Featured Artist Kate Passingham

Artist Kate Passingham uses pastel and charcoal to capture emotions and the essence of her subjects. See more of her work by visiting her website.

 

“Clap Your Hands” Pastel and Charcoal on Painted Board, 61cm x 61cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Clap Your Hands” Pastel and Charcoal on Painted Board, 61cm x 61cm

 

I’ve lived near Chichester on the South Coast of England for over a decade now, just a short walk from the sea, which is an inspiration in itself. I have always drawn—mainly people and creatures, but I was only given the chance to paint seriously three years ago after completing a Foundation Diploma at West Dean College in West Sussex.

 

“Welcome to Africell” Pastel and Charcoal with 22 Carat Gold and Silver Leaf on Paper and Board, 61cm x 122cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Welcome to Africell” Pastel and Charcoal with 22K Gold and Silver Leaf on Paper and Board, 61cm x 122cm

 

This gave me the encouragement to re-discover new and exciting ways of using pastels and other mediums that I’d been searching for, although I’ve long since concluded it’s a continual work in progress, an evolution.

 

“The Birdcage” Pastel and Charcoal on Brass Panel, 25cm x 25cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Birdcage” Pastel and Charcoal on Brass Panel, 25cm x 25cm

 

I’m endlessly fascinated by faces, both human and animal.

 

“Penny for Them” Pastel and Charcoal with Silver Leaf on Paper and Board, 61cm x 122cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Penny for Them” Pastel and Charcoal with Silver Leaf on Paper and Board, 61cm x 122cm

 

I’m especially fascinated by human faces, with all the emotions, thoughts and stories that dart and glimmer behind the eyes. I want to capture the essence and intensity of my subject, whoever and whatever they may be—hoping to leave an impression, possibly with the ghost of another narrative just below the surface.

 

"Penny for Them" (Detail) by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Penny for Them” (Detail)

 

I reference my own photos as well as rekindled memories from my use of old family slides which evoke the feeling of being suspended in the past. I spend a great deal of time searching through photos until someone or something finally reveals itself.

 

“The Rusty Trike” Pastel and Charcoal on Board, 61cm x 61cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Rusty Trike” Pastel and Charcoal on Board, 61cm x 61cm

 

Most often what I’m looking for is just tucked away in the background, snatching a passing moment or direct gaze. They are used more as a guide; I don’t directly copy a photograph.

 

“Mouthful of Clover” Pastel and Charcoal with 22 Carat Gold and Silver Leaf on Board, 30cm x 38cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Mouthful of Clover” Pastel and Charcoal with 22K Gold and Silver Leaf on Board, 30cm x 38cm

 

I find, many times, that a quite different face can reveal itself unexpectedly during the painting process.

 

“The Whispered Wind” Pastel and Charcoal with 22 Carat Gold Leaf on Board, 61cm x 91cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Whispered Wind” Pastel and Charcoal with 22K Gold Leaf on Board, 61cm x 91cm

 

I’ve long been captivated by pastels and am enthralled by the immediacy and intensity of their colours and their incredible versatility.

 

“Costa Rican Capuchin” Pastel and Charcoal with 22 Carat Gold Leaf on Board, 61cm x 40cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Costa Rican Capuchin” Pastel and Charcoal with 22K Gold Leaf on Board, 61cm x 40cm

 

I enjoy experimenting with unusual grounds and surfaces such as wood, metal, resin and 22 karat gold and silver to add different dimensions.

 

“Blue Eyes” Pastel and Charcoal on Recycled Paper and Board, 57cm x 90cm by artist Kate Passingham. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Blue Eyes” Pastel and Charcoal on Recycled Paper and Board, 57cm x 90cm

 

This also challenges me to create something more impactful and unexpected.

 

Artist Kate Passingham in her studio. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Kate Passingham in her studio

 

I have been influenced by iconography, the Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts & Craft movement, so my work frequently and unintentionally reflects this; perhaps in a more contemporary way, but with naturalism, detail and the combination of precious metals I hope to add a preciousness and timeless quality.

 

Artist Kate Passingham invites you to follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

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