These amazing pieces are examples of some of Paul’s music creations. The icons of the music world executed in an abstract expressionistic style creating a flamboyant and exciting canvas with colour, vibrance and depth, extracting deep emotions through their talent with music.
When James Brown passed away I wanted something to commemorate his impact on my life and musical endeavours. I worked with Paul and Joanne to find a study that encapsulated what he meant to me which was perseverance, energy and legacy. Together we decided that the headshot on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine issue that commemorated his life was perfect. Paul’s work brings life to James Brown’s legacy everyday and keeps me going!
Thanks Paul and Joanne! Looking forward to the next one
What is it about their music that inspires you to paint them?
If I had a choice or talent to pursue another profession, I would have loved to be a musician. The free wheeling escape where one can be independent, creative and a sense of freedom at the same time.
Do their unique styles of music change your technique or style at all?
Yes, Jazz instigates an energy in me, working with bright colours, a lot of movement, with larger than life characters; sometimes a portrait is the only way to do them justice. A portrait that brings out more subtle approach to your subject matter, subdued, yet powerful and strong. Something that people will remember when you mention their name.
You paint a lot of Jazz groups as well as individual music legends. Explain to us the different styles from vibrant and free flowing to more of a portrait style?
I like to work with a variety of techniques and styles, from impressionistic to realistic free flowing colour using my versatility to frequently change speed and focus to create original expressions. I think that my style reflects the way their music makes people feel.
Who are your favourite musicians to paint and why?
Lennon — because I knew him and loved his unique talent as a songwriter and as one of the first groups from England that made it big. Bob Marley for his free expression and Jimi for his absolute genius and talent. Tupac, musician, actor, poet extraordinaire – his life was long even though it was short lived – a Genius Rapper.
Who did you grow up listening to?
I grew up with Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin and now I enjoy hearing the latest Ed Sheeran hits.
Ken Collier Jazzmen, I remember we used to go down to London with my sleeping bag for all night sessions. The Temperance Seven and Eel Pie Island to name a few more.
Back in Liverpool during the Merseybeat era we had the big groups like Jerry and the Pacemakers, Roadrunner (some came from the art school where I went) — every weekend different groups. In the 60’s, Liverpool was the rock and roll capital of the world with 900 pop-groups. So of course, I grew up with some of the greatest musicians of all time which has influenced my art and the need to express myself in the music world.
I went to parties where the Beatles were playing, before Ringo, when they were called the Quarrymen – as John had attended the Liverpool Art College , they also played there on occasion. Pete Best, the original drummer was also at the Liverpool Art School which is the same college I graduated from.
You have painted The Beatles and your art can be seen in The Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool. Tell me a bit about how that project came to be.
The Manager of the new hotel thought my work would work well as they remodelled Hard Days Night Hotel and he liked that I had a connection with John Lennon. He knew that I was at the Liverpool College of Art, soon after John and knew him because of the Cavern Club. I used to reserve a table at the Grapes, when they had a break and went to the Cavern every lunch hour from the college and also on the weekends.
Where do you see this style going in the future?
I like to experiment with different styles, different techniques. I think I can interpret the music and sound through abstract vibrations in different styles creating original pieces which integrate music with art.
We are pleased to take on commission work if our current artwork in the gallery is not quite what you are looking for. If you have a favorite concert, portrait or group photo that you would like please send us the details.