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Meet the TAE artists – Chris Larkin

Chris Larkin's TAE21 card was chosen for this year's TAE catalogue cover art.
Chris Larkin's TAE21 card was chosen for this year's TAE catalogue cover art.

How long have you been creating art?

I started my art journey in the early 90s. I happened upon a TV programme called A Brush With Art by an English artist Alwyn Crawshaw. He so inspired me — that I walked straight out to a local art store and bought paper, paints and brushes and immediately started to teach myself.

Have you had a formal art education?

I had no formal art education. I did try to take a college course in Art and Design but wasn't accepted, so I dismissed the idea and started working a regular job. When I did begin to teach myself to paint, it was solely through books in the local library as it was a pre-internet age back then.

What subjects are you most fond of and what is your preferred medium?

My chosen medium is, and always has been watercolour as I am in love with the transparency and vibrancy of the medium. I love looking at landscape paintings, but I eventually realized that I wasn't that type of artist and eventually forged my own path.

Atomic Print, by Chris Larkin - A3 print on 190 gram Bockingford Inkjet paper.
Atomic Print, by Chris Larkin

Tell me a bit about your life as an artist, and how does it impact your relationships, social activities or family?

Making a living as an artist is very challenging as selling art is a very up and down experience. At times, I have had to work regular jobs to stay afloat and even do so still, so it can be sometimes difficult. I do have a very supportive partner who encourages me, so that does help massively.

Don't give up, ever. Believe in yourself and just plain keep going. Love what you do.

When did you first submit work to TAE?

I submitted work to TAE a few years ago, but it never arrived. It was obviously lost in the post, so hopefully, this year makes up for it.

What motivated you to contribute your work to TAE?

I contributed to TAE as I like to give something back. Art has been kind to me on many levels, and as they support many great causes, I love to be a part of that.

How has the global pandemic affected your life as an artist? Has it inspired you?

Having had three lockdowns in the UK now, I have actually really enjoyed it. It has stripped our lives right back to the important things in life such as family and friends. My heart goes out to those adversely affected. And it has given me more time to focus not just on art, but on things that really matter.

Can you recall a most memorable or surprising event pertaining to your art career?

Nothing too surprising. I was very happy when the well-known author Jaqueline Wilson bought some of my work which was an honour.

How would you like to be remembered as a person, the artist?

I only want to be remembered for people looking at my work and smiling. I get a bigger kick out of people saying that to me as opposed to the monetary gain. That's the truth.


Is there is anything else you would like to share?

Just to say to other artists out there that may be struggling. Don't give up, ever. Believe in yourself and just plain keep going. Love what you do.

Artist statement

Chris Larkin, watercolorist
Chris Larkin

Having reached the prime age of 56, I have amassed enough inspiration through my lense of life to produce material for a lifetime. After travelling extensively through Europe and the USA over the years, my paintings are an amalgamation of many experiences. Now living in the county of Bedfordshire, UK, I paint daily with an unbridled vehemence, making sense of the many ideas through my chosen medium. Completely self-taught and unshackled by usual constraints, I work primarily with watercolour on paper, capturing my meandering thoughts and ideas through acute observation, sketching, and creative imagination. My work is merely a conversation with you, the viewer, and choose to agree or disagree; regardless, I will persist.

Twitter: @chris_larkin

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1 Comment

Thank you for sharing the article and recounting the entire process of starting your art. Your article inspired me. I appreciate your sharing. doodle baseball

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