ARTIST TALK MAGAZINE
July 2017 www.artisttalkmagazine.com
FEATURED ARTISTS SAM SHENDI
4-9 BEN HENDY
10-15 MARIJAH BAC CAM
16-21 YSABEL LEMAY
22-27 GRANT MILNE
ARTIST TALK MAGAZINE Welcome to the first edition of Artist Talk Magazine. This is a magazine for everyone and is written by artists. The main focus of the magazine is to showcase artists and to give them a chance to share more depth about the work they produce. This magazine aims to showcase a wide range of work inspired by many different influences. The magazine originates from the United Kingdom but will feature artist from all across the globe. My name is Grant Milne and I am the Founder of this exciting new magazine. I am currently a full time Graphic Designer. In my spare time I enjoy to sketch and paint mainly using oil paints, with that said I felt it was the perfect time to create something and included both my passions, Art and Graphics.
I am very excited to have first put together this magazine. This issue features some great talent from the art world. It was my great pleasure to showcase some incredible artists from around the globe, hopefully this gives a great feel to the magazine with lots of different voices. We have captured lots of different styles from oil painting, sculpture to print making. All the artists featured within this first issue have given interesting in-depth honest accounts about themselves, their work, views and ideas. In addition to the amazing images of the work they produce, which I know you the reader, will enjoy and be inspired by. DISCOVER MORE www.artisttalkmagazine.com
DR ROBERT BOHAN
34-39 TARA DINIC
40-45 STEPHEN ANTHONY DAVIDS
46-51 LING LIN
52-57 LUCY PICK
58-63 JACOB PRICE
64-69 LARA JULIAN
because his ideas need to come out. They reflect and record his life experiences. The colour is not the main subject. Sometimes a piece may get painted several times. It’s an instinct reaction to what is right, used in a calculated way, the colour is the finishing touch after the form is created. The colour is the completion, deliberately chosen because Shendi sees it no other way. The finished result is when Shendi thinks it is and not what he thinks people will be attracted to. The high gloss is a signature to his work but not just because of the colour, the high quality finish and overall presentation is perfection.
HAMMER HEAD, RESIN
Carefully situated between ‘representation’ and ‘abstraction’, the joyful coloured sculptures of Egyptian-born British sculptor Sam Shendi could easily resemble children’s toys. Made of stainless steel, steel and other mixed media, they are minimalistic projections of human bodies and states of mind – executed in paints that shine blood red, cartoonish lemon, ultraviolet and pumpkin orange. Sam, who graduated from the Helwan University of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1997, whittles down the human figure to its simplest form enabling the exploration of the idea of the human form as a vessel. So by reducing the human body to a container or minimal shape,
his creations become centred on an emotion or an expression. The simplicity is no longer the end result and devoid of meaning but a revelation of a hidden truth and intellectual expression. However, his aim is that everyone can relate to and comprehend the work. As an artist, inspiration comes from everywhere around him. His phenomenal life experience, his interactions with others and as he says, “just opening your eyes and looking around”. He doesn’t feel pressure to create; he creates purely because he can. Not for money or pleasure or for the viewer even. It is a visual diary, one that leaps off the paper not only for someone to read it but literally
Exploring the idea of the human form as vessels or containers that disclose hidden truths. They are laconically titled: “Atlas”, “Signature”, “Ripe”, “Eve”, “Big Step” to name just a few. Thematically, they remain universal – accessible to all despite differences of taste, age or cultural background. They form a visual story, highly inventive, cool thus creating a unique style. He works prolifically and has many works within a theme; Mother and child, The keyhole family and The Calligraphy collection and ‘Only Human’ are a selection. Firmly based in modernist morphology his colourful architectural forms abbreviate the human figure and nod to his background in monumental sculpture, interior design and fashion. Perhaps a nod to his Egyptian background, pyramid shapes, obelisks can be found in his work. Pieces balance between public art, sculptural and on the border of design. He states that, “it is really important that there is a harmony between objects that you use and between the horizontal and the vertical.” He views his work as a combination of old and new, with a futuristic and contemporary visual. There are endless ideas that can come from this he believes.
Describing himself as a figurative sculptor it is important to Shendi that the work however minimalistic, still has an impact on the viewer visually and emotionally. Shendi felt a connection with minimalism visually and the geometric design but always felt it was empty of emotion. Recognizing his work as both literally geometric forms and industrial materials, but also with additional meaning in bringing back the idea of traditional academic sculpture of humanity and emotion, results in a distinctive blend of modernity and timelessness. We are almost as important as the work with our part of the viewing. This is true of course of most art, the viewer gets as much as they put into the work, but Shendi’s work has an immediacy that almost drags the eye into and around the pieces. His work aims not only to visually engage but for viewers to discover the message within. With the meditative approach that Shendi uses, he hopes we will use this to view the work with which comes an inner interaction, as we are drawn to the ever-shifting forms. Sam Shendi is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He won it’s prestigious First@108 Public Art Award in 2013. To date, his sculptures are in many private collections from Taiwan to Panama. His work has been exhibited in Bradford, Blackpool, Barnsley, London, Amsterdam, Munich and Paris. His next solo exhibition will be in Johannesburg, South Africa in spring 2017. DISCOVER MORE www.samshendi.co.uk
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, RESIN FIBERGLASS
MEMORIES, STAINLESS STEEL
No.12, in response to the theme of ‘home’. The work was exhibited at The Bermondsey Project and then The Strand Gallery before going under auction at Christie’s. Ben was fortunate enough to have this work exhibited alongside artists who’s work he greatly admires, including Martin Creed, Billy Childish and Richard Long.
WELCOME TO NO.12
Ben Hendy is a printmaker and illustrator living and working in London. Originally from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, he moved to the capital to study Illustration at Middlesex University in 2009. Since graduating with a First Class Honours Degree he has worked as a freelance illustrator and printmaker, with clients including Aquila Magazine, BBC iWonder and Crisis, the national charity for homeless people. Ben has exhibited his work extensively across London, being shortlisted in major national art competitions and won prizes for his work in linocut. In 2012 Ben was shortlisted for The Threadneedle Prize, the most valuable art prize for a single piece of work in the UK. His work, Self Portrait, was selected from over
four thousands entries and was exhibited at the Mall Galleries in central London. Self Portrait is a life-sized full-body linocut, measuring 227cm x 97cm, hand printed on pattern paper used for making templates in fashion textiles. Inspired by anatomical diagrams, especially the woodcuts of De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius, the work shows the figure in a straight on, very matter-of-fact pose. This composition, combined with the life-sized scale of the piece, creates an interesting balance of confrontation, honesty and vulnerability. Ben was commissioned by the homelessness charity Crisis, to make a new piece of work to be sold at auction to raise money and awareness for the charity. The outcome was a pair of large-scale linocuts, entitled Welcome to
Welcome to No.12 was created by collaging hundreds of small linocuts together, creating two large images. The individual linocuts are based on knitting patterns, taken from knitted jumpers and blankets, which once collaged together created images of a door. The work explores the ways in which a door can be seen, or what a door represents to different people, particularly between people with and without a home. A door has two sides, one facing in and one facing and can act as an entrance into safety and comfort, or as a barrier to keep you out. This idea is enhanced through the use of colour, one being printed in warm and inviting colours, the other being colder and darker. The size of the doors is also important to the piece. The doors are very large, monumental in scale, adding an authoritative and oppressive quality.
Linocut is Ben’s preferred way of working but he also creates work in other printmaking techniques, predominantly screen print and etching. Ben was introduced to Linocut during his first year at university and instantly connected with the process. Since then he has been developing his technique and style and exploring different approaches and ways of making marks using the medium. Linocuts are often heavily stylised and simplified, with large areas of block colour and a stark contrast between light and dark, whereas Ben employs a high level of detail and a wide range of marks to create tonal range and descriptive textures. Ben is currently experimenting with stone lithography and is enjoying how the process allows for such a wide range of mark making, from inky washes to heavy or delicate crayon drawing and how the printed image remains true to the original drawing. There is also the possibility to transfer imagery onto the stone, using photocopies and solvents, allowing for the possibility to combine different ways of image making into one piece, maybe combining photographic imagery, or a linocut, with a looser crayon drawing or textural marks made with ink and a brush. Since leaving university Ben has worked on a number of freelance illustration projects, most notably
for the children’s magazine Aquila. The magazine covers a wide range of subjects, including science, maths and history, being aimed at children between eight and twelve who prefer non-fiction. Ben has worked on two projects with the magazine, creating a mixture of large illustrations and small spot illustrations, on topics such as pit ponies and Sir John Franklin’s exploration of the Northwest Passage. Ben’s work for Aquila uses ink and brush rather than any printmaking technique, with each individual element of the image drawn separately and then layered up digitally afterwards. This allows for greater freedom in creating texture and confident marks without being restricted to a certain area, or having to work around other elements in the image.
