Painting the Night- interview with Drew Cochrane
See more of Drew’s work at: www.drewcochrane.artweb.com
Being a painter
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
My name is Drew Cochrane, I live and work on the West Coast of Scotland.
How and when did you start out as a painter?
I started painting when I was 15. Returning to school after missing 4 years of education and social development due to M.E. At that point art work seemed to be the only thing I could produce well.
What training did you have?
At 17 I was unconditionally accepted into the Glasgow School of Art, originally intending to study Environmental Art in an Andy Goldsworthy vein. After realising that the Schools definition of Environmental Art and mine differed greatly I quickly moved to Sculpture in which I graduated in 2009.
What has been your best creative achievement so far?
I don’t think I have one in particular, to define that would require a lot more pride than I currently feel, possibly due to having unrealistically high expectations of myself.
What’s your favourite quote?
‘We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner or later we push up the flowers’ – I don’t know where I heard this or who say’d it. On the surface it might seem morbid, but the rhyme of it gives me a smile.
Who is your favourite artist?
Living, Andy Goldsworthy. Dead, Salvador Dali, anyone who pisses on a painting presented to them by Andy Warhol deserves to live forever in our minds.
What are you aiming for?
The same thing as all artists, to create. To become part of the most positive aspect of the Universe in which we live. All things can be divided into creation and destruction, the greatest artists were not just technical geniuses, they also brought new perspective into the field.
How will you get there?
I don’t know yet, maybe by combining the existing elements of my work into a coherent message, maybe something else entirely, if I don’t know, I can’t know, yet.
Is anything holding you back?
Time, experience, fear. Any or all of these.
You and painting
What sort of reactions do you get to your work? are you ever surprised?
People react to my work in ways I can never predict. People close to me notice slight imperfections, others seem to be bemused by the subject matter I choose. I think this makes sense in a way, those who know me are aware of my commitment to a vision, which incidentally comes from my own mind and not reality as it is generally seen, isolating my less imaginative critics.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
An image or idea can take minutes or hours, it can take months for me to take that image or idea out of my sketchbook, into my mind and onto a canvas. Generally from when I start putting paint to canvas and when I down brushes is a few hours, but this is subjective to the individual image.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any new directions or shows coming up?
The possibility of a small solo show in my hometown is on the horizon, next month hopefully.
Being inspired by painting
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
Christopher McCandless, he’s very well documented these days, look him up. To me, anyone that dedicated to his own vision is worth remembering until the end of time.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?
Night time interests me greatly. The colours I love to use all seem to be geared towards a pallet you can see when looking at the world at night, moonlight, streetlight, firelight. The world is far move visually interesting when the sun goes down to me,
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
A work called ‘Siena 1’, I loved it, at the time I wanted to keep it, but I knew it was my best work and it ended up selling. The one bit of painting I can’t quite get to grips with is giving up the work itself, never knowing where it ends up, on who’s wall, in what type of house, being seen by who every day.
a painter’s advice
Have you got any advice for those starting out as a painter?
Don’t rely on it, after all, you can still find me pulling pints from time to time.