InnerViews: A Creative Interview with Justin Baldwin
This InnerView features Netherlands-based painter, Justin Baldwin. Justin's paintings are currently exhibited in Scotland and the Netherlands. His work can be found in both private and public collections in the UK, USA, China, and Holland.
JJLJ: Hello Justin - Welcome to this session of InnerViews and thank you for agreeing to participate!
JB: Thanks for the invitation!
JJLJ: How did you come to work in the medium of painting?
JB: I experimented a lot with various media and dabbled in oils, but really acrylic paint is the media I am most comfortable with. I work very quickly when I paint and the way acrylic paint acts suits my way of working very well.
JJLJ: What continues to be a source of inspiration for your work?
JB: Many things inspire me, probably too many but the number one slot still goes to Nature as it is so diverse. It isn’t always about being immersed in a large landscape either. Often the smallest of things can inspire me: a wild flower growing on waste ground; blue tits eating seeds in a tree; a clear, starry night sky; the way a breeze will ripple the water in the nearby canal.
JJLJ: Is there anyone who has played a significant role in your career?
JB: Yes, one of my art tutors at college, the Scottish artist Terry McCrossan encouraged me to work in a more abstract format, loosening up the way in which I depicted what I saw around me, being less literal in the way I interpreted what I was painting.
JJLJ: What are you currently working on?
JB: I am currently working on a creation series, which attempts to convey through abstract paintings the emotional energy which comes through when reading the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Generally the Creation story has been told and re-told by artists in a very conventional way and I wanted to interpret it in the abstract, going beyond the surface and the literal visual description and instead focusing in more on the emotional and spiritual.
JJLJ: How do you see your work influencing others?
JB: If you are talking about other artists, I’d like to think it would make them realize hope is as strong an emotion as despair. There is too much emphasis on the negative with a lot of art work, in my opinion. An artist may focus on strong emotions but these are often negative, whereas hope and love are equally strong but are generally positive. Positive art doesn’t need to be naive art, it can still portray great depth.
In regards to the wider viewer I’m not trying to give them a form of escapism, it is still very real, but I think the viewer is fully aware of the state of the world, they don’t need reminded of the terrible things that go on in the world, or of their own personal sufferings and sorrows. I would like to remind them that hope still exists (the sun still rises….) or we might as well all go and pack our bags.
JJLJ: What is the strangest or funniest comment or question you've ever gotten about your work?
JB: Some people claim to see all sorts of shapes and forms within my paintings. Once a woman claimed to see an elephant within my painting!
JJLJ: What is your idea of personal success?
JB: Whenever someone chooses to buy a piece of work from me it makes me feel ‘successful’. I have created a piece of art work which someone deems good enough to part with money for! So having sold, I already feel I have some success. A great ambition though would be if one day a piece of my work was to be bought and placed in a national collection.
JJLJ: Are there any links you would like to share?
JB: Saatchi Online site is a great international web site: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery/
JJLJ: Thank you, Justin for contributing to InnerViews. We wish you continued success and look forward to following your career!
JB: Thanks it was a pleasure.
For more information on Justin's work, please visit his website: http://www.justinbaldwinartist.com