I began art aged about four – colouring like many kids…by six I designed houses on large sheets for the family…at age ten, calligraphy occupied me. When I sat GCSE art I had produced more work than needed and free time allowed me complete commissions for other students. At this time I made my mark on the Leicester graffiti scene using the pseudonyms Caper and Tempt…that became an addiction for three years and I left college with an A in A level art and graphics but nothing else! Since those teenage years I have only attended WEA classes and don’t wish to study at a higher level.
People say my work is very visual but for me, creation has mostly come from the image…the heart being in the process. My abstract ideas are fresh thoughts and have little development. Otherwise my pieces emerge from a sketch or mostly photos I have taken…when my judgement determines how the composition will look. For everything else, my material comes via Google Images – I only sketch what I see there though.
As a member of several arts groups in Leicester and the County I have an ongoing need to produce new and original works for shows along with a comfortable amount of commissions, but I also paint for myself when able! I try not to be influenced by others I once copied a graffiti style and painted a Star Wars character without realising it until it was commented on and I felt ashamed. Mostly I admire figurative painters Boris Vallejo, Terence Cuneo, Norman Rockwell, Jean Michel Basquiat and the graffiti artist Mode 2. These few to me are the pinnacle of their own style and represent genius…!
The theme Urban/Rural suited me as I enjoy both habitats and since the nineties have painted these subjects. The colours and shapes differ but having a feel for the venue with a passion will make natural or architectural scenes just as appealing
At present I only managed to put in part-time hours though I believe myself to be a semi-professional artist…my ambitions are to produce more and the hope of being able to sell my back catalogue to a collector or an agent…which would allow me to clear my head and my home.
To any new artists, I would say never trace, and follow your instincts…doing graphic designs for yourself will give you accuracy and discipline. I will often produce a sheet of letters if I’ve hit a blank. Finally, I don’t think you can teach someone to be an artist – I think if you are one you’ll already know it.
To contact me, or see more of my work, please visit my Facebook page: Paul Caper Dexter.