In Conversation With Adam Taylor

December 8, 2023

WISH YOU WERE HERE / ESTUARY, 2022, 80 × 80 cm, Oil & mixed media on panel
Adam Taylor is a British contemporary artist creating abstract compositions directly influenced by his surrounding coastal landscape in rural West Wales. Striving to capture the mood of the land, Taylor commences his painting process with enamel paint and different textures, before finally topping the work with oils to produce raw, layered compositions. Bleach were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit with Taylor just after he finished preparing for a solo exhibition at Ffin-y-Parc Gallery, North Wales.

BLEACH MAGAZINE Can you tell us about the moment you decided to pursue a career as an artist?

ADAM TAYLOR I've always painted, but having a career as an artist only became a reality a few years ago. After leaving University, I formed a band with friends from Art School, and we did that for ten years, releasing albums and touring Europe and America. Once the band had ended, I was left working dead-end jobs and painting in the evening around work. When the Covid lockdown happened, everything changed. I was able to paint 24/7. It took off really quickly after that. I got a few exhibitions and sold some work, and it snowballed from there. I've been painting full-time for around 18 months now.

PET RABBIT, 2022, 80×80 cm, Oil & mixed media on panel

BM What do you want your art to convey to those who see it? What is the meaning or creative motivation behind your work?

AT As an art student, I painted still life and figurative. Some years later, when I picked up painting again, I'd moved to a village in West Wales. I'd walk the coastline in the freezing cold winter, feeling pretty lonely and directionless. I started painting these large blue /green abstract paintings, hugely influenced by my situation and surroundings. Although my work is abstract, I see them as landscapes. My paintings explore how colours sit and work together, but I also like to think that they convey the loneliness of where I live.

“I think most people's motivation comes from wanting to leave behind something to prove they existed, something to note their time on earth mattered.”

BM Can you tell us about the process you use to create your works? What is your typical workday routine?

AT I wake around 7 am and rush to get my daughter to school (she's 5), then from 9 am, the day is mine. I start every day by walking through the fields and woods behind my house before I paint. I'm lucky my studio is at the end of my garden so that I can work from home.I start a piece with a first layer of colour, either blue/green, then divide it into nine rectangles with oil pastel lines. I then mask these into a kind of grid and work on each part separately. Working within this grid helps me with the composition of the painting, and I like that the end result gives a fragmented image. Sometimes I leave the gridded lines visible, and sometimes I rub them away depending on how it looks and feels. I tend to lay paint down / rub it off / lay down more paint until finally something works. I start a painting with no idea of how it will look when it's finished.

BM Where do you find inspiration? What motivates you to create?

AT I think most people's motivation comes from wanting to leave behind something to prove they existed, something to note their time on earth mattered. That's probably part of it; painting was one of the few things I could do for myself, so I just went with it. I's hard to know where inspiration comes from, but I think your environment has a significant impact.

“Trends come and go in art; it's somewhat out of the artist's control. All you can do is paint what feels right to you and try not to worry about what the next painter is doing.”

BM What has been your most outstanding achievement to date?

AT Last summer, the painter Sean Scully selected me to be part of a mixed show he was curating. It was a huge honour for me as I'm a massive fan of his work, so to have my painting next to his was very special.

THE CLOUD THAT THREATENS THE SUN, 2023, 62×56 cm, Oil & mixed media on panel

BM What are your ultimate career goals?

AT To earn enough to keep painting so I don't end up in a dead-end job!

BM What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you soon?

AT I've just finished a 50-painting show at a gallery called Ffin Y Parc in North Wales, so I'm taking some time off to build up a body of work again.I've got some exciting things happening with a gallery in Mallorca over the summer and then various shows throughout the year in Wales, Cambridge and London.