Amy Winehouse

Pen and Ink drawing of Amy Winehouse

Pen and Ink drawing of Amy Winehouse

I love drawing Amy Winehouse….. maybe because I love looking at pictures of her ! She was an unconventional beauty…. I love that she doesn’t fit into the stereotypes of traditional female beauty….. I thought she had the most beautiful colouring and bone structure, and I loved her unending wavy mane of long black hair….  Its interesting to see how people looked before they find their own individual style….  Amy was always a beautiful girl, but I think after she adopted the beehive and winged eye liner retro girl band style, she was truly stunning…. Adopting a ska, rude-girl style, she gave a modern edge to her essentially jazz music…She was such a trend setter…..even now, ten years after she launched her music career, I see almost every teenage girl with the subtle raised crown hair style and the cat-lick of black on their eyes , and I think, there’s Amy…..  I love looking at her outfits too, all the little mod ensembles….  Aside from her striking looks and sense of style, of course she possessed that late night jazz club smoky voice, and those amazing song writing skills…..  She also opened the door for all those females artists in the spotlight today…. Adele, Lily Allen, Jessie J, Duffy, Paloma Faith, all owe a lot to Amy for breaking down the doors when music wasnt really a girls game in the early noughties…….

Alas, as with so many performers with an otherwordly  talent, her comfort zone on stage did not equal her talent….  feeling she needed to perform because of how talented she was and how much people wanted to hear her sing she drank more and more to settle her nerves . The tipping point was when she performed on stage so drunk she could not even walk to the microphone….  She also battled with drugs, and ultimately lost her vibrant looks and became a shell of the person she once was…..  She seemed to be getting better and looking healthier in the months leading up to her death and had started performing again, namely duetting with Tony Bennett….  But like so many young , talented but troubled stars, her promising life ended in tragedy……

I really enjoyed doing this illustration of Amy and I am sure I will do many more in the future…..  The one thing I wish is that she could have left us more songs, and more recordings, as her voice was just spell binding…She took jazz singing and made it new and fresh and added a modernity and a streetwise edge to it….  If anyone is interested in reading more  about her, I can really recommend reading the book her dad wrote about her…..  It gives a clearer understanding into why she was the way she was….  A juggernaut of talent, coupled  with a fragile ego , huge insecurities and crippling stage fright….a voice we can all still treasure forever though….  RIP Amy….an old soul in a young body and gone too soon before your time…

Alison

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