Sunday, February 14, 2010
Hugh, meaning: being way cooler and/or better than any one else, ever.
i.e. It's not Hugh's fault he's better than everyone, he just is.
When did you know that you were an artist?
I’ve always drawn and I’ve done a bit of illustrating work as part of my job, but I really only started with putting work on canvas a few years ago. I’d just given them away as presents, to friends and family and I still do that, but I guess I felt like an artist when I organised an exhibition and someone asked to buy my first piece. When someone you don’t know buys some thing you’ve done it’s a very satisfying feeling because you know that they’re buying it for the picture itself, not any emotional attachment to me.
I work as a designer for a living so I think it's important to me, to get away from the computer and get a bit messy every now and then. I like to just make some textures, paint some lines and see what happens. I don't have a great attention span, so the style in which I paint, works for me.
How would you describe your work?
I’ve found it really hard to classify my work. I paint in acrylics and I guess they are figurative paintings. I build up layers and then use black lines, filling in bits here and there. My paintings create a story, but because of the missing or abstract elements, I’ve left it to the viewer to make up the rest.
What do you want people think about when they see one of your pieces?
Seeing as I don’t paint faces, I’ve found that it really leaves the meaning to the individual. I like that you can make up you own story that goes with it. I've had some great responses to a few pieces that I certainly didn't expect or mean.
Do you have a favourite piece of your own?
My favourite piece would have to be "Magic Cowboy". It was the first real attempt I made at painting on canvas. I'd shown it in my first exhibition a few years back, and I remember thinking that if it doesn’t sell then I’m going to keep it. It’s probably the ambiguous name that really appeals to me, as you're not quite sure what’s magic about him, or even if he's a cowboy. It works for me anyway...
What’s been the highlight of your painting career so far?
My solo show last year was a petty big highlight for me. It was my second solo show and I certainly didn’t expect the response that I got. I think it was the first time that all the work I sold went to people I don't know. That a huge compliment for me, and will no doubt encourage me to put myself out there more.
So get on down to see Hugh's exhibition at the Ian Dawson Gallery in Paddington, from 16-27 February. Unless you want to be way uncool that is.