This next interview is with Eyan Higgins Jones, who placed 3rd in the Fine Art (Realism) category with his entry: The Great Horned Owl; an amazing piece of work which is done using a technique he developed to paint in great detail on a large scale. In the interview, Eyan talks about his early adoption of airbrush and how he uses oil paints with it! At the end of the interview, you can also find his website and social media details – be sure to follow!
Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?
Eyan Higgins Jones (EHJ): I first picked up an airbrush when I was 12 in school in Wales. I had never seen one before and instantly thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Since then my admiration for the sprayed line grew into using spray cans and air guns to paint with. I studied Art at various levels in two Universities in England, after which I found work in Theatre and Film productions; painting sets, props and backgrounds. My love of sprayed paint grew and grew and led me to keep painting for over 25 years. Now I paint my own work and have been fortunate so far to exhibit in the UK, Spain, the US and Canada.
S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?
EHJ: The Great Horned Owl is a favorite of mine that is part of a larger collection of animal portrait titled Kindred Kingdom. These works depict animals under threat from extinction or endangerment. The Owl holds it’s own really well and showcases a lot of variation in how I paint with an airbrush.
S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?
EHJ: I’m always working on something, some idea. I have developed a technique that allows to paint very large scale pieces with great color and detail – all in oil paint. With an airbrush. Since picking up an airbrush as a kid in school, many moons ago, I fell in love with it. The metal, the feel, the weight, the components and accessories – I just though it was the coolest tool around, and that has never wavered. So my passion is to get the airbrush into the fine art world and have it become a true contender for producing high end contemporary art.
I find my ideas by working and working on ideas until something holds up. then to imagine how it would hold up on a larger scale. If it works it will be painted.
S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?
EHJ: I want to push the limits of airbrush painting – I love what’s already out there – but there aren’t many AB’ers painting with Oil paint. I do – always, and I love it. Mixing in the gravity cup and never having to deal with tip dry are just a few bonuses.
S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?
EHJ: I usually work on primed canvas. Sometimes paper (heavyweight Rag) or boards.
S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?
EHJ: I had to think about this one. I like to experiment with paint and that can lead to some interesting results. Most of my work I would call Stylized Photo-Realism – other works are truly abstract.
S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?
EHJ: Dont go cheap! – Buy a really really good airbrush to start with. You wont look back – Starting with an airbrush that offers better control and atomization is key to become a better painter. Stay away from the cheap brands.
S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?