Cropredy artist offers portraits with a difference

Bobbie Seagroatt with her wedding dress portraits NNL-170814-122016001
Bobbie Seagroatt with her wedding dress portraits NNL-170814-122016001

A Cropredy artist and dress maker is combining her creative skills to offer brides a unique memento of their special day.

Bobbie Seagroatt has been designing and making bespoke wedding dresses since 2010. She is also a talented artist and illustrator with a particular interest in textile drawings and several of her works decorate her Cropredy studio.

Bobbie said: “Being involved in clothing and loving fabrics, the way they drape and create shadows I thought that is what I would do, rather than paint a plant or something.”

Bobbie uses both modern technology in combination with a painting technique employed by the grand masters of yesteryear.

Bobbie said: “I set the dress up and photograph it. Then I put the image into iPhoto and edit it, change the saturation, the contrast and when I get the image how I want it to look I print it out.

“I then use a method called squaring up. Apparently the old masters used a similar technique using a wire grid that they positioned in front of whatever they were painting.”

Bobbie developed this process after early attempts to paint straight onto the canvas resulted in her running out of room, wasting both time and materials.

Before launching Dressfesco in June she also visited numerous galleries in order to learn as much as she could about the delicate and precise methods of capturing the beauty of transparent materials with oil paints.

Bobbie said: “It’s all a matter of looking. You have to look at whatever your reference material is and you have to always be identifying in your mind what comes out at you.

“Where is the lightest part, the darkest part. You have to constantly be making that judgement.”

Bobbie has a BA degree in Fashion and Textiles but her love of fashion and the skills she utilises today were developed much earlier in childhood.

Bobbie said: “I started making stuff when I was about ten and the first garment I made was when I was at school, I was about 13.

“I got fashion magazines when I was 14 or 15 and wanted everything in them but they were expensive so I thought I would make my own.”

Bobbie will paint any wedding dress, not just ones she has designed and made.

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