A relative newcomer to the art world, James Hands began painting in 2002. As a self taught artist James began painting as a way of unwinding from the day. For a number of artists the discipline of painting professionally can be arduous, and exhausting on both a physically and physiological level. The act is often one which is fraught with anxiety and can result in a habitual battle with the paint and the mind. A sense or element of this angst is often reflected in the artists work, making it less or more appealing, depending on its nature.
Although painting has now become a serious act for Hands, it is one which has remained extremely cathartic and rewarding for him. For James the experience of painting seems to be a liberating one. The physical act of applying paint to the canvas, and through the process of visualizing what he feels, seems to allow him to release his tension rather than generate it.
It is within this positive creative process that Hands' paintings become a pleasure to paint, and more importantly for us to look at. Having spent the last four years developing and expanding his empirical understanding and technical know-how, 2006 has seen a new found maturity and confidence within his work which grounds his painting and governs the movement towards a more abstract and coherent body of work.
"The greatest influences on my work have been the 'Impressionists'…" James Hands.
Concentrating on reflecting the immediate visual impression of the world around them, using bold brush strokes and contrasts of colour, the impressionist's style of painting was characterised by the concentration of colour and brush stroke designed to reflect light. If Impressionism is to be defined as an attempt to record a visual reality by reflecting the transient effects of colour and light, then James Hand's work began in the same vain, with very similar concerns. Using his own visual reality as reference, as well as taking technical direction from the works of some of the great Impressionists, James began to explore paint, its effects and capabilities.
Exploring transient moments of light and the dramatic effects of colour on the human psyche is a huge and challenging area. In a pursuit of this notion, Hands began by establishing a strong visual foundation by which to begin exploring a series of complex concerns. His most recent empirical explorations seem not only to examine these concerns but to visually magnify the previous works appearance, and in doing so creating seemingly abstract compositions of light colour and texture.
James Hands is one of Londonart's most popular artists. His work has been celebrated across Europe and is held in numerous private collections.