Chris Blunkell

Chris is taking part in our coming Home is a Feeling show in Faversham on 13th and 14th November.

Describe what you do as a creative.

I paint – mostly in oils now, and often involving charcoal.

Tell us about yourself.

I come from a lower middle class family. Class is something I reflect upon increasingly when it comes to considering our relationships with the making of and engagement with art. My dad drew well, and I think he was pleased that I enjoyed it. I think he also felt it was a bit frivolous, though. We didn’t have many books in our house – art and music wasn’t really in the water.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I’m not sure I really wanted to be anything when I was growing up – I thought the adult world looked grim, and I still do. That said, I’ve always been willing to throw myself at rewarding and creative pursuits.

How did you begin doing what you do?

I painted and drew as a child, and studied art at school to A level without really distinguishing myself. I didn’t go to art school, although I kept my hand in. I started painting in earnest in 2013 as relief from some tricky analytical work I was doing at the time, and haven’t stopped – at least not yet.

What turns on your creativity?

I wish I knew how to turn on the creative tap. When it is flowing there I nothing like it, but it is unreliable. At my best, beginning to paint will suggest what I should do next, and before I know the painting is happening. I’m not always at my best, however.

What do you like best about your work?

I love the occasional and precious feeling of being absolutely in the moment.

When were you most satisfied in your work?

That feeling of complete absorption is the ultimate satisfaction. I also love seeing work framed for the first time, and then hung as part of an exhibition. Selling a piece never loses its thrill – it is exciting for buyers, and that pleasure is infectious. I like the feeling that my work may be a force for good in people’s lives.

Describe a memorable response to your work?

That anyone takes the trouble to comment on my work is pleasing. They don’t have to, and it suggests to me that there remains in this angry world a well of good feeling, and that art can bring it to the surface.

What is the most exciting part of your work at the moment?

Right now I am trying to get my mojo back after lockdown, which eventually blew a hole in my working rhythm. I’ll get there – I like what I am producing now, but I need to get back into the groove.

What is your dream project?

Every painting is potentially my dream project in that it could be the one that properly realises how I paint in my head.

Which artists / creative people are your heroes or inspiring figures?

I’m not sure that our habit of having heroes has been a good one. I admire and take from many painters, and if I had to choose one it would be Richard Diebenkorn.

Your idea of happiness

I’d like to worry a little less about money, but that aside I like things the way they are.

What art/creativity related book should everyone read?

I’m not sure there is any single book I would recommend. Read lots and read widely – ideas can come from anywhere.

Tell us a lesson life has taught you.

Be kind.

Anything else you would like to add?

Everything changes – whether you want it to or not.

Author: nathalieb