by artist Peter Kavanagh  

About the Artist

Peter Kavanagh artist

I’ve been working as a freelance artist for over 25 years. I’ve had over 150 children’s books published, including 10 as the author. I also paint nude pictures and have taught life drawing for many years. Currently I run an illustration agency representing 20 illustrators working mainly in publishing.

As an illustrator of children’s books I’ve always practiced drawing the figure and have been fascinated by our ability to read expression and personality in the simplest scribble of a human. As an illustrator a model is used occasionally for reference, to help convey the desired figure. As an artist the process of working with the naked model becomes the essence of the nude picture. The connection, the relationship, the mood of the session impact upon the naked art and resonate in the final image.

I prefer to paint directly from life to experience the presence of the model. This demands working quickly before the model tires and the gesture of the pose is lost. Gesture is the magic quality that we respond to and very important in my work. Light is also important to me, revealing the fragile and transient beauty that fills us with sadness at the same moment as it fills us with pleasure.

I have worked for many years as a life model to other artists and enjoy being an inspiration to them. I like to explore poses and compositions that help to convey this artist / model process, the time involved, the sense of being inspired and of being studied. This willingness and participation of the model, and my honest attempts to express my reactions, creates real work that differs I think from the pretence of pornography.