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  • June 2015

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Fleur Deakin: June 2015

Fleur Deakin has sold paintings to hundreds of art lovers, but she still remembers the woman who paid £45 for a watercolour around the start of the 2000s. Why? Because it was the first work she ever sold.

This customer ­ let's call her £45 woman ­ vindicated a very brave decision the artist had taken just weeks before. Fleur had spent nearly a decade running a jewellery business after graduating from Brighton University with a degree in visual arts and theatre. She was making a good living, but felt creatively unfulfilled. So she decided to start again, this time as an visual artist.

Fleur painted watercolours on cardboard and put them in Habitat frames, then rented a stall at Covent Garden market. The paintings sold immediately. In time, she took pitches at other markets, and began to work the art fair scene too. She was even invited to take part in a special show at the Commonwealth Institute. She sold all her work.

Fleur's reputation was growing and soon it was time to make another big decision: leave behind the market stalls and target the galleries. Again, she chose the correct path. 

Removed from the hectic world of market stalls, Fleur was able to focus on developing her style and technique. Slowly, she moved towards the dazzling mixed media aesthetic on display at her first Catto show. She says: "As an artist you have to work really hard to be yourself. It takes a while before what you put on canvas feels original and completely
natural. I feel I'm there now."

The artist describes her aesthetic as slightly terrifying inspired simultaneously by the painterly qualities of the Fauve artists and the impressionists yet also by the naked emotion of the abstract
expressionists.

Fleur achieves this intriguing combination by being truly open. Simply, she's prepared to incorporate all media and any artistic technique into her work. Thus, she will happily use gold and silver leaf, paper, wood, plaster and fabric. She will incorporate recycled packaging and discarded printed material. And she will paint with oil or acrylic, encasing everything under different resins and varnishes.

The end result is a feast for the senses. The Catto is delighted to be part of Fleur's artistic story.

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