The Creator’s Space | Rhona MacTavish

I enjoy working with portraits as there is a significant element of adaptability and problem solving involved with each piece. I find there are different challenges born in every portrait, which prevents me from getting used to drawing or painting a particular way with every page and so I can continue developing my style. I first began drawing portraits and working on a particular style with graphite towards the end of high school, which I continued with into college. I dabbled a little in watercolour, but my primary focus was graphite pencil and my final exhibition for grade twelve consisted of a total nineteen giant faces, on paper as long as two metres. I ended up burning out after the final exhibition for college, and could not muster any passion to create new art after working for nights on end trying to pull all my work together the previous year. I spent the next year not creating much and it took me another six months before I had my flow back to begin working again.

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I developed a style in college which involved connecting and merging faces together, and finding ways to incorporate movement and time into static images. I find this style adds a level of dynamism and surrealist intrigue to my work. I have worked solely in colour since leaving school (using watercolour crayons and paints), and have tried to give myself the freedom to explore new media and styles in an attempt to distance myself from the artistic boundaries I set myself high school. The pieces I have created this year largely stem from spontaneous inspiration, as opposed to the calculated plan I usually undertake when creating compositions. I am still always developing and refining my technique I established in college, but I am now hoping to go beyond my own expectations for myself and achieve more with each opportunity I get to create.

I have enjoyed branching out from human portraiture this year and working more on painting animals and creating comics. I have not started a degree in fine arts (yet) as I want to be able to forge my own path creatively before working for a grade again (which had quite an impact on my motivation previously). Next year I have plans to create a new large scale series of portraits on canvas for the first time, and work with new media and techniques such as oil paints, digital software and lino-printing. Onwards, I hope to work more on myself as an artist and illustrator, as opposed to simply doing art as a hobby alone, and look forward to what to future holds.

Artworks by Rhona:


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