today we are going to take a quick trip to Jamaica and meet the artist of the month Romaine McNeil! I virtually met Ro a few years ago, and been a fan of her art work ever since!
1. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I am an artist living and creating provocative works of art in Jamaica.
2. WHEN DID YOU START CREATING?
It’s very difficult to pinpoint when I started creating works of art. I believe the mental imagery came first; the desire to express what words could not. But if I were to think back to where the interest and drive to draw evolved I would say around age 8. And I started to play the piano that same year, so I had a deep sense of my innate creative energy since then.
3.SELF TAUGHT OR ART SCHOOL?
I think most artists are self taught until they are not. There’s always the exploration aspect to it that doesn’t always have a formal training and I think this leads to wanting to refine your craft. So during high school I applied to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston Jamaica, and this is still to the days the only visual and performing Arts college in the Caribbean.
4.HOW WOULD YOU CLASSIFY YOUR WORK?
I’m predominantly a surreal painter. My style basically takes the part of our thoughts and reality and presents it in a more poetic sense where the stimulation isn’t just a visual pull but an intellectual, emotional and psychological pull into the pieces.
5. HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED OVER TIME?
Over time I have fused some level of abstraction to my pieces. Exploring the use of texture and non-representational elements, symbols has helped to evolve my style and has pushed me to not become stagnant. The changes are often subtle, from surreal to expressionism to some level or realism to abstract and now back to a more surreal type scenario. It changes with maturity and what suits the expression best when the inspiration hits.
6. DO YOU HAVE AN ARTISTS YOU LOOK UP TO?
I can’t say I have an artist I look up. There are styles that I admire and that I adapt, from the surreal master himself, Dali. I also love the abstract works of American painter Michael Lang, and sculptures from my former lecturer in college, Basil Watson.
7. IF YOU COULD SHOW ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOSE?
If I had the chance to showcase my work anywhere in the world, I say all four corners! I’d shoot for Europe first. I think the art community in that part of the globe would appreciate my work.
8. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR WORK TAKING YOU?
Well, my work so far has taken me to the US. I’ve had my second solo exhibition in St. Martin and this was because there was an interest taken up by a well known Caribbean painter, Mosera, whom I met while on vacation there. He provided me with the opportunity to showcase my talent at his art gallery back in 2014.
9. PROUDEST ART ACHIEVEMENT?
This was probably my most proudest achievement to date, as I’ve always dreamt of exhibiting outside of my Jamaica. So, I see my work taking me to Europe in the near future.
10. ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS TRYING TO LEAVE THEIR MARK?
Advice for young artist trying to leave their mark…well, the world is a big place with billions of people.., and when one thinks about leaving their mark, it’s important to understand that the quality of the mark left, can be far great than the quantity. So, the impact you create will stir change, bring about a movement in the slightest form but the most significant of ways. We are voices for those without, and messengers for those who need it. Make an impact within yourself first, by always being honest with you work, then, the rest will follow.
If you’d like to see more of Romaine’s work go follow her Instagram page!
Ciao for now,