Friday, March 1, 2024

Vintage Vogue on Canvas

Ingrid Boot
From seduction and mystery to timeless elegance and style, artist Ingrid Boot’s striking portrait artworks are a standout at The Art Lounge in Howick. EastLife talks to the skilled artist on her passion for vintage vogue, movie icons, film noir, and all things glamorous on canvas.

How would describe your style?
Feminine elegance whilst capturing a fleeting moment in time.

Something we should know about you?
Even though I paint women oozing elegance, I only own one pair of click clack shoes (heels – which I never wear) and buy more outfits for my models than I do for myself. I often do my paintings upside down (the canvas not me) and sometimes it helps if I take my glasses off to make it blurry.

When did you fall in love with vintage vogue, movie icons, film noir, beauty, perfumes and all things glam?
I often ask myself this question as I am probably the least glam person you could meet and this was certainly never encouraged. I wouldn’t say any of my upbringing influenced it other than seeing images in the very few magazines I saw. But if there was ever a picture of Marylin Monroe or Marlene Dietrich, I had to get a pencil and paper and draw it. As a teenager, my parents gave me a gorgeous History of Vogue fashion book which I still absolutely love to this day. I have a huge appreciation for beauty, be that in the shape of a perfume bottle, an interior, a certain look, pose or outfit. I absolutely crave to capture this on canvas but not in my own reality, funnily enough.

Cola Pop

Did you consider being a fashion designer?
When I was very little, I used to make outfits for my dolls and fitted them together using cellotape until my mum taught me how to sew. I took textiles A ‘Level at school and not only did I love dressmaking, I was very interested in the history of fashion. If I had more confidence or knew more about this career, I think I would have enjoyed this path or even costume design. I feel that my art process now enables me to dabble in this area as well as fashion photography.

What is the creative process involved with your artistic style?
My work is very realistic, so I take my own reference photos to create the realism. If I am working on a specific theme, I will spend several weeks doing research to spark ideas and plan a photoshoot with props and outfits to create the right look. A lot of time goes into sourcing it. Each time I do a photoshoot I try and learn something new or challenge myself. Then I must find my model. My first model was Rebecca around the time my love for Vintage Vogue blossomed. She had a confident beauty, was graceful and elegant and she appeared in my solo show ‘En Vogue’ in 2016 which was inspired by the covers of Vintage Vogue magazines. Since then, I have been extremely fortunate to meet my other models, Morgan, Emma, Victoria and Tasmyn. Each and every one of them could easily have featured on the cover of a Vintage Vogue magazine.

When my models turn up for a photoshoot they get very excited and treat it like a big dress-up session. Even though most of the shoot is carefully planned out the best shots are frequently the ones that are improvised by the model herself.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I seem to be continuously inspired. I could be looking through a magazine, or my Instagram feed, or see a snippet of a film and I get a flurry of excitement. Sometimes I get my sketchbook out and make a visual note of it – or I screengrab and save it to my computer for later.

What are you working on now?
I am super excited about my next theme! My previous theme was Retro where I did some funky paintings with a 60’s and 70’s feel. When people saw these works, they asked if I was inspired by Slim Aarons, who I had never heard of – so I did some research on him. He was an American photographer who captured the ‘high life’ of attractive people in social settings – such as outdoor pools.

I especially liked his 1960’s images with the vintage bathing suits and I thought it would be a challenge to paint groups of people. I was very fortunate to meet a wonderful lady called Hilaire who collects vintage fashion and she very kindly lent me the most amazing swimsuits and clothing. I had a photoshoot all set for the Parnell Baths, but that fell through so Hilaire kindly let me do the shoot at her pool in Remuera. With the help of family and friends we tried to capture a Slim Aarons feel and the results were amazing. It was the biggest shoot I have done to date and I had seven people to dress and several pose ideas, each with outfit changes. We were all transported back to the 1960s for the day. I have just started my first painting and hope to release the series later this year.

How many hours a day do you devote to art?
As many as I possibly can! I try and do some exercise in the mornings with either a swim or some pilates, and then rush to the studio as quickly as possible, get my apron on, the music blaring on my headphones and straight to my easel to start painting. Without this, I would go completely mad so the more hours painting, the better for everyone!

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
I played the cello for many years and was in an orchestra so I enjoy classical music. Thanks to itunes I created my own playlist which I listen to every day. It started off with just classical as I find this relaxing, but with ‘Shazam’ on my phone, if I hear a piece of music I like, it gets added. Now my playlist has everything from Bruchner to Hans Zimmer, Dave Brubeck to Billy Eilish and Nils Frahm to Eric Clapton and much more.

Tell us about your signature camouflage in every painting?
My paintings have a little secret in them. I hide a little lizard somewhere and you have to look very closely to find it. Several years ago, I went to Rarotonga, and I just adored the little lizards scuttling round at night. They seemed to appear out of nowhere and you could just see them peeping out from behind the curtain rail, or on top of the window frame.

Are you partial to any piece of art/series?
My favourite series to date would have to be Film Noir. This was a huge learning curve from working out how to do the dramatic lighting to it being my first ‘on location’ shoot. I hired several outfits from ‘First Scene’ and collected props such as a brandy bottle and glass (with cold tea instead of brandy), a pretend gun and I made a fake cigarette in a holder using an old paint brush and some rolled up paper. After I had scouted Auckland for possible historical locations my model, Morgan, and I did an awesome photoshoot from the old Auckland Railway Station to the old George Court on Mercury Lane and Hotel De Brett Lane plus more.

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