In conversation with Georgina Crisford

April 9, 2023
How do you start your works? Could you walk us through the creation of your works?


My process starts with collecting various references and creating a mood board of how I want the painting to feel. I use a lot of my own photographs as well as found images of which I have thousands in the form of old interior magazines, books and stills from movies. I never know exactly what draws me to something, it can be a painting, an old Disney film, a sea shell or a scrap of fabric but any of these things might inform a future painting. I then think about a general colour palette. At the moment I am drawn to earthier ochres and yellows though for some time it has been candyfloss pinks and blues. I don’t really start with drawing other than a few lines, going straight in with quite thick paint which means the painting is ever evolving and organic. I paint ‘Alla Prima’ with relative speed and this allows me to move the paint around freely, bringing areas of the painting in and out of focus, creating areas of both figuration and abstraction. This allows me some semblance of control of how the eye bounces around the canvas. I want the spaces I paint to feel familiar yet enigmatic, as if you can’t quite figure out where you have seen them before.
Your works have a very particular atmosphere about them, could you tell us what message you want to deliver through your works?

I love painting interior spaces as the imagination can take you further than what you can directly see. I think the absence of human presence is key in this, especially in a domestic interior where the figure is directly replaced by objects, furniture and paintings. I like to think of the viewer imagining a space beyond the day to day realities of their lives and almost projecting their own narrative onto the space. 


What has been the most rewarding moment of being an artist?


I’m still very much on the journey of where I want to go as an artist. So I take every step forward, however small as a triumph. Nothing feels quite as good as my work being seen though, especially as I have had to work quite hard about being unapologetic about what I paint. I spent all of my 20s trying to paint a certain way and fit in a certain box and now I just paint what gives me pure joy not worrying how others will receive it. If a painting doesn’t make me excited while I am working on it then I put it aside and start something new. The freedom to work that way is probably the biggest reward of all. 


Where do you gain inspiration?

I have been drawn to interiors from a very young age when I was obsessed with dolls houses and would spend hours pouring over the illustrations of Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge books. Since then I have been very lucky to visit some beautiful houses around the world both in private and public settings.The interiors I seek often have a stillness about them whether they are staid, grand spaces or softer, more personal spaces. Even in the very grand spaces I like to find pockets of general domesticity, layers and layers of  day to day life and humanness even if the figure isn’t present. I think I am always thinking about the idea of home, what it means collectively and as an individual.

About the author

Mariia Kashchenko

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