You have worked previously for restoration projects including stained glass, this experience lends itself to your mosaic-style seen in many of your works. What was it about working with stained glass that intrigued you the most? What was the most challenging part of it, if any?
I feel stained glass taught me to break down subjects into precise blocks of colour – so now when I paint I like to celebrate my colour choices with bold impasto daubs of oil paint…It also helped me understand how light expands – as you work backward in stained glass (i.e. removing the paint to let the light in). The most challenging part of stained glass was the restoration work – where you had to imitate the style and subject of an artist who worked a few hundred years ago.
It is amazing to see how your abstract paintings present as gorgeous obscurity as if you were harnessing the aura of the familiar subject and painting with it. What inspires the perspectives seen in these latest abstract oil paintings?
My abstracts are inspired by the amazing landscape we have here in (the south of) the UK – I live on the Jurassic coastline where the rock formations are world-famous. In my paintings, I like to suggest our relationship with nature (in the form of buildings or a harbor) that exist in between a radiant, imposing sky and its reflections. I feel this is comforting for the viewer – as it gives them a sense of familiarity. I also want to paint a landscape, that isn’t bound to reality and where ‘everything can happen at once’…i.e. using the entire spectrum to create light against the dark, texture blending into smoothness and form within obscurity.
You recently created marvelous artwork for Billie Eilish’s single « Everything I Wanted » in November of last year. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this piece?
I was so overjoyed when I was approached to do a painting for Billie Eilish’s cover – as I was a big fan of her music. I try to paint intuitively and not think too much about what I am trying to achieve. So Billie gave me some direction and the rest just evolved.
What are the discrepancies between working with oil and acrylic? Is there one you tend to gravitate more towards?
After starting out with acrylics and using them for years… I thought I’d give oils a try – which for me was a revelation. Painting in the oil gives you so much more time to work the paint – which allows me to create the dreamy blends of color that are difficult with acrylics.
Your portraits are absolutely stellar, appearing so realistic & life-like. How do you come to achieve this effect?
In a nutshell – time! Realistic portraits take weeks to paint – adding colour after colour after colour. (I see one of our jobs as an artist is to observe and add colours to a painting that few see)… So after all of this time and energy portraits/paintings should look ‘better’ (or at least more interesting) than a photograph – which only took a fraction of a second to create.
What future projects do you have in store?
Apart from preparing for an art fair in Spring… this year I’ll be looking to create some kind of print/photo book of my paintings. I’ve never done this before so it will be an interesting challenge.
With the new decade upon us, how are you planning to elevate your craft? Do you have any resolutions for your art?
No, I don’t do resolutions… If I want to change something – there is no time like the present. So hopefully I can continue to challenge myself (painting by painting) and allow my art to evolve naturally.
All images with courtesy of Jason Anderson