Emma Devlin: When
and how did you develop your love for art, and has it always been a lifelong
ambition to be an artist?
Neil Robertson: It began too long
ago to remember. I always drew maps and stuff as part of childhood adventures.
As for ambition, I would like to paint a painting that speaks as strongly
to me as it does to others.
ED: Which artists
have inspired you and who influence your work?
is the main one. He may be very out of date now, but in his day he was
radical. He used to have himself tied to masts of ships for hours during
storms so he could really see and feel what was going on. We have it easy
these days. I have a car and can be anywhere in no time. Back in the 18
hundreds going anywhere was a major undertaking. And yet he produced thousands
of paintings - it is that level of commitment which I really admire. I
also love the less geometric works of Mondrian, such as The
ED: How did you
gain recognition as an artist?
NR: I'm still working on that.
A friend recommended my work to a local gallery, but they closed soon
after I began exhibiting there (nothing to do with me I hope!). I now
exhibit online which could potentially gain an artist previously unheard
of levels of exposure.
ED: How do you maintain
NR: I have many channels (painting,
song-writing, poetry, graphic design etc) and I suppose one of them is
always flowing to some extent, but a real effort is required to get up
ED: You work mainly
in watercolour taking inspiration from the Snowdonian landscape; what
other mediums do you work in and what else inspires you?
NR: I've just started a series
of paintings based on the prehistoric people of Snowdonia where rather
than focusing on the landscape alone, I will take in people and their
effect on the land. I'm using oil, often very dilute, on absorbent brown
card. These paintings are large and I work by placing the card on the
floor. I would like to explore new media - I know of one painting whose
media is described as "charcoal, graphite, pastel, acrylic, bitumen, beeswax,
straw and flower petals on paper."
ED: How would you
describe your style?
NR: I have two main styles, one
bold and expressive, the other subtle and delicate, but I would like to
get away from the idea of a style as it confers restrictions on what I
ED: Where can we
see your work and do you have any exhibitions coming up in the future?
NR: My work can be seen at www.welshpaintings.co.uk,
an on-line gallery set up to promote and sell the work of Welsh artists.
ED: Finally, any
tips for an up and coming artist? (me!!!!!)
NR: The best advice I've had is
to get the brush moving.