Collector Focus: Mike Brewwrart


What current trends are you following and why?

I have always been most interested in painting people, so it is exciting to see the current trend of other artists of all ages painting portraits and figures. While I am not following a trend, I do believe there are currents of ideas that come when the time is right and mystically develop in the minds of many artists at once. An example of this is figurative paintings with lots of flowers. This idea seemed to appear only a couple of years ago and may already be fading away.

What concept or narrative is behind your work?

I have always loved painting woman. While making my paintings of woman I like to think of the thoughts that are going through their minds. Because my paintings take so long to complete, I imagine that the thoughts that I perceive are theirs are in reality my own thoughts. My paintings are partially self-portraits. 

Explain your process.

My large paintings usually take around six months to complete. I start with taking around 400 photos of the model in various poses. Sometimes in my studio and sometimes in my garden. The model and I then pick out a pose we both like. We reshoot this pose from many angles and lighting effects. I then work on these photos in Photoshop to determine the shape of the canvas and work on the background to enhance the pose. I start the painting by drawing on the canvas with a paintbrush defining the shadows and light shapes. After I am satisfied with the drawing, I have the model pose so I can block in color notes. Because the painting develops over many days and several layers of paint, I finish the work from the photos.

Do you ever venture out of your creative process to try out new things? 

While I realize that trying other styles of art and media could enhance my work I prefer to work in oil. Painting the figure in oil paint is so complex I don’t think I will ever run out of new things to learn and practice. So, while I am not trying new art styles I am constantly exploring the different aspects of oil painting from surfaces, to pigments, to brushes, to effects of different lighting, to color relationships.

What is your ultimate goal for your artwork?

I try to make each painting better than the last one. These paintings are my children. My goal is to find good homes for each of them where the collectors gets constant pleasure from owning them.