Artist of the Week: Pauly the Painter

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Photo by Anthony Cheng

This week, Brighton Journal had a brief chat with Pauly the Painter.


 What brought you to this Ship Street to paint? 

My friend Michael asked me to paint his new property; he has just bought this property and just renovated it. I came down, saw it and I thought it was incredibly beautiful!

It is quite indicative of properties in and around Brighton and Hove. I love looking at buildings. I love looking at nature. I love trying to capture a moment in time and including the people who live in our city, at work and at play. I love stories, so most of the paintings I do take a long time to complete- it takes around 50-60 hours. But in that time, I get a chance to learn about the people I paint for. I put the people while I meet them, into the paintings.

I want to spread a bit of art and culture around our city. I love doing it!

I think one of the beauties of life is to create and it is something I encourage everyone to do, whether they are young or old. It is so important for mindfulness and certainly important for all our well-beings. Also, it is just brilliant fun! We live in a city that is so beautiful; it is built by the finest craftsmen and it is important for us to spend more time looking up and around rather than looking down and ignoring the beauty that surrounds us. This is something that has preoccupied my time for the last couple of years. I spent a lot of time doing this in Hove. When Michael invited me into Brighton it seemed like a good opportunity to explore a little bit of our city rather than becoming self-absorbed around the Palmeira Square of our city.

I love it here. I love the light. I think people in our city spend a lot of time being happy and that is something I try to express in the paintings I do: a sense of relaxation, capturing a moment in time, and trying to produce a legacy for us and our city. It’s all good fun!

When did you start painting? 

I have been drawing and painting all my life, my friend. I started painting for the last two years, since I realised I was too decrepit to play football by embarrassing my teammates by trying to do something (!) It is around Brighton and Hove for the last two years I have been painting.

Photo by Anthony Cheng
Photo by Anthony Cheng

When did you start this painting? (Shown in pictures) 

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I started this painting around a month ago. It has taken about 60 hours. It took this long because the process of my painting is to build up in layers, you see. As I stand up and paint the nature, what happens is that I meet people who influence the narrative of the painting. I, also, am able to see certain characteristics of their surroundings, and I can add those to the paintings: that might be the light, that might be the reflections as well as the little nuances that you get from looking at objects- or scenes- for a long time. It is important, rather than working from photographs, to be able to let the events that happen during the painting process influence the actual painting itself. It gives it a strength and a quality that becomes unique.

I also love connectivity. A lot of the paintings I have done, are just reworks on bad episodes of Eastenders, where characters just walk into the scene from one paintings to the next. Often you will find that what I do is I try to capture the personality of the person by the that they act, the clothes that they wear, their hair colour. Inevitably, I will sneak them into another painting just because it kind of gives it a sense of connection, rather than just being unique pieces. You will often find that an object or a person ends up being in several of my paintings. It is like a flowing narrative of events.

The joy of painting is meeting people and communicating with them. Invariably by doing this, they might add to the painting and enrich your life, for example a certain piece of historical knowledge or an event that has happened in their lives. It influences what you do and how you respond to it through the medium that you are using to paint with and the piece of work that you are doing. All of these things are really important.

What medium are you using in this painting that you are doing?

This is acrylic. It suits the manner that I work in because it is quick drying. I love working with layers so that in all my works there will be some under-painting: I build up colours so that there is some sort of translucency with the scenes I produce. I like that. I like that feeling of depth to colour. The paintings, when people ask me, take as long as they take because of the nature of the process I employ. I love paintings with a little bit of depth and structure to them.

You can follow @paulythepainter on Instagram to see more of his works! 

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