Ben also employed this technique of collaging individual elements together to create illustrations for BBC iWonder. Ben was asked to create two images based on the tales of Baron Munchausen to be used in an online educational tool about composition. The illustration A Feast of Live Bulls demonstrates vanishing points, with the table disappearing far off into the distance. The image uses a wide range of mark-making, pattern and texture collaged together, mainly scratchy ink textures, which is starkly contrasted by the sharp white edges of the table and the horns of the bulls. This stark contrast between confident brush marks and clean sharp lines would be almost impossible without the digital input to bring the image together. The use of a sketchbook is very important in Ben’s work. He always carries a sketchbook with him to capture whatever catches his eye, be it a person sitting in a café or an object in a museum. These drawings often provide invaluable inspiration and material, which then go on to inform later work or get taken into the workshop to be translated into prints. Museums, pubs and live music events, especially jazz, are amongst Ben’s favourite places to draw. He finds that the energy of live music helps him to achieve greater fluidity and dynamism in his work. Drawing trips to museums provide inspiration and imagery to be later worked into finished work. The carved wooden reliefs and alter pieces in the Victoria and Albert Museum, especially The Death of the Virgin, appear and reappear throughout Ben’s sketchbooks. On a recent visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Ben stumbled across Nude in Profile on a Chaise Longue (The Large Woodcut) by Henri Matisse, along with the original woodcut block. The way in which this print looks like an original ink drawing, with what
appear to be fluid confident brush strokes, captivated and intrigued Ben. The use of line and pattern in this print, along with the sense of energy, makes for a striking and arresting image. This work inspired Ben to think about ways of capturing energy and movement in his printmaking. He has been experimenting with different approaches to linocut, often drawing from observation directly onto the surface of the lino and then cutting away everything apart from the marks made. This gives you a print similar to the original drawing, often with the sense of energy and spontaneity of the drawing, which is otherwise difficult to achieve in relief printmaking. In recent years Ben has travelled extensively around Europe, always with a sketchbook and drawing materials in hand. Favourite cities for drawing include Antwerp, Lisbon and Edinburgh. Whilst on a recent trip to Valencia with his collective, The Drawn Chorus, he came across Lâ€™Iber Museo de Los Soldaditos de Plomo, the largest collection of tin figures in the world and spent the entire day, from opening to closing time, drawing as many of their one million pieces as possible.
Birmingham, with his linocuts Upper Torso 2 and Upper Torso 3. These works were close up studies of the human form and looked in detail at the patterns and textures of skin and hair combined. UPPER TORSO 2
Since 2014 Ben has been working at Middlesex University as a Graduate Academic Assistant on the BA(Hons) Illustration course and also as a printmaking technician. Ben teaches bookbinding and printmaking to first year illustration students and has recently started teaching life drawing on the Intensive Foundation in Art and Design course. He also supports and runs life drawing and printmaking workshops for the National Art and Design Saturday Club. The club invites young people, aged thirteen to sixteen, into over fifty universities, colleges and museums across the UK to take part in activities and master classes using the specialist facilities. Currently, Ben is preparing and framing work to be shown as part of an illustrators and printmakers exhibition at The George Farnham Gallery in Saxmundham, Suffolk. DISCOVER MORE www.benhendy.com
The Drawn Chorus Collective is a group of nineteen illustrators who regularly exhibit work together in London and publish books, graphic novels and zines. Ben has been a member since its inception in 2012. To date the collective has had three exhibitions, Curiouser and Curiouser, The Greatest Show on Earth and Ahoy! The Drawn Chorus has been written about and publicised by Design Juices, The Association of Illustrators and Time Out. They are currently working towards a new exhibition There and Back Again and are about to launch their new publication Jazz Mag. Ben was awarded the Student Printmaker Prize in the Print Prize 2016 at the RBSA Gallery,
THE ANGEL AND THE CUCKOO
MARIJAH BAC CAM
A DEPRESSION OVER THE SOUTH
Marijah is my artist name. My real name is Marie-France Bac Cam Bao and I am a French multidisciplinary artist, born in Laos (1974) with Tai Dam roots. Due to the Vietnam War, my parents decided to leave Laos in 1976 for France where I grew up in the suburbs of Paris (Yvelines and Val d’Oise) since 2005 I have been settled in the South of France, where I continue to paint, draw, photograph and create digital art. After applied arts studies, my dream of designer disappeared to delve into visual arts at the University of Paris I Sorbonne. I live with my husband, son and daughter and work in the beautiful area of Occitanie in the Gard department, between Nîmes and Avignon. I share my time between art and my art teacher job. My paintings have been exhibited and are included in collections across different countries: France, USA, Belgium, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, China and UAE. I decided to become a professional artist five years after the end of my studies. In between I had a bread-and-butter job as an assistant teacher. Love for Art was still inside me. I decided to devote myself full time after a trip to West Africa. Having opened my eyes to the fact that Art is a manifestation of divine momentum, that remain in all of us and these impulses express themselves in me in the duality between fullness and emptiness, impulsivity and mastery of gesture. Everything is combined with a deep attachment to nature but torn by the needs of our modern society. It was clear to me at that moment that I would do my utmost.
Twombly, Fabienne Verdier and Albert Oehlen. They inspired me in many ways and different reasons. Soulages for the strength of black; HokusaĂŻ for his graphic dexterity and his reference to nature; Twombly for the youthfulness of spirit in his gestures and colors choices; Verdier for her cultural mixing and Oehlen for his eclecticity. What Iâ€™m trying to express through an eclectic panel is actually to grasp as a circular pattern. What I have experienced in my early finds included again in my most recent work in combination with new technical experiences.
MARIJAH BAC CAM IN STUDIO
My studio is facing Nature and built of wood. I live in the countryside and I need calm to create. But before that I shared galleries studio with other artists. I painted before the curious passersby on the street. I think I am someone that easily adapts to her environment. I have the capacity to focus and overwhelm myself fully in my art, even surrounded by the world. But I cannot deny that I prefer to create in a spacious place and undisturbed. Motivation is personal and not pushed by the gaze of others. As a woman and having a mutable personality, I perceive what surround me a lot by feelings and emotions. So cyclically, I expressed my varying modes of expression, my glance, to different states of mind and different degrees of intensity. Painting is a way to release my superficiality by the dynamic gesture and colour contrast. Drawing allows me to dig into my bowels and my organic cells and feel invisible connections and networks. 20
The abstraction expresses my senses, my spiritual emotions and figuration expresses my basic and primal instincts almost animal. I am pretty an impulsive person and I like to react almost immediately in my working process, which is based on that impulsivity. My work is the exploration of surface and depth, I often set basic gestural lines with ink, which represents the surface of the skin of my work. Then, after a drying time, several days after I come back with a more introverted mind and then I try to draw graphs and organic lines above the black surface. I often use water-based paint pens, charcoal, pastels to represent what I see as the veins and internal tissues of that base. The work is more thoughtful, focused and methodical. My creative process takes me two times, a time of extroversion and an introspection time. My main artists are Pierre Soulages, Katsushika Hokusai, Cy
My pictorial art is evolving but the main plot remains the gesture, movement and the emergence of whatâ€™s hidden there. Previously I scratched the material to let appear underneath and was interested in the effect on the surface. Since, I invent and I reverse the point of view by applying graphics on the matter. As if my gaze plunged inside a gap and was trying to light an inner world arising from the dark. I also take more time to create a work. I need to step back between each stage.
ORGANIC MAP VII.XIV
Nature is my main source of inspiration. It is human nature (research the expression of feelings through abstract movement of body gesture) of vegetable nature (research organic graphics) and animal (research primitive instinct in every man by introducing animals and human faces) or whether from the four natural elements: fire, earth, air, water, inspire me and feed my works in the material, subject, colour, spatial composition. For example, the Fire is transcribed by the colours in contrast with the black, colour of ashes and particularly the energy of gesture; Earth in my organic drawings; Air in the composition between full and empty, whether saturated or minimalist; Water is present in the ink used and is a topic that comes up in the series in tribute to the wave of Hokusai. I hope my art can communicate the desire to return to basics. To observe nature and consider it from a different angle, that of an introspective outlook rather than that of a superior viewpoint. If my organic lines and abstract shapes can provide a moment of peace and humility before the grandeur that surrounds us, then I think the viewer will have accessed my vision. What moves me is the balance between opposites, contrasting
forces, reflection and passion, surface and depth. Creating for me is like communicating. It is a kind of meeting which brings together several actors who must succeed in coming to a harmonious agreement. These actors are: colours, materials, shapes, images, lines and so on. I put them on stage and I must arrange a composition within the space, but I also trust my intuition to guide me. These actors have their own words to say too. Each element reacts differently depending on the alchemy that is created in their interaction. Yet I remain master of the work. I orchestrate everyone. I decide whether to saturate or to leave a blank spaceâ€Ś. it all depends
on the story I want to tell. Since the end of 2012 I started an artistic collaboration in distance and four hands with Sander Steins, a Dutch artist based in the Netherlands. Our project has the enigmatic name of 21358Smart. DISCOVER MORE www.marijah-baccam.com
A DEPRESSION OVER THE NORTH
ITALIAN ROMANCE 1
There is a very simple way to describe the work of Austin, Texas-based visual artist Ysabel LeMay: W.O.W. It stands for ‘Wonderful Other Worlds’, the panoramas of natural splendor she creates up through the process of hypercollage. Her composite landscapes, the real world remixed to paradisal perfection, are so vividly realized that one feels drawn not just to view but to step into them. In 2010, LeMay was announced the winner of the KiptonART 2011 Rising Star Program, an initiative to promote and advance promising new artists. From that success followed more than 100 exhibitions of LeMay’s work around the globe. Her work has been acquired for the corporate collections of Chevron, Johnsonville, Bloomingdale’s and Bacardi, to name a few. In 2013, LeMay participated in the
Texas Biennial at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, and in 2015, she represented Texas the the fourth edition of Women to Watch, at Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts. Born and raised in Quebec, Canada, LeMay fastened her connection to the natural world as a small child, at her family’s secluded cottage in the north of the province. Though always most at peace in the wilderness, it is in the jungle of the advertising world that LeMay honed the craft of visual expression. Over the course of 15 years, she handled graphic design, art direction, and the operation of her own agency. The moment came, though, when she sought a more rewarding and beneficial path for her creativity. LeMay refocused initially on painting and then photography,
with which she would collect the raw materials for her digital collages. Traveling extensively, LeMay and her camera capture fragments of nature — plants, animals and the elements — constantly replenishing her voluminous visual catalogue of the living world. While her technique is high-tech, LeMay’s hypercollage process is highly instinctual and organic, allowing each piece to dictate its own destiny. From a single, simple starting point — an image, a colour, an emotion — she follows a meticulous process. First isolating and extracting elements of her photos, LeMay then weaves these fragments together into intricate compositions of resplendent beauty.
