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Artist Interview: Oliver Winconek

by Catherine Peters May 01, 2022

Artist Oliver Winconek

This month we welcome Contemporary Oil painter Oliver Winconek, based in Cambridgeshire specialising in Portraiture, the figure and modern still life, to talk to us about his early influences and his current practice.

"We adore your portraits here at ARTdiscount HQ, capturing emotion in a moment encouraging you to stare at the piece for hours.

Q: Can you tell us about your Artistic background/education?
I’ve painted and drawn all of my life, as a child it was all I ever wanted to do. I decided not to go down the route of a formal art education as it felt like everything was moving away from painting and towards conceptual work, I knew I needed to paint and so chose to teach myself.

Q.How has your creative journey evolved over the last 5 years?

I’ve been a full time Artist for over 15 years now and during that time there has always been a natural evolution to my work but around 5 years ago I decided that I needed to improve every aspect of what I do. Lots of tiny tweaks here and there in order to feel a huge overall boost to the way I work but also my output.

Q.Do you work in a studio or from home?

I am currently renting a studio space in a cafe although I am also building a home studio in my garden which will become my primary work space. The hope is it will give me greater stability and a place to truly focus.'Joe McFadden' 'Joe McFadden'

Q.Who are your Art Influencers? Inspirations?

I always love the work of Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville and Tai-Shan Schierenberg. The way they render flesh and the human form is always wonderful to see.I’m inspired by people and the lives that they lead, getting to capture someone’s likeness and tell their story is always fascinating.

Q. Do you keep a sketchbook? How often do you use it and do you travel with it?

I don’t, a sketchbook hasn’t ever really been part of my working practise. I have used them when I’ve been away on breaks and enjoyed observing and documenting but so much of what I do is studio based now.

Q. Where does a piece of work begin for you? Can you describe your process?

A new painting usually starts at the email stage, starting to speak to the person who is commissioning it to find out their ideals for the portrait and to deduce as much as possible about the sitter before I actually meet them. This is such a crucial time and sets out the roadmap for the portrait ahead.

'Sir Ranulph Fiennes' bu Oliver Wiconeck

 'Sir Ranulph Fiennes'

Q.What are your most important artists tools?

I would say my oil paints – it sounds like an obvious answer but I use Michael Harding paints, they’re key to me being able to translate what is in my head to the board. Good materials don’t make a good Artist but when the majority of the painting is paint it makes sense to use the best.
I love the security of knowing that I’m using something that has an excellent quality to it and that I can rely on it.

Q.What are you currently working on?

I’ve actually just finished two portrait commissions that are due to be delivered so the next project is continuing the building of my studio and planning for an upcoming exhibition.

Q. What is the best advice you were given early in your creative career?           
Not to focus too much on finding your own style but just to enjoy painting and developing.

'Vera' OIiver Winconek'Vera'

Q. Where can we see more of your work online or in person?

I’m on Instagram and my work will be exhibited in London in June with Contemporary British Portrait Painters at the Department store in Brixton."



Catherine Peters
Catherine Peters

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