“Back to nature” by Nick Cowling was selected as a “Honorable Mention” in our July Show. Here is our short intreview with the artist.
1. How did you start creating art?
My first memories of painting were watching my father at work at his easel, the intoxicating smell of oil paint and his steady hand! I think he inspired me to go to art school, something he was never able to do when he was young because of the war.
2. Please tell us a bit about the artwork that was selected (style, technique, your inspiration etc).
The painting in the exhibition is from a series of works inspired by a visit to Bandol on the Côte d’Azur in France, in the last few years I’ve been using coloured inks and have adopted a much looser style, I was intrigued by this view of the Mediterranean from Renecros beach and the houses with red roofs hiding amongst the trees.
3. What quarantine has meant to you? Was it difficult to work in isolation and what effect this unprecedented time had on your work and creativity?
I didn’t find the quarantine particularly difficult, in fact, I had a lot more time to paint! I am lucky enough to have a garden here in Lyon and that is a constant inspiration, we had glorious weather this spring, so I was out there painting and drawing every day!
4. What do you think about trends in contemporary art?
I am not particularly au fait with contemporary art trends, apart from Banksy of course, but since I was a student I’ve been a great fan of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, I think they, without a doubt, changed the history of painting in very different ways. The British painter Kurt Jackson was a great inspiration to me when I started painting again at the end of the 1990s.
5. Please tell us a bit about your current work and some future projects.
I was lucky enough to spend two months in the USA just before the lockdown, the highlights of which were painting the Hollywood sign from the Griffith Observatory, the breath taking Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend as well as the swamps around New Orleans, alligators included! Although I love colour, I am going to get back to basics for a while and draw, I love pen and ink, so this summer in Brittany I will be drawing its rugged coastline.