After taking the contemporary art world by storm, Cheshire artist Emma Grzonkowski returns home on Saturday (December 5) to launch her striking new portrait collection.

Castle Galleries, Chester, in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, will be welcoming the contemporary painter between 1-4pm who will present a newly curated collection of work, including a selection of her limited edition pieces hand-embellished by the artist for 2015, adding an additional layer of texture, vibrancy and expression.

Now 28, Emma has built up an extensive portfolio of captivating, large scale works. Her stunning figurative works have gained her a strong following of collectors across the UK, since her spectacular launch into the fine art market six years ago.

Capturing myriad emotions through the portrayal of strong, powerful and beautiful women, Emma pours her own life experiences in to each and every piece she creates, telling a story about her own journey as both an individual and artist.

Creative passion

Living near Northwich, Emma has had a passion for all things creative from a very early age. She studied fine art at the University of Chester where she honed her signature style – combining technical portraiture with abstract splashes of vibrant colour; a unique fusion for which she has now become renowned.

It was during her final year at university in 2009 that a young Emma was discovered by Glyn Washington, founder and director of Washington Green Fine Art publishers, which owns the Castle Galleries retail network throughout the UK.

When still an undergraduate, Emma found herself already a professional artist and her first solo exhibition at Castle Galleries, Chester in 2009 was a sell-out.

Emma, who first starts with pencil sketches, building up each layer using oils and acrylics before adding a personal stamp of abstract overlays of bright colour, said: “My latest collection is a representation of all the deep emotion I have felt during my life and how art has helped me process and overcome pain and difficulty. I’m very excited to be exhibiting in Chester again – I have such an emotional tie to Chester; this is where it all began.”

Sustained work ethic

Dr Jeremy Turner, programme leader and senior lecturer fine art at the University of Chester, who tutored Emma while during her time studying at the institution, said: “As a strong student throughout the programme, Emma developed a sustained work ethic that culminated in an ambitious degree show exhibition.

“Degree show exhibitions for students and staff alike are always a significant point of achievement, marking both the successful end of a period of intense study and a jumping off point into what for some is a planned route to the future and for others a step into the exciting unknown.

“What was important about this moment in Emma’s case was her recognition of the interest that was shown in her paintings and the confirmation of the realisation that with tenacity she could begin to harness and develop that interest further.”

An exhibition of her work will run for a further two weeks at Castle Galleries in Chester.