Meet The Others: Joe Blundell
The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.
Joe Blundell’s scenic paintings consist of urban landscapes of Melbourne – ‘the buildings, the light and the life’. In his interview, Joe describes how natural light changes the colours and shapes of the building that surrounds him everyday. Read more about Joe Blundell’s artistic practice and about his experience at The Other Art Fair below.
How would you describe your artwork?
My artwork is essentially urban landscapes. I’m really trying to evoke the mood and qualities of a particular city, mostly Melbourne at the moment. Melbourne has a wonderful combination of old and new elements, and I try to bring the two together in my work. With traditional landscapes old and new appear together in natures harmony – old tress and new grass for instance. But with urban landscapes, old and new can be awkwardly juxtaposed – I like to try to return them to harmony and use old with new comparisons them to dramatize a story.
What does making art mean to you?
Making art means that I can be an obsessive perfectionist and people think it’s normal! Many other professions involve endeavours where many people are involved in the outcome, and that means ultimately you have to compromise from what is the ideal in your head. With painting, I don’t have to make compromises – I just continue to paint until I get where I want to with a piece. That lack of compromise is important to me, it drives me to get better and push myself. Like many artists, I draw on my life’s experience of looking at things, for me, that’s mainly buildings and light. I’ve done it since I was a child. My paintings are an outpouring of that “data bank” of observation. I get people sending me images saying “this made me think of your paintings” – I love that, it means they see what I see.
How did you get started making art?
I started painting pretty young. I used to sit on the pavement where I lived in England and paint or draw people’s houses that I liked. I sold my first painting when I was 12 to a local man. Many years later, my Mum and Dad went to his funeral and my painting was above the mantelpiece – apparently he loved it. I realised that painting was important. I announced to my Dad that I wanted to attend art school. He suggested instead a proper job! So I did a proper job. In fact, I did a proper job for 30 years. I ended up on the board of one of Australia’s big supermarkets. Four years ago, my Mum was due to have a shoulder replacement in the UK. She was 84. I flew home to look after her. The op took longer than we thought and I found myself at Mum and Dad’s with time on my hands. I’m not sure why but I got the urge to paint! So, I rummaged around in the attic and pulled down my childhood paints, easel and an old canvas and started to paint. It was then I realized I’d been doing the wrong job for 30 years! When I returned to Melbourne I rented a studio and now I paint full time.
What is it like to be a part of The Other Art Fair?
The Other Art Fair was great. I had the chance to meet an amazing group of other artists and share stories, thoughts and laughs. And I met lots of art lovers and learned new things about what they see in my work.
What is your favourite piece for sale on your Saatchi Art profile and why
I’m working on some new pieces of Sydney, but my favourite piece on my profile at the moment is “out to the MCG”. I loved painting it – it’s really a series of shapes with light hitting them. It has an art deco look to it that reflects the architecture.