DP: Abstract expressionism, I think. I’ve always been interested in abstract and expressive work since I was younger and thought I just naturally slotted into that style.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
DP: People and noise and life and situations around me. At the moment I’m making work in response to my queerness, my woman-ness, my identity and my otherness. My anxiety plays a big role as well cause I have visions of accidents and things that could go wrong so I make paintings in response to that to help keep my visions and worries under control.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
DP: I find it easier to think about things in terms of numbers otherwise I get overwhelmed. So for example if I have 12 stretchers of one size then that will be the series of work. Obviously I’m not that strict on myself and I let the work go on for how long it needs to and whatever size I want it to be in the end but as a starting point in my head I need to get those 12 stretchers stretched and painted. I’m a quick compulsive painter so often I don’t dwell on paintings, when one feels done I’m straight on to the next. I’ve recently just moved into a bigger studio and it is only now that I have enough space to view work properly and play around with pairing different paintings together to create a dialogue between them. I’m viewing older work next to newer work and finding that a language has developed over the years.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
DP: That it’s alright to be struggling and express your emotions and be honest.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
DP: I am currently working a job and I’m painting full time so it’s a bit hectic at the moment. When I finally get to the studio I’m so eager to paint and regain the time wasted at my job that sometimes I smash out three paintings in a day. At the moment I’m just having to balance everything but painting is my priority so even if I’ve worked a 14 hour shift the day before it’s essential that I get to the studio the next day and make my time there as productive as possible.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
DP: I do a bit of both. It can be really frustrating when you’ve got all the materials ready to go but no direction to go in. In that case the work I make is often an exploration of colour, texture and space. Other times I’ve got a feeling or a word I want to make a work based on and that gets me started or I have visions of colours that I wanna paint together. I am also making work and painting as an experience too so it’s important for me to let the paint do what it needs to do. Sometimes all I know is that there will be a border painted around the edge of the canvas but anything can happen within that space. Sometimes I paint a room, sometimes a portrait, words or marks or I’m just cleaning my brushes on the canvas. I just paint what I want.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
DP: To not get caught up in what everyone else is doing and just keep working hard and your time will come. And don’t listen to anyone who discourages you.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
DP: I think a personal style in art develops after years of hard work but it’s always an ongoing journey and everything in painting overlaps anyway. I think everyone’s taste is relevant and I think it’s wicked when people are passionate about art they love regardless of what other people think.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
DP: To not hate everything you make and believe in yourself and that you’re creating something worthwhile.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
DP: I just love painting, it makes me so happy to see colour and texture and play around with those things. I always try and figure out why it is I need to paint and what it means to paint but basically it just makes me really happy and helps me. I’m sure being exposed to colour is really good for your state of mind.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
DP: I saw this incredible Cy Twombly triptych at the Hamburgerbahnhof in Berlin not long ago. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and it’s helping me learn to trust space and quietness in my own work. I’m always thinking about Joseph Beuys’ fat sculptures that are on show in the same gallery; the smell, weight and denseness of them and that their environment has to be so heavily controlled. I’m obsessed with Ryan Nord Kitchen’s paintings and all my fave contemporaries Laurie Vincent, Mateusz Sarzynski, Daniel Jensen, Stevie Dix, Thom Trojanowski Hobson, Thrush Holmes. There’s so much great art I can’t cope sometimes.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
DP: It has helped my work so much. Social media has been the only place I can consistently show my art and get feedback from it. Not to mention all the amazing artists I’ve discovered and met and opportunities that have come about through it.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
DP: Everyone’s observing things differently aren’t they but it’s all relevant. I definitely hold onto and am affected heavily by things that maybe would go unnoticed or be forgotten about the next day. I’m collecting a lot of visual imagery and saving it up for paintings. I’m an observer so I’m always watching everything but I think that’s just me as a person I don’t know if it has anything to do with being an artist.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
DP: I love travelling, especially to see art. It’s important to go somewhere new if you are feeling stuck. Germany is my number one. It’s sort of a dream of mine to travel and see all the Francis Bacon paintings on show across the world.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
DP: I don’t really read any more I have no attention span and find it quite difficult but my favorite book is The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass. I read it like 5 years ago. It took me 9 months to read and it was a real accomplishment when I finished it and it has affected me ever since.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
DP: I would love to do a bigger solo show next year, even just so I can view all my work properly.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
DP: It means I’m always gonna have something to do when I’m lost or stuck or sad and that I’m not gonna be forgotten.
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
DP: It’s A Sin by The Pet Shop Boys. I watched Bronson the other day and this song has been in my head ever since.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
DP: I’m just having fun at the moment, pushing paintings to the extreme and also trusting that sometimes they need to be tender and quiet.