Here is the next instalment of featured artists on my blog. Paul Bailey is an artist I came across on folksy, and have been following for a while. His landscapes really appeal to me. There is a sense of space, and I love his ability to capture the light. Often featuring houses in the landscape, they are symbols of domesticity against the rugged land. I suddenly feel the need to book a cottage in the middle of nowhere!
I got in touch with Paul to find out about his inspirations, and how he runs his creative business:
Red Earth. Paul Bailey
What is your background?
Well, I loved art at school. I wanted to do an art degree of some kind, but my A-level Art tutor wasn't encouraging. "Even if you get a degree (in Art) the best you can hope for is to become a teacher. Only a few can become professional painters" was her general refrain when I told her about my artistic ambitions. OK, most likely true, but not very inspirational. So when I was lucky enough to gain a chance to become a trainee commercial illustrator, I thought it was imperative that I took it. Anyway, I'll get paid to do something I really love doing. Unfortunately, in reality, the job wasn't quite that idyllic, and I left after a year. I stayed in the graphical industry, so to speak, albeit at a less creative level.
What mediums do you work with?
At the moment, watercolours exclusively. I have used oils, acrylics and pastels in the past, but I have found that watercolour is the most dynamic and versatile medium of all.
The Bothy. Paul Bailey
What other work do you do?
None. I just paint watercolour landscapes. I have painted a portrait of my wife and child, but that's personal and will never see the light of day.
How do you market yourself?
I think marketing for an artist is just plain exposure more than anything else. I try to sell myself in my blog and my tweets, not just the item, thus I give a lot away, in terms of my thought processes, influences and techniques. I believe the way you handle your promotion should be a reflection on oneself, thus, in my case, I put the emphasis on my art not the marketing. Art comes first. I have found that art buyers want to have more that just a 'pretty picture', they want a story behind it too.
Welsh Farmhouse. Paul Bailey
Where do you sell and exhibit?
I sell on-line through my folksy shop and exhibit and sell at a local gallery (Maeldune Centre, Maldon). I should be exhibiting at a couple of local art trails this year too.
How do you see your work developing?
Well, it will either become more abstract and, possibly more realist. A contradiction, perhaps, but nature is very abstract in its basic forms, isn't it? And, yes, I would love to make a living out of painting – that is my goal.
Who are your heroes?
John Blockley really 'turned my head' more than anyone else. You've got to check out his work!
If you could steal one piece from a gallery what would it be?
Autumn Cannibalism by Salvador Dali. Its small enough to be smuggled out under a jacket and make me a few bob too. More importantly, its a fantastic work of art, both in the artistic sense, and the meaning behind it too.
Autumn Cannibalism by Salvador Dali
What books and blogs can't you live without?
Country Landscapes in Watercolour by John Blockley. I don't own this one, it's quite rare, but I do have some others of his. I occasionally borrow it from the library. Just flicking through the pages re-energises me.