Wednesday, 30 March 2011
I was born and grew up in Leicestershire. For a few years I had a bohemian existence floating around the Inland Waterways of Britain on my narrow boat before I moved to live in the Republic of Ireland where I am now based. Being something of a nomad I do like to travel and I like warmer climates; I particularly enjoy the Canary Isles and Spain. In Europe, I also like Monaco & Venice. I have quite an affinity with the USA; I’ve driven across it several times and think I’ve visited about 41 of its States so far. One year I travelled from Ireland to Australia without leaving the surface of the earth (which I thought was quite an achievement) stopping at Hawaii, Pago Pago and New Zealand along the way. I was very saddened about Christchurch as it was one of my favourite cities.
RD: Yes we agree, a real tragedy!
RD; Could you fill us in on what artistic media you use, we understand a piano sometimes?
I paint mainly in acrylics on canvas or board, sometimes I’ll use oils and yes as often as I can I play the piano.
Up the Swanee
Spray it again Charlie
RD; What inspired you to concentrate on the wildlife and countryside in your work and are you a self-taught artist?
I regard myself as essentially self –taught. I did go to Art College to do a graphic design course but I left as it wasn’t really what I was interested in. I wasn’t allowed to do a Fine Art course because I didn’t have the academic qualifications required!
I started painting landscapes as I was taken by the beauty of Charnwood forest and I’ve always had a soft spot for animals (even though I’m allergic to a lot of them). As a child I was impressed by the ‘Pink Floyd’ album cover ‘Atom Heart Mother’ and I believe that is my earliest inspiration for my cow paintings. I’ve since developed something of a quirky approach painting animals from different perspectives whilst capturing their personalities which makes them a lot of fun.
RD; Our eye was caught by your urban series of paintings, do you work from memory or does a photo help to stimulate the creative juices?
I’m really enjoying painting the graffiti pieces which were first inspired from boating through the industrial wastelands of Britain and I’ve been amazed at the wide appeal that they seem to have.
As a realist the main challenge for me was to re-create on canvas graffiti’d brick wall as convincingly as possible, whilst using traditional painting methods. The ducks and geese that wander along the towpaths just helped to create the perfect juxtaposition. Since the early pieces I’ve moved on to include cows and recently the gorilla in an urban setting.
I do use my own photographic reference as a basis for most of my paintings. Sometimes I just take an element from a photo or I use part of an image or I create a montage of different images.
RD; We understand you are musically inclined, what is your background in that, also what sounds are you into and do you listen to tunes whilst you are at the easel?
I was classically trained on the piano as a child but I do like to do my own thing. I have a penchant for the blues, jazz and boogie woogie. I enjoy experimenting and composing. My CD ‘From Palette to Piano’ is made up entirely of my own compositions. I’m currently working on my second CD, which I hope to have out soon. I think I‘ve probably got enough music for a third one.
I listen to everything from ‘Mahler’ to ‘Metallica’
Charlie on grass
I’d probably use spray paints or my fingers.
Rd; A water and razor dude or an electric stubble cutter man?
Electric stubble cutter
RD; Where have you had exhibitions in the past and what have you got coming up?
I’ve been painting professionally for 25 years and have had exhibitions across, the UK, Ireland and the USA. There is a constant display of my work at ‘The Paul James Gallery’ (www.pauljamesart.com ) in Daventry, Northants and my work is on display at other galleries throughout the UK including De Montfort Fine Art’s Whitewalls group and it appears in galleries in Ireland, America (currently Aspen, San Diego, Scottsdale (Arizona) and Texas. Some also made an appearance recently at Art Expo in New York it’s also appeared at a gallery in Toronto, Canada.
I’ve got some work appearing in the group show ‘Best of British’ at Clarendon Gallery in Mayfair, London April 18th – May 6th
RD; Would you like to give the thumbs up to anyone?
Banksey, Chuck Close, Dali, Gustav Mahler, Freddie Chopin, Liszt, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, Art Tatum, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian, Tori Amos, Billy Connolly, and Lenny Henry - I could go on…..
RD: woah woah, we'll have stop you there man...It was great to talk please keep us up to date with any new stuff coming out... Thanks
Go see Paul...Here
This issue, we have a unique cover by UK artist Sickboy. Known for his iconic, brightly coloured ‘temple’ motif, he’s created some of the most striking work seen on the UK streets, and he has a lot to say in his in-depth interview.
We also talked to Mysterious Al one – of the original ‘street artists’ and founder of “Finders Keepers” crew – the NYC legend that is Doze Green alongside illustrator Evan Hecox and master stencilist Chris Stain.
But it’s not just about the established names, as we chatted to rising Portuguese artist Pedro Matos, Reka and the brilliantly named Dick Chicken.
