Andrew Hood’s vibrant paintings examine life within cities ranging from Marrakech to Paris to London. We caught up with Andrew in his studio at Jamaica Street Artists, Bristol to get an insight into a typical day and find out a little more about his painting process. Photographs courtesy of Alice Hendy.
How long have you been a studio holder at Jamaica Street?
I’ve been at Jamaica Street for about 15 years; it’s a fantastic old building with wonderful light and it’s a vibrant place to work. The studio has a strong sense of community and there’s always someone who is willing to offer advice and support. Over the years Jamaica Street has developed a good work ethos and has produced some fantastic artists. I hope it stays as an art studio for many years to come.
What is your favourite time of the day in the studio?
I enjoy first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and I have a sense of anticipation and excitement about what I’m going to work on that day. However, I also quite like the end of the day, as sometimes I surprise myself and produce my best work when I’m coming to the last few hours of daylight and feeling tired. I seem to switch to automatic pilot and do things I wasn’t expecting to do.
Your work is often based on your trips abroad. Tell us about a particularly inspiring trip or location.
I love to travel, absorbing the smells and atmosphere of a particular place is as important as making sketches. I like to find unusual high view points and try and convey the frenetic life that carries on in and around the architecture of a city. We so often miss the beauty that surrounds us and maybe my work allows people to see some of the wonderful things they might miss in day to day life. I’ve just come back from Sicily which has greatly inspired me, it’s a unique place with cultural influences from all around the world.
What is the value of developing your paintings in the studio rather than on location?
It’s more a practical thing rather than anything else. I do use watercolour a lot on location; I just choose not to exhibit them. I enjoy painting in the studio, having a lot of space and lots of paint close at hand allows me a great sense of freedom. It is something I’m working on though, to take oils and board outside, I would just have to limit my self to a small palette but that’s not such a bad thing!
How do you bring your travels back into the studio?
It’s crucial for me to get as much information into my sketch book as possible. Whilst it’s important to remember the character and dynamics of a place, it’s easy to forget certain aspects so I draw a great deal and take many photos.
My studio day consists mainly of painting; most of the drawing and ideas are done before on location or at home. The first couple of hours in the studio can often be taken up with mixing the paint. Forming a good colour palette is really important to my work.
I work quickly and loosely, perhaps doing ten or fifteen small paintings on bits of board, and then I pick one or two to develop into larger paintings. I try and work with as much energy and as instinctively as possible, using a palette knife, bits of card and occasionally a paintbrush to create different textures, as well as pouring, dripping and whisking the paint. These days I use a mixture of oil paint, house paint and barge paint, which opens up a broader colour palette than if I just stick to oil.
What are you working on currently?
I’m currently developing some of my Sicilian sketches and starting some new paintings based around the Thames and Central London. I also have a few abstract paintings that I’m slowly developing. I’m hoping to have some of these finished soon and on the website before Christmas.
First Contemporary will be showing Andrew’s work at the Affordable Art Fair Brussels, 16th-20th February 2017. To find out when Andrew has new work available subscribe to our mailing list below and make sure you’re following First Contemporary on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
View more photos from Andrew’s studio here: