top of page

My Interview with Oh, so surreal...

Hello dear Richard, please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?

My first memory of painting dates back to when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I recall drawing a cowboy listening to 'Adam and the Ants' while being at home from school with a sickness. The painting was never saved but I recall the feeling and the praise my mother gave me. As I recall she was celebrating that I might become and architect, since the idea of making a career as a fine artist in the mind of a working class Welsh mother in the mid 1970s simply didn't exist. The pinnacle moment in my life and career as an artist came in Foundation college in my late teens. I finally applied myself to academic schooling and leaned toward both the fine arts and design. When pressed to decide my University course and future it was assumed that I would follow design as I was one of the top students in that discipline. To the horror of my design tutor I followed my gut and chose fine art as my path. As usual, especially due to the mentality of Welsh working class society at the time, I was chastised for my choice and told I would amount to nothing. I guess it was the moment I heard the faint calling deep within, that was over 25 years ago.

What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?

I was initially inspired by a few wonderful tutors before I went to university. I was incredibly fortunate that art was still on the syllabus at my school and my high school tutor was incredible at guiding my footing both artistically and emotionally throughout my teens. I found myself quite lost when I did finally arrive at University and it wasn't until my third year I discovered a voice and language in which to speak my thoughts in my painting. My initial influences were the post impressionist painters Manet and Cezanne. I definitely leaned more towards the Dionysian artists for my inspiration which appealed to my emotions and instincts and the same is true today. It lead me to study the German Expressionist painters like Max Beckman and Otto Dix and also the Austrian Painter Egon Schiele. It was quite a quick and obvious jump to the Neo-expressionists that were part of the New Glasgow boys art movement in the 1980s. My favourite painter of that movement was Peter Howson and my early paintings were basically studies of his techniques but with replaced characters from the working class Welsh village I was raised in. My early paintings were bombastic and stunk of someone who had little to say but a loud way of saying things. More lately, I have simplified my tone and try to speak with careful consideration and refinement. I am mostly influenced by great writers and poets these days and often use poetry as a doorway to open up a channel to my own instincts and inner wisdom. I have spent the past few years studying the works of influential thinkers and writers such as Carl G. Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ernest Holmes and I have concluded that I must trust myself. Pure creativity will come through me if I allow it and open myself to its flow. I discovered that within me, conscious thought and forced ideas often impede my creative process and therefore I have done away with them as much as possible in the development of my methods, whilst trying to maintain a clear, focused and natural mind.

"…a perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands and predominating in all their being" - Emerson

I began to create paintings without a predetermined conscious selections of the subject matter, and instead put emphasis on my trust in my visual response to the world around me. I also allowed the conversation with the works themselves to dictate the direction, so in essence, guided by an infinite intelligence, they paint themselves, albeit by my hand.

This process now leads me to believe that my authentic subconscious is filtering through into my work. I feel the paintings and subjects are being chosen from a transcendental level of consciousness, above mind and I allow my self to honour the absolute truth and honesty of their expression.

How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?