FAD Magazine interview with Florence Hutchings

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Hector Campbell: Drawing from life appears to be an important starting point in your practice, and you’ve spoken in the past about producing up to thirty preliminary sketches for some paintings. How large a role does drawing play in the production of your paintings? And what level of experimentation or chance do you allow yourself once you begin work on a painting?

Florence Hutchings: Drawing does play a fundamental part in my practice, but the way the drawings come about varies all the time. I often have days away from the studio, just drawing at my flat. It is something I find really important to find different places to work at different times, as it is vital to realise that an artist’s whole practise cannot solely be in the studio.I do also draw a lot in the studio, this seems to come less from life and more from previous ideas I’ve worked with, I try to push these ideas further by drawing partly from imagination. 

When it comes to making the paintings, I never work as if I am making a transcription from the drawings. Instead, I let different drawings influence different aspects of the work, for example part of the composition or the subject matter. At some stage of working on a painting I find it important that I no longer have the drawings up on the studio wall, I take them down so that when I’m working I’m purely having a conversation with the painting. 

H.C: Bold, vibrant colour and unusual or unexpected colour choices and combinations have become a hallmark of your artistic output, with household objects and interiors often depicted in unpredictable palettes. How do you approach your selection of colour?

F.H: Colour is so important in my work. The way a palette comes about is never really on purpose, but usually through chance and trial and error. As much as I enjoy a vibrant palette I also think it important to, at times, limit the colours I use so that there are just a few different tones on one canvas. This is something I really explored with my door series for my upcoming show with Delphian Gallery, some of the paintings are purely black and white such asLamplit Door. I enjoy working this way as it made me explore different variations of each colour, working with ten different types of blacks and ten different types of whites can be just as exciting as working with bright reds and yellows. 

At times my palette comes through ways I never would have considered. For instance, I once made this purple and green painting and was thinking to myself “I wonder why I picked those colours”, only later did I notice I was wearing both those colours in my outfit. The same thing has happened with motifs in my work, I’ve looked at my bedsheets before and been like “That’s where that pattern came from!”

Read the rest of the interview here: