Simon Blundell – Painter

Can you tell us about yourself and your background as an artist/maker?

I believe that an awareness of ones personal state whether that is physical, mental or emotional is an important aspect of becoming more self aware. Most of my life has been spent in educational contexts of one kind or another with a number of years working in the Post Office, building sites and a sink making factory. I have recently retired from a special needs school teaching art where I became convinced of the power of art to raise personal consciousness and promote well-being.

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

I like to remain open to almost any working process because I think different ways of doing things reflects the varied states that we encompass as living, changing beings. At the moment my work either comes from reworking sketchbook ideas or drawings directly into a surface using dynamic marks, lines and shapes working intuitively with materials and responding to whatever happens in the moment.

Where you do usually work from?

I have a small studio in the garden with bifold doors that open the whole of one side so that in good weather I can view paintings from a distance. It is crammed with collected artefacts, past artwork, sketchbooks, books and music.

Have you developed any unique or unusual techniques in your work?

I use a sketchbook to draw quickly realised pages. I discovered that the secret to quicker development of ideas is too short circuit too much self criticism by not giving my brain the chance to analyse. Draw and then move on quickly.. analysis and perusal comes later.

Tell us about a favourite piece of work and what it means to you.

I recall a large painting that I did on my degree show that has a starting point a figurative painting. In this painting I can trace many of the same kind of factors that I look for in all art.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

I like Picasso’s idea that ‘inspiration exists but it must catch you working’. Showing up to the creative arena whether sketchbook, studio or easel and making marks - channeling the energy of my living body using the materials to hand always gives me inspiration.
I like dramatic skies, rocky landscapes, sunshine on my face, wind in my hair, wild music with multiple layers, Giacometti, Gillian Ayres, Max Beckmann, Ben Nicholson and Paul Klee.

What advice would you have for artists who are just starting out?

Be curious, experiment, wonder and ask questions.

How has lockdown changed your creative process?

I have found the lockdown experience valuable because of the increased space and uninterrupted time to develop ideas.

Tell us about any future projects you have planned.

At the moment I am busy preparing for an exhibition in Malvern in July.

See more of Simon’s work on his Worcestershire Artists page.

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