Last but by no means least, we chatted to one of Banksy’s favourite groups, Russian art collective ‘Voina’. Recently released from a Moscow prison, they spill the beans on their art, Russia and how to draw a 60-metre penis on a bridge opposite the KGB headquarters. Get your copy today
Show us some love and pick up tons of free stuff.
Simply ‘Like’ us on facebook and/or follow us on Twitter and you’ll be entered into a free prize draw. It’s just our way of saying thanks to all you wonderful VNA lovers.
Thanks and speak soon
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Just a quick heads up on 2 new OG paintings I’ve added to the store. I’ve been busy on a bunch of new stuff for shows later in the year, but it seemed a shame to be hiding everything away for the next 6 months!
“Becoming” and “Drifting” are both 760mm x 560mm acrylic on deckle edged Rives BFK. Link to the store here: http://craww.bigcartel.com/category/original-artwork
Feel free to email me for more details/more detailed shots. Hope you like ‘em.
Monday, 28 March 2011
I just wanted to drop you all a message to let you know my new 3" custom 'Woodland Awakenings' goes on sale today at 6:30pm DST (GMT+1) You'll find the sale pageHERE
Hope you like this little guy!
I'm also working on an 8" Blow Up Dunny, which should be finished at some point this week, so far I have a holding page for it on the store, pics will be added as soon as it's complete but a teaser of how it's looking so far can be found HERE
I'll drop you a mailer when it's finished with info on sale time etc :)
Have a great Monday!
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Ok, I’m an Artist from a place called Winshill which is a sort of ‘limbo land’ on the Derbyshire side of Burton. My Artwork fuses Street Art with Gothic Art and has a raw scratchy edge to it. The place I live definitely comes out in my work. It has a gritty, quirky, vibe to it. You have to be streetwise and have strength of mind to survive it. There is an honesty in the place I come from and an honesty in the people who live here. I hope this comes out in my work
RD: What forms of media have you experimented with and which ones have you decided to concentrate on?
Phew! I have experimented with acrylics, oil, photography, video, digital, surfwax - really anything I could get my hands on. I have had some really disastrous moments with some experiments but it’s part of the process. The mediums I have decided to concentrate on are spray paints, ink and digital I love the raw, scratchy, dusty elements of these mediums and digital is just a no brainer, especially when it comes to self-publishing.
RD: Are you a self-taught artist and who/what made you decide to take up drawing?
I’m mainly self taught. I did train and work as a Graphic Designer but my main job involved laying out brochures, and generally getting told to make it blue or bolder.
I have been drawing since I was a child, however, it didn’t really start going properly until I was a teenager which, in all honesty, was prompted by a druggy haze. I feel that if that hadn’t happened I probably would have stuck to a conventional life path.
RD: Your work seems to reflect the Dark Side of illustration, what is the reason for this?
Well partially it’s because I love horror movies, and ghost stories, but also it’s a visual theme that jars with people. It’s not something that can be easily absorbed into popular culture. I feel it’s reactionary. There is only so much glossy pop culture you can take before you have to react.
The first one came out of a need to change or to do something with my life. I realized I wanted to target and document the things which have influenced me and my artwork. I also wanted to introduce a playful element to it. That first book was the easiest. The next one was really painful to do. The Time Gambler was a graphic novel and graphic novels are incredibly difficult. I ended up doing 600 drawings and feeling physically ill from it.
RD: Which drawing are you most proud of and tell us why.
That’s really tricky. There is a special page in The Time Gambler which gets to me. It’s the third page. Something different happens here. The images and the words suddenly start to merge into one. It is about someone trying to recall a memory of a lover who is no longer with them. The sequence works really well. You never quite see the other persons face. It’s almost like you’re starting to forget what that person looks like. I think that, as a page, it works. It involves the viewer; you become the person trying to recall the memory.
RD: If you could re-live a moment in your life and change it, what would it be and how would you change the outcome?
I would have left London earlier. London was a great place to go and party but not such a good place if you’re skint. London always prides itself on being the Capital of Art but I remember a weird moment in London when I went to see a movie called Dead Man’s Shoes. Everyone in London was raving about it. I sat down watched it and suddenly had a dawning that I recognized the main actor and the locations. It was home! I had moved away to far flung places around the world to be inspired by creative, edgy stuff and all the time it was there under my nose. I should have respected my roots more, got on the train straight away, and gone back home.
RD: We hear you have an exhibition coming up at The Brewhouse in Burton, UK how's the prep going for that and what can we expect from the show.
It is stressful but exciting at the same time. This will be my first solo exhibition so I have to be aware of ‘over ambition meets practicalities’. I have done exhibitions before but usually with groups of people. The load is definitely a lot lighter if others are involved. At the moment I’m trying to concentrate on the promotion. Everything else is kind of ready - a few tweaks are needed but that is always the case. This exhibition is definitely going to have a dark, raw atmosphere. My work lends itself to that. There will also be some variations in mediums with underlying meanings attached to the work. Almost like a good movie with lots of twists.