Thursday, 19 November 2009

THE VAULT - Watercolour.
This is an older painting, and a style I am going to start using again.
It is probably one of my favourite pieces just because it worked out better than I could of hoped for.
It's one of those pieces where you feel you can almost do no wrong in, and it just flows.
I wish all painting could be like that.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Summer Hill ACEO
This was inspired by no more than a summery feeling inside of me.
A response, I think, to the cold starkness of winter that is enveloping us all at the moment.

Walking home from friends last night, it was a beautiful star lit sky, and as I round the corner near home, there is a lovely little house set against the backdrop with the most welcoming , and warm lights that just sort of says to you 'Come on in.
I call this ACEO Warming Lights.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

ACEO Norwegian Wood.
I turned on the radio this morning, and one of my all time favourite songs started to play.
The Beatles Norwegian Wood.
As I was humming along, This image sprang to mind, so I just had to sit down and paint it.
Using strong warm colours for the people against the cooler background, I was trying to pull the figures out as much as possible.
I think it works.

ACEO Magenta Fields.
I love these simple scenes.
Straightforward line plus colour intensity.
I am an extremeley complex person, and I complicate my own life unneccesarily.
So sometimes painting, as simplistic scenes as is possible, is my own antidote to this.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Now, here I COULD live!
CottonHills 7.5 x 4.2 inches.

Most scenes I paint come entirely from imagination, though all are routed in past observations, and not necessarily conciously either.
This scene for instance.
I don't know any lighthouse, that from this angle exists. I am quite sure, one probably does, somewhere .
But I guess I have seen something similar, whether in a book, film or other because for me it looks a plausible scene.
The point for me is, that it's unimportant.
It's the emotive factor that's relevant. I am more focused on the groups of people, and trying to show a relationship of sorts between them.Each has to have a link to the painting , or a reason for being there.The rest of the painting serves only as a backdrop, to give the painting(or story) some context.
Sometimes paintings for me are wistful yearnings for how I would like things to be.Just because things are not, does not mean I cannot want them to be.
I never strive to paint things as they are really are anymore.I will leave that to the photographers and archivists.
I want to go on a different journey.

I still love coming back to these scenes.
Inspired by walking past a similar pub, I could see the impatience of the little girl just wanting to get wherever she wanted to go and looking hopefully at her mum to end the conversation.
Coming back the same way 15 minutes later, all five of them were still there.
This time the little girl was being chastised by her mum for sitting on the floor sulking.
Happy Days!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

"Oh to be lost in a sea of love " my wife said to me the other day.
Perhaps she was trying to tell me something haha!
But all I could think of, was how to represent that.
So Much Love (ACEO) was my response.
The idea being, hearts for LOVE, with the interlocking curves depicting rolling waves, coupled with the silver outlining akin to the flashing crests of the waves.
Rather simplistic, but for me effective for the message I would want to impart.

This ACEO was inspired by the simple love of the countryside.
How I would wish for a home, with a backdrop of rolling hills, and the sound of nature in the morning as opposed to tooting cars.
Oh, and a neighbour of course......for when a cup of milk and a chat is required.

ACEO entitled BY JENNY'S.
I love painting these houses, and I love varying the colours to give different moods.
The possibilities are always endless.
I am definetely back in full colour mode, until I feel the need to go back for more monochromatic paintings.
I think I am trying to fend off the Winter blues.
My own personal antidote.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Happy Accidents

I was asked some time ago why my people only had a stick for legs.
The truthful answer was, that I just wasn't very good at drawing feet, so it started out as a sort of improvisation.
ThenI realised, even after being able to draw better feet, it gave my work a much quirkier feel to it, and I liked that.
I have never looked back in that sense.
It also presented me with another challenge on how to give movement to the people.
That I resolved by changing the different angles the legs emanated from the body.
This is why I also love painting ACEO's.
Since there is a very small area in which to paint, I must try and use the space efficiently whilst not cluttering the composition.The 'less is more' skills gained here translate wonderfully to the larger pieces too.
I remember one of my brother's telling me about a conversation he had with Alex Millar whose paintings depict gadsby's.
He said that AM told him he always painted them from the rear due to him not being able to paint faces very well.Now this is the trademark that has made his work so popular.
Maybe my failing might be the making of me.

Real or imagined?

Some say that art should look more like it's subject matter, a sort of realism.
Art is whatever you want it to be.
The real issue is, does it give you an emotive response?
Of course it does.It can't do anything else but, whether its joy, indifference, or disdain.
A response is a response.
For me, it's the imagination inside that's important.My work is grounded in realism, but I try to move away from that point of view as quickly as possible.I want to make my imagination, and the vision inside of me sing out.
I love people to like my work.
But, if it were to no ones taste, I think I could still live with that fact.

This is a variation on another similar piece HEART OF THE HOME.
For me it was to represent the end of summer, with the colours just on the turn of Autumn.I wanted a more intense colour scheme, as when you look in nature, that is when some colours are at their brightest.
I feel I have acheived this to my liking.
The floating heart......?
Well, that is just what I wanted to keep in there.
I love pictures with hearts in.
It just warms a picture up, due to our very connotation to what they represent.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I once used to sell balloons for a living, and it was always a great joy to see the look of wonderment on their faces as they tried to choose between the multi coloured spectacle of balloons on offer.

The heart shaped balloons represent the joy of innocence in such a simple toy.

To a child, the whole world is a balloon.Colourful, playful, and exciting.

This painting is still currently for sale framed here at

Monday, 2 November 2009

If you wanted to see something a bit different, how would you choose to see it.
In a world of lemonade springs, where the blue bird sings I would see ribbon dressed trees and heart shaped chimney pots.
This is a happy place to be for me.
What would your place look like?

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Heart Of The Home (ACEO).
I am having another fascination with hearts at the moment.
Also, colour is predominant in my paintings of late.
I tend to go through these cycles of monochromatic styles with a dash of colour, and then to full blown colour.
Trying to work that out is impossible.
It seems I just run with my relevant mood at the time.
Maybe this is a more contented time, or I just need a change from the more monochrome style.
This ACEO made me want to explore colour relationships again.
Here I just wanted to convey a summery, happy feeling, with the heart floating up above and out from the houses, to suggest contentment and peace, and love.
It certainly works for me.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

This Two Hearts Aceo is inspired by my love of my children.
Even though they are grown up now, the memories of them as youngsters live long in my heart.

ACEO by Chris Larkin entitled REACH FOR YOUR DREAMS.
The day that you stop reaching for your dreams, is the day the dream dies.
Never Stop..Never!

Friday, 30 October 2009

House On The Hill

This ACEO is titled Little House On The Hill.
Perhaps a little place I would like to call my own.Away from the overlooked street I live on.

Should Art Be Free?

I personally wish I never had to sell any of my art.
I don't mean I would keep it locked away in my cupboards or under the bed.
Art should be displayed, and enjoyed by others or at the very least by some-one.Anyone.
But to be , and continue to be an artist I have to be realistic and know it has to sell otherwise I don't have the means to continue to be and grow as an artist.
If, I was ideally wealthy enough to worry no more about money, then i would still paint on an almost daily basis.
The difference being, I would give it away rather than sell it.To know that some-one had some pleasure owning my art, is almost a reward in and of itself.
I love painting art, and I believe in art, as it enriches one's being, and I love to share that fact.
But alas for now, I cannot give it for free as i want to dedicate my life to my art, and still have enough money not to keep life ticking on.
I don't actually own a single piece of my own art.Nothing!
Everytime i paint something i love,I weigh it up against my desire to frame and keep it, or what it may mean in terms of which bill it may pay.
The bills win every time.
A fact of life I know.
Though, my real joy comes from the sheer creation of each painting.
To turn a blank piece of paper in front of me, into something colourful and fun has no equal.
Creating something from nothing.
I always have my moment of pleasure after I have created something, even for the small fleeting time it stays within my ownership.

This is the full colour version.

These are the streets that I know so well.Rows upon rows that blend one to another.
Yet if you spend time and look closely, you start to see something else.
The people that live within these dwellings are a rich tapestry of stories that give vibrancy to the bland surroundings.
It's the people that make the difference.
Rays of sunshine emanating from a so called despairing front.
People just like you and me.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Alone With The World.
Sometimes it's nice to be alone with your own thoughts, but still having the comfort of knowing the rest of the world is within reach whenever you need it.

My 3rd painting of the day.Where I would probably like to be right this moment.

I felt I needed to be near the coastline, so I painted this.Now I'm satisfied.
Thats the thing with painting.You can take yourself to anywhere you want to go.Just think it, and then be there.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

7 Balloons by Chris Larkin.
I used to be a balloon seller once.Hence the inspiration for this.

Profile of an artist

My name is Chris Larkin, I'm 44, and I'm an artist.

I have worked many different jobs throughout my life, but I suppose at heart I've always been an artist.

In fact art defines my very being.

Why do I do it?

I try to provide for my family is one reason.I certainly don't make any huge amounts, though not for the lack of trying.

The other main reason is, I just can't help myself. Corny as it sounds, it's almost a calling.I am compelled to create.
When I sometimes have to lay down my brushes, and work some crummy part time job to keep ahead of the bills, there's a force inside of me that literally eats away at me until I start painting again.
I have been known to chew my nails, develop minor nervous tics, and be at war with the entire world because of the pent up creative forces inside of me need somewhere to go.An almost nervous energy that needs releasing.
The only known cure for me, is to paint again.It's a drive that I cannot harness or control, and I am forced along the tide with it.It's like being on a racing horse, and being at one with the energy underneath.
If I fall off, my foot is caught in the stirrup, dragging me along until I pll myself back up and flow with the force.
I have very few other skills, but then I don't want many other passions.
I have all I need through my art, and I am thankful for that force that drives me.
Whether I make it big, and turn out rich who knows.
Truthfully, I'm not sure I really care.As long as I paint then life has some meaning and purpose for me.
Art is like having a child.The real gift is when you've passed on, and the legacy lives on long after you are gone.
It says to the world. I WAS HERE!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Art for the masses? Or not.

What one person sees, another can never fathom out.
I like it, and that is all that really matters.
I have done what I felt i have set out to achieve.
The Warmth of Winter