JACK LEWIS: THE BULL-EAGLE PAINTER by Tashan
An interview with Jack Lewis on perseverance, following his heart & the balancing act of solitude VS socializing.
Jack Lewis is a London born LA settled Artist who has diligently and passionately pursued his love of Painting. Having gone through the traditional route of studying and doing a Foundation course in Art at Chelsea College, then graduating with a Bachelors in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in 2009, Jack then released his free spirited wings to go live and work in Manchester for the past four years with many of his works being exhibited in the Manchester PS Mirabel Gallery. Having been blessed with both a UK and US passport, Jack then took full advantage of the opportunity and left the damp, crisp pastures of England for the saffron, sun scorched soil of LA in 2013. Alongside this exciting opportunity to experience the ‘new’ Jack explains that another motive to leave was to meet a half brother on his Fathers side whom he only had contact with through the realm of Facebook. Jacks brother is 51, 24 years his senior and explains “he’s weirdly become the Father figure I never had”.
An essence of distance, mystery and yearning towards his American roots can be experienced through a number of Jack’s paintings and mixed media collages. Many archetypal hero figures that exist in the form of Cowboys, Native Indian and Lone Rangers are seen isolated in vast abstract landscapes or appear desolate on white paper. I catch up with Jack for a brief chat and get a snapshot of the highs and lows of his journey thus far.
What was the first piece you remember drawing?
When I was 10 we were on holiday with some extended family in the South of France, a very artistic location anyway. My cousin’s grandfather was there as he had lived off being a portrait artist all his life and had actually painted my portrait a few years earlier. He was painting away all day and so I wanted to join in and he gave me some advice and tips as I did so. I did a small water colour of the house we were staying in. I then did it every year thereafter when we went away.
Who or what inspires you to paint?
As I said above, Peter, my cousin’s grandfather (not related – on the other side) was a huge inspiration. He sadly passed away very recently. He was 94 I think. I had a great art teacher between the ages of 13-16 who was feared for her anger and strictness. I always remember she hated most people but got on and very much supported a select few, many of whom went on to become artists. She was amazing. Mrs. Day, small Scottish lady. She was probably my biggest force to continue doing what I do. And my father of course. He passed when I was 2. All my paintings relate to him in some way.
‘Untitled’ Oil On Canvas
Did you Study Art?
Yes, after A-levels I went straight to do a Foundation course at Chelsea College of Art and Design and then continued on to do a Bachelors in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. I actually am desperate to do a Masters at some point, in California preferably. Very very expensive though…can always dream.
What makes you happy?
A car, an iPod and a long open road. I have always loved traveling, probably why I’ve lived a fair few places. Being in the company of a beautiful woman makes me happy too, and painting of course! Although that can verge on the lonely side from time to time.
‘Boys Will Be Boys’
What makes you sad?
Being Alone! (He laughs) no. It’s a catch 22, I like being around people and the company of others but at the same time I crave my space and independence so I think I’ll never find a balance. At least with art making you can never get lonely or bored as there is always space to create. Obviously sometimes however it’s good to talk – which a painting can’t do.
In 3 words what would you say your style is?
My. Own. Style
If you could give 3 bits if advice to an artist what would it be?
- Never give up
- Always take risks
- Follow your heart
‘The Third Man’
If you could paint anyone’s portrait past or present, who would it be and why?
One of my favorite painters is Francis Bacon. He’s dead now but that would have been a good one. I would be more interested in the conversation we would have than the finished painting. That would be insignificant in my eyes.
My father. Again to talk.
‘Its a Hard Life’
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working towards my first US/LA solo show, hoping to be this side of Christmas. I also want to do a Silkscreen course and start making prints of my recent collages.
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Instagram: tashansdby: Tashan | October 2, 2014 | News