Gwen Roberts received a Special Recognition Art Award in “The Healing Power of ART: Resilience” 2022 Exhibition for her exceptional ability to impact the viewer on a visceral level. She is a master in the use of pencil and her painstaking, detailed process is captivating and rare to find today in our digital age. Her technical proficiency is matched by her profound sensitivity toward her subjects and the vast spectrum of emotions she expresses.
Immediately mesmerizing for the details, it is easy to mistaken her works of art for photographs; however, Gwen imbues her subjects with a transcendence beyond what any photograph could capture. Gwen’s art may also bring to mind the superb virtuosity of a master artist from centuries ago; however, her carefully cropped, unabashed, and bold compositions exude her own undeniable contemporary vision.
Gwen explains it best: “My objective: to unify artist and viewer and create a mutual intimate bond by way of my art.”
We Are Not Invisible, graphite on paper, 16″ x 16″. This drawing was selected for “The Healing Power of ART: Resilience” 2022 Exhibition.
Gwen lives in Lake Cathie, New South Wales, Australia. Her multiple award-winning works of art can be found in many private collections around the globe. Gwen has also received many commissions for her art.
Her many exhibitions include “Naked and Nude” at the Manning Regional Gallery in which she received the Art Prize as a finalist. She has also won Bonny Hills Art Prizes. Her numerous exhibitions include a solo show at Recoleto Creative, Javea, Spain and group exhibitions held at Galería Artelibre, Zaragoza, Spain, Museu Europeu d’Art Modern, Barcelona, and Glasshouse Port Macquarie Regional Gallery, Australia, among others.
When Gwen submitted her art to “The Healing Power of ART: Resilience” she wrote, “My work is very female centric, exploring our perceptions of femininity in context to contemporary social awareness. It is my objective when I create artwork to divulge personal experiences and emotions but also to represent and bolster the female voice. Resilience is part of our nature as mothers, daughters, friends and colleagues. Every woman during her lifetime will have to employ resilience and apply her strength of character in order to defend and protect herself or loved ones. Simply put; it’s what we do.”
Hoax19, sanded charcoal and pastel on paper, 28” x 23”
As the curator of the Manhattan Arts International “HerStory” juried competition in 2022 I chose Gwen’s drawing “Hoax 19” shown above. About this compelling charcoal and pastel on paper she wrote, “I’ve become well acquainted with my ever changing body over the years. As a consequence the female form is central to my work. I’ve placed unrealistic demands on my body and I’ve been critical of its aesthetic. I now treasure it and seek to preserve it. My art reveals a sincere narrative of intimate experiences and emotions through a series of sanded pastel drawings. The paper is sized with charcoal, then burnished with sandpaper. Smaller pieces are used for drawing.”
The Comfort Blanket, sanded charcoal and pastel on paper, 22″ x 28″
You might want to know more how Gwen achieves her remarkable results. She practices an uncommon technique using sandpaper. She invests care and time to achieve a myriad of tones, textures, and her inimitable velvety surface.
Gwen explains her process this way: “The drawing is rendered in charcoal using small pieces of sandpaper to peel back or fuse the medium with the paper. It is labour intensive and demands expertise but enables a flawless rendering.” Her process is an “interchange between photographs and drawings, and intervene between realism and abstraction.”
Double A, sanded charcoal and pastel on paper, 18″ x 23″
Gwen has also written a workbook “How to Draw Photorealistic Portraits” in order to share her skills with others. It is an easy to follow, step-by-step guide on how to render a realistic portrait, described as “This little book is packed with some basic information for beginners through seasoned artists.” It is available on Amazon.
Visit Gwen Roberts’ website: gwenroberts.com