guided by my intuition, and not by any premeditated theme or strategy. The truth of the work reveals itself to me gradually during this final stage. I call my technique “hypercollage”. It is, as far as I can tell, my own unique and distinct technique, applying a painter’s sensibility — specifically, a rich and splendorous aesthetic echoing classical baroque painting — to photography and digital collage, and an almost impossible level of complexity that I hope approaches the magical richness of nature itself. Did you begin with this style or was it an evolution?
What is it that appeals to you about photography as a medium? This may sound counterintuitive, because photography is a practical technology for capturing images of that which exists in the physical world, but what I love most about it is that it is a way to gain access to a vision that lies beyond what the eye sees — to capture not simply the image but the spirit, the essence, of the subject one chooses. How do you select your subject matter? I don’t choose my subject matter. It chooses me! As an artist, I am not the source of the images you see, but rather a conduit, taking what already exists and guided by my state of mind at the time of creation — my emotions, my intellectual concerns and above all my subconscious —allowing the final idea and intention to reveal itself as it wishes, when it wishes. What inspires your creativity and artwork?
Joyful moments, healthy lifestyle, constant movement that provides new experiences — to name a few. I get inspired when I place myself in a position of receptivity. Placing myself in a position where I can receive ideas and improvise with them. Again, my work is highly instinctual. Just like a jazz player, something sets the tone and I go from there. How do you create one of your works/what’s unique or unusual about your technique/process? Each work is created in three distinct stages. The first is the gathering of my raw material. I travel to places I know will be abundant in natural beauty, allowing myself to discover, and capture with my camera, enough of that environment and its countless parts to be satisfied. The next stage, which begins when I return to my studio, is to carefully examine each photo, excising a vast number of tiny, individual elements according to my intuition. Finally, once I have gathered enough of these elements, I begin assembling them, slowly and carefully. Again, this is
No, hypercollage is a recent development in a creative career that has evolved over decades. It is in fact a fusion of two previous periods of my life — my years as an advertising designer, during which I developed my skills in digital imagery, and then later my period exploring the art of painting, during which I mastered my aesthetic sensibilities, and came to understand the deeper, perhaps more spiritual (for lack of a better word) possibilities of visual creativity. Which artists/photographers inspire your work? Though the camera and computer are my tools, I am perhaps more inspired by painters than by photographers. Too many of them to count, to be honest, but worthy of mention are two in particular. One is the Scottish painter Peter Doig. I feel he is a modern-day Gauguin, fluid, poetic and yet very contemporary. Another is Jérôme Martin, like myself a Quebecer — he is someone who truly got me going, inspired me to push the possibilities of my work and strive for the high level of intelligence and profundity that he achieves. DISCOVER MORE www.ysabellemay.com
My full name is Grant Charles Milne, I was born in Leicestershire, England November 1989. I was born at Leicester General Hospital (LGH) this is a National Health Service hospital located in the suburb of Evington, about 3 miles east of Leicester City Centre. I was then brought back to my family home in Melton Mowbray. The theme of my work clearly betrays a fascination for people and landscapes. Focused by this allure I paint family, friends, and complete strangers that can be found walking amongst us. The resources used are oil on canvas. Furthermore some are painted direct on to an ipad using a digital brush that has the same effect as oil, but without the drying times. In my early years, which at this point you couldnâ€™t really call an art career but I tried. My early themes to memory for my drawings were mainly castles and drawing of as many soldiers to create a war game to play with.
This would keep me entertained for hours. I also remember while being at Brownlow Primary School having a book of dinosaurs drawings. I would try to make a direct copy of these into a sketch book. During secondary school John Ferneley High School therefore, around the age of 11-12 was the time I become fascinated with lettering. Especially interested in graffiti. My time was spent many hours browsing Waterstone to find a book on the different styles of graffiti, Barcelona at the time seemed to have an exciting edge. The letterforms were artistic not just your standard tagging that seem to be appearing on the streets. This was also the time Banksy was starting to make his name. IT was an exciting time for graffiti, it had started to be accepted by the art world and I couldnâ€™t get enough of it. I would spend hours on school projects but not on the context the title. My aim was to make first impression count.
After completing my GCSEs at King Edward VII, I went on to study A-levels in Graphic Design, Fine Art and Product Design. These years shaped my future, it was the first time Art and Design would be my focus. The way we was taught was to explore creative techniques, along side formal training such as life drawing. One way we were taught was to look at an artist work then do a complete direct copy. Once we had done this we were then asked to complete another piece but this time use the qualities we had learned from the artist but develop a piece that showcase our own individual style, which helped me develop as an artist. Around this period I was influenced by work from Roy roy Lichtenstein, Si Scott and Tes One a artist who looks between traditional art techniques and digital graphic design from graffiti to vector graphics. My own style developed from this training my main work would be themed around architecture. The medium used was ink and dip pens. The technique was creating dots to make the form of the buildings, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Shop. Below is an example of a piece I created, designed to promote Kew Gardens in the London Underground. This demonstrates the dot technique.
Even though at this point this technique was my favourite, after two years of A-levels I moved onto Leicester College. I was never to use this technique. In fact in the year 2017 I still have not. During this art foundation, I got to explore many disciplines of art at from using the dark room to creating jewellery. It was fascinating exploring different techniques and not being scared to fail. It taught me many things however, the main being able to take criticism. During this time I also went to visit many art galleries and design museums across the UK. This reminded me of my Childhood when I was taken to visit the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BM&AG) This is a museum and art gallery in Birmingham, England. It has a collection of international importance covering fine art, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, natural history, archaeology, ethnography, local history and industrial history. I remember the gallery having a lot of classical art at a young age, I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should however, at that age you soak it up like a sponge. Future knowledge tells me it was mainly Baroque art, that had exciting subjects like stilllife, landscape and portraiture.
One of the galleries which manifested a light bulb moment for me, was my visit to the National Portrait Gallery London. I came face to face with the masterpiece by Sir Thomas Lawrence portrait of William Wilberforce. William Wilberforce between 1787 and 1833, led Britain’s campaign to abolish slavery. This painting is an unfinished portrait and was said to capture ‘the intellectual power and winning sweetness of the veteran statesman’. However, to me it was a complete masterpiece. This widened my taste and help me to learn what a hand can produce.
summer of 2012, studying Graphic Design. 2012 I will remember due to the The London 2012, the London 2012 Games was a 60-day festival of sport and culture across the UK. During my University days painting was not a priority, interest for me was typography branding and commercial awareness. During my final year I created three fonts which was a huge achievement for me. Studying Graphic Design helped me develop a lot, it gave me a much better understanding of commercial enterprise, which today I still question would I have gained this from studying Fine Art or would I have become more self indulgent and not have the flexibility approach to design projects.
After a year I then moved on to De Montfort University in Leicester and graduated in the
After Graduating I worked in retail while working on various freelance projects. In the summer
of 2015 I landed the job role as a Graphic Designer for Brooksby Melton College. Working on projects across the college from print material to events marketing. Also working with commercial businesses such as Brooksby Hall, Melton Theatre, The Rural Catering Centre, Reflections and the Equestrian Centre. My first big art break came in 2016. I got the amazing chance to exhibit my portrait of Cara Delevingne (seen above) at the exhibition titled the Modern Art Master in Complex du Louvre at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris. This was a huge moment for me. Paris is one of the cities that you must visit. I was represented by the PAKS Gallery who is a gallery for contemporary art in Austria entre Vienna, Salzburg and Munich (Germany). PAKS Gallery
is active in international consulting of high quality contemporary art. I actually got to visit the Gallery in Austria. I flew to Vienna and spent the weekend exploring what Vienna had to offer. This was a great experience for me and gave me the confidence to showcase my artwork to a much larger audience. “Artist Grant Milne deals with emotions. Clearly visible strokes remind of old masters and emphasize the facial expression in his portraits. The motifs from the normal life lend the works a classic nostalgia and remind the viewer of the beauty of normal life.” - Critic Heinz Playner Paks Gallery (2016)
in your stellar work “MAN’S BEST FRIEND” explores the complexities of strong shapes as it resonates with a dynamic silhouette. We were particularly engaged by the fluidity of line in “BEN” with its symbolic message as well as the strength of your unique artistic vision of capturing the impalpable as you seize the essence of the emotional and physical experience. We salute you on the exciting interplay of color, movement and space in your “ MOTHER” and how you capture a special spirit of the joie de vivre of life. Your Figurative Themed art viscerally challenges the viewer to a high level of emotional response and illustrates a vibrant visual intensity and the essence of the human experience;We are so pleased with your marvelous art and the positive energy of your stellar compositions” AMSTERDAM WHITNEY International Fine Art (2016)
jewellery, bespoke crafts amongst the innovative work on show. Visitors can wander through the halls and talk to the artists who created the work, buy directly from the artist or commission a bespoke piece. Among those taking part in the fair this time will be urban artist Roy’s People, whose work combines miniature figures, photography and street scenes. Also The Londonbased InVogue Art Gallery are aiming to bring an original Damien Hirst.
