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Born in 1967, New Longton, Lancashire, UK, John lives and works in London
John Hobbs creates beautiful abstract paintings, where the paints and the surface meet to create fantastic textures. The work invites the viewer to feel those multi layered textures by simply looking at it. Despite being gentle, the work is incredibly strong and contrasted, beautifully balanced by subtle areas of vivid colours. We met the artist in London and asked him a few questions.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I'm an artist living and working in Stockwell, South London. I mainly paint working with oils and on often canvas. I love painting abstracts and portraits and have a studio at the bottom of my garden where I work. Is there a general theme to your work? I guess there is although this isn't intentional. If you were to put my work together there is a thread running through. The portraits are usually black and white and look similar in style although this isn't a conscious decision; I approach each new portrait without referencing pervious work. The abstract pieces happen much more organically and often stem from one thought, maybe a colour or some idea as to a technique I'd like to try. They then evolve and develop spontaneously.
Your art works have a wonderful array of repetitive and complimentary colours, are colours important to you, and why? Colour is hugely important and all the more so as putting colours together has never been something I've been very good at. I have an idea as to how I'd like the colours to look and which ones I may use in a painting but it never works out that way. The colours always change, often again and again, until they begin to work together.
What makes a good piece of art?
Anything that speaks to you. A good piece of art needs no other criteria, it can be made of anything, painting, sculpture whatever but it needs to talk to you. Art is a language and an unspoken and incredibly powerful way of conveying thoughts, ideas and feelings.
You use different interesting techniques in your work, there are many beautiful layers and textures, what does the process of creation involve for you?
It would be technically much more straightforward to paint in a conventional way, my processes are incredibly time consuming! The methods I use have been developed over time and through trial and error, and a little like with an orchestra which has complex layers of sound, I need layers of paint and colour to be able to achieve an image with has many dimensions.
What do you enjoy most about painting?
The freedom, it's so fantastically liberating to have no blueprint, no guide and no convention you must follow.
If you could offer a simple piece of advice to young painters, what would it be?
Be true to yourself and enjoy the process. No guarantees exist but do something you yourself love and then see what others think about it.
See more of John's work on his website: www.john-hobbs.com
Pebeo - November 2015