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Antoinette Mangion

Apart from a brief, incomplete foray into studying Art & Design at Portsmouth College of Art in the 70s, I self-taught and started art-making seriously again in 2008, especially painting.

I enjoy conveying my experience of subjects in acrylic and oils onto canvas or clayboard. I use graphite,  colour pencils, watercolour or water colour pencils for practice work and sketchbook studies. I challenge myself by trying my hand at a variety of different subjects and methods of mark- making but find by far that I am most satisfied with my figurative work, rendered in acrylics and, or, oils, featuring people, reflective elements and still-life subjects.

There is no single element that inspires me to paint a subject, but I am mostly compelled by contrasts, whether it be the contrast of light against dark or two juxtaposed colours or elements. I recently found a preference for painting with a very limited palette. My latest work: Fruit On Black Glass was rendered with just three colours and titanium white.

My painting process is one of layering thick or thin and using any tool that suits, including knives, plastic, sponges, fingers. to sculpt out the final result.  I stick to plan in the early stages i.e palette colours and foundation sketch. Starting with a complimentary (colour) acrylic ground and brushing in a rough acrylic sketch over the ground to position the important elements and tones of the subject. After that, anything can happen. I get lost in the process which plays out differently for every painting. I keep a photographic or video record of the progress of a painting so that I can go back and break down the choices that took me from uncertain beginnings to a painting that is credible for me..

My portrait titled 'Dipping' was pre-selected for the 2010 BP Portrait prize, the same work was shortlisted the following year for A&I 2011 Artist of the Year Award (Portrait Award. My portrait titled 'Tyra', formed in oils on acrylic sketch and ground. was pre-selected for the 2014 Threadneedle Prize.

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