Following exhibiting my work in Paris. I managed to get a review from AMSTERDAM WHITNEY International Fine Art, they said, “Our Curatorial Review Committee was most impressed by your superb Figurative paintings which are a triumph of personal expression as you encapsulate the human experience. Our noteworthy Curatorial Review Committee was most impressed by “CARA” which resonates with a profound visual narrative as you reveal an intense human empathy for life. The artistic journey that you portray
My future plans will be to exhibit from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th February 2017, at the Oxford’s majestic Town Hall, this will be an unmissable three days of inspirational contemporary art fair. This year’s art fair will pack each of the venue’s three halls with vibrant displays of art from a selection of international exhibitors from 26 countries including the UK. There will be paintings, sculptures, photography, illustrations,
THE FRENCH FARMER
DISCOVER MORE www.grantmilne.com.com
DR ROBERT BOHAN
How would you describe your work? My work is mostly autobiographical and combines my training in science with a mapping of the subconscious. I think the best way of describing my work is as a series of Mindscapes. I like strong lines and bold colours in my drawings, which I create in pen and ink. In terms of painting, bright colour is really important to me as is the possibility of brush work. As a kid I always thought I’d like to paint in a realist manner but now I prefer that the full possibility of oil paint is shown on the canvas.
How do you select your subject matter? It is probably better to think of it as the subject matter selecting me. I work entirely from the subconscious and have no idea what is going to appear on the page before I begin - I just let my hand guide the pen. As a result all my work is autobiographical and full of symbols. There are certain themes that are constant including science, elements and mindscapes. I have a doctorate in science so its not surprising that cells, micro-organisms, plants and animals figure large. Elements are the step between a thought and a concept, so are often organic forms combining symbols such as a chair or a wing. I think of them as
brain-sparks. Mindscapes are like self-portraits of my subconscious. Often what these mean only becomes apparent to me much later - so I’m exposing my inner self every time I draw. What inspires your creativity and art work? A few years ago I was blinded in one eye and the medical treatment to ensure I didn’t become completely blind was quite extreme. Once I recovered I started an art therapy programme to address what had happened and as a result I became more focused in my creativity. I draw every day for up to seven hours at a time. When I’m in the zone I can draw until four in the morning. My inspiration is driven by my subconscious and whatever its thinking about or is responding to. I have a series of drawings of bronchitis for instance and a Czech collector acquired a series of works that were about my having pulled a muscle in my head. The work comes directly from my subconscious so its like projecting my dreams onto a page. It’s strange to think of my headache hanging on a wall in Prague, though! How do you create one of your works/what’s unique or unusual about your technique/process? In terms of drawing I like to keep my conscious awareness busy, so I watch TV or a film as I draw whilst at the same time letting my subconscious do what it wants with the page. I trained as a botanical and scientific artist in university so that approach has stayed with me. With scientific art the importance of clarity is paramount and I think when you have something happen to you, such as blindness, clarity is really welcome. I also use bold colours and really enjoy doing so. When you face the option of blindness, colour becomes all the more precious. I feed my
conscious on a movie and allow the subconscious to take over. When I was a kid my mother would ease my tantrums by getting me to draw, so I associate drawing with emotion. Writing up my doctorate, which took months, I used to watch TV as I typed. My art and process are the sum of those experiences. Did you begin with this style or was it an evolution? Definitely it was an evolution. I didn’t even know I had a style until some friends said it to me. I’ve spent thousands of hours drawing over the past few years so it definitely is an evolution. With all that draftsmanship its second nature to me. As what I create is very important to me everything I do has to be authentic. If a work is from the heart I think you can see that. I’m not interested in style I just want to map my inner world. As long as I can draw, I can see Which artists inspire your work? I tend not to be inspired by any artist in particular - as the work is coming from my imagination you are getting 100% undiluted me! I do love art history, however. One of my favourite artists is Kathe Kollwitz because of the sincere humanity she shows her subjects and her commitment to drawing. I love Picasso, too - he has such a great sense of humour. Of contemporary artists I really admire the work of Paula Rego - she creates her own universe based on her experience and her emotions - I can really relate to that. Art, for me, is about emotion - so artists like Goya, Rembrandt or Rego, who chart feeling, are speaking a language I can understand.
Outside of art what other subjects inspire your work? As mentioned before science is the key subject. I treat the process of creation by my imagination in a scientific manner by ensuring that its allowed to be itself and not influenced by secondary concerns or ephemeral subjects. You can really see the impact of science in the myriad strange beasts my imagination generates as well as the alternate flora that grows on the page. I’m also fascinated by history.
How did your education help you become an artist? In secondary school I studied art and art history and indeed got offered a scholarship to go to art college afterwards. However, I ended up studying science. In Trinity in Dublin the natural sciences were taught in the classical manner so I had the opportunity of studying scientific graphic techniques as well as botanical illustration. On top of that I was constantly producing cartoons for newspapers and posters for societies and events. When I graduated I worked in IT and became very interested in the birth and development of digital photography. Its not a traditional route for a contemporary artist but I think it adds up to a unique approach and highlights my work
as being different to the typical art school graduate. I loved that Trinity has one of the largest libraries in the world and I spent as many stolen hours as I could reading art history in the depths of the Berkeley Library.
didn’t flow. In primary school in Dublin we were told that Picasso said there was no such thing as a mistake so I’m going to have to side with him on this!
What’s your favorite artwork you have produced and why?
In terms of art, no. From a financial perspective you clearly have to pay the rent every month, buy materials and so on. I love creating art and find it intensely relaxing. My main pressure at the moment is to find a gallery in the UK and in Continental Europe that would be a good fit with what I do.
I created In Memoriam last year. I did it a couple of days after losing my best friend who took his own life. I was trying to deal with the loss and ended up drawing an uprooted plant with a flower that looks like an explosion and a face that, I think, says it all. I was doing an exhibition and it was visible from the street and a lady saw it, came in and sought me out. She told me that it had moved her and she just had to come in and tell me. I think the emotion is raw in it and even a year later that’s how I feel. It was drawn for myself but the emotion seems to be universal judging on the response I have had to it from all over the world on social media. Art is therapeutic and having this work close to me reminds me of a gentle, honourable and guarding soul. What’s the worst piece of art you have produced and what did you learn from the experience? I don’t even know how to answer that. I don’t really think in terms of best and worst. I’ve found that drawings I don’t particularly like are really appreciated by some people and vice versa. I painted some orchids a few years ago and they annoyed me as I thought the work was too pale. A friend said she loved it so I gave it to her. Since then I have had several people, who have seen photographs of it, offer to buy it from me. So I have no idea! Maybe I shouldn’t admit that? Each work I produce comes from within so although I might not like it, it has its own merit in telling me how I feel. The only barometer I have is if it feels like the work
Do you feel pressure as an artist?
Do you learn from criticism of your work? With social media I expected to get a lot of negative criticism. I had over 16 million visits to my Twitter profile (www.twitter.com/ RobertBohan ) last year and I would say I’ve had about a dozen negatives comments. None was particularly relevant in terms of art criticism - with the exception of someone who said my signature was too prominent on my drawings. I had been using it as a way of balancing compositions. After that I try to make it smaller and more discrete. Part of me is worried that someone will come along with a devastating criticism (not that thats a challenge for your readers!) and part find it strange that I haven’t had that negativity. I gave a talk to about 40 artists last year and was stunned when they told me it was standard practise to take a work in art school and criticise it. For me that would be like a bunch of people having a go at my personality! I think because the work comes from the subconscious people tend to see it in that way and relate to the emotion expressed rather than even the work itself.
How has social media affected your work?
AN IRISH FLORA I
I put my work on social media in 2015. The response has been humbling. I have over 300,000 followers on Twitter alone. At times I’ve trended globally and that’s been exciting and a little scary as you see all these trolls and so on online and wonder if they will single you out but I’ve been very lucky especially as I am now in the top 50 Irish Twitter accounts. Social media is a fantastic way of sharing your work and its led to great opportunities for me. I’ve had interviews, invitations to give talks and exhibitions and so on. I use it to sell my work and I’ve been lucky enough to have several collectors come across my work and invest in it. I’d certainly recommend that artists use it. I treat it as a giant social network and love engaging with people on it. I’ve also rediscovered old friends and made new ones in the real world because of it. Its also been humbling to have the modern art galleries of Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Karlsruhe, Rotterdam, Oxford, Manchester and Liverpool track my work. What advice would your 80 year old self give you? That’s a real Human Resources question! Indeed what strikes me about that is the idea that I would live to be 80! I imagine the advice would be the same one I’d give myself now - slow down, enjoy the moment and smell the roses. I’m always racing ahead! What’s your future plans? My immediate plan is to sort out an exhibition that’s planned in Dublin. After that I’m focused on identifying the right commercial galleries to partner with. Ideally I’ll continue to spend most of my day creating art.
