It is our pleasure to feature James Devlin in this weeks Q&A. His paintings are bold, expressive and abstract style. His work demands closer inspection drawing you into the unknown, ensuring a reaction that is inquisitive and involved. James is an incredibly talented artist who should be watched.
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.