Location: USA

One word that best describes your style: Photorealistic

1. What does a typical day in your life look like?

If I’m starting a painting, I spend a lot of time drawing it to make sure the perspective is perfect. So that takes up a lot of my time. I’m not a morning person, but I get up and paint when it's bright and then take breaks for lunch, work out, or just get out and move around. By the end of my painting session I’ve usually done more than I expect. Once I step back from my work, I can see much more of the scene coming together than when I’m working on the details up close.

I really like taking a plain photograph and bringing the perspective and personality out of it. Taking something static and giving it life and energy.

2. What does your studio look like?

Creating the right studio environment is very tricky for me. I want to work without distractions, but if I put my work in a back corner I might not have adequate light. I want photos and inspiration for my work, but I want my work to be the focus. I’ve managed to find that perfect small corner of a bright room, but as my works get bigger, I know I won’t be able to stay there.

3. Tell us one unique thing about you / your art

I started painting with a travel watercolor set no bigger than the size of my hand. It had a single brush. I made a painting of my sister-in-law’s dog as a gift and it turned out so much better than I expected. I also don’t paint like how watercolor painters are supposed to paint, with light washes and transparency. It just goes to show that not being overly focused on the right training and supplies can lead to great art.

4. What do you love most about being an artist?

I really like taking a plain photograph and bringing the perspective and personality out of it. Taking something static and giving it life and energy.

5. Which is your favourite art piece so far and what is the story behind it?

“Nutmeg” is my favorite and it’ll be hard to beat that. For one thing, she’s my dog. And also, it really brings out her playful, goofy personality in a way that no other image has been able to. She steals socks and then she comes up to you with them in her mouth and gives you that look that says, “wanna chase me for them?” The painting does that better than photographs are able to.

6. What are 3 things you can’t live without in a day?

Exercise, music (while painting), and Nutmeg stealing my socks.

7. Where do you get inspiration when you need it most?

I take lots of photos everywhere I am, and I go through other images wherever I can find them. I try to notice ones of people and animals where you see a unique personality immediately. Those images are rare, but they’re out there. I started with animals, pets, and then moved on to people and places. Now, I’m looking for that personality in different places. For example, my latest work is a painting of extinct animals and my objective isn’t just to try and see what they really looked like, but how they acted, what their personalities were. We can look at facts about extinct animals objectively, but we’ll never know what they were really like. Again, it’s taking a static image and trying to see the life in it.

8. What does success look like to you?

I feel successful whenever I finish a painting and see what I once just pictured in my mind. Since I’m painting much bigger now and incorporating more conceptual ideas, it will be really exciting to see how my style changes as a result.

Visit J Saxton’s artist page to commission a photo-realistic piece of art now.