1.) What is it that attracts you to abstraction as an art form as opposed to other genres?
The reason why I feel connected to abstraction, is because it is so unpredictable - one never knows the outcome of the painting. This sense of unknowing, really excites me as a painter. When I feel that something substantial is about to emerge from my work, I do all I can to preserve the image. The ability to know why it is substantial, is to do with my personal instinct at the time. I rely on my subconscious in the rendering of my work, as this allows the process of painting to be much freer.
Abstraction also provides me with a challenge of combining both colour and textures together. As there is no obvious representation in abstraction, one has to view both colour and texture as images in their own right. This provides me with the challenge of using colour in compositional ways, by focusing on depth, texture and shape.
2.) How does your pure abstraction pieces differ to that which hints at the figurative form?
I don't really see my work as being purely 'abstract' at all. I began my journey into art, as a figurative painter. I still possess the sensibility of this type of painter, such as using linear/ curved forms , which are very painterly and evocative. The forms I use, project a figurative presence, without being directly figurative.
To be honest, I like to combine both figurative and abstraction, into the process in my work. The 'abstraction' element, helps my work to be less obvious and more visually demanding. I very much like to challenge the viewer, in regards to how they perceive things.
3.) How do you approach a blank canvas?
I approach a blank canvas with great excitement and relish - I feel a little nervous, but this is to do with the eagerness to just get going! This to me, is the most exciting stage of a painting - the possibilities are truly endless. I approach painting in a very spontaneous and direct manner. I tend to begin a painting, by using random coloured brushstrokes on to the canvas. The texture of these strokes vary from thin to thickly painted. I work in a very concentrated, energetic manner.
4.) You have a reputation as an emotive artist who becomes completely immersed in his work. How does this influence your work?
Yes, I am an emotional painter! I work in a very intense manner, and really put all my energies into the creation of my art. Painting helps to bring out my creative intensity as a person. As I tend to work rather quickly, my emotional awareness is heightened - I am totally absorbed in the process of my work.
When I finish a painting, I feel emotionally drained and really tired. I also feel quite vulnerable for a while - the reality kicks in when you have to wash your brushes, thus bringing you back to Earth!
Colourworld series by Christopher Lane Explosions by Christopher Lane
5.) What is usually your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge in practice is maintaining the initial level of excitement when creating my work. I am an emotional painter, which is empasised in the palette I work with. I feel truly connected to my art, which I approach with passion. As a work unfolds it can either sustain this excitement, which leads to a strong final piece, or lose my interest, which makes it difficult to show. I work hard to develop the layers in my art to reach a satisfactory & pleasurable ending. Knowing when a work is finished by not overworking it can also be a challenge for most artists. You can always add more, but you cannot undo what has been done! so I rely on how I feel, most of the time. If I am feeling a buzz, this sustains my interest in my work.
6.) How do you see your work developing in the future?
I want to carry on making images that are a hybrid of abstraction and the human form. I also see myself doing more figurative work, as this gives me more structure for when I use abstraction. An understanding of observation, helps me understand the nature of abstraction - I feel the two are linked! An isolated area of paint in a portrait, could be viewed as abstract - in a way, I guess everything could be interpreted as abstraction!
7.) Are you inspired by any of your peers?
As a child, my hero was Vincent Van Gogh - I remember loving his bold approach to drawing and painting. I liked the immediacy in his work and its uncompromising honesty. I always aim to have these similar virtues in my own work!
I am also inspired by the works of Francis Bacon, too. I like his unflinching focus on the human condition, and the way he creates visual mysteries in his work - he challenges your perceptions of what it is to be human. The same goes for Lucian Freud - I'm generally interested in artists that have an intense personal vision of the human condition.
In terms of artists who are still active, I'm inspired by the works of Frank Auerbach and Howard Hodgkin. These two have painted for decades, yet still their work feels me with great excitement and passion - particularly Auerbach, and the way he creates such a rich thick texture to his work. I am inspired by both individuals.
Christopher Lane's work is available for purchase by accessing his Artist Gallery - Christopher is available for commissions.