Arts Derbyshire

Artist profile

Millie Welburn-Cowell

As a young female artist, I am figuring out my place in the genre of Contemporary Portraiture – my practice is focused on painting portraits from photographs. The idea of capturing something in a second and translating this into a painting, creates a relationship between me and my audience.

I can modify what the viewer sees through disregarding the primary photograph.  Through developing a focus on specific elements, I can adapt backgrounds and replace them with personified colours in an attempt to encourage an individualistic interpretation of an edited image.

My current paintings are inspired by flat shapes and colour and how I can use these to enhance aspects of my sitter. By flattening out the original photograph, I am able to capture the sitter’s gaze in my paintings to create a relationship between sitter and viewer – this is the pinnacle of my practice and allows my presence as an artist to be known by the audience.

By painting people I have emotional relationships with, I am able to establish a stronger element of detail and give the audience a focus point. Knowing the sitter well allows me to capture their gaze convincingly through a combination of improvisation and reality.

Creative Genre

  • I have experimented with different genres of art through my years of study – from creating theatre sets in a work experience environment
  • interning at Doddington Sculpture Park, creating meaningful art to inform homelessness to the wider population where I live
  • to now being immersed in portraiture and discovering a love for attending different exhibitions countrywide. I am keen to maintain this new style of portrait painting that I have developed over these last few months and is something I am proud to present.

Work Undertaken

  • Waitress / Barista / Gallery manager 6 Solo Exhibitions presented in Bonnington Gallery
  • 2019-2022. 1 Solo Exhibition for Bonnington Gallery Degree Showcase 2022. 1 Public Group Exhibition in 1 Thorseby Street
  • 2021. Exhibition of portrait painting in The Harley Gallery
  • Worksop 2022 Exhibition of portrait paintings in Gallery M.I Wirksworth
  • 2022

Work in Education

  • 1st Class Honours Degree Nottingham Trent University 2022


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