I would like to present a good friend of mine. A true artist with a language of his very own. His name is Paul Biddle. For those of you who has seen my images it is not difficult to see why I think Paul is such a master of his trade. This is how he explains his work and inspiration.
My inspiration and influences range from Renaissance art to Dadaism and Surrealism, from Picasso to the flotsam and jetsam that I pick up on my walks by the sea near my home. Having experimented with a wide variety of media during my time at art school, I found that photography was the thing that most excited me. The immediacy and rather hazy line that can be created between reality and the feeling of being not quite sure what is happening is what I find appealing. I really believe in understanding the technique so that the image shines through.
Some pictures are simple and complete inside my head from the beginning, but most of my images start with the inspiration of the objects themselves. It may be something found in a junk shop, washed up on the beach or something from my past, such as wooden letters from a childhood game or my palette from art school days. I am mostly drawn to old stuff with a bit of patina and an air of decay – I love the textures and variations in the colors. Also objects from the Natural World are a great inspiration to me.
I originally wanted to be a painter but I was terrible at drawing and luckily whilst I was at art school I was taught the basics of black and white photography. So photography did the drawing for me and I have never looked back.
My passion is for making images. Photography is the medium I work with.
I have two main ways of creating an image:
An idea pops into my head and I make a drawing in my ridiculous child-like style.
I then try to find the objects, people or backgrounds or I build and paint a set.
Once it is constructed in my studio I look and look at it and decide on composition and lighting. I like to let the arrangement sit for a couple of days – it’s almost as if the objects enjoy their playful juxtapositions.
The way I work is by assembling some objects or themes that fascinate me at the time. I then deliberately try not to be specific or to choose meanings to portray. I call this time my ‘playtime’: it’s a time I need to be alone with the image, and it’s the time when things begin to happen quite unconsciously. At this stage I like to work quietly with no interruptions, I make the composition, then use a spot of light to shape the forms into an image. Then follows endless deliberation and honing of the picture, I like to pare it down to it’s essentials and suddenly the dynamic is there and the image sits well as if it has always existed.
I am all smiles when I see Paul images. For joy, happiness and admiration for his ideas. His mind. This is a link to his homepage where you can find much more. It is easy to get lost in all his wonderful images. A true soul mate! Go there and allow yourself to get lost.
I often come back to the question, what is art? To me, this is it! The real thing! Playful but also unexpected and provocative. Thank you Paul for all the inspiration!