Emma Grzonkowski always dreamt of being an artist of some description ever since childhood and the hours wiled away sketching to her heart’s content. Something of a perfectionist even back then, she’s become increasingly aggravated with herself if she couldn’t lay down the drawings in exacting line with the images raging her mind’s eye. Yet thankfully her father, evidently something of an artist himself, would step in and ward off the inevitable child’s strop by patiently working through the piece of art with his daughter. Then a young Grzonkowski would be left to her own devices to recreate what her dad had done, however many times it required to manifest what she considered a worthy representation of the original, which she hung on her bedroom wall. This creative process endured through her formative years as Grzonkowski often placed herself in this idealistic world in which she’d inhabit for long periods, translating her vivid imaginative thoughts into drawings and sketches that would do them illustrative justice.
Like anything in life, practice eventually makes perfect, and Grzonkowski’s light bulb-pinging moment of creative ascension arrived in the most unlikeliest of locations. For her father at least, as his daughter originated a beautiful drawing of a flower in bright blue Biro pen across the back seat of his brand new car. When questioned on the reason she did it, Grzonkowski apparently replied by implying that ‘the need to create then and there was just too strong an urge to resist’. Classic youngster’s response. Thankfully Grzonkowski’s artistic expression was reigned in, with regards to applying it to less alien surfaces, as she progressed through secondary school and sixth form college, all the time learning, developing and nurturing her creative gift, both at seats of learning and at home. Whilst attending Sir John Deane’s College in Cheshire, Grzonkowski was actively encouraged to further her technical prowess, and was pointed in the artistic direction of the great Masters.
On completion of her sixth form study, Grzonkowski went on to gain a place on the University of Chester’s BA (Hons) degree course in Fine Art and Graphic Design, an environment which pretty much immediately afforded her the opportunity to really experiment and push her drawing and painting styles. This no limits approach to the subject matters proved inspiration to Grzonkowski and went from strength to strength within her creative awakenings and exposures. Tragedy however was just around the corner, and brought things into perspective during her second year at Chester as a person very close to her was involved in a fatal accident and changed everything in terms of Grzonkowski’s immediate outlook and ambition.
Despite this unforeseen and life-changing event, Grzonkowski found the courage of her convictions and faith to return to what came naturally to her in the end, painting itself acting as a sort of therapy and outlet for the overwhelming emotions that the budding contemporary fine artist was still clearly suffering from. Painting, according to Grzonkowski presented itself as the one good thing which couldn’t be snatched cruelly away from her, it remaining within her control and her destiny. Consequently Grzonkowski found a renewed vigour and passion to strive to be the best within her portraiture genre in which she showed so much potential, and this inspiration and desire to paint formed and spread from her soul, outwards. Grzonkowski’s new default style was monumentally raw and expressive, stream of conscious stuff often delivered in a frenzied fashion and visual deportment, with each new pictorial composition revealing and illustratively reflecting individual pieces of a jigsaw which would conclude with her finding her own inner peace through the medium of her art if nothing else.
Grzonkowski graduated in November of 2009, and within the very same month secured exhibition space at a local gallery in Chester that agreed to showcase her work to date, with the artist determined to honour her soul mate’s memory and create a body of work that would make them proud. These thoughts had helped Grzonkowski battled through and obtain her degree in the aftermath of the tragic turn of events during her time at Uni. The exhibition proved an overnight success as art lovers clamoured for the unique, innovative portraits which Grzonkowski produced in numbers, and has showcased her more recent works there at Chester’s Castle Galleries again of late. Grzonkowski‘s, ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ is a collection based on the Biblically-documented vices, including wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony and are bold presentations which make people stop and stare, courtesy of her application of vivacious colours and seemingly careless brushstrokes, the effect of which has become her signature style and which she’s become synonymous with.
Speaking at the time about said collection, Grzonkowski added; “Each of these pieces takes a little piece of me and lays it bare. From the hot flushes of colour obvious in ‘Lust’ through to the blood-stained anger that is evident in ‘Wrath’, all seven sins are inspired by the reflection of self experience and emotive sense” going on to say; “My work is an evolving journey with each painting representing feelings and states of being”.