If you were not an artist what would you be? If I wasn’t an artist I think I’d probably be a conservationist. There are a number of nature reserves in Wales that I am responsible for setting up. I’m particularly proud of one where the largest population of Wild Service tree (Sorbus torminalis) occurs. That was a pretty special day for me, discovering that. Trees are very much part of my life and my art. I think there is something innate within all of us that relates to the natural world. Do you think this generation is part of a particular art scene? It’s a great time to be an artist. Previously collectors and collecting was all about Old Masters - today its the new. We live in a global world where events all over the planet are visible on our phones instantly. I can post a drawing on Twitter and have responses from Japan and Peru whilst having a coffee in Dublin. That’s a great opportunity for artists to share their work, see what others are up to and make a living. What’s the future for art? Its the same as its always been. There are people who need to create to address their own needs and there will be people who want to collect. At the moment there’s a big focus on software and technology in an effort to capture the now. That’s been going on, however, since the invention of photography. I think with an increasingly globalised art world there tends to be global trends and ideas. I’ve seen a lot of work about migrants, for instance. The zeitgeist is strengthening. Individuality will, as it always has, stand out.
What advice would you give to someone trying to start an art career? I think its about being authentic. Draw or paint what you know and how you feel. You can decide to be an artist whatever your background, whatever your experience. I’m probably not the best person to advise as I’ve had a non-conventional entry to contemporary art. There can’t be that many doctors of science making a living from art!
What’s been your biggest success? In terms of art I’d say it’s when someone likes one of my works enough to invest in it - I still find that very flattering and also as I fund myself completely it means I can keep drawing and buying new materials. I was dropping in some framed pictures for an exhibition today and one of the janitorial staff went ‘wow’ when she saw them. That made me feel really good to make someone happy. DISCOVER MORE www.robertbohan.com
ATTENDANT HAMMER DOG
Tara Dinic, is a Serbian British artist, entrepreneur and financier, working in an engineering firm. Born in 1991, she spent much of her childhood between Saudi Arabia, Greece, the UK and Serbia. Exposed to vivid colours, landscape and history throughout her childhood, Tara was inspired by Ancient Greek and Byzantine mosaics, particularly their craftsmanship and detail, not visible upon first glance. Tara obtained a BSc in Finance and Investment Banking before completing an MSc in International Marketing at King’s College, London. At King’s College she took courses in digital marketing and consumer behaviour which triggered her interest in the art world, how people reacted to art and the marketing of it.
Since 2013, she has worked for a large US construction and civil engineering company at their London offices. During her time working in the corporate world, she began painting. What started as a meditative hobby has now become a full-fledged pastime and a form of escapism. In 2015, she completed a course in Art as an Investment at the Sotheby’s Institute in London, in order to further deepen her understanding of the workings of the art market. Tara mainly works with acrylic paint on canvas, often painting provocative political pieces, as well inspirations from her travels.
One of her pieces, Winter, was selected for the final round of the RA Summer Exhibition 2016. She has displayed her works at the International Oxford Art Fair 2017 and has been accepted at Art Fair Malaga 2017 and Barcelona Art Fair 2017. She will also be exhibiting her artwork at Framers Gallery, London in June 2017 Several of Tara’s pieces are exclusively represented by Gabriel Fine Arts, London. DISCOVER MORE www.taradinic.com
Her paintings currently consist of five series; Hearts, Layered Crosses, Man & Woman, Rainfall and Candy.
YIN AND YANG
TASTE THE RAINBOW
STEPHEN ANTHONY DAVIDS
are simultaneously tender and macabre. The brushes stored at the base of his easel are flanked by two enormous mallets (for assembling canvas stretcher frames reminiscent of Arsenals football club’s crest. The easel itself bears a large, colourful canvas of a black Mary Magdalene riding a donkey.
Stephen Anthony Davids: ‘A Tyson Punch Message’ “White wine, white walls and white people,” said black self-taught artist Jean-Michel Basquiat of the exhibition launches he attended in 1970s New York. Anglo-caribbean autodidact Stephen Anthony Davids has a piece titled with that quote, drawn using his signature black ink dip pen.
“For me, in London, it was red wine,” says Stephen of his early forays into the gallery scene, and it’s private views where “you can’t see the art ‘cos everyone’s pissed on drink and there were no reference points for me… not even anyone else who was six feet, four inches tall.”
Stephen’s life story satisfies the criteria for an outsider artist. However, his art avoids the common pitfalls of this much-condescended arena. The work is sensitive, mature and – endearingly, not cloyingly – sentimental. It’s also not simply masculine but virile, earnest, and droll, exploring the 21st Century male experience in surprising ways. Plus Stephen is aware of art history, adapting influences as diverse as cubism, caricature and antique collecting into his rich visual vocabulary. “My influences are Bauhaus, graphic design, 1940s illustration for the line work especially David Lowe as much as Joan Miró, Dubuffet for the texture, Jean Micheal for his composition and Picasso for the diversity,” he puts it himself, as we sit amongst the products of his visual appetite in his Stratford studio. Works on paper taken from historical slave trade ledgers feature sketches and slogans reminiscent of a seasoned David Shrigley; they are completed not just with Stephen’s signature but with a burgundy seal made with the same wax the Bank of England still uses. Traditional farm implements imported from Romania feature painted portraits of boxers and Stephen’s peers. Antique toys, dolls and shop display pieces, such as a bipedal pig from a traditional butcher’s,
An enormous black man with piebaldism that gave him blonde hair and freckles, Stephen grew up in London’s East End long before it arrived on the hit list of future hipster housing colonies. His rites of passage to adulthood came courtesy the local hooligan firms and the nightlife of the West End “The West End was a different place. It was more seedy, more interesting if you had an enquiring mind. And I was a very curious person.” The West End was like a playground for me at night, the clubs and bars was an abys where I lost myself in the sound of early house music. Trips to see his father in mid80s downtown Manhattan (also decidedly un-gentrified at this time) led to him hanging around Keith Haring’s Pop Shop, a world removed from the football terraces but another discovery due to his imagination’s voracious appetite. This proto-‘lifestyle store’ inspired F-ART, Stephen’s own gallery / store run with Richard Boxall on Cheshire Street off London’s Brick Lane.
“The ‘F’ stood for fine as much as spelling out ‘f-art’,” explains Stephen, “We wanted to call it ‘Two Wogs’ – my business partner was Irish – but we would’ve got firebombed. Like Pop, the objects, books, furniture and toys were the superstars, presented on plinths. I became obsessive about the window display. A lot of good people came through the door – Adam Neate, Stik, the late Amy Winehouse – and it was an amazing thing to do. The lease was for five years, and the project only intended to last that long. The area shifted, at one time it was like Carnaby Street, with Hauser & Wirth gallery and Labour & Wait [the ‘old fashioned’ homeware store that gave birth to the ‘slow living’ trend defined by Kinfolk magazine]. The ethos changed and you could see the clients change. Then the crash came and one of the first things to go was having a funky place. Also, we were getting bored… I was getting bored, as it deterred me from my purpose.” The vocation being his self-taught work, which Stephen had intended to showcase at F-ART but became distracted by the business world
and the plethora of aspiring street artists that frequented the gallery.
self-education has yielded many of the other attributes that galleries seek when deciding if a self-taught artist can be considered credible.
At a time when the creative industries have become democratised, it jars that selfA clear yet sophisticated and taught artists struggle for context surprising message is there, more than ever. Rousseau, Van for example, in the pieces on Gough, Turner, Lowry and Frida masculinity he’s used when Karlo were all self-taught, but the teaching NEETs – youths ‘not art world remains not-entirelyin employment, education or comfortable with talented training.’ In [XXX] a simple amateurs. It’s been suggested illustration of a cro-magnon that the elitism characterised figure is supplemented by the by verbose ‘gallery speak’, or words ‘Oblivious to his own degrees from key colleges (the beauty, masculinity, creativity Royal Academy, Goldsmiths), is and sexuality.’ A similar figure – necessary to retain fine art’s lofty – demonstrating use of a thematic and vastly expensive – status. The visual vocabulary – bellows ‘I am a art industry has seen what open megasexual!’. access has done to film, and music, then learned to remain aloof. “It questions what it is to be a man,” he explains, “the whole The graphic designer turned notion of masculinity now in artist Peter Saville, famed for his the 21st Century is up in the sleeve designs for Tony Wilson’s air… it’s an area which is quite Factory Records, once said that taboo.” Stimulating conversation he wasn’t considered a ‘proper’ for the chattering classes perhaps, fine artist because he couldn’t but crucial to the identities of talk about his work in fourthe predominantly male NEETs syllable words. Stephen though Stephen teaches. “Men are the can discuss themes, and throws more sensitive sex, I think,” he around phrases like ‘exploring the adds, “we just mask it better than notion.’ Moreover, his extensive women.”
