Patrick Palmer answers FAD’s Questions

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1 When did you start to make art?
Ever since I can remember. Professionally for 5 years.

2 How did you evolve into a professional artist?
I got sick of the commercial world, packed in a successful job, re-mortgaged my flat and went to art college for a year.

3 What drove you to make art as a professional vocation?
Everything else was fairly uninspiring and I’d reached as far as I could go in business. I’d always been good at art and wanted to see how far I could develop my skills. I also turned 40…

4 Explain your inspiration?
People, faces, characters, expressions, light, colour, contrast, balance, beauty. And good art.

5 In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?
I keep a notebook and sketchbook. Sometimes I have a flash of inspiration and a clear idea of what to do…sometimes. Generally though you just have to start something and develop ideas as you go along.

6 From Ideas to production of art – how? And why?

For ‘how’ see above. The ‘why’ question continues to haunt me. It’s usually only when I have found something during the process and am happy with the result that I can see why I did it.

7 Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?
Maybe photography with a large degree of photoshop. Certainly sculpture could capture the same and I have started working on a few. It’s not as viable commercially though.

8 Which artists would you most like to blatantly rip off?

That’s for me to know…but Degas, Klimt

9 Why is your art made?

For my peace of mind.

10 What does being an artist mean to you?
No commute, no politics, complete expression, your own boss. Ironically it is a real job. It’s real life.

11 Are you happy with your reasons for making art? i.e Are there any trade offs that make life hard?
Overall yes although it is very solitary work and I do sometimes miss working with people. You are almost always skint.

12 When does your art become successful?
When you no longer have to to silly jobs on the side to pay your rent.

13 What is art?

The word is too broad – the English language can’t cope any more, there are many kinds of art and some have very little to do with others.

For me it is about creating something visually beautiful, but that touches people in some way.

14 How do you start the process of making work?

Play around with images on the computer and on the internet. Go to art exhibitions, look at other artists’ work.

15 Who prices your work? And how is the price decided upon?
Now that I am selling through a gallery, I leave it up to them – they know their market and their customers. Size does matter! Prior to that I completely under-priced everything. Pricing your own work is painful.

16 What is your next; move, project, show etc?
I now have some work in Foss Fine Art (Battersea) and the Barn Acre Gallery (Wargrave). I also have a few commissions. Foss Fine Art want to showcase my work at The Affordable Art Fair in March so I am preparing work for then. I am hoping to have a solo show at Whatever Projects in Chelsea sometime next year.

17 What are the pros and cons of the art market?

It is tempting to think that the art market is full of nice people who are detached from the commercial world. Unfortunately it’s not always like that. The good thing is that there is still an enthusaistic market for art even in this recession. Most galleries do a great job and are very supportive of their artists.

18 Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?
Absolutely any.

19 Any routine in making your artwork? If so what?
Going to my tiny studio, cup of tea and music.

20 What has been the biggest break in your career?
Getting into an art gallery. I think, we’ll have to see…

21 Who has been the biggest influence on you?
Michael Clark, a close friend of Francis Bacon who did many famous portraits of him. He taught me how to paint.

22 How many artworks have you given away and to whom?

At least 15 to family and friends – usually as Christmas/birthday presents.

Additional question…

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you

I was named after Patrick McGoohan (the Prisoner), as my mum liked him.

www.fossfineart.com/

I have more on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/patrickpalmer/

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper'

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