Nick Grindrod is a British artist who has gained recognition for his dynamic and colorful paintings. Grindrod’s work is characterized by his use of bold and vibrant hues, often applied in layers and then distressed, giving his paintings a textured and weathered look.
In his interview for Execute Magazine, Nick Grindrod delves into his painting process and how he approaches color. He discusses how he allows his intuition to guide him when selecting colors and how the natural world around him inspires him. Grindrod also describes how he balances a sense of playfulness in his practice with a rigorous commitment to his craft.
Nick Grindrod’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, and he shares his experiences of showing his work in different countries and cultures. He reflects on the challenges of adapting to new environments and how his work has been received in various contexts.
For aspiring artists, Grindrod advises staying true to one’s vision and finding a unique voice in the art world. He emphasizes the importance of hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks and experiment with different techniques and approaches.I think if you make your bed you've got to lay in it. (...) To keep the energy and enthusiasm there it has to be both playful and personal. - Nick Grindrod Click To Tweet
Overall, Grindrod’s interview presents a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of an accomplished artist and provides valuable insights for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the arts.
Can you describe your painting process, from the initial sketches to the finished works?
I’ll spend half an hour in the morning on sketching out new ideas and designs before making a start on a work. I’ll then transfer the initial idea onto the substrate, be it ply or canvas. The design might change whilst I’m sketching it out, removing or adding elements as I go. I’ll then get the base colours down again making judgements while I work. Once down I’ll then start to layer up and remove parts of the work to find some kind of balance in the composition. The rest is a question of playing with filters of paint to get the overall feel and depth right.
How do you balance using flat, graphic color fields with abraded, distressed surfaces in your paintings? How do you use the removal of paint and erasure of marks as essential elements in your painting process?
I was a interior decorator in a past life and a lot of the tools I used then I still use in studio today, sponges, sandpaper, scalpels and cabinet scrapers all add depth and help to remove paint, score or abrade. when working on old period properties you’d see years of staining, fading and damage to plaster and wood. They had a patina and beauty that always intrigued me. There was a history and nostalgic quality that I try to enhance the work with.
How do you approach the decision-making process in your work, mainly when working in real-time at the studio?
Setting basic designs out form the backbone of the work but there’s lots decisions made a long the way usually which adds a more playful, conversational element to the process. I’ve got to admit that the work is more informed these days which is a worry. It indicates that there need to be a shift in the work to avoid it becoming stale.
How do you balance seemingly contradictory forms and surfaces in your compositions?
Trade secret this one! Sorry!
Can you discuss the role of playfulness in your paintings and how it intersects with your rigorous commitment to your practice?
I think if you make your bed you’ve got to lay in it. If you are looking to build something real that you spend serious amounts of time on. With real focus and passion. It has to be something that changes constantly. If only in small ways. To keep the energy and enthusiasm there it has to be both playful and personal.
You have spoken about how the decisions made at the moment during your painting process lead to the truth in the end and how this is the only way (or not) for you to create something exceptional. Can you discuss any philosophical or historical references or influences that inform this approach to your art practice?
I guess, like with a lot of painters, painting is a conversation between yourself and the work. Some conversations are straight forward and the outcome is therefore a little mundane and predictable. Other conversations are difficult, awkward and require understanding and compromise. It’s the same with painting you may get a great outcome in the end, but sometimes it becomes a fight, and you never want to see that painting again.
Your paintings use bold, vibrant colors that create an energetic and exciting atmosphere. Can you talk about the psychological aspect of color and how you hope viewers will respond to your use of color in your work? How does your use of color contribute to the energy and vibrancy of your completed works?
My use of colour has changed a fare bit over the years. The early works were more about surface and patina. The last 4years have seen more vibrant colour choices creep in. I’ve tried to bring those elements together to combine the more joyful parts of the work with a sense of nostalgia. It’s definitely what I wanted to see in my work and I hope other feel that to.
How does your background in Fine Art influence your current work, and are there any particular artists or movements that inspire you?
I think that there is a mix between the composition and learned skills from art college, (probably from life drawing and studying other artists work as a student) and the years of decorating if I’m honest. There’s a lot of influences from the abstract expressionist movement. Also artists like John Hoyland, Lee Krasner and Frank Auerbach. But these days there’s too much looking back. There are so many talented artist alive now that deserve, for want of a better expression, way more wall space.
Your work has been exhibited in various countries and cultures, including Poland – a country that is close to my heart. Can you discuss your experience showing your work in different countries and cultures and how this has influenced your practice?
I think once you find out who you are as a painter a lot of those elements of influence fade. But there's always those few artists that started the whole journey off! - Nick Grindrod Click To Tweet
It was an honour to show with the inter-discursive abstraction group. I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the trip to see the shows. They’re extremely dedicated to what they do. I was humbled to be asked.
I think that as artists we absorb so much of what’s around us consciously and subconsciously. It’s becomes hard to separate and define them. I think once you find out who you are as a painter a lot of those elements of influence fade. But there’s always those few artists that started the whole journey off!
Becoming an artist is a challenging path. Can you discuss what motivated you to become an artist and how you have managed to stay afloat in your career? What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting out?
For me at least it was always in me. I wasn’t particularly academic at school and I always felt that it was what I was so I never wanted to waste time on other things. Motivation is the key. Something I didn’t have for a long time. It’s not an easy thing to do. I can remember feeling exposed and unsure of where my skills layed. Coupled with family life I didn’t feel like I’d be able to dedicate enough time to my practice to make any real headway. I’d make when I could. I was lucky enough to find a couple of galleries that gave me a break. One of which, (Smithson Gallery), I’m still with and the other is a now a dear friend, (Afternyne Contemporary) if I was to give Any advice to anyone who wants to take up becoming an artist – get yourself straight financially.
Go part time if you’re working and able.
Buy more materials than you need. (There’s a reason for this. It eliminates the fear of making mistakes.)
Make as often and as much as you can over prolonged periods of time.
Find like minded people, other artists that get why you’re doing it.
Enjoy it, play with it. It is rewarding in a multitude of ways, but it isn’t easy.
What are your plans for the future? Are there any upcoming projects or exhibitions you are excited to work on or any new directions you hope to take your art in?
Interesting question! I’ve got a few irons in the fire at the minute. I’m going to be working with a museum in the States later this year, commissions, gallery work and hopefully some shows coming up. I’m always going to be pushing the work forward but where that is I’ve no idea!!
For more information about Josh Dodson’s art, please visit his website at http://www.nickgrindrod.com/