And Stephen’s work is indeed acute. Although his works on paper tackle a number of themes associated with the angry artist – race, class, violence, disassociated males – they are refreshingly free of rancour. ‘Windrush 1948’, citing the first boat to arrive from Jamaica to London’s Tilbury Docks, features the trilby hat worn by the mainly middle-class immigrant workers as they disembarked. Both the optimism of those first generation immigrants, and the glummer portents for their future, are communicated in a cordial manner. “I want to educate the uneducated,” says Stephen, “there are elements of anger there, but you look at the graphic and the text, and the details like the wax seal I put on my works on paper, rather than being overwhelmed by it. It’s subtle, yet with intention – a Tyson punch message.”
lay there and play victim,” says Stephen of what’s dubbed ‘the British ethnic minority experience’, “but I’ve found a lot of it is about your place in society and how you represent yourself. There are things that don’t happen because of race, but it’s usually because you’re not articulate, or you haven’t got the person on the right side. It’s a class issue that I’m presented with as much as I’m presented with an issue of race.” Stephen’s painting, too, features hallmarks of a considered artistic career. He has employed the cubist style of Picasso (itself influenced by historic African art) to portraits of his friends and family. The Black Madonna, an artistic meme, if you like, that dates back to the 10th century, is another recurring theme. A new piece features a black man on horseback wearing fox hunting attire. It’s painted in a style reminiscent of the vintage packaging this self-confessed hoarder adores – but as a jaded gallerist would say of the hardest part of a figure to paint, ‘the face looks right.’
“I think we are still kids to a degree – we have body mass, and inner psyche. We try to recapture that level of freedom and honesty, that fearlessness,” Stephen says of his painting style. In the era of art-asinvestment and ‘flipped’ pieces that change hands without ever leaving the sealed warehouses they’re stored in, one pleads with the gallery circuit to attempt the same. DISCOVER MORE www.stephenanthonydavids.com BROTHA
Stephen describes himself as “a frustrated pugilist” and a boxer character he calls ‘Gypsy Tom’ features consistently. “He represents the gypsies, the boys from football, the Irish travellers I met back in the day. I collect old photographs, from 1900 to 1930, and I took his old-fashioned boxing stance from them.” A painting shows Gypsy Tom prize fighting in front of a crowd of black faces, reversing roles. “One can easily
My name is Ling Lin. I was born in Nanjing, China. I lived there until I was 18-years-old and then I came to Hong Kong to study art and design. I got my bachelor’s degree from Hong Kong Baptist University, Academy of Visual Arts and my master’s degree from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design. I am currently living in Hong Kong. I didn’t receive any formal training in painting before I completed my study courses. In China, people believe that those who are not academic choose to do art. For this reason, my family did not offer me any support before I went to university. I am a self-taught artist and at the very beginning, learning and practicing was a secret activity that I could never let my parents find out about. However, I must say here, that when you have a real passion for something; nothing and nobody can stop you from doing it. It can take you much further than you could ever imagine. When people ask me how I learnt drawing, I always tell them this story: when I was 16-years-old and in high school, I discovered digital drawing and I became superaddicted to it. I was so excited that I couldn’t stop myself from looking for all kinds of tutorials on the internet, every day and I saved my pocket money to buy books. Soon, I was eager to try it for myself! I didn’t have the patience to save all the money I needed, so I borrowed it from my friend and bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which was the cheapest and the thinnest one (easiest to hide at home) in the mall. I can still remember it was 400 RMB, which is about USD58. I was thrilled, but since I had to keep it a secret, for a long time, I got up quietly at night after my parents had gone to bed and took out the hidden tablet, and started to draw. Usually when I felt I had done enough, it was already bright outside. After one or two hours, I
would (pretend to) start the day normally. Nevertheless, I never felt that I was suffering. Drawing gave me such enjoyment that even if it was only for five minutes, I truly appreciated and cherished it. There are so many things to explore in drawing and painting. I never stay with just one medium, but am always trying something new. I have painted with oil, watercolours, acrylic and even nail polish; and not only on paper, and fabric but other more unusual surfaces such as helmets and ceramic. Different paints work differently on different surfaces. It is interesting that the combinations can change the way I paint or even the way I see the world. Sequences, layers, time… it’s a way of learning the nature of the materials and I have found all of them beautiful, even digital drawing. HELMET - ROAR LIKE A BEAST
favourite two mediums although they not at all similar to each other. When I do oil painting, the room will be messy and “dirty” and filled with a strong smell of oil. The painting is built up in different layers; the paints are opaque, thick and they dry very slowly. I usually draw realistic things but I don’t pay a lot of attention to the details. Rather I try to catch the right colours and textures to express my feeling at that moment, thus I always draw quickly and with emotion.
TWILIGHT AT TENNIS COURT
I would never try to define what my “style” is. I keep trying and practicing, and as long as I’m still learning something new; the “style” will keep changing and this will show in my work. Personally I love painting with a brush rather than on a drawing tablet. Oil and watercolour are my
AUTUMN IN JAPAN
Water colour is totally the opposite. It’s much easier to set up and relatively clean. The paint is transparent and only allows a few layers to be added to each picture. It dries quickly and is difficult to change that. However, when it’s still wet, the colours mix with each other beautifully. When I paint with watercolours, I draw from my imagination and spend a lot of time on details. I usually draw slowly, in a calm mood and I try to tell a story through the drawing. The way I paint and draw in different mediums shows the different sides of my character but they are all real. Oil and watercolour make a balance. I enjoy each stroke, each line and the energy I put into it. I transfer my emotion into it and in the end, I discover more about myself through drawing and painting. It feels like the paint and I know each other very well.
THE YEAR OF ROOSTER
Over the past two years, I have worked a lot with watercolour. Most of my inspiration comes from Chinese culture, since I was born and grew up in this environment. I greatly appreciate Chinese paintings and Chinese literature and they have also influenced me a great deal as can be seen when I draw with watercolour. Instead of copying Chinese painting skills and knowledge, however, I interpret it slightly differently with watercolours, especially ‘Gongbi painting’ where I draw lines. Our ancient literature is rich in poetry and myths and they really inspire me. I have a lot of work that is related to them where I have added more from my own imagination and feelings. Lines can show how many details a drawing has. For me, they are especially important since I also use them to create movement, even though it’s a still image. I draw a lot of smooth lines and it’s not easy to do in freehand. They are usually close to each other and
follow one direction, so that when people look at the drawing, their eyes follow the lines and in the end, reach every part of drawing. Thus, people feel like they are reading a story when they look at the drawing. I feel lucky: Since I don’t make my living through art, I have no pressure from clients or deadlines while I am doing it. I can create whatever I want to and can express my feeling without any hesitation. I work as a designer and when people ask me what I do in my free-time, I say drawing. They seem surprised but it’s without any commercial purpose. Just doing any kind of art makes me feel calm and I find everything beautiful. It’s another world for me; one which is very pure. Drawing and painting are not the only art I practise. I have an avid wild interest in materials and craft. Conceptual jewellery is another thing I do a lot. Apart from studying in Hong Kong, I also went to Japan and Italy to learn and make jewellery. It is different from drawing and painting, and is a special thing. A piece of jewellery work shows a concept in a 3D format that people can touch and they can feel the material instead of just looking at it. There are two questions I keep asking myself when I am creating a work of jewellery: “What is valuable?” and “Why wear it?”
and used things that can be found in people’s daily lives. I interpret them in a different way making them into pieces of jewellery that can touch people, not only from looking at them but also from process of wearing them. I want people to discover the beauty that lies behind normal things through my artwork and to challenge themselves to find what is valuable for them. When people try to understand a jewellery artwork, the sense of touch plays a role; compared to other forms of artwork where they can just look at it, because it is something that is literally close to a person’s body. The questions: “Why wear it?” and “What’s the relationship between the jewellery and the body?” are always answered in my works. All my work tries to remind people of “touching moments in their life” through their interaction with the jewellery work, and in the end, to question people once again about “What is valuable?” Wearing this ring is a risk because it is made of eggshell, but if put it aside to keep it safe, then the ring loses its value as a piece of jewellery. Love is something fragile like an eggshell that is easily shattered; however, protecting it
will just make it valueless. People are always keen to have big shiny diamond on their wedding ring. There’s nothing wrong with that but what really matters is the feelings behind it. Symbolic meanings can’t replace or show how people really feel; it is people’s feelings that decide the meaning.
A clock is a machine that counts time accurately, while a leaf comes from nature and tells time by changing its colour and shape slowly. It does this day by day and, finally, time can be seen and affects everyone. DISCOVER MORE www.portfolioofling.com
Gems and gold are definitely valuable; they are treasured everywhere in the world. But, what about every individual? What makes people cherish their lives so much? What makes them different? I put my focus into finding the potential that a work of jewellery has to give people something valuable and unique by reminding them of who they are and what they have already experienced. For this reason, I have experimented a lot in materials
STARTING TO THINK
Lucy is a painter that works largely in oils on canvas or board using large expressive strokes to convey emotional resonance. “A painting is a series of marks which capture the moment. I bring everything about me that day. As I paint I get more and more brave and that’s often when the best marks are made, because my cognitive processes are stepping away. I’m bringing feelings and emotions to it, my history with art and the understanding I have with other artists.”
