Interview with James Devlin
We talked to London based abstract artist James Devlin.
He works mainly in acrylics but also uses collage. He creates abstract works that concentrate on colour and form that are unique in their ability to be a bold and bursting with energy.
Below, he answers questions about art, his inspiration and his artistic method.
SG: Where do your draw your inspirations from?
JD: From the materials I use, the books I read and the museums I visit.
It is true that everything must feed into the work as the work is a reflection of the artist but in my work this is generally at a subconscious level.
Inspiration is a loaded word but if I had to comment on what inspires me, I would say the process of painting itself. The space created deliberately in which to work, brushes with history, paint with rich smells and colours and a surface with infinite possibilities.
SG: Can you tell us your biggest influences in art and how they have affected your work? Are there any current artists who you really admire?
JD: I have constants that I never tire of studying.Painters that were or are solely concerned with painting itself, that create work with a love and understanding of paint that often only other painters can appreciate. Painters’ painters and artists that go on a journey, never simply reproducing the same motif and are not concerned with anything other than their art.
Providing a list of names would potentially mislead in appraising my work.
SG: Describe your studio/work space and the materials and techniques of your latest work. Is there a specific process and set up for creating your work?
JD: .I like to begin with order, everything in its place and tidy. This then quickly turns to chaos and mess and from this I like to eventually find harmony in the painting. I enjoy a work space with endless opportunities and so I have a large range of materials around me and they instinctively call out to be used.The space becomes as important in the conversation as the canvas/surface and the paint.
SG: Are you a part of any artists groups or organisations that have been beneficial (to your work in general or career as an artist)?
JD: I’m a solitary painter in terms of organised groups, but I do have a network of friends that are artists and I love talking about art in general. I’m not very good at writing about my work as I find it difficult to put myself down on the page using words, but I’m ok about talking about my work as part of a conversation.
SG: Is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work or does it change with each series?
JD:.A constant theme/concept would be to be my own iconoclast. A work can easily end up being cut up and used in a new work. That’s not to say I’m not precious about my work, I value my work but I understand the importance of moving. This state of mind, allowing myself to almost destroy my work does lend to a freedom conducive to a type of controlled experimentation.
To view James Devlin's work please click here.