Oldham Open – Speaking to the Artists

The Gallery Oldham Collective catch up with artist Howard Jones to talk about his artwork currently display in the Oldham Open 2019.

What are the titles of the artwork you entered in the Oldham Open 2019?

I had 2 paintings accepted for the exhibition. Geoffrey Clover was a painting in oils and was bought by Gallery Oldham. And a pint of cream please was a large oil painting of a huge strawberry resting on a fork.

Can you tell me a bit more about your pieces?

Medium for both subjects as mentioned was in oils. The reference for the painting of Geoffrey was from a photo that a friend of mine did, Les Stott.

Is there a specific concept surrounding your piece or do you intend for the viewer to add their own interpretation?

I chose the subject Geoffrey because he was a well-known figure in Oldham. The painting And a pint of cream please I did basically just to see if I could scale it up well from an A4 photo, although I do prefer impressionistic paintings where you leave the viewers brain to decipher the image.

How long did it take to create this artwork?

Both paintings, although there’s much difference in size, took about the same length of time, approximately 12 hours on each.

Has another artist or event influenced the ideas behind your artwork?

I attended David Hockney’s preview night at the Royal Academy in London a couple of years ago because I like his approach to his work. I also like Monet and most impressionists but very much admire Jack Vettriano’s work too!….so a wide variety really.

Are you a full-time artist?

I am a retired traditional signwriter and ran my own business ( in Oldham ) for 36 years. Painting is now very much a hobby and takes up most of my time. If I had my time over again I would certainly strive to be a full time artist.

What made you enter the Oldham Open 2019?

Just to see if my work was good enough to be accepted.

How do you seek out opportunities like the Oldham Open?

I have known about the Oldham Open for a few years and called at the gallery about this time last year when Rebecca informed me that it was staged every two years and she gave me the basic info. about entering.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists and creatives?

I would advise any aspiring artist to push themselves into a style that they are happy and confident with. I was lucky enough to be put forward ( at the age of 13 ) for the entrance examination at Oldham Art College, which was then just across the road from the gallery. It was a 4 year course and I gained invaluable knowledge from the various teachers there. If you can get yourself on an art course you will not regret it as there are various avenues in the art field to further yourselves.

Please could you tell me one interesting fact about yourself? It doesn’t need to be art related.

It seems funny now but when I was around about 7 or 8 years old I was at Roundthorn Junior School and our class were asked to design a ‘’poster’’ about road safety. My piece entitled This is Your Life was chosen out of the whole class and the finished work was placed on the walls of Oldham Art Gallery all those years ago! The headmaster arranged for the whole class to go to the gallery to see mine and other winning children’s work on display. Gosh, I was quite a proud young boy !