Penelope Fiona Efstathiou
My art practice currently is an exploration of painting and drawing whilst portraying my feelings towards current affairs and how I react to them. I use my painting as a way to express myself. I am currently participating on the Turps online correspondence course, which has impacted my work by bolstering my confidence through discussions about my work with my mentors.
My genuine interest, passion, and motivation is to explore my creative strengths in painting and mark making, which is often instinctive. I am a self taught painter and recently graduated with a BA Fine Art. I feel my painting is in the early experimental stages and I enjoy exploring with a broad range of materials and colours. I want to understand more about the language of painting, mark making and abstraction.
I have spent my working life in the hospitality industry, as a head chef, setting up new restaurants and kitchens. As a chef, I believe I was still a creative practitioner, as plating food is an artform in itself. I have always presented food considering the aesthetic look of the plate and not just the taste. In the early years of being a mother, I took painting classes and walled my own home in my own artwork, often inspired by the impressionist painters.
I think I would like to locate myself as an abstract painter as it is where I feel that I connect with other artists. I am interested in a broad range of painters from Goya and Henri Matisse to the early abstract expressionist painters such as Hans Hoffman, Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock. I admire the freedom of their work and the diversity of their techniques. I would like to understand how to push these ideas forward in my own work.
Colour is an important element in my work, it seems to be an inbuilt automatic reaction to my way of seeing the world around me. I try to use colour as a dominant element to express emotion and mood, to bring or recall a feeling or a memory to the conscious mind. It allows me the freedom of expression in the process of application, as well as the physicality of applying the paint to a canvas.
I would like my work to have intention and to represent, taking off the mask, scratching the surface showing sincerity, vulnerability creating an image that stands for something else, made by one mind, that can be shared with others.
Exploring the Scottish Highlands with my two girls, enjoying nature and the countryside (1994)
At my first exhibition launch, Djanogly Lakeside Art Gallery (2019)
At Bentinck Art Studio (2021)