I recieved a parcel in the post the other day, they were theses paintings sent from England from my dad. He has been developing his art for a long time now, he has slaved over these drawings for hours and everyone is unique and different. To help explain his wonderful painting I asked him a few questions..
1. What is your main inspiration for your paintings?
I paint these medallions or 'yantras' for a number of reasons. They are geometrically based and I have had to teach myself quite a bit of geometry to create them as they all start off as circles with a lot of straight lines radiating from them which I gradually subvert into colour and pattern.I like the vague anarchy of that process. My maths results at school were awful mainly due to having a teacher for 5 years at Grammar School who I hated andwho hated me so being top in maths at primary school was lost in apathy.I enjoy solving the mathematical problems inherent in the paintings and it has restored a bit of confidence mathematically.Secondly I read a lot about the psychedelic artists of the 60's and they took some of their inspiration from abstract yantras used by eastern artists as an aid to transcendental meditation in much the same way as a mantra does the job aurally.Seen in the right light and viewed through slightly unfocussed eyes the best work I do will spin , revolve and pulse with energy and I love creating that effect. The rods and cones in your eyes get confused by the mass of colour information in the paintings and your brain sees something static but makes it move because that is the only way it can make sense of the information. At heart though it is just the pleasure of playing with colour - colouring in for adults.
2. How long does it take to do each painting?
Each piece takes an average of 24-36 hours to create from the pencil and maths instrument base work to the finished item. There are many that I don't feel a satisfaction from and discard long before completion but every now and then I get a big buzz from one and stick with it. I have to be relaxed and in the right mood and a focus helps. I usually work for 3-5 hours at a time but sometimes when the muse is present will work for longer. 'Work' is the wrong label though. I have fun with colour-no-one in their right mind could call it work.The cycle of the seasons I am most proud of almost painted itself. 'Painting ' is probably just a handy shorthand because most of the materials I use are watercolour felt tip pens. Good ones are essential or the colour fades quite badly in a few months.
3. How long have you been an artist for?
I wouldn't call myself an artist but I am someone who derives a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from creating something unique to me where nothing existed before. Painting is a bit of escapism . When concentrating on the work with some good music on in the background the world completely disappears.Whatever worries or concerns I might have in life take a break. However-I can't paint to order so have to be pretty relaxed to even start.I studied A Level Art with a lot of the children of quite famous artists and grew up socially visiting their houses and going to their parties. St Ives in the 60's was a special place looking back on it. Some of that inspiration in a very modest way must have rubbed off I guess. I have always been fascinated by art-almost went to Art College and have always done some form of drawing or painting. Now I am retired I have the time to focus on what pleases me instead of satisfying the needs of work or society; I do more and more.Part of my degree was in Art History and I loved the Abstract Expressionists like Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock. Art does not have to be figurative to be beautiful.
4.Who do you make your art for??
I paint first and foremost for my own pleasure. I couldn't put a price on what I produce but the inspiration is not commercial. I love coming into the room in the morning and seeing what I produced the night before - it's usually a surprise and that distance is necessary as you can get too close to a piece and make silly decisions without a break to reconsider the direction in which it is going.. Other people seem to like the work though.At the moment I am producing a painting as a wedding present for friends who have all the material possessions they need. This piece is going well - I am relaxed about it and have the inspiration of knowing they will put it on show so I have all the requirements in place - an interested audience whom I know and trust - time- and the need to do their friendship justice with a nice piece that will be part of their lives.
A little extra detail about you....
5. Who is your favorite band/Musican
I like too many musicians too be too prescriptive. Oldies that have always stayed and played are Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne,Crosby Stllis and Nash and Neil Young. I have had fun visiting all the music I missed when my priorities were bringing up a family and working for a living. At the moment I get most pleasure from Aussie and New Zealand bands like JBT, Xavier Rudd, Fat Freddies Drop, Kora and Katchafire. I also love Ben Harper and am getting into folk/rock revival bands from the US like Vetifer,Midlake,Fleet Foxes etc.I am a lyrics fan first and don't listen to much that is sound- based rather than words -based. I want 'For a Dancer' by Jackson Browne played at my funeral. It's a celebration of watching someone grow up and giving them them their freedom but also an acknowledgment that we all die and hopefully our memory will remind others of the joy of living.
6. Try and Describe yourself in 3 words..
For an ex - English teacher to describe themselves in only three words is a form of torture - so many words you can't have. I'll settle for optimistic, sociable and shambolic.