June 2021 – David Jackson
In June 2021 we exhibited the paintings of David Jackson, an artists who works in the sustainability sector and creates nature painting as well as incorporating important messages about reusable coffee cups, the enjoyment of nature and recycling.
When did you start making art? – I was always interested in art, doing Art A-level at school, but it wasn’t until 2015 and a chance opportunity in my first job that re-ignited the flame. After University I spent four years at the Bat Conservation Trust, the only charity dedicated to bat conservation in the UK. I was designing a new leaflet which required a diagram into all the places a bat could roost in a tree. With no photographs I thought I would trial painting it instead. A fairly basic piece, but it was a success! Following on from collaboration at the time, it became part of a poster, translated, and used around the world. Combining my passion of the environment to my art, safe to say after that I was picking up the brush more frequently.
What sort of art do you create? Has this changed over time? The majority of my paintings are of watercolours or acrylics (or indeed both). I am a hobbyist painter, my drawing ability is not on the same level of my physical painting, so I do tend to trace outlines in order to give the best starting point (but something I hope will improve). Taken from my own photographs, my earlier works were trying to bring out the emotions of a natural landscape, with the odd human element for added effect.
In my commissioned work there has also been a number of animal portraits, pets mostly, with a beloved cat who passed away my next piece. I have also branched into something a bit more ‘fun’ recently, well for me anyway. I work in the sustainability sector, so it combines important messages, with painting, and a childhood to adult activity; painted sustainable Lego scenes. Promoting reusable coffee cups, enjoying nature, recycling etc. and the original scene made from my own Lego of course!
What inspires you? – Being able too see, and capture the emotions that can be felt within a natural landscape and how humans can positively have an impact. I am always looking for that next bit of weather to create an emotive glimpse in nature that I can then capture, in addition to the British wildlife that inhabits the land. I am also inspired by new sustainable innovations and the simple actions individuals can make, to which I could the incorporate into my art.
What do you do if you’re not inspired? A walk outside usually does it in our local green spaces park. Going off the beaten tracks to explore a slightly ‘wilder’ element of the landscape. Viewing the artists I follow on social media to see their latest pieces and potentially where they got their inspiration from.
Where do you practice art? Our dining table also triples up as my current workstation and my place for painting.
Do you have any connections with the art community in Chelmsford? No, unfortunately I do not. I follow a couple of Chelmsford galleries and artists, but I do not have specific connections, not yet anyway.
How often do you create? Whenever I can in my spare time. Over 20 pieces since 2015, so I guess you could say every few months. Not too many, but hopefully I’ll be able to increase that at some point.
What’s the best thing about being an artist? Seeing a potential opportunity outside, and being able to capture those emotions and scene in a permanent form. Art for me is primarily a hobby. Being able to do something I enjoy and as an aid to relax is equally fantastic.
Where have you exhibited before? This is the first time I’ve exhibited, never thought I was good enough or would have enough artwork to do so, so it is a great feeling!
Do you sell your work? If so, is it difficult to part with it? Never thought I would, but I have actually done a number of commissions over the past few years. Mostly for at the request of friends or people I know, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. I’m always a little sad to see a painting go, but the feedback has been fantastic and knowing that they’ve got a piece of me is well worth it. There is always a small part of me that worries about what will happen to a painting in the future. I hope it’s a happy ending!
What superpower would you have and why? With my sustainable hat, I would say the power of controlling ice. I do not cope well in heat so being able to cool down immediately would be ideal!
The video of the exhibition, which is available on our YouTube channel featured music by Suzy Cramer. Suzy is a Colchester based Alt-Folk Singer Songwriter. She draws on an eclectic range of influences from Dylan to Florence and The Machine, from Balkan Gypsy Music to Rap. She’s lyrically driven and writes about people, places and the ambiguity of life with a repertoire that can be funny, sad or surreal in equal measures!. She has been described as “Kate Nash meets Kate Rusby with a bit of Kate Tempest in the mix”. She should probably have been called Kate. Last year she bought a banjolele, a long-term bucket list goal- she was considering calling that Kate but after much deliberation, decided on “Delphine”….