When I first stumbled across Rebecca Sophie Leigh’s whimsical and dainty figurative paintings, I knew immediately that I had to reach out and get in touch with her. The aesthetic style in which Rebecca’s figurative paintings displays is almost childlike and reminds us of the simplicity seen in primitive art, something the Fauvists and Expressionists famously mastered.
Extremely fashionable and full of personality, the women each have their own personality and almost speak to the viewer as they are fully engaged with large, dazing eyes. Greta, Barbette and Lucille (all pictured below), confront the viewer with their adorned outfits, styled hair and puckered lips. There is something so delightful in these childlike, yet very mature, paintings seemingly from a bygone era. Many of Rebecca’s inspirations derive from the glamour of the 20s/30s as well as her interest for theatre at a young age: “I always wanted to make up the actors and dress them! I suppose in my own way, that is what I am doing now within my portraits!”
Inspired by artists from the past such as modernist Modigliani, Cambodian sculptures and 13th Century French paintings, Rebecca’s art juxtaposes various past artistic traditions with the present while relaying intense emotion through the use of brushstroke, colour and expression.
“I paint only when the desire comes to me! I am however more creative when I feel sad or frustrated. I often paint on the kitchen table whilst feeding the children their breakfast. My creativity is sporadic and sometimes I have such a strong urge to paint that I drop what I do and leg it back to the table or my studio. My medium is a mix of French pastels and acrylics and inks and often paint on Tibetan handmade paper … I sometimes dip my brushes into my cups of tea or red wine so I guess tea and wine are part of my medium!”
A member of The Chelsea Arts Club — which is notoriously difficult to get membership to — Rebecca has found a spectacularly unique niche for herself and the style she has pioneered; she has even sold multiple pieces to royal family members. She believes her inspiration comes from years of theatre trips with her granny, a love of glamour and a desire to dress up the stars. Glamorous, emotive and whimsical, these striking paintings would make a wonderful addition to any home as a focal point; either pop of colour or to create a dramatic effect:
For commissions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can shop the available prints here.