By CA Marshall
Photos courtesy: Nathan Pendlebury
As a seasoned Music Journalist, doing one’s background research is vital to not only encompass an Artists music but also their social media and marketing campaigns in my reviews/interviews. Recently, in reviewing (Starlight Music Chronicles fave) British Recording Artist Jake Bugg’s newest album ‘On My One’, I felt it necessary to also do some background research behind the brilliant imagery on the album artwork. This is where I discovered fellow Brit Nathan Pendlebury’s treasure cove of dynamic abstract art with an impressive timeline of attendances at art exhibitions and career achievements throughout the United Kingdom dating back to 1992. Giant bursts of complimentary brilliant colors and pleasant shapes complete this Artist’s immaculate website and resonate with my own inner Artist and desire to create. I felt inspired and compelled to find him and was overjoyed when I was able to locate and connect with Nathan on Facebook who (to my delight) was rather receptive to an interview for our Spotlight. As Editor of the website and magazine, I felt it was important to introduce someone entirely unique and dynamic as another component to the SMC website’s fine Artist sector, and Nathan Pendlebury is just that individual.
Here is my recent interview with Nathan where we discussed his tenure as one of Britain’s most unique Artists, being contracted out by Jake Bugg, his muse, and his favorite project to date:
September 27th, 2016
Artist: Nathan Pendlebury
SMC – Hello Nathan! Welcome to Starlight Music Chronicles (SMC)! For the sake of our readers and how your art relates to SMC, let’s get right into our initial connection….can you tell us about that?
Nathan – Hello. Well, I was lucky enough to get selected to provide a painting which was used on the cover of the latest Jake Bugg album. In fact, I provide the artwork for all the album and singles.
SMC – Jake Bugg is a well known Industry Peer and is highly respected by us at SMC. Can you tell us about how you landed the art project for the ‘On My One’ album cover (album released May 16th 2016)?
Nathan – Yes I can. I received an email from a company called Stylorouge who said that their Director wanted to speak with me and that he wanted to phone me sometime in the next few days. My first thought was that this might be a scam, as you get a lot in the art business. But, I said yes and waited to see what he had to say. It turned out to be a very nice chap called Rob O’Connor who told me I had been shortlisted and asked if I was OK with that? At this point I only knew that it was for a cover and not who for. I said yes, and when he met with Jake he apparently picked me straight away. Which was nice. I then went on to meet with Jake, to discuss my work which was recorded via video and can be seen on my website and Jakes too.
SMC – Let’s get this out of the way now because inquiring minds will want to know: how did you ‘get on’ with Mr. Bugg?
Nathan – Well, I think we got on fine, there were a few barriers that got in the way though unfortunately, as I was nervous with us being filmed (and am not used to it) and of course extremely excited at the prospect of gaining the commission (which I was not sure I had at that time) so could not relax fully and must have come across as quite a chatterbox (runs in the family). Not sure what I was saying half the time (in fact some of the video makes me cringe).
He was quietly spoken and I found him, mild mannered, polite and pleasant. I felt like he knew something of creative thinking processes, and that he could relate to the process that I go through as a painter too, so that created something of a bond. Whether he felt the same way I do not know. He comes across as being totally focused on what he is doing and working things out in his head constantly, either with current or perhaps future projects?
SMC – Now let’s dive into the history of your art. Upon browsing your website, I can see that there is a career timeline which begins in 1992 until present day. Can you tell us which moments in that time have been the highlights of your career?
Nathan – Well back in 1992 I was still in College. I loved college and was lucky enough to have great teachers in Fine Art painting at College and also University. But I digress. In 1993 I was lucky enough to win the KM Herring award by my college. Since leaving education, professional highlights have probably been winning a place as part of the 2007 International Fine Art Competition in New York, being one of only a handful of artists chosen to exhibit alongside artists who applied worldwide. A commission in 2008 for John Lewis (which is a big chain of shops over here in the UK), they commissioned local artists from each city that they were building stores in. I was chosen for Liverpool.
And finally the biggest highlight to date of course has to be the Jake Bugg commission.
SMC – Your art is astounding! I have a penchant for abstract art so I am curious, what is your muse?
Nathan – My two sons, Isaac and Leon.
SMC – We read that you have a passion for music…..obviously this relates to SMC. What is your ‘go to’ Artist that you enjoy listening to while creating?
Nathan – At the moment I most enjoy listening to the likes of Corduroy, Calibro 35, Beck, Sergio Mendes, Ennio Morricone and various European 60’s and 70’s Soundtrack jazz and funk.
SMC – Do you have any future projects/collaborations with other Musicians?
Nathan – Unfortunately not, but I would like to, as I feel that my portfolio is diverse enough to be able to offer other work to other singer/songwriters/composers.
SMC – And wow! You have quite a few notables who are avid collectors of your work – who is a repeat customer?
Nathan – I have a few, and all are just as important as the other.
SMC – (pertaining to above question) Who is your fave? Have you been commissioned to do a piece for any of them? Where did they discover your art?
Nathan – The Jake Bugg commission has to be my favorite job so far. But another that comes to mind is a chap in London Gavin Millar of GemCom Ltd who first bought something from me back in 1997 (I think) when I was selling drawings on eBay, since then he has bought paintings from me for his offices in 2011 and 2015, he has followed my work progression more or less since I graduated, and I really appreciate his support. Other favorite clients include Bruntwood (Liverpool) whom have bought a number of paintings from me for their office spaces on two occasions now, and also John Lewis, who commissioned me to provide 9 original paintings on paper for their Liverpool stores coffee shop.
SMC – Have any of your artwork pieces been used in film? If so, which one(s)?
Nathan – Not that I am aware of.
SMC – What has been the most flattering compliment you have received to date?
Nathan – I rather liked the terminologies various people have used when describing my art in reviews such as “brave and unpretenscious” (which I believe was Rob O’Connor of StyloRouge), and I particularly liked “upbeat and lively Howard Hodgkin-on-acid-abstracts which are synesthetic, not synthetic representations of an environment” (by Carol Emmas of Art in Liverpool) whom was reviewing an exhibition I took part in earlier this year.
SMC – We see you also dabble in photography as a medium as well. Have you incorporated your painting and photography together?
Nathan – I haven’t yet. But I would like to in the future given the space and time.
SMC – Most Artists go through their ‘stages’ where they favor something or a certain period in time in their career. Can you tell us what collection of yours is your favorite and why?
Nathan – I think every painters’ current ‘period’ is their favourite. I am particularly enjoying clouds at the moment, they offer an interesting dynamic to the imagery as part of these landscapes that I am producing.
SMC – What is the most enjoyable part of your creation process?
Nathan – That moment you step back and you feel that you have finished what you are working on.
SMC – What is your creative process? How do you arrive at a concept? What are you envisioning?
Nathan – I used to come up with an idea and then work to a plan. Now I don’t. I work organically. You need to find that place where you are not too aware of what you are doing, then the painting flows.
SMC – How do you feel about being given carte blanche for promotion of your art on our website’s main page? We absolutely love the idea!
Nathan – I think that it is a very generous thing to do, and I appreciate it very much.
SMC – Well Nathan, thank you for your time and we anticipate an influx of interest from our followers for your exceptional work! We look forward to future collaborations.
Nathan – Thank you. I greatly appreciate any interest in my painting, I am open and flexible to painting commissions and also sell limited edition fine art fibre based paper prints of some of my paintings too (if anyone is interested?) at nathanpendlebury.co.uk. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for SMC for your support for my work.
Nathan Pendlebury’s Social Media (Click to View):