Orela Vokes

Category: figures

Trick or Treat?

I tend to be a bit cynical when it comes to Halloween; I can’t stand the mass-produced (or just plain stupid) costumes, and the concept of trick-or-treating seems a bit mean to me. But there’s a lot I do like, not least the strange mix of fear and fun. Today has got me thinking about the fact that (many) humans actually like being frightened and I’ve been reading all about the science and psychology behind it. Now I’m going to snuggle down in bed and scare myself silly with a horror movie!




Besides art, writing is my biggest passion and I love illustrating my own texts. A story came to me the other day and now I have a poem (which I may call Stargirl) that I’m really excited to illustrate! These are a few of the images I created for a story I wrote in 2008 called “The Dwelling Place”.



More of The Three Graces

I uploaded one of The Three Graces paintings over a month ago, just before the third “Parched Artists” exhibition. Here are the other two.

 The Three Graces (are having psychedelic dreams)

The Three Graces (are sleeping through a thunderstorm)

Home again

“Parched Artists 3” seems like absolutely ages ago, but it was only last week that we took over the garden at The Wine Vaults. It was definitely our most challenging exhibition to date as the pub garden setting meant that we had few walls to display our work on and serious weather worries. Luckily the sun came out and the day was a success!

Colours 2 (half size)

Colours 1 (half size)

On my way

What a difference a few days make! I’ve finished all my work and am off to England this evening. I’m so excited about Thursday’s exhibition and can’t wait to see new work from my fellow Parched Artists.

 The Three Graces (are sleeping all night and all day)

XX (x5)


…is actually yesterday now as it’s way past midnight. Here are some more ‘in progress’ photos, taken just before I painted in dozens of black lines.

colours 1

colours 2


Yesterday I started work on my ninth exhibition piece and after a fourteen-hour painting session and four and a half attempts I’m finally happy with where it’s headed. I realise now that I had been trying to simulate the looseness of the earlier figure drawings I did  when actually these current pieces really benefit from some planning and preparation. Here they are in progress.

gracesx3 progress


The exhibition is a fortnight away and I’m about halfway through my final pieces. I feel the work is pretty strong conceptually so now I’m experimenting with composition and colour to really make the most of each individual image. Here’s a test piece from earlier in the week.

tumbling graces

Parched Artists 3

It’s that time again! “Parched Artists” will be holding a one-day extravaganza on the 22nd of August at The Wine Vaults, Banbury. Below are a couple of pieces I’m working on for the exhibition.



Three of a kind

Today I thought I’d share some exercises I’ve been doing as part of my practice and play. For the first image I drew the three figures without looking at the paper, for the second I gave myself just one minute to sketch each figure and for the third I spent a little more time and corrected a couple of mistakes afterwards. All three images have their qualities and flaws and exercises such as these are a helpful way of seeing which lines and styles work best.

three x1

three x2

three x3