Martin Beek, one of the organisers of Saturday’s Oxford JKPP meet-up, provides an insight into himself, his art and his involvement with JKPP.
His Flickr photostream has over 19,000 photos and artworks by him and others – something he feels reflects life as he lives it now. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfordshire_church_photos/
In his profile he notes, “Flickr is a significant part of my creative life. Through Flickr I’ve made contact with so many like-minded people... I have always felt strongly that art should be shared.”
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a practising artist, although I do have a day job too. I studied Fine Art (BA Hons) and have had many public shows over the past 30 years. I live in Oxford, England and currently work in a representational style. I see art as an ongoing
process of change and build on what I have done to explore new ways of expressing the world as I see it.
Tell us a little about your art
As an artist I work in a very wide range of media. Currently I use oil pastel/crayon and also pen and ink for my sketch studies. But I've covered most methods over the years. I believe art should somehow reflect and connect with emotion and, to that extent, I am an expressionistic artist.
I can find a subject in most things around me. I like art that is both contemporary but an art that also connects with the ongoing tradition of art history. I would hope that my art, taken as a whole, does have a meaning and a sense of purpose.
Tell us about your technique
Colour and "mark making" are of vital importance to me as they suggest the subject and the mood I wish to convey. I hope my technique is uncomplicated , but realise that sometimes one needs to push a work to develop as a visual artist.
Tell us about the reaction you have had to your work
On the whole I think reaction to my work has been fair. Although I'm not unafraid of helpful criticism, I’m rarely guided by what others may say about what I do - good or bad. I respect anybody who passes informed criticism and hope I am my own most severe critic.
Tell us about who inspired/inspires you
Impossible to name three artists that I would cite but, if I had to, the Victorian painter John Everett Millais, whose own art underwent huge changes of technique, interests me greatly - not just his Pre Raphaelite work, which was short lived, but his later landscapes and portraits. His visual acuity and brilliance should not be dismissed or overlooked. I think David Hockney is inspirational for his restless eye and ceaseless production as is Van Gogh, for his transformation of the common life into a new visual language that is so powerful and vital.
I'm also inspired by the new Google art gallery views. It takes me to places I may not see, and experience glimpses of art in far off places. See http://www.googleartproject.com/
Tell us about you and JKPP
The JKPP has been, since the start, an entirely positive group that I find fascinating to participate in. It has enabled good connections with artists from all over the planet, and is inspirational in its simplicity of intent.