’ve been working on something every day, and every now and then I come up with something that I feel proud of enough to show people. I think it’s important to keep your brain active and creative right now, not just for artists but for everyone, it stops you going completely mad.

We’re going through a pretty unsettling time right now, how are you doing?

I’m doing ok, I’m trying to be productive each day with art and/or uni work. However, I procrastinate a lot so sometimes I don’t end up getting as much as I want done 😄

HOW IS THE LOCKDOWN AFFECTING YOU CREATIVELY?

I’m trying to use this time as an opportunity to be more creative before everything goes back to normal. I try to set little goals each day, e.g., to start a piece of work or finish one. There’s more time to be alone and think about the kind of things I want to draw too.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS TIME?

I want to try and learn more about the field I want to work in. I love the idea of doing concept art for films/ games so I’m going to research more into this and practice drawing subject matter which relates to it in order to build my portfolio.

AND DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STAYING CREATIVE DURING QUARANTINE?

For me, if I ever lack creativity, I look at artists work on Instagram and I find that after doing this I’m inspired and excited to do some of my own artwork. I think looking at things like Pinterest also helps- if you discover a new concept or style you love, it might encourage you to do work relating to it.

To see more of Charlotte's work, visit her artist's page or check out our online shop

SHOP

‘Embrace’
by Charlotte Witts

£90

‘Stare’
by Charlotte Witts

£100

‘Skull by candlelight’
by Charlotte Witts

£106

'Hamartia’
by Charlotte Witts

£106

See our first
exhibition

See previous
exhibition

See our first
exhibition

See previous
exhibition