Jacq le Breton, aka Jacq of Arts, has a diverse yet distinct style, and is influenced by both the natural and man-made world. See more of Jacq’s work at www.jacqovarts.co.uk.
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I was born and raised on the small island of Guernsey. All around me was the natural world which I came to love; the sea, the plant life and the insect life which have featured, and still do in much of my work.
As a young woman of 18 I was transported to the busy and concrete fabric of English city life. Being young I was able to envelope and welcome my new surroundings, finding beauty in the geometricity and vastness around me.
‘Patchwork in red’
How and when did you start out as an artist?
I have had a love of art all my life, but it was not until I reached my late thirties that the opportunity to attend art classes finally came my way.
What training did you have?
For six years I studied at the Kent Institute of Art & Design (now the University College for Creative Arts) in Rochester and in Maidstone, Kent. There I gained the NDD foundation in arts, followed by an HND in Graphic Design and a BA(Hons) 2:1 in Illustration.
What has been your best creative achievement so far?
I suppose the series of paintings I most enjoyed creating, and which sold very fast were the ‘music’ canvases. They were abstract or impressionist in design with lots of additional mixed media applied to the surface.
What’s your favourite quote?
‘I am unique, just like everyone else.’
This simple saying reminds me that every person thinks, feels and understands in a different ways.
Who is your favourite artist?
This is probably the most difficult question of all to answer as I have many influences and art idols, but as I only get one shot at this I guess it would have to be Van Gogh. I love the simplicity, the impressionist nature, and the colours of his works, especially the landscape/nature pieces.
What are you aiming for?
To be able to paint for a living is mine and every aspiring artists dream.
To be able to give up the ‘day job’ and concentrate on creating beautiful art.
How will you get there?
I’m working on it.
Is anything holding you back?
Time is the biggest factor in life. No matter what your goal or position in life, time is never enough.
You and art
What sort of reactions do you get to your work? are you ever surprised?
Reactions to my work vary. Commissioned work has always been favourably received, whereas other paintings receive varying responses depending upon the style of art they like. My work is varied in style according to how I feel at the time. It can be tranquil and easy to read or it can be loud, geometric and complicated. Rarely am I surprised at peoples reactions because they take time to study and comment as they do so, usually favourably.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
Depending upon how relaxed I feel at the time as well as the size of the canvas and the intricacy of the subject a painting can take from a few hours to a few days. Obviously a true to life piece such as (loco) will take a lot longer than an abstract work. This is because, in order to get a good depth of colour on the canvas or paper, each element needs to painted two to three times.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
My music tastes alter considerably. I like Soul and Classical at times, but mostly Urban and Rap. My favourite contemporary musicians include Eminem, Metallica, Blackeyed Peas and Adele.
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any new directions or shows coming up?
Currently I am working on a second series of my stylised ‘lollipop flowers’ (twilight poppies) This was very popular series of paintings. Also in the pipeline will be experimental work painting directly onto hessian squares.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
Inspiration for me comes from the Cubists such as Juan Gris and Georges Braques, Impressionist painters like Suerat and Van Gogh and the well known landscape artists. Edouard Arman’s Accumulations intrigue me.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
I take my inspiration from my surroundings. Nature versus manmade structures, natures colours and patterns and sounds of both city life and the country.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
Patchwork in Red is my favourite painting of all. It is an abstract depiction of patchwork cloth. Produced using acrylic on canvas with slightly raised paint to produce the stitching (patchwork in red.) It is one of three paintings of the same, but in different colour backgrounds.
an artist’s advice
Have you got any advice for those starting out as an artist?
Just paint! Sell your work when you can, but enjoy the process. Experiment all the time and study the great masters.