Lucy was born on the Isle of Wight but now lives and works as a painter from her Hampshire studio. Her work is usually large abstracted canvases in oils, but her roots remain in the countryside and seaside of the landscapes that surrounded her as she grew up. She wants her work to retain some ambiguity to allow the viewer to interpret the work individually and continue the conversation that she has started.
Her paintings wear their history lightly, as they reflect the work of British artists that she has loved and been inspired by including Lanyon and Frost. This shared language of paint and mark making, like an A,B,C of telling a story, is important to her as it gives the paintings a sense of glimpse of a forgotten memory or feeling. Her career has so far involved having work in regional private galleries and solo shows, but 2016 proved to be a very busy year for Lucy as she successfully entered
some larger open exhibitions, was selected to take part in The Other Art Fair at the Arnolfini in Bristol. This show takes a selection of emerging artists and showcases their work and in a vibrant and varied show, which always is very popular to the art buying world, as well as visiting galleries. Later on that year Lucy created a series of small gouache and graphite sketches of seaweed, whilst on holiday on the west coast of the Isle of Wight. These sketches consisted of a few gestural marks but yet they captured the weightlessness and movement and fluidity of the small plants, that are prevalent all along the coast. Three of these small sketches were shortlisted down to the last four for the prestigious Discerning Eye award and exhibited at the Mall galleries in London. Although she didn’t win the competition, it started a process of development which has continued and has proved a turning point in her style, as it moved her away from oils, if only temporarily and allowed her a freedom and immediacy.
The most recent work by Lucy are large-scale oil on board, which have been created alongside some large acrylic and Indian ink drawings on paper. Due to restrictions of studio space Lucy has to work outside on the ground, at the mercy of the weather and light conditions of the day. This environment becomes yet another element in the picture, alongside the music listened too, mood of the day and events past. All of this becomes wrapped up in the brush stroke as it is placed lightly or violently on the canvas or board. 2017 seems to be proving as creative with a new painting being chosen to take part in The Society of Women Artists annual show. This exhibition takes place in central London and will showcase the work of its members, as well as a carefully chosen group of artists. In another new direction for Lucy, she has taught an expressive drawing workshop to a group of students where they experimented with ink, polish, charcoal and pencils in a series of exercises to loosen up their drawing style. The workshop was run to coincide with a recent exhibition of new paintings in Southampton and Lucy used her work to illustrate, how drawing is still relevant to all styles of art from figurative to abstract. More workshops are planned over the forthcoming year. DISCOVER MORE www.lucypickpainter.co.uk
Digital art, and furthermore digital painting, is an area of creation that is now coming out of it’s infancy and from game concept design to surrealism, it is already opening exponentially large numbers of ways to express visual ideas. Jacob Price is a young developing digital painter and designer, who has for the last 5 years been developing skills in digital painting using Adobe Photoshop, here he will share his experiences with different techniques, visual style and workflow. I paint on a graphics tablet on a screen, with a tablet stylus using Adobe Photoshop primarily. School is where I managed to nurture my love for painting digitally. I started looking through all these art books of films that my Dad had accumulated and some that were in the school library, including ‘The Art Of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones’, and I remember absolutely falling in love with both how all these pieces were from imagination and that they looked so unique that they weren’t defined by a kind of paint or stroke. These were all designs; ideas for characters, locations, sets, creatures, weapons - all created with the sci-fi Star Wars universe in mind and they very quickly put that feeling of fantasy and ‘Far far away’ in my head. Very soon I was trawling through tutorials and various guide videos from all corners of the concept design world and gorging on as many sites like ‘The Luminarium’, which has really great regular online exhibitions of all kinds of cool sci-fi, fantasy and conceptual art. I distinctly remember watching my first ‘Fengzhu Design’ video and how much insight I gained just from that into this new industry of pure visual design. So I took graphics for GCSE and A level, not art. There were times where I wished I hadn’t done this, as it was purely industry focused over
expressing individual ideas, but it helped comfortably develop computer skills and taught me key elements of design process like sketching thumbnails and sharing ideas in more clearly defined steps before coming to an ‘outcome’. Over the terms wherever I could shoehorn painting into a coursework or exam topic, I would. It was hard to keep drawing the work to a specific design purpose back then, to not just keep producing pieces that didn’t have any thread between them, but it was good practice to try and replicate a kind of design pipeline that might come from a real-life project like a game or film, with only the research into that world to go on. The one thing people really do not realise when beginning to work digitally, is that past the menus, tools and keyboard short-cuts it is simply another medium to complete work. Every skill you practice on a sketchpad or a canvas can be applied in Photoshop and every design and fundamental principle you learn can and should be transferred where possible. Nothing changes about these when you work digitally. If you like to paint with oils, then after getting used to it, you can paint on a screen. It will not change your sense of colour, or if you like to use very bold lines for example then you can convey that just as well. The only thing that is truly different is the work-flow, as it is geared towards completing work with efficiency as a priority. However, it does take some practice to be comfortable enough with a tablet pen, so that you can express an idea as freely as you would on paper on screen. For a concept scene, not an individual design I will make a digital line drawing to then develop from and paint over, depending on how complete a design or image is in my head before starting. If it’s not clear enough, first I will go
straight in with mood colouring and blocking in shapes, until that hopefully sparks more detail (trying not to stray too far from the strengths of initial ideas). From there I feel around for the right composition, creating key elements like a main hero or creature and what positioning feels right for them within the space. After that it is a matter of making detail passes until the image gets enough story and message across to be convincing. At least thats the idea. Usually I’ll work on just one layer in Photoshop however, if something requires more trial and error then it will get its own layer, just for quicker adjustment. If I have physical sketches and designs to work from, I will try and incorporate them as much as possible but unless its something entirely done on paper, which serves its purpose, I will end up with a digital image. There’s a few projects I’ve set myself that I’ve come up with in the past few years. One of these being ‘Eternal Canvas’ for the time being, it is a weird sci-fi story about a space assassin who also has a burgeoning oil painting career. He is sent by a galactic military coup to eliminate the rightful family of heirs of the system-wide monarchy. He ends up adopting their daughter and raises her, going to all these different worlds and cities keeping her hidden as a fugitive. Another idea was a street-fighter style fighting game with various mythological figures as the characters - Gods, demigods, creatures etc and various mythological places as the settings; Mount Olympus, The Underworld, Valhalla, Asgard, Atlantis etc. Right now my main artistic focus is a project called ‘The Dustman’, a surreal western-fantasy illustrated book that I am working on with my good friend Fraser Mcrae, who makes the most incredible surreal figure art. Its got everything from Rat-headed people to giant vultures in it, which is really fun. 65
I have quite a few favourite creators that never fail to give inspiration, designers and artists that had a certain style that appealed to me and helped shape the way I make lines. Syd Mead, best known for bringing the Blade Runner, Tron, Aliens and 2010 worlds to their acclaimed fruition, has a wonderful way of making distant shapes and ideas seem very plausible. This kind of grounding is important in making a piece have impact, as everything in the piece, despite being imaginary, has its roots in the needs of the people that inhabit the world you create. That is when a scene or piece is most resonant. Even then, many elements of a painting may not be entirely made up, but this depends on the project of course. Mathias Zamecki an industry professional concept artist, has greatly inspired me with his romantic influence and his powerful control of both expressive terrain and sense of colour. His work has helped teach me that when making a scene or piece, everything in it must serve the focus of the image whatever, you choose that to be. Arguably, the point of concept art is to make an idea read and ‘sell itself as cool’. Composition is the most important factor in this, as whatever the idea that starts in your head as a ‘what about this’ or ‘what if’ moment, has to be positioned in the image as to make it feel like it works and fits in the world, no matter how seemingly weird it is. If you imagine a cinematic sequence with a giant 200 metre flying whale in it, how much context has got to be there to make it go from feeling random to wishing it was real?
EARLIER DRAFT IDEA FOR THE EP ARTWORK
FINAL BLUSHES ‘PRIVATE VIEWING’ EP ARTWORK DESIGN
I am not working as a concept artist in the industry, but my other passion of music has been aided by this immersion in digital art. Recently, I completed the cover art for my band’s debut EP. Its called ‘Private Viewing’ and has themes of love and romance that are laid over various melancholic and atmospheric textures. The recording process actually reflected a lot on the development of the artwork, as initially, before the songs had been fully recorded I was already set on an idea for the artwork. It was going to be a side profile of a blindfolded girl, the whole image bleached in red and pink washes. This was before being able to actually listen to the material in it’s finished, produced state and extract an idea for the artwork from that. When I showed the rest of the band what I had they liked it, but they weren’t properly convinced and neither was I. I knew that we had to keep mixing and working on the sound of the songs, adding effects and sculpting the role of the lyrics and instruments until they had a definite ‘aesthetic’, for lack of a better word. We had set on the title of ‘Private Viewing’ long before any art was completed and after many blustery winter nights locked away in our tiny studio, I began to ask myself; what image are these songs making me want to create? Quite a few weeks went by not knowing the answer, then when revisiting the original idea and deconstructing what actually would fit with this tone, I had in my head more the image you see, as the final version came into my head. For some reason this scene peering into this dingy, bare, almost motel-like bedroom and having this slightly demonic looking female figure looking into a large minimal but kind of baroque mirror, seemed to hit the nail on the head. Luck struck, as the image manifested itself in my mind almost complete as if looking at a photo when I
closed my eyes. I then set about translating this through digital paint. Time was running low as the release was coming up, so I spent two real sessions on it, getting it to a decent level of detail in order to get the scene across. It seemed to line up with both the title and the ‘vibe’ really well and thankfully the others agreed. The image demonstrates a few techniques I’m quite fond of right now in my workflow. One of these being the use of the Mixer Brush tool, that replicates physical paint a bit more and allows you to blend as if working with oil or watercolour. You can adjust how ‘wet’ the brush is, the ‘load’ of paint on the brush and how much it mixes along with many other features. It can help humanise sterile looking images or can just be a very intuitive way to lay down paint. I think I tend to stray towards a slightly impressionist feel when it comes to strokes etc., I enjoy putting the energy and life of a piece over the refinement of minutia. It comes back to early design process stages, capturing the moments where you loosely construct rough compositions and ideas in seconds, before later fleshing it out. Quite often a vast amount of detail is not needed to convey your idea and being the sole originator of the idea, it is your responsibility to decide as to what degree this is true. Getting this balance right can absolutely make an image.
