Meet Popular Sunderland Abstract Artist Faye Greenman
Sunderland artist Faye Greenman paints abstract art that's in demand around the world
Northumbria University fashion graduate Faye has had growing success since becoming an independent artist, now has thousands of followers on socials, and her canvases have sold to customers in New York, Canada and Germany as well as closer to home. She also recently featured in Tatler Spring 2023. She sells original paintings, fine art prints and now clothing (available to pre-order), and is also open for commission artwork within her artistic style.
Working predominantly in black and white paint (although there are a couple of more colourful originals we have our eye on), and her artwork aims to evoke emotions or experiences in our own lives.
Faye got into art at school when she was 14, which was around the same time she launched her first Instagram account and started to follow female artists, who inspired her to pick up a pencil. ‘I would sometimes stay up all through the night drawing just for fun,’ she says. ‘My grandparents gave me my first commission of drawing a portrait, supporting me from day one, and the artwork is still hanging in my nana’s house alongside some of my more recent abstract works.’
She says her work is often ‘a reflection of a story, a way of communicating an emotion or experience’. ‘My artwork is often abstract with the aim of creating visual impact,’ she explains. ‘I like to leave the viewer with something to think about or contemplate. But I like to create a written caption to accompany each painting to give context to the viewer and to give an insight into the inspiration behind the painting.’
Faye’s painting process is often a very messy one, but it can vary depending on the idea for each piece. ‘Predominantly using acrylic and oil paint on canvas, some of my best artworks have been made with no prior planning,’ she says. ‘I like to leave room to be guided by my intuition, when I’m in flow it seems so easy to create a masterpiece but no two days are the same. With specific artworks which are centred around a concept I will create a digital painting on my iPad then use that as a reference when creating the physical painting. Sometimes I need structure and sometimes I need freedom, it all depends on the painting.’
Faye finds inspiration in how she sees the world. ‘I have a deep connection to my own spirituality and often use my own experiences to inform each artwork,’ she adds. ‘I’m a big believer in fate, the universe and that everything happens for a reason. I have tendencies to romanticise life and I feel that shines through in my work, I love to look at life through rose-tinted glasses.’ Faye is also inspired by contemporary artist Sophie Tea who is best recognised for her vibrant paintings of the female form. ‘Our art styles are very different but I’m inspired by her work ethic and the way she has built her art business around the globe. It’s so encouraging to see a female artist thrive independently, she owns her own galleries and hosts the most amazing shows. She shows me what is possible.’
Of the pieces she’s created recently, Faye’s favourite is the painting named Earthly Planes which is now available as a limited edition print and on T-shirts. ‘The original artwork was bought as a wedding gift from a bride to a groom which was just so special to be a part of,’ she tells us. She’s now working on her next painting series inspired by nostalgia, romance and longing. ‘This series invites the viewer to reflect on their own lives and experiences, sparking a connection to the universal human longing for connection and fulfilment,’ she says. ‘Through this next artwork series, we are reminded of the tender moments, the fleeting glances, and the unspoken words that shape our own stories.’
The support Faye has received from the North East has allowed her to grow from selling artwork from her bedroom to sending canvases all over the world. ‘When I was first starting out I was essentially selling to family and friends which I am so grateful for,’ she reflects. ‘I have hosted two solo gallery shows in Sunderland, in 2021 and 2022. The first was in my studio and the second was in The Athenaeum Abject Gallery. A range of my prints are currently on display in the newly renovated Mackies Corner and I’m also taking part in an art fair at Baltic where I’ll be showing prints and original artworks.’
Meanwhile Faye is going to continue creating and painting to express herself, and will be hosting a show to showcase her upcoming series once it is complete – she’s currently looking for the perfect space to do so. ‘I have goals of showing my work at prestigious art shows such as Art Basel, and one day I want to own my own gallery,’ she concludes.
What advice would you give budding artists?
I think the best advice is to keep going. Being an artist is a vulnerable pursuit which often sparks imposter syndrome or feelings of unworthiness. The biggest blessings come when these feelings are overcome, you have to believe in yourself no matter what. Allow yourself the time to evolve, change and become the artist you’re meant to be.
An item you couldn’t live without.
It sounds terrible but my phone. It’s where all my fleeting thoughts and moodboards are stored. If I have a spark of inspiration my notes app is always on hand to quickly jot it down to revisit.
A book you recommend.
A book I would recommend for any artist is The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. When I was reading it I felt as though the author had looked inside my brain, it’s a deeply spiritual take on creativity. Also I love Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, a classic and always a source of inspiration.
A World Between
It’s inspired by the idea that our minds are sometimes in a world between reality and the infinite and depicts souls stretching beyond the human form.
Together We Will Make It
It celebrates the power of community and working together to make the world a better place.
The Portal to Forever
This circular painting features a dark ocean or a window into space (depending on how you interpret it).