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James Kerr

James Kerr is a British painter living near Stratford upon Avon, England.

I spent my early years as a decorative painter working with many of London’s leading interior designers.

Although not formally trained, this is where I learnt my craft, to understand the use of colour, paint & materials.  I have painted ever since and built an enviable reputation for gutsy colourful abstracted work.

I start with simple drawings of shapes and blocks of colour, that often resemble everyday items or a simplified landscape. Each painting becomes a journey, starting with an idea that rarely survives for long as thick layers of impastoed paint are built up, scraped back, reworked, and repainted until eventually the work is resolved.

To quote the British illustrator and commentator Ralph Steadman’ “the paint itself is also an object – it is subject to its own motivation, rules and dynamic which the artist must overcome, ignore or amplify”.   This in so many ways expresses so much the ‘why and what’ of how I work.

Ultimately, I hope my work brings a little something in this troubled world that is genuinely my own. It is undoubtably distilled and inspired by many 20th century modernists that include; The French Fauvists, the British & Cornish Schools, including William Scott, Paul Feiler, Patrick Heron and Roger Hilton. Also, I am a huge admirer of the American Expressionist movement, in particular Rothko, De Kooning and the wonderful Californian painter Richard Diebenkorn.  More recently I have fallen under the poetic spell of the tragic Russian/French painter Nicolas de Staël, something which is becoming evident in my newer work.