Meet the Whitby-Based Artist Who is Putting Her Art in the Spotlight After Years of Teaching
Anne Moses' close-up portrait paintings are the result of her detailed observations, focusing on finer details
‘I’ve been painting, drawing and teaching for an awfully long time,’ she admits. ‘I’ve loved painting ever since I was a kid. I studied at Middlesbrough College of Art and then went to Manchester Polytechnic, as it was called at the time, and studied for a degree in Fine Art. Since then, I’ve been teaching but always on a part-time basis so I could continue with my own work.’
Anne and her husband co-ran an Art & Design Access to Higher Education Course which enabled many disadvantaged adults to return to mainstream education and gain entry into universities across the UK. Now she dedicates the majority of her time to her own work.
‘Around six or seven years ago I decided to focus on art professionally and started looking around galleries to try and get my artwork represented,’ she explains. ‘It’s been a hard slog! It’s not easy, coming from the North, to get recognised in London or across the UK. I’ve carried paintings across to Paris to show to galleries too. Eventually, I managed to show my art in London and just recently I was shortlisted for the Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award. That was a big thing for me. I was on a shortlist of just 10 and we had a wonderful evening. It’s really helped in raising my profile.’
Although her work has progressed overtime, the same theme has remained constant – close-up and detailed observation. Working mostly on large canvases, her main area of interest has always been the human face and form. ‘My work is often close-ups of parts of the body – often showing emotion or sensuality,’ she says. ‘It’s a close-up view of the world. I’ve always looked at the details in things. I’m not sure why. I’ve often thought about it and when you’re asked these questions you start to wonder. I’ve always been short sighted – so I wonder if that’s got anything to do with it,’ she laughs. ‘I’ve never painted groups of people or landscapes, it’s always been close-up images.’
Anne combines both traditional and modern techniques to create her portraits. ’I often use friends as models and they always laugh because of course I only ever use part of them. I’ll usually take lots of photographs and then I work digitally on them. I use photoshop first to really play around with the cropping and manipulating the colours until I get something that I’m really happy with, then I transfer that image, blow it up onto a canvas and start painting.’
What If, £5,289
Up Close, £5,453
Boy In Red, £5,453
All available to buy online at saatchiart.com
Working primarily in oils, Anne’s methods have progressed overtime. Recently, she’s researched and developed the Old Master technique of working with oil glazes (applying layers of transparent oil colour to her work). ‘Around the time that I got into promoting my work, I came across [this] technique, by accident really,’ says Anne. ‘I’ve always used oil paints, and I was wiping a painting that I wasn’t too happy with one day and just loved the effect of the white canvas showing through.
‘It’s a sort of layering technique – certainly not my own – but I’ve researched and adapted it to suit my own work. You can’t really find the glazes that I use on the market often, so myself and my husband have started making them for my own purposes. We have all these strange jars around the house in different stages of glaze,’ Anne laughs. ‘It’s certainly helped my work a lot.’
It’s clear Anne’s passion for painting is unwavering. ‘It’s a wonderful, sensual thing to do, to paint on a canvas and express something. It’s just something that’s within you. I often say to students how privileged we are as artists to see the world in a particular way – it’s a real fascination with the visual.’
That’s why she recommends that everyone gives it a go. ‘It’s not easy,’ she admits. ‘I’m from a working-class background but was lucky enough to go to university. If you really want to do it, you can, you’ve just got to keep pushing yourself. Getting recognition is difficult but you’ve just got to persevere. You’ve got to work hard.’
Having been announced as one of the winners of the Boynes Emerging Art Prize in 2022 and also being a finalist for the Aesthetica Art Prize, the future looks bright for Anne. ‘There are a couple of galleries interested in my work, so I’m hoping to work with galleries a bit more closely,’ she reveals. ‘I hope to continue getting my work out there to continue raising my profile.’