Joshua Langley’s amazingly detailed artwork caught my attention somewhere on the internet and what an unexpected surprise it is. Langley’s fine art ventures mostly into realistic oil paintings that capture a moment with feeling and with a deftness that is impressive. He has a refreshing candor that comes through his work and in the answers to the questions that he was very nice to answer for us here at Rhyme et Reason. Be sure to Like his page on Facebook to get updates about his work. You won’t be disappointed!
RER: What is your background and how has it influenced your art?
Langley: I grew up in Cornwall, in a 400 year old farm house on top of a hill overlooking beautiful rural landscapes. We lived an almost ‘old fashioned’ life, growing our own veg and keeping livestock. My brothers and I spent the majority of our days outdoors, helping out on the farm where we could.
In hindsight, this self dependant way of living has definitely influenced my way of painting. I paint in a very traditional style, where workmanship, quality and method are always at the top of my priorities.
I was always quite naughty at school and from a very young age, proved to not be the most academic student. I’d sit in class, in my own little world, and suddenly find myself drawing sketches of familiar landscapes and objects. This is when I discovered my love for art.
RER: How would you describe your finished pieces? What is your process like?
Langley: I find it’s very important to have the right mindset before starting any preparations for the painting. I make up plans in my head about exactly how I’m going to paint the image, whether I will do simple washes, or maybe just paint sections at a time. This stage can sometimes bubble away in my mind for weeks before I actually put brush to canvas. I will usually do nothing the day before and leave my mind to wonder and bumble about, so the next day when I finally paint I am focussed completely. If I was to personally describe my finished pieces I would describe them as being well constructed, reasonably realistic with a hint of expressionism.
RER: When did you begin creating?
Langley: Since sitting in class and drawing those first little sketches, I have always been creating. However, it wasn’t until my mid-teens that I began experimenting with oil on canvas.
RER: Do you think art serves a purpose?
Langley: Yes, I believe that art does serve a purpose.
Art is an outlet for artistic minds. If a painter doesn’t paint, then he’ll become uncomfortable and agitated. Yet when he does paint and if that painter is lucky enough, the purpose of art becomes clear, as other people will enjoy that brief moment looking at the world through his eyes.
RER: What kind of music/artist(s) do you like to make art to?
Langley: I find that music can sometimes help me focus on my art, as it does with many other artists. There isn’t a specific genre of music I listen to, it can be anything from Jazz to Rock. Listening to music is incredibly useful when I’m not in the most productive of moods. I find it seems to blank out all other distractions, and allows me to focus 100% of my efforts on the painting.
RER: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created so far?
Langley: Yes, I have a favorite piece and was very surprised that I liked the painting as much as I do. Usually I find myself disliking my paintings after a while as I can’t look past the little mistakes that many people will happily glaze over. ‘Little Scamps’ is my favourite painting. I struggled working with the oils after experimenting with a different priming paint I used on the canvas. This meant that I had to work twice as hard to make the oils do what I wanted them to do. In turn I made sure that each brush stroke I applied to the canvas was the right colour, strength and shape first time round.
RER: Where do you get your ideas from?
Langley: The vast majority of my work at the moment are commissions, meaning other people play a big role in creating the idea and choosing the compositions. However, when I get the chance to do my own work, I find I am often inspired by historical events. I like the idea of painting something that you can’t photograph nowadays and that you will only be able to see and experience in my painting. It gives me an overwhelming feeling of creation.
Interview with Fine Artist Joshua Langley
Rhyme et Reason
2nd June 2014