James C. Byrne Artist
... other works
So painting…..It began with drawing , since I was a kid I would be always drawing and always looking. After watching an interview with Jackson Pollock while in secondary school along with reading about people like Michelangelo , Monet and Van Gogh, I got a bed sheet and pinned it to my bedroom wall and began to paint. I painted oriental images after reading of the influence that oriental prints had on Monet and Van Gogh.
Then , abstract paintings , landscapes , portraits everything and anything , painting is what I would always be doing or thinking of doing and I never questioned why, it just seemed like the most natural thing. I grew up in a council estate house and Artist was never supposed to be the thing that you would do with your life, you were supposed to simply to get a job and that’s that, earn a wage and be grateful… At 18 I tried to do this but I can say that that was my first experience of explosive defiance to the way of the world. I remember as if it were yesterday, walking alone down a street and not being able to breathe with all the information being hammered into my mind of instruction on how it was going to be and here are your options and so on, until I felt as if I were screaming for help. Then I heard myself say aloud to no one, very calmly, firmly “NO”. This was immediately followed by such a feeling of elation, giddy joy. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to do it, but I was never so happy. Follow your instincts, it’s not supposed to be easy but it is worthwhile.
As time passed and life grows you, you gravitate to that which resonates with you. Movement, light, energy, spirituality, essence and emotion. These resonate with me and never more so than witnessing the horse. Funny thing is I have a healthy fear of horses. More and more I find myself going to them, be it a point to point a hunt, a stud visit and of late horse riding lessons. I don’t paint every horse that I see, but when I see a horse that evokes a reaction emotionally be it by the way they move or behave or reveal an essence of them, if only for a split second that make me believe I see them, than I paint them.
The main two names I look to are Sir Alfred Munnings and our very own Peter Curling. I can look at their work for hours. Like the song says “ It’s a kind of Magic”.
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James C. Byrne "
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