How would you describe your art - in one sentence, or a short phrase.
Classical still life techniques in contemporary settings.
Photo of you in your studio; or beside an art piece that you like.
One sentence to describe your studio / the place you work.
My studio is a converted hay loft at the top of my house.
Photos of your 3 best artworks, the title and a short description.
The typewriter is one of a series I call "Portraits of people who've just left the painting". I enjoy finding objects that I can arrange to create an enigmatic story. It is life size as always and done in oils on canvas.
I enjoy painting heaps of fruit and from the difficulty of arranging pears came the idea of the spirit level. The many kilos of pears were on loan from a local shop with strict instructions not to bruise them. After quite a struggle I managed a quick sketch and a photo before returning them intact.
This came from a local fish market. Their colour and form have always
fascinated me so I decided to have a go. I placed them on the tri-pod to show them at their best and some oxidised bronze in the back ground helps that too. They're not easy to paint because they're constantly on the move.
Most memorable art commission - what was the piece about, who commissioned the art, what was the experience like.
My most memorable commission was for the wife of the then British Consul in India. The only specification was that it should be a small still life in my usual style.
I knew her husband was a cricket enthusiast so in order to please them both and add a touch of humour I decided on a composition of tomatoes and a used cricket ball. Finding the ball was a problem but I sent out enquiries and was almost giving up when they started coming through the post on a daily basis.
I chose my favorite and the painting took shape. Before delivery I showed it to an aquaintance of theirs who said "Oh dear, I don't think she'll like it. She's allergic to tomatoes and can't stand her husband's passion for cricket". I made another painting she liked and now avoid surprises.
How you work with your clients - a short description of how you develop concepts and ideas, and collaborate with your clients.
Most of my commissions have been quite straight forward such as including favorite or familiar objects in a composition.
I was once sent a sack of corks from the different bottles of wine the client had drunk that year. Each cork had the name of its wine on it and the idea was to heap them in an old wooden wine crate. There have also been work themes for retirement presents. Once the general idea has been agreed upon the client is usually familiar enough with my style of painting to be confident in the result.
If the concept is vague, a series of roughs and conversations should be enough to clarify it though in general my clients have very clear ideas based on paintings of mine they've liked.
What/who inspires you?
Many painters inspire me, notably the old Dutch and Spanish masters.
The French artist Pierre Fonferrier inspired me to paint like him and he encouraged me to do so. Fruit and veg markets and junk shops inspire me. I like rust and dents and wear and tear and the way light makes everything so interesting.
Browse Stewart Brown's artworks on The Commissioned.