Ishbel Myerscough - Artist in her studio (detail), photo via independent.co.uk

Ishbel Myerscough/ Ishbel Myerscough

United Kingdom 1968

Painting

Ishbel Myerscough
Ishbel Myerscough
Female
United Kingdom
1968

Taking the journey to the surface of the human being with every portrait she makes, Ishbel Myerscough records everything that she perceives with her keen eye. Interested in wrinkles, freckles, bulges, veins, tattoos, stretch marks, hair and every little imperfection that people have a tendency to hide and edit out of their body images, Myerscough paints her characters completely exposed and natural, revealing their character through their physical flaws.

Ishbel Myerscough - Two Women, photo via artslant.com
Ishbel Myerscough – Two Women, photo via artslant.com

Education and the First Recognition

Myerscough was born in London in 1968. She gained her education at Glasgow and the Slade Schools of Art. While finishing her studies, she won the National Portrait Gallery’s annual BP Portrait Award competition in 1995, which gave her enough of a reputation to create a contact with the London gallery and to be commissioned to paint Helen Mirren’s and Sir Willard White’s portraits for their collection. After spending some time at the USA painting in the artist program in Connecticut, she returned to England and finally settled in London.

Myerscough won the National Portrait Gallery’s annual BP Portrait Award competition in 1995

Ishbel Myerscough - Life, 2004 (Left) - Misery, 2006 (Right), Images courtesy of the Flowers Gallery
Ishbel Myerscough – Life, 2004 (Left) / Misery, 2006 (Right), Images courtesy of the Flowers Gallery

Creative Expression as the Result of Long Friendship

During her studies in Glasgow, she has met painter Chantal Joffe that became her best friend, often painting each other. As the result of their long-standing friendship and cooperation, they organized the joint exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Painting themselves individually, together, with or without their children, their honest and brave portraits represent true refreshment in contemporary portraiture of photorealist works of perfect and beautified subjects. Using each other as models, the artists attempted to search out what it feels like to be the other one, and in turn, themselves. Also, as the mothers of the young children, they captured the special moments of the close relationship with their daughters.

The portraits with children capture the special moments of the close relationship with their daughters

Ishbel Myerscough - Mothers and Daughters, 2014, photo via royalacademy.org.uk
Ishbel Myerscough – Mothers and Daughters, 2014, photo via royalacademy.org.uk

Beauty Is Not on the Surface

Myerscough teaches at the Royal Drawing School once a week. Dedicating herself to her art, both creating and transferring experience and knowledge to her students, she is a very humble person, which is reflected in her paintings. The serious faces and honest look in the eyes of her characters reveal the bare subjects on the one side, and the artist on another, who finds the beauty in the deeper relationships instead of processed images of beautified reality.

Ishbel Myerscough lives and works in London.

Featured image: Ishbel Myerscough – Artist in her studio (detail), photo via independent.co.uk

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016The Last of the TideThe Queen's Gallery, Royal Collection, LondonGroup
2016Winter Group ShowHeads Flowers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015The British FigureHeads Flowers Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015Friendship PortraitsNational Portrait GallerySolo
2013Stranger: An Exhibition of Self-PortraitsHeads Flowers Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012NudesHeads Flowers Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012HeadsHeads Flowers Gallery, New YorkSolo
2011The Actress Now National Portrait Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2011The Perfect Crime No.4A Gallery, Malvern, EnglandGroup
2011Life Flowers Gallery Central, London, England Solo
2011The Figure Browse & Darby, London, EnglandGroup
2010Small is Beautiful Flowers Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2010Standing Room ONlyFlowers Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2009RA Summer Exhibition invited by Mick Rooney, London, EnglandGroup
2008Her House, curated jointly with Chantal Joffe Hoxton, London, EnglandGroup
2008British Sproting Heroes National Portrait Gallery, London, EnglandGroup
2004Being PresentJerwood space, London, EnglandGroup
2004Painting in Scotland Glasgow Print Studio, ScotlandGroup
2000Drawings Anthony Mould Contemporary, London, England Solo
2000Ishbel Myerscough Anthony Mould Contemporary, Cork Street, London, England Solo
1997A Second View Anthony Moul Contemporary, London, England Solo
1997British Figurative Art Part 1 Flowers East, London, EnglandGroup
1996Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery Touring show of JapanGroup
1996Die Kraft Der Bilder Berlin, GermanyGroup
1992A First View Anthony Mould Contemporary, London, England Solo