Hello. I'm back again with another interview, this time with my friend Hannah's boyfriend - Baz! He has been churning out some seriously super paintings at top speed. I've included some images of my personal favourites...
The severed heads of crap celebs (for tea).
Do you have a creative background or are you completely self taught?
I’ve always liked doing pen or pencil drawings since I was little, and started to paint almost a year ago when my ma and pa got me a paint-box for Christmas. I’d say self taught other than art lessons at school, although it’s very rare I’d use anything I learned in those. I’ve tried websites and books here and there, but trial and error and messing about seems to work better. Teaching myself is very slow though; it was only recently I discovered sable brushes, which are a lot better than the cut-price watercolour ones I was struggling with for ages! I haven’t learnt how to sketch or shade or anything like that yet though.
Not Very Good Portraits of Celebs II: Jackie Stallone Emerges Part Swan from Bracken
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by quite a lot of artists or works and often copy and steal some ideas or settings from them, then improvise the rest and see what happens, or just make everything up as it goes along without anything much beforehand, so although that’s inspired by surrealist automatism or Dadaist chance operations, I liked to make drawings up as I went before I’d heard of any of that. But I s’pose that’s what you do when you first pick up a crayon, so I probably never got far beyond the old method. Stuff that has a clearer idea to start out with and gets planned out a bit more is usually some sort of portrait, I’m usually inspired by photos of friends and family, especially if they’re in fancy dress or doing something amusing, then I try to add other strange or silly stuff to them. I sometimes make note of funny dreams and use them, another staple surrealist method, but I only remember a few dreams so don’t use that very often. Rubbish and other throwaway items are inspiring too of course, so I like sticking them to pictures sometimes too. For some titles of scenes or landscapes, the nonsense verse of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll inspire me; I like making up meaningless phrases then adding them once a picture without any intended meaning is finished, to try extend its range of meaninglessness. Some titles are taken from track names in this noise project I used to do, though. Colour schemes I use in pictures usually get inspired by painting and decorating websites like Dulux and Sherwin Williams, where you can pick a colour and it brings up four others that compliment it, ‘cos I’m still a bit clueless with that!
Not Very Good Portraits of Celebs I: Mutya and Keisha Apparently Appearing Among Softnened Awning
Who are your favourite creative people / artists?
My favourite painters (ones I like to steal stuff from [then find out I can’t do that much with what I’ve pilfered]) are Yves Tanguy, Desmond Morris, Leonor Fini (she’s my favourite at the mo), Joan Miro, Kay Sage. Also Edward Wadsworth, and Conroy Maddox. Sometimes I try borrowing bits from Bosch here and there. Other favourites are de Chirico’s early stuff, Duchamp, Schwitters, Hugo Ball and all that lot, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Frances Picabia, Andre Masson...Leonora Carrington, Paul Delvaux, Dorothea Tanning...Who else? Art nouveau stuff like Klimt and Mucha. Old masters too, Velasquez, Vermeer, ones that did double images like Archimboldo and Joos de Momper. For black and white/pen and ink stuff, I’ve always enjoyed artists whose work appears on death metal and grindcore album covers past and present, my favourites for that kind of thing are Lou Rusconi, Dennis Dread, Mike Diana, Steven Smegma. But I also like the illustrators from aestheticism and the decadent movement, like Aubrey Beardsley, Franz von Bayros, Max Beerbohm. And much older stuff like Bracelli’s engravings. And Bresdin’s stuff. Japanese prints too. I forgot to mention Gil Elvgren and Eric Stanton earlier. Chagall. HR Giger. Tim Burton... There’re a lot more but that’s enough now I think.
Hannah with leopard print heels
Which piece of work of yours is your favourite?
Tricky this one cause I dislike quite a lot of them, but keep ahold of them and stacked away, and put on a Facebook album too so I can look at them every so often so I can learn from mistakes and not repeat stuff I find looks shite or how poor it looks if I try and cop out or rush something. There’s a few I like though, and some bits of others. ‘Cartland Marshland’ came out well...that was kind of based on ‘The Ends of the Earth’ by Leonor Fini. ‘Hannah with Leopard Print Heels’ was influenced a bit by her stuff as well and I like how that turned out. ‘Pink Egg Picnic...’, that steals quite a lot from off Edward Wadsworth’s ‘Tomorrow Morning’, but with a lot more wobbly, swirly stuff on it that was fun to do. I like the head of ‘Elasticated Inspastiportrait of the Innspastelasticunt’, but his chest hairs could’ve been a lot better. I quite like ‘Girl with Bouquet’...the bouquet’s stolen from Leonor Fini’s floral period, but the colours and petals are a bit cackhanded. Ones of Keisha and Mutya and Pete Burns came out almost how I wanted. Drawings usually seem to work better than paintings; ‘Idolatry of the Ludicrous Donkey’ ‘Arrival of Paranoia’, ‘Enormous Prick’, ‘The Gala of Grotesque Decadence’...also ‘The Harridan (or Superpiglet)’, a collage which has a cutting of Kerry Katona’s mum, but also looks a bit like a piggy superhero.
