Artist & Painter
I first heard about Becky Blair through Amy Douglas, when I asked whether she knew of another artist I could speak to while in Brighton. Becky came highly recommended, so I promptly contacted her via Instagram. Lucky for me, she agreed to meet the next day, despite the short notice. Becky is an artist and painter whose colourful dream-like paintings are highly sought-after internationally.
From the moment we met, Becky was extremely down-to-earth and spoke excitedly about what she was working on. She was in the midst of preparing for the Battersea Autumn Affordable Art Fair and one of her pieces was used as the cover of their publicity material.
As we moved about her studio space and I watched Becky work on her paintings, I find myself drawn to the way Becky layers her colours in her paintings. Each hue seems to convey a magical realism that evokes feelings of warmth and life. It’s easy to see why they resonate so deeply with so many people.
During my visit, Becky was in the midst of layering soft greens and whites on her current group of canvases. She commented: “I love how colours change an art piece.” While she likes the abstract, she finds that her paintings become more accessible with a human figure added in, almost like adding a human touch.
This must have seemed like a silly question but I asked it any way:
Does she have a favourite colour?
“Not really, but I go through phases. It’s currently green and pink. But pink that isn’t too fleshy or candy.”
Does she ever struggle with finishing a painting? Or knowing when to stop?
“It’s important to make sure that each painting is not overworked. That said, each part has to be resolved and there has to be balance between the quiet and busy areas of the piece.”
Through her art, Becky subverts the common stereotype of the ‘tortured’ artist. “I’m not interested in the angst,” she says. And you can see it in her paintings - they draw the viewers attention to the uplifting richness and joy of experience.
It’s interesting to know that Becky did not enjoy using paint when she was younger. She felt paint was messy and difficult to master. It was only after speaking to a teacher that changed her perspective. Specifically, this advice stuck to her over the years:
“Every mark making has a purpose.”
Musing about being exposed to art at a young age, Becky recalls bringing art supplies on holidays abroad and visits to exhbitions and galleries with her family. A practice she still commits to with her own family. She continues to be inspired by her travels, balancing a desire to capture beauty and acknowledging how the environment is affected by her presence.
Known primarily as a tourist destination and a weekend getaway for Londoners, Becky attests to the fact that it can be difficult to sell art or hold many exhibitions in Brighton. However, visiting Becky’s studio at Phoenix Brighton, it is encouraging to see studios full of artists and workshops running year round that engage the community and keep the creative spirit alive.
Keep up with Becky’s magical paintings by following her on instagram or checking out her website.