done by the same artists simply take this further, often being far more experimental, as can be seen with artists like Simon Stålenhag and Wadim Kashin. Even just the choice in colour and brush stroke can do this. Digital art and painting is still a new medium, but has undergone as much change and growth as technology itself in the past 20 years. Whilst retaining the core respects and principles of many traditional styles, its capabilites are still being explored and it has become an extremely popular medium for many artists of all types, including myself. DISCOVER MORE www.artstation.com/artist/ jpriceart_96
What is so appealing to me about this kind of painting is that it’s most commonly found in concept work for a mechanical design purpose, yet so many designs hold great artistic merit in their own right. The goal is to be as visually interesting as possible, but the bi product of this is the need to tell a convincing story, through the way something looks. Personal pieces, artworks that are purely for self expression and enjoyment
Lara Julian is a contemporary painter from Siberia who lives and works in London. Her large scale acrylics paintings are interior landscapes, oscillating between figuration and abstraction. Exploring metamorphosis, the cycles of life and the breadth of human emotion, the paintings invite viewers to look, to contemplate and to explore their own inner landscape. Working with a vivid and layered colour palette, each painting externalises transitional periods in the artist’s life, offering an intimate study of the complexity of the human condition. Since leaving a successful career in banking in 2013, Lara has devoted her life to art, creating powerful expressionist paintings that reflect the evolution of the self. Lara has studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows in New York and London. Her paintings are held in important private collections. How would you describe your work? I consider my paintings as interior landscapes that explore the breadth of human emotion. They are always created with real or imaginary people or places in mind so I’d say that they are actually quite representational, not in terms of capturing the physical likeness of a sitter or situation, but rather the emotional states attached to those. Do you always choose the same subject matter? My canvases are surfaces upon which I want to externalise emotion, energy flow and movement, all of which are integral to human experience. While my figurative
work is based on memories of people and places, that are unique to my personal experiences, more recently I have shifted focus from the micro to the macro, exploring the cosmos and planetary movement. Both threads of my practice are about movement and energy, which is always in flux and therefore, my subject matter is always changing. What inspires your work? I’m deeply influenced by the masters of French PostImpressionism and Abstract Expressionism. I also draw a lot of inspiration from the frescoes and stained-glass windows of medieval churches in Europe, which have captivated me since childhood. Cosmology, nature and philosophy are also significant sources of inspiration in my paintings. I recently read about various expeditions to space, in which astronauts documented the solar eclipse. This phenomenon has inspired my latest series of
work, which explores the vastness of our universe and the flows of energy that connect us all. Which artists inspire your work? My sources of influence come from British and European painters such as Howard Hodgkin and Cecily Brown, as much as they do from American sources such as Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. I also find myself drawn to sculptors like Alberto Giacometti whose work responds to the post-war climate of existentialist despair. The way that he addresses common human experiences such as love and vulnerability have real universal resonance for audiences today. Is anyone in your family an artist? Yes. My father is an artist, my mother is an art historian and my grandmother is a poet, so I grew up in a very creative house.
How do you create your artwork? Most of my paintings are made during transitional periods in my life and myprimary source of inspiration is my imagination and emotional states. I see or feel something internally and then I can cathartically externalize it through the process of creation. I prefer to create multiple works simultaneously, as I never feel one painting is enough to fully express the complexity of human experience. The works are very layered and develop gradually over time and for me this is a beautiful metaphor for life and our state of being, which is constantly in flux. It’s sometimes very difficult to know when a work is finished. The completion of a painting is instinctual, like everything in my work, including the choice of colour which corresponds to feelings I’m experiencing at the time. Often, I need some space from the work, so I’ll put them aside for a while and come back a bit later to make any adjustments with fresh eyes. It is a very alive and intimate creative process. Would you say you have a style of work? I would describe my style as expressionist in the sense that there is a lot of feeling and emotion registered in the work. But what’s true is that I do enjoy exploring different styles and techniques. In terms of my current works, my paintings are abstract with subtle hues of figuration. My instinct is to be bold and vibrant and in my gestural application of paint I try to evoke the Fauve’s wild expressionist colour palette. Through strong colour and an abstract visual language, I want to focus the viewer’s eye on the perceptive power of colour. I’m interested in the emotions that it (colour) reflects or arouses in the
viewer. Every aesthetic decision can be read as a manifestation of feeling. How did your education help you become an artist? Studying at SLADE School of Fine Art in London significantly helped me to find my artistic voice. My teachers, many of whom are practicing artists, encouraged me to be bold and to not be afraid to unleash my creativity. Prior to studying at SLADE, I have also taken many classical drawing classes, which have helped with foundational knowledge. What’s your favourite artwork you have produced and why? I don’t have a favourite, that’s too tricky - it would be like picking a favourite child! What’s the worst piece of art you have produced and what did you learn from the experience? Most artists are unsatisfied with their work and many artists, writers and composers destroy work for this reason. There’s always room for improvement and I often find myself working and reworking a canvas. However, sometimes the flaws in a painting turn out to be the thing I love most and it’s these imperfections that bring out the human quality of a work. What to date has been your biggest criticism of your work? My work is abstract and this can sometimes be challenging for the viewer to digest. Often people want to know what the work is about, so they search for a narrative and can be frustrated when the meaning is not immediately apparent. I think my work deliberately evades easy interpretation and what I want is for the viewer to navigate each canvas and use their imagination to
find their own personal meanings. What did you learn from the criticism of your work? You need to have great selfbelief! Every great artist has been criticised, Duchamp and Manet were both rejected by the traditional academies, but now they are of course indelibly placed in the western canon of art. Any criticism just gives me more motivation to keep creating, to follow my vision and to make my own mark on the art world. How has social media affected your work? These days most people look at art on Instagram. Social media has become a vital tool for artists to chronicle their practice and expose their work. Of course, exhibiting my paintings in a physical gallery space is ideal, but social media provides a platform to show works that can then reach and hopefully engage audiences on a global scale. Social media is a very powerful format that artists working in the 21st century are tapping into, but for me personally nothing beats experiencing a painting in the flesh. What’s been your biggest success? I haven’t achieved it yet. However, to date my happiest moment as an artist is at exhibition openings when I see people enjoying my paintings. It’s very gratifying when I can see my work resonating with viewers. I’d like my work to be remembered and to have an enduring impact. Whether it’s one iconic painting or seminal project, I want to create something revolutionary! What are your future plans? I have a few international exhibitions scheduled for 2017/18. Currently, my paintings are in an exhibition in Venice and then they are travelling to Amsterdam and Paris. Next year will be my first
solo exhibition in London and New York and I am also involved in a short autobiographical film for the Art Channel. So, there’s lots of exciting projects to look forward to. Do you think this generation is part of a particular art scene? I don’t think there is one homogenous art scene, it’s a very diverse and blended landscape. I think this generation of artists are deeply individualistic, we don’t want to conform to a particular movement but rather we’re driven by an insatiable desire to create our own unique, idiosyncratic and inimitable visual language. What’s the future for art? This is a big question! The future is of course impossible to predict and never more so than now. Our world is constantly changing, technology has accelerated to such a point and with such immense speed that we haven’t yet developed a proper vocabulary for it. As curator HansUlrich Obrist said: “This world is what we call ‘extreme present’, a time in which it feels impossible to maintain pace with the present, never mind chart the future.” With this in mind, my view is that art will become increasingly collaborative and cross-disciplinary. Absolute truth is an idea rooted in the modernist past and this generation of artists need to respond to a much more multifarious world. In an abstract way, my paintings respond to this rhizomorphic energy flow. They are interior landscapes but the flow of energy I seek to depict, be it cosmological, corporeal or technological, is universal to every living organism.
DISCOVER MORE www.larajulian.com
14th-17th SEPTEMBER 2017 CANDID ARTS TRUST ANGEL | LONDON | EC1V 1NQ
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65 ARTISTS LIVE PAINTING CREATIVE WORKSHOPS
Published on Jul 27, 2017
Published on Jul 27, 2017
Welcome to the first edition of Artist Talk Magazine. This is a magazine for everyone and is written by artists. The main focus of the magaz...