Not Very Good Portraits of Celebs III: Latrell Tries to Woo Pete, Who Has None of It
Do you have a day job or are you lucky enough to do your paintings full time? If you have a job / other commitments, how do you juggle both? Tell us your routine!
I have a job at the mo but when I was at uni/unemployed I’d paint or draw for most of the day and stay up til about 4am and start falling asleep into the picture, but still tend to do that now and forget I have to be up again shortly. Other times I like to paint in short doses like whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or while something’s in the oven.
Elasticated Inspastiportrait of the Innspastelasticunt
What is your favourite way to work - do you have particular paints and materials you use? And do you work from pictures etc?
My favourite way is to make a background with acrylics , leave it to drip a bit here and there, make patterns or strokes that I like, then add everything else on top of it with oils later on. I’ve tried painting in layers but I’m not much cop at that yet, and a bit impatient for it, so it either gets slapped on in fudgy smears or wisped on in washy wipes. Usually if it’s done without really thinking, it ends up being a landscape with made-up figures and limbs and chins and things growing out of it, I like to paint shadows in first, like how Tanguy used to, and then the figure or objects afterwards, trying to marry up the shapes, then add funny creases or mouths or faces to the front of them. If it’s a portrait or has specific people in it then I like to work from a photo; only done one as a sitting so far, ‘Le Maitre Renegat Aux Couilles Fines’, while Sam (subject) was sitting in my kitchen one afternoon. I also enjoy sticking bits of newspaper or mag or rubbish or wrappers or things I found onto pictures. I normally use canvases, but also like bits of cardboard, wood, tiles, old bits of cupboard door etc.
Biomorphic Burlesquification and Growing Gout
What are your plans for your work in the future?
I have a few ideas and titles or notes and stuff, but rarely refer to them again and usually judge make something else up instead. I’d like to spend more time on one at some point, cos I can get fed up of them quite fast and often rush through so I can start on a new one.
Apart from painting, what are your other hobbies and interests?
Standard things really like music, reading, trying to record/produce solo stuff...sometimes sing in a duo, Noxious Coitus, we play groovy pornogoregrind...my band-mate Rich appears in quite a few of my pictures. I used to have a webzine/distro for that kind of music but these days I write album reviews for Diabolical Conquest zine, which is always nice! Real ale. I like dogs too, but don’t have one.
What are your favourite Books / TV shows / Films / Websites to peruse ?
There’s probably too many books to mention, the main ones I can see on the shelf are ‘Gargantua and Pantagruel’ by Rabelais, Burrough’s ‘Naked Lunch’, ‘Acid House’, ‘Glue’ ‘Filth’ and most other Irvine Welsh (except ‘Crime’, bit shite that one), Hunter S. Thompson, Howard Marks ‘Mr. Nice’ and ‘Book of Dope Stories’, ‘The Golden Ass’ by Apuleius, a few libertine novels, my favourites are de Sade’s ‘Juliette’ and ‘Philosophy in the Boudoir’, and stuff inspired by it a lot later on like Bataille’s ‘Story of the Eye’ and ‘Les Onze Mille Verges’ by Apollinaire, also stuff from the Restoration; Lord Rochester, Etherege, Behn....also quite a few decadence/aestheticism writers; ‘Torture Garden’ by Mirbeau, ‘Against Nature’ and ‘La Bas’ by Huysmans, ‘ Les Chants de Maldoror’ by Lautreamont, stuff by Baudelaire Rachilde, Rimbaud....
I’m rubbish at remembering which films I like, so I’ll just put Pink Flamingos for now. For TV, any of Chris Morris’s productions, Peep Show, South Park, The Fast Show, Bottom, Red Dwarf, Big Bang Theory, BBC Parliament, How Clean is Your House?...
Where can people find your work?
I keep pictures of it on a Facebook album but might put a blog together with them on it at some point. There’s a few on sale in Dare Cafe in Headingley, but they’re a bit old now so might pop round and swap ‘em soon. Cheers!
Pink Egg Picnic on the Pier at Plogglington on the Pladdle, Plackness, near Plagthorpes