Artist Statement: While my work has always depicted a wide variety of subjects, from traditional portrait or figure to contemporary still life, what has remained constant is the focus on rendered tone and detail. In the same manner, although I have worked in a variety of media, pencils have always been my preferred and dominant medium, as they afford me the control that best channels my rather obsessive personality. My method likewise provides a channel for that personality in its constant measuring and re-measuring of parts to achieve accuracy in rendering the subject, reinforced by its focus on creating smooth textures and transitions. This approach to drawing is taken to its furthest extreme when I work from reference photographs that I have taken, but is certainly present, albeit modified by my academic training and time limit, when I work with a live model. Ultimately, when time permits, my goal is to relive and enhance those moments, either captured by camera or presented in front of me, in which I discovered and felt something beautiful; this is achieved through my meticulous process of re-creation. The painstaking process allows me to feel as if I were living through the photographed instant, or the few hours with the live model, in an “exploded moment,” or a life in a second, making the original moment even more profound to me. If the subject is a person, whether in a photograph or in a live sitting, the method of re-creation also allows me to feel like I am getting to know that person in a way unlike any other. In the case of creating a drawing or painting from a live model, my aim is to use the medium and process to truly delve into a careful viewing of the subject and translate the resulting meditative experience and insight into humanity.

Niamh Butler Eirik-den-Raude | 8 x 10 | Oil on panel
Niamh Butler Victors-Contentment | 8.5 x 11 | Black colored pencil charcoal pencil & white chalk
Niamh Butler Eirik-Blodøks | 8.5 x 11 | Black colored pencil charcoal pencil & white chalk
Niamh Butler Everbrooding | 8.5 x 11 | Black colored pencil charcoal pencil & white chalk
Niamh Butler Shakin | 21 x 29 | White chalk on toned paper
Niamh Butler Squish | 11 x 14 | Black colored pencil & charcoal pencil