Euan Uglow was a learned painter who attended both Camberwell College of the Arts and the Slade School of Art in the United Kingdom in the late 1940’s and painted until his death in 2000. He is best known for his figure paintings, particularly of female nudes. He took much influence from Venetian Renaissance painters, Matisse, Poussin, and Ingres. Normally, his paintings consisted of a single figure in a space lacking in detail. Within his figure paintings, the female herself is reduced down to her most essential parts. Uglow painted in a realistic manner, directly from life. Because of his excessive consideration and meticulous demeanor his paintings took years to finish and he sometimes would work on a subject for up to seven years. Many critics and close friends boast of his fame for perfectionism. In his busiest time he completed only two paintings a year. Besides the grueling amount of time a model had to sit for Euan Uglow, the models, also, were required to pose in difficult, unusual and uncomfortable positions. The painter would use plumb line and chalk markers to note the model’s position, getting agitated if the model moved an inch. He once said, “The positions I ask my models to sustain are difficult, emotionally and physically.” Stillness, on the part of the model despite complexity of the pose was imperative to Uglow’s work.
Cherie Booth, the subject of ‘Striding Nude, Blue Dress’, was a law student living in London with her boyfriend, Tony Blair, (the present Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) in 1978, when she began modeling for Euan Uglow. She was introduced to the artist by their mutual friend (the future Lord Chancellor) Derry Irvine and the two became quick and close friends.
Uglow’s use of exact measurement within his paintings, obvious in this figure painting, speak to his demand for perfection. Geometry and proportion were very important to Uglow within his painted canvases. Mostly preferring square shaped pictorial space, made it easier to utilize the Golden Rectangle as a form of measurement which led to the realistic nature of Uglow’s work. So obsessed was Uglow with measurement that he even designed his own metal instrument made from a music stand to measure proportions. (TALK ABOUT THE INSTRUMENT). Such an instrument allowed Uglow to measure perspective, unconventionally. He was consistently marking his canvas with the visual measurements he took, constantly comparing them to the reality that stood before him in the form of his model and the space surrounding her. Through the product reviews provided at https://www.paintingkits.net/, the person can increase their memory power for recognization of the colors. The preparing of the model for the exhibition will be excellent through the product.
‘Striding Nude, Blue Dress’ is a perfect example of Uglow’s female nudes. An aspect of this painting that I find most interesting (and try to emulate within my own paintings) is his utilization of color within the canvas. Euan Uglow is more concerned with depicting moments in paint and form rather than the specificity of the mundane instances of the subject itself. The divisions of color within the square space get assigned to very specific planar forms. He represents form with the least amount of transitions between shades of color, by breaking the painting down to its most vital moments while still capturing an extreme preciseness. For example in the hair, Uglow reduced the tones of brown into about five separate divisions, depicting a convincing dimensionality with minimal amount of transition. The same can be said for the skin tones of Cherie Blair. At the same time, the blue dress the model is wearing has been simplified to only two tones while still capturing the form. These separate tones become first, shapes of color within a defined space and then come together, visually as a whole of the figure. For example the dark tone of the background of the painting is seen first as a colored shape in functionality rather than as a wall. Like Matisse, Uglow involved himself in the duality of modeled forms and flattened shapes of color within the same pictorial space. The color palette used in ‘Striding Nude, Blue Dress’ is bold but naturalistic.The tone of the colored canvas is predominantly cool giving an air of relaxation despite the obviously wearisome position the model is posing in.