Someplace Nice

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James Lang

When did you start making art?

I've been making art for most of my life I started making little comics featuring computer game characters like Sonic the Hedgehog aged around six or seven.

Tell us a little bit about how you came to make art?

One of the first things I remember clearly was flicking through an old Encyclopedia from the 1960's that had belonged to my mother. I remember one of the images in the book was Nicholas Poussin's painting A Dance to the Music of Time.That image has always stayed with me.

What is your approach or process towards painting?

My current process towards painting is all about creating texture. I staple an unstretched canvas to the wall then I quickly sketch the basic design onto the canvas using whatever I have to hand it could be a marker pen or paint. Then I begin adding paint and collaging on strips of canvas or whatever I can find around the studio, to build up the surface. Usually there are several failed paintings underneath a finished one.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I lived in China for almost five years. It was during this time abroad that I began to find inspiration in British culture. At first it was mostly cartoons I remembered as a kid then religious imagery became the main focus especially pre renaissance art where the figures are both comical and sincere at the same time.

What do you aim to communicate with your work?

I'm never quite sure exactly what I want to communicate. I tend to leave it open for the viewer to interpret. Having said that though I definitely have an appreciation for medieval art and religious art in general which I hope the viewer notices. I'm not trying to be satirical.

Who are your favourite artists?

There's so many and it always changes but to name a few: Francis Bacon, Leon Kossoff, William Hawkins, Fra Angelico, Danny Fox. The nameless medieval church wall painters and manuscript illuminators.

Take us through a standard day in the studio for you.

On a normal day I get into the studio, after finishing my day job as an Art teacher at a school in Essex, about 6pm. I'll usually pick up something for dinner on the way home. I'll typically put a podcast on or some music. Then I'll begin slapping paint on the canvas until I feel hungry again and have a snack. I usually down tools around 11pm.

Is there anything you'd like to explore in the future? New mediums or new themes?

I think I'd love to get back to some of the cartoon imagery that was what got me started on my current journey. For now though I'm enjoying my medieval inspired work. There's so many strange and interesting images to be found in medieval manuscripts and church wall paints. The inspiration is endless.

You can find more of Jim's work @jimbo__paints