AJ Callan Profile

aj callan portrait

Born in Glasgow in 1958, my childhood was surrounded by the new confidence and optimism of 60’s Britain. Carnaby Street, the Beatles and jobs for everyone! I was constantly exposed to new ideas, sounds and fashions. Everyone was encouraged to let their imagination run free. From a young age I immersed myself in art. I was just as happy sitting with a drawing pad for hours on end as I was playing football with my brothers.

My mother was responsible for my interest in art; being an avid crossword fan she used to doodle whilst solving the cryptic clues and I picked up on this from an early age. At school I was as excited about the art lessons as I was about dinner time. I often forgot to come home on time after becoming totally engrossed in a painting. Art College followed school and I spent a total of 5 years studying both fine art and graphic design.

On leaving college, I entered the world of advertising. Many years working on commercial material did not erode my passion for fine art. I continued to produce pieces in my own time, experimenting with different medium and subject matter. I realised that in order to follow my dream I had to make an important decision. I chose to commit myself fully to my passion for fine art and became a full time artist in 2005, a decision I have never regretted.

In every day situations I tend to take mental snapshots of inanimate and animate subjects. It might be a knowing glance between two people or a reaction to a surprise. I have frequent brainstorming sessions, often with a glass of red wine in my hand – it is amazing how many of these snapshots then resurface for use in my sketches! My work combines the real and the imaginary and this is reflected in the finished pieces. My early inspirations are wide and varied, from seeing the Yellow Submarine animation as a child, to reading about Leonardo Da Vinci at school.

I never cease to be amazed by Leonardo’s thirst for knowledge and his technical ability.Other influences include, Charles Renee Mackintosh with his uniquely romantic approach to his work and Joseph Wright for his stunning mastery of lighting. I aim to create art which generates a warm reaction from the viewer, to mirror my emotions when creating them. I am a positive person by nature and a complete optimist, my wine glass is always half full! I am as comfortable creating three dimensional works as two dimensional. The sheer pleasure of creating something totally unique is immeasurable.

 

 


 

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