Kay Boyce

Sitting Pretty by Kay Boyce
Silk and Satin by Kay Boyce
Apres La Repetition by Kay Boyce
Lily by Kay Boyce
Kay by Kay Boyce
Portrait Of The Artist by Kay Boyce
My Valentine (Framed) by Kay Boyce
My Valentine (Mounted) by Kay Boyce
Daniella I by Kay Boyce
Romany by Kay Boyce
Midnight Blue by Kay Boyce
Black Satin II by Kay Boyce
Black Satin I by Kay Boyce
Emily (LE290) by Kay Boyce
If you’ve been au fait with gossip magazine weeklies such as Bella, My Weekly, Woman’s Own and Women’s Weekly over the past decade or so then the chances are that you’ve seen figurative artist, Kay Boyce’s work. Most of us are aware of the slightly Mills and Boon-ish tints and faint overlays applied to whimsical heroines illustrated next to the odd troubled life story, the sort of which are often found lurking within the pages of such popular titles and may well have wondered who was responsible for creating such traditional pieces. Speaking of Mills and Boon, Sheffield-born artist, Boyce has produced freelance illustrations for the most famous peddlers of original chick-lit in her career, more of which after the drop.

Born and bred in South Yorkshire, Boyce would wile away hours as a child drawing on rolls of wallpaper, which sparked her life-long interest and passion for art. After her schooling Boyce went on to study Illustration at Wrexham College, where she spent four years gaining her degree, before embarking on her career as a freelance illustrator and gaining notable contracts with a collection of household name clients on her journey. From the aforementioned pick-up-put-down published glossy periodicals, through to a string of high-end major book publishers including Hodder and Staughton, Wordsworth Romantics, Mills and Boon and Mandarin, Boyce has covered a diverse spectrum of illustrative briefs, whilst simultaneously originating her very own, bespoke fine art drawings and paintings that have been showcased and later sold at various galleries and exhibitions across the UK. Although justifiably proud of her achievements in commercial illustration, Boyce’s true calling and vocation is as an artist.

As well as galleries local to where Boyce has now settled in Shropshire, including Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Knutsford and Chester, the artist has also witnessed her individual compositions and collections exhibited in major installations at the AOI Gallery and Barbican Centre in London and The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, whilst Boyce’s paintings have found new homes throughout mainland Europe and as far a field as America. At the same time Boyce entered into a long-standing collaboration with Solomen and Whitehead, which afforded her the ascension of becoming a top published artist in her own right for a number of years to date, overseeing the publishing of several Limited Edition prints and which coincided with Boyce being recognized within the industry with a succession of awards.

Most notable of which are her being finalist in the Best Published Artist on four separate occasions and receiving a place amongst the Top Ten Living Artists list in both 2004 (Number 4) and repeating this feat a year later in 2005 (Number 8). Long before that however, and in 1999 Boyce exhibited her work at the Sheffield Art Show and her originals fetched record prices, while in successive years (2001 and 2002), the blossoming, CV-expanding artist was voted in as a finalist in the Fine Art Trade Guild’s Best Selling Artist award category. Elsewhere during her diverse illustrative career thus far, Boyce has also completed a project for RADA after they invited her to compose portraits of 23 famous actors, with her final work being approved by Sir Richard Attenborough.

Concentrating on Boyce’s signature style which has seen her handed the acclaim and appraisals that she has for her richly textured work down the years, it would be best described as tender yet provocative, subtle yet enigmatic and whimsical yet expansive. Boyce’s trademark soft style blended with a beautiful tinted paper make for an almost ethereal quality to her subject matter, that’s so purposefully committed to the canvas with her pastel and pencils, historically. Although in recent times Boyce has diversified into the arena of oil, which we explain in a moment.

Boyce’s representing of fabrics is undoubtedly one of her artistic strengths, and a natural skill that observes extra dimensions within every creatively nurtured fold and crease. But there’s an underlying reason for this even greater attention to fabric details as well as figurative form, which is courtesy of Boyce being an avid collector of fabrics and antique costumes, many of which examples have cropped up in her work hitherto. Furthermore, Boyce’s ballet training as a girl, alongside of exposure to other dance and performance styles has given the figurative artist an advantage over her peers, and far more considered insight into the elegance and posture of dancers. Boyce’s predominance with capturing the female form has often incorporated or fused certain core elements of contemporary dance or ballet, and are furnished with very feminine, intimate and romantic reflections.
Speaking on this subject, and Boyce herself adds; “I wanted to be able to use my imagination. With illustration work, you’re illustrating somebody’s story, so you’re restricted to their brief and you can’t use a lot of your own imagination. With paintings there is more of a feel to it”.

As touched on earlier, Boyce has of late completed her first bodies of composition work in oil, and in her own words takes up the story; “It has been a wonderful experience to paint my first oil. Having talked about working with oils for so long, I am so happy to have made that step. I gave myself a challenge by working on a large canvas and being my first, I wanted it to be a self portrait. I felt that all my years of drawing and painting fabrics and skin tone has given me the confidence to paint my subject matter in oil, it is a lovely medium to work with, time consuming, intense, emotional, rewarding”.

View All Art Works By Kay Boyce