Amy Beager lives and works from her studio in Chelmsford, UK. Amy's painterly language has re-imagined figurative painting with her bold colour juxtapositions; figures rendered in a simultaneously classical yet modern style; and compositions, which are exquisitely romantic and poetic. We were delighted to speak to Amy about her artistic journey, studio habits and how she developed her unique style.




Firstly, thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us, could you tell us about what inspired you to become an artist? 


I have always loved painting and drawing since an early age and I wanted to be an artist when I was studying art at school. However, I didn’t have the confidence or the knowledge on how to be an artist then, so I didn’t see how it could be a genuine career for me. I went on to do a BA in fashion design and worked as a designer after Uni, however, I have always felt one day I would go back to painting. After working in fashion for a number of years, I began to realise that it wasn’t my passion and my heart wasn’t fully dedicated. I wanted to pursue a career as an artist (this was circa 2018). By then, Instagram was a thing, and so I had an opportunity here to make work and be able to share it with people. I saw this as a way into the art world that I wouldn’t have had access to before.





If you could describe your practice in 3 words what would they be?


Heartfelt, experimental, bold


Your work is quite unique how you've re-imagined figurative painting with bold colour, and figures painted in a classical yet contemporary style. Could you talk us through how you developed this unique aesthetic? 


I love colour, particularly in relation to paint, because of the variety and freedom you have of mixing any tone you can imagine. When I used to work with fabrics you were restricted and choice was limited, so I really enjoy exploring colour combinations and using bold, vibrant and unusual colour palettes. I really enjoy experimenting with different tones and combinations and thinking about the balance of colour across the overall composition. How colours change depending on what other colours are next to them. I’m always trying to balance the ones that fight against each other and combine them with colours that enhance each other.



Tell us about the figures you depict in your practice, who they are and what are they conveying? 


The figures I paint are typically from found images in art history, theatre, movies, fashion editorials, classical sculptures, and also from my imagination. The figures often appear restless, fervent, and in a complex tension of ecstasy and anguish. They are reminiscent of the dramatic poses of the divine saints from the Renaissance period and hover between the classical and the contemporary.




Your paintings explore the strength and fragility of the feminine existence, could you talk us through how you portray this, please? 


It is a combination of choices throughout the process, from the choice of line, the fluidity or heaviness of the brushstrokes and using soft and bold colours, that help to convey the sensuality and strength of femininity. The poses and expressions of the figures also suggestive of these characteristics. The sewing or ‘landscape’ that the figures are placed in, are indefinable, in between the imagined and reality. The figures are a vessel for the thoughts, dreams, and desires of the subject.  


Materials are obviously key to any artist’s practice, what are your go-to and what can’t you be without? 


My go-to’s at the moment are my fan brushes. I have a few different sizes and I love the versatility of brushstrokes you can achieve. I have also recently started using a sponge to paint, which I am enjoying, so right now I wouldn’t want to be without that.





At the moment we’re running a campaign called ‘Creative Spaces’ where we’re asking our audience to share with us where they make work. Whether that be a studio, a desk, the corner of a room. Tell us about your space and why it’s important to you. 


Space is so important to me as I can be quite messy and spread things all over the place. So I am grateful to have a larger space now. I have been at my current studio for just over a year, and I have been able to make larger works and more works simultaneously. It has enabled me to take my time with a painting and sit and revisit it later, which I think has helped my work improve. I have a sofa in the corner, so I can also take comfortable breaks throughout the day to reflect and look. It is particularly nice in the warmer months, as it’s located in a secluded village with an outdoor courtyard and can feel like quite an escape from the world.


Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us so Can you tell us what’s next on the cards for you? Have you any upcoming projects you can share with us 


I will be showing some works at Expo Chicago in April and I have a solo exhibition at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery’s London space in June and a solo in their Miami space later in the year. I also have a residency at Palazzo MonTI, Italy, this year which I am really looking forward to.  



Be sure to check out more of Amy's work on her website and follow her on Instagram @amybeager