Though I have been an Artist all my life, I have only recently found a focus. That focus is to make paintings that cheer people up. Happy paintings, I call them.
Seems the least I can do, considering what most people deal with in their lives. To that end I now do two predominate styles, the one shown here is what I call the "Grand Cartoon style".
Intentionally childlike, cartoonish almost, the colors are vibrant, and the scenes look like a trouble free place you would like to go, and maybe never come back.
The other and more original style (and the one I am most focused on at the moment) is probably too detailed and small to show up well on this site, but it is colorful small cities, with rubbery small houses, a flattened perspective, and a decidedly whimsical nature. You can view it in a larger way on my website www.RobDavenport-artist.com. Say hello if you drop by..
Some people think both styles are just for children, but in my mind, they are for adults that want to embrace a more childlike attitude.
You have no choice about getting older, but you can refuse to mature! My current paintings are sort of a case in point.
What made you become an artist?
Genetics probably! My Grandfather was of a similar mind, - art and music. It seemed to skip a generation and then land on me with a vengance! I have tinkered with a Art all my life, but was always resistant to the idea of trying to earn a living that way. I usually just gave my artwork away. What has made me of late decide to promote and pursue Artwork is simply that I decided I wanted to do that, and could accept it if it did not end up being an economically successful story.
Please explain your creative process
I use a digital art program called Artrage to do a few digital explorations . With digital art It is easy to change things around until you get them about right. Pixels do not cost much of anything, so you can feel very free to create. I use a Wacom tablet to draw on.
I then make a bold digital outline traced from the digital painting, detailing the important parts of the work. I print that out, and then use a projector to then copy it to a canvas. The bold outline makes it easier to copy from the projected image. If it is simple, I just draw it by hand.
At that point, I start to work on the painting using Golden fluid Acrylics. I am free to change things of course, and usually do. Its not completely "paint by numbers" or like filling in a coloring book, but I find the outline keeps me focused.
What genre of music do you listen to while creating?
I usually listen to online radio. I have an iphone app called "tunein radio" and through that I listen predominately to a station called "Radio Gaia" from Brazil, but there are quite a few others out there. Its an ongoing full tilt new age extravaganza full of didgeridoos and native American flutes and the like, but it seems to foster the needed right brain shift nicely and sets a mood for creating. Or, I listen to my own collection, which ranges from Andre Boccelli to Lyle Lovett.
How do you become inspired when uninspired.
I just turn on the music and start putting paint on canvas. I do not worry too much about what I am doing, I just respond to what is happening with the paint and go with it. In no time I will get into the "zone". I Just do SOMETHING. I sometimes give myself permission to paint something terrible and agree to just throw it out and never show anyone, if that indeed is what happens, but you must do something to jumpstart the process. I just say no to "paralysis by analysis". Instead, just dive in! Too many people wait around for their left brain to tell their right brain what it should do. Bypass that. The left brain has little clue what art you should make. Open the door for the right side where the inner artist lives, ( by just starting something) and it will come skipping out in no time, ready to get going..lure it out with a few colorful splashes of paint.
What activities do you do beside art?
I ride motorcycles and scooters, enjoy trips abroad, cook, take care of a menagerie of animals, and run a small business to make a dollar here and there. My wife is my best friend, love of my life and source of encouragement when I let things get me down.
Name your most recent creation
"Wiggly City" seen here, is typical of my style, and a recent creation, and the first painting I have made Gyclees from.
Do you have a favorite painting?
Since I was a child I have always loved Rousseau's "Sleeping Gypsy", it just took me to a different and magical place, and these days it fits with my style more than most. So many paintings in the world, its hard to choose!
What is the artists role in Society?
For me personally, it is to nudge people out of their logical "left brained" way of seeing the world. I hope to present a different, and somewhat illogical view that hopeful connects with them in some emotional way, somehow for a moment bypassing that boring analytical mind most people get mired in. The world needs both mindsets to function, and the analytical side seems to usually dominate. There is more to the world than logic though.
Have you sold any of your paintings so far?
I have sold a few along the way, but given away most however.
I have bartered a few as well.
How are you promoting your art online?
Influences from other artists
Just to mention the ones that currently have an influence... Hundertwasser, William t. Wiley, and Rousseau. Also Helen Frankenthaler.
Picasso is in there too. But my work looks nothing like any of these people.
Please relate something interesting from your life
I have an unusual business which allows me to use my talents with paint though it is more of a craft than a creative venture ( I am copying, not creating something from my imagination). What I do Is paint electrical outlets to match the backsplashes in High end kitchens. It might be copying granite, all sorts of tile, or wood. It is always a challenge, but I enjoy it.
Very likely I can say I am the foremost switch-plate painter in the world, seeing that there are not very many of us, that makes it very possible. Talk about being a big fish in a small pond!
You can see the work at www.takenforgranite.com.
Where do you hope to be in ten years
I hope by then to have created an outrageous line of happy paintings that people enjoy enough that they will want to buy them! Hopefully people will stand in long lines for them, and pay big bucks! Well, I suppose one can always dream.......
Any advice for emerging artists?
I think we all are emerging artists, even the established ones. To state the obvious however, most of us will still need to keep our day jobs!
Website: Rob Davenport Artist