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Interview with Amy Steel

1 / If you could have any famous artist paint your portrait, who would it be?

Celia Paul! I would like the portrait to be in my studio. Her paintings are embedded with a feeling of transcendence and a quietness that I find captivating. There is a life to the surface of her paintings, a build-up of a layers, time and the unexpected.

2 / What’s your favourite colour and why?

My favourite colour is pink because it shifts so much depending on the hue. It can be a soft blush, warm and inviting or garish and synthetic, pink can be terrifying. It is a very gendered colour too, which also makes it interesting to me.

3 / What are you reading at the moment?

‘Actress’ by Anne Enright and ‘I Paint What I Want to See’ by Philip Guston. I read in the morning with coffee, it helps me to get into a more reflective headspace before I go to the studio. I always flip between fiction and nonfiction depending on my mood and what I feel I need to fuel me for the day.

4 / What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing right now in your work?

Practising detachment – by that I mean listening to what the painting needs without pressing my ideas or self onto it too much. Painting is all about contradictions, coming to the canvas loaded with intention and intensity is required but equally important – if not more – is then letting all that go.

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