Meet Constance Regardsoe
We interview Constance Regardsoe, exciting emerging talent, already an award winner whose oil paintings offer the viewer pure escapism, something we all surely crave at the moment. An enthusiastic wild swimmer Constance has a longstanding fascination with water and uses it to express time and impermanence ideas.
Her 'Water Series' in now available at Hatch.
H: We find ourselves in yet another lockdown, how has this affected you in work and life?
C: Over the last few months I've been 'comfortably homeless' and living out of suitcases, so practically it has been challenging to work on large canvases in such situations. I'm now in a permanent residence with a designated studio for painting. Hence, I'm excited about how productive I'll be able to be over the next few months.
H: Tell us about your wild swimming?
C: I swim quite a lot outdoors, though I usually take a little break between the end of November and mid-Feb, I don't swim competitively, but I do it as much as possible. I have swam in a few of the lochs of Scotland, the lake district, off the coast near the south downs, a few of the Thames tributaries and the sea around Dover. There are quite a few good loading spots on the Thames close to me, so I'm hoping to get back in the water as soon permitted.
H: Where does your interest in art come from?
C: I've always loved it. I suppose I was quite naturally able at drawing as a child, and gradually I just wanted to see how far I could take the skill. No one really knows why we are here, and part of me wonders if it is not to devote oneself to a craft as best as you are able.
H: What was your first ever experience of 'art'?
C: The earliest experience I can remember was going to my local museum. I was looking at a Waterhouse painting and wondering how human hands could be captured in such detail.
H: Outside of art, what makes you the happiest?
C: A year ago, I would have said travelling and seeing more of the world. Of late, I am beginning to wonder if I derive more happiness from feeling useful and helping others with simple things, like cutting my partners hair or helping my siblings with their studies.
H: What inspires you?
C: My source photographs play such a huge role in my motivation, the turquoise and aquas and reflective sunspots in my most recent series just thrill me. It helps too when my model is someone I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for. The girl featured in many of my recent works, Alice, is an oncology nurse whose energy and resilience truly inspires me.
H. Which current art world trends are you following?
C: Photorealism always interests me just because of the sheer discipline of it. I never like the idea of 'trends' in art, but I suppose they are inevitable. An artist I know once said that success for an artist comes when your personal work aligns with what inspires the public in that period. He used Caravaggio as an example. Bringing something into the world precisely the right time for it to be received sounds a little more agreeable than 'trend'.
H: Tell us about your process.
C: You might not tell from my finished pieces, but generally, my process is incredibly fluid. I made rough gestural guides in thinned paint before adding base colour washes. The detail builds and builds organically. Unlike many painters who employ a similar style to me, I don't grid or project. This means that my work is actually full of small 'errors' that I like to think to create something of a sense of fluidity the human hand rather than the perfection that gridding offers.
H: How do you deal with creative block?
C: It happens to everyone, and I haven't yet found a reasonable answer. There are days when you just don't want to paint, and that is where persistence comes in.
H: What are you working on next?
A large photorealism piece capturing the moment a figure emerges from the sea to draw breath, I'm thinking of calling it 'emergence' or 'rebirth' or maybe 'the baptism'.
H: Do you have a creative hero? & Who are your biggest influences?
C: I would probably say Alyssa Monks. Since my teens, I had been following her career in 2018, I saw her work in person in London, and it was almost a religious experience.
H: How would your friends describe you?
C: On occasion, I have been called 'kind' and 'wise' by my friends, both these things bring me a lot of pride. On balance, a friend once told me that I am competent, but hide it behind a mask of incompetence, which probably contains a grain of truth.
H: We are bombarded every day by bad news, what one thing would you change in the world if you could?
C: I care immensely about the environment (I hope that some hint of my intense appreciation of it comes through in my work). I would like to see meaningful shifts to humanity living a more sustainable existence, which I hope will become the norm.
To purchase or commission Constance's work visit the collection here or contact us using Ref:CONSTANCE at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can follow Constance on Instagram @regardsoe.artwork
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