Featured Artist: Janine Pinion

20 Questions to artist Janine Pinion

1: Who are you? 
Janine Pinion, artist and writer

2: What is your background?

Left home at 16, worked as an insurance clerk, emigrated to Liverpool to study art, stayed and opened my own gallery (the Acorn, now the Egg), had a baby (he’s now 26), and went back to Uni, studied humanistic psychology, art therapy and counselling, now work in education and mental health. 

3: Where were you born?

Belfast, Northern Ireland

4: Explain your work in up to 40 words.

Painting = exploring how the world feels; Drawing = exploring how the world fits together (or not) and how it really looks, being fully present, not guessing; Materials = the exquisite interplay of particular brushes, pens and implements with pigments, water and oils.

5: How has your practice changed over time?

I’m much less concerned about the end result. I don’t labour so hard at any one piece of work – I have several on the go at any given time; and I am more open to trying new, challenging approaches and subjects. 

6: Do you have a favourite medium to work in?

Watercolour

7: Do you pursue any themes? If so what?

Landscape, particularly textured/tonal; and portrait

8: What other jobs have you done/do you do other than being an artist?

I’m a mental health practitioner in education. I’ve also worked as an art therapy skills trainer, cook, healthcare assistant, barmaid, business manager, arts organisation administrator and curator, watercolour painting tutor on board various cruise ships.

9: What research do you do for your art?

I go away for road trips, taking photographs and making sketches and notes. I also explore other artists’ work and research further if a particular artist interests me. I look at maps, local history and also research how materials are used by different artists. For example, watercolour is much more versatile than I ever believed was possible. 

10: What makes you angry?

Abuse of children and animals, reckless exploitation of natural resources, loss of nature, the voices in advertisements on TV and radio, advertisements, big business dodging their taxes while the nations eyes are directed towards the supposed misdemeanours of the most vulnerable. Laminate floor – now that really gets me. Supermarket packaging. 

11: What is your favourite colour?

Green

12: What is your favourite piece that you have produced?

The last one

13: What music/album are you currently listening to?

BBC Big Band ‘The Age of Swing’; First Aid Kit; Sarasate.

14: What makes you happy?

Not being rushed, peace and quiet, cuddling cats, seeing my son happy, swimming in the sea, having good friends who know my dark side, gardening, being outdoors, weekend trips, having a good laugh, art and writing, sailing, photography, discovering new projects which are making the world a kinder place. 

15: What are your favourite films?

Some Like it Hot, Enduring Love, Bladerunner, Voyager, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Benjamin Button, Brief Encounter.

16: Favourite place? Can I have more than one please? Lleyn peninsula, Bold St Liverpool, the beach at the end of my road, and My Room.

17: One or more artists you like? Ivon Hitchens, Gwen John, Peter Lanyon, Joan Eardley.

18: What is your favourite word? Any plant name or medical term in Latin. 

19: Professionally what is your goal? Paint, teach, exhibit and sell regularly. I’ve given up wanting to take the art world by storm. 

20: What would your dream commission be? To produce a collection of paintings for a particular environmental location, based on a residency.

Image courtesy of the artist.
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