Artist In The Spotlight:.....Lee Herring
This week our Artist in The Spotlight is Lee Herring! We have worked together for a few years now and love how his artwork has evolved. We caught up with his recently to ask him a bit about him and his artwork...
Lee’s contemporary abstract landscapes are colourful, textured and full of life. They’re inspired by his every day, normal life! He captures snippets of colour and memorises details from fleeting scenes. He uses spray paints, markers and acrylics to create layers of textured backdrops.
Carol: What is the inspiration behind your artworks??
Lee: I’m inspired by the everyday…tv programs, textiles, walks, travels, it’s usually something just really small like a colour combination or a close-up detail. I work very spontaneously so it usually has some sort of starting point but I just let it unfold from there
Carol: What artists inspire you?
Lee: I was always drawn to the likes of Pollock and richter when I was studying but I tend to just keep with more contemporary artists now. I go through phases of who I like to follow but I think i'm still pretty fascinated by Connor Harrington.
Carol: When did you know you were going to be an artist?
Lee: Not too sure really, I studied at university and probably hoped it would continue but it’s a tricky place to make a living so I'm definitely very lucky I’m still doing it almost a decade on (I sound very old!) Touch wood it continues!
Carol: - How do you start your pieces?
Lee: They generally start by just blocking in a colour and going from there really. I usually put a load of layers down so if one colour isn’t working it’s pretty easy to hide it! I don’t have too many preconceptions of what it’ll turn out like either… so it’s just a matter of getting to a point of something I like the look of, then I stop, easy ha!
Carol: Can you tell us about your process?
Lee: work with a few mediums; pens, spray paints and acrylics. My works probably most known for its texture and that’s created by adding a thickener to the acrylic, it essentially helps it act a little more like an oil paint but just dries a LOT faster! I use trowels and scrapers to dab, swipe and blob the paint on (a very technical explanation haha). Once ive done so much it’s a bit of a waiting game before I can start the next layer (usually a day or two later) and I just keep building it up. Once I’m happy I give it a nice glossy varnish finish which really helps to highlight all the lovely textures!
Carol: How long does it take you to finish a piece?
Lee: I tend to work on a few pieces at a time so it’s a little tricky to pin it down but anything from a few weeks to a month or so probably. They’re all so different, sometimes I just like paintings straight away and others I keep adding and adding and adding. It’s hard knowing when to stop, you’ve just got to go with your instincts.
Carol: Do you use/suggest any particular frames for your work?
Lee: I generally frame my work in a white wood, they’re all so bright that I think it gives a nice boundary and draws you back into the painting. One day it may change but for the past few years, white’s definitely the winner.
Carol: Do you have a typical question that everyone asks you about your work? What is the answer?
Lee: If I’m stood with someone looking at a painting of mine, it’s generally ‘can I touch it?’ Yes of course, (just have to buy it haha) They’re very tactile!
Carol: What's your studio like and where is it?
Lee: I have a new studio in my garden… I love working from home, it’s so handy if I have just a quick idea I want to get on with, I can do just that! Plus, it’s great at the moment as we’ve just had a baby so I can pop in and help out and dash back out when there’s nappies to be changed! :-)
Carol: What do you like about where you live?
Lee: I live in a nice little rural village, so I have some lovely walks nearby and a great local pub, the Sunday roasts….mmmmmmm!
Carol: What do you like doing when you are not painting?
Lee: If I’m not working I love a game of football, other than that with a new baby on the go, it’s generally sleeping, watching a box set or having a little tipple.
Carol: What is your perfect weekend?
Lee: It’s always nice to get together with friends and family, love having a summer bbq (a very very rare occasion in England !) and then sitting out all night with the fire on, what more could you want!
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