History and Background
Self-taught artist and musician Andrew Kinsman, sold his first piece of artwork when he was only twelve years old. He has painted commissions for celebrities and royalty alike, and has recorded soundtracks and albums with music novelties such as Noel Gallagher and English Rock Band, Kasabian. Currently living in South London, after years spent in Cambridge, Bath, Bristol and Cyprus, Kinsman continues to passionately practice both art forms, dividing his time equally between the advancement of his musical career and continuing to acquire new and reputable art commissions.
Kinsman was drawn to art from a young age, but after his first major exhibition, aged twenty-one at The Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, he abandoned his art completely to focus solely on his music. In the following years, Kinsman devoted himself to the development of his musical talent and education. He began with the saxophone and would eventually learn to play the clarinet, flute and piano as well. As a result of his natural talent, Kinsman went on to build an impressive portfolio, playing and recording with noted bands from the British Pop/Rock scene including The Levellers, The Specials, Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals and ‘Girls Aloud’ Nadine Coyle. He’s also recently recorded on both Kasabian and Noel Gallagher’s new albums, and he was featured on the soundtrack of London Boulevard, a film starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, and Ray Winstone.
Eventually, it became apparent that Kinsman could no longer suppress his artwork for his music, realizing the necessity of both creative outlets in his life. He took up painting again, completing commissions for His Highness Sheik Mohammed, Sultan Al Thani of Qatar, American actor Rolf Saxon, and celebrity chef, Eric Lanlard. Following his work for Lanlard, Kinsman was commissioned by London’s Halcyon Gallery in 2011 to paint a distinguished portrait of the Hariri Family, Lebanon’s wealthiest and most powerful ruling family. He was also asked to paint American actress, Elisabeth Moss. However, his most prestigious commission to date was in 2012 when he was asked by the Royal Mail to paint a series of eleven stamps to commemorate 150 years of League football. The players featured included Sir Bobby Moore, George Best and Dennis Law to name a few.
A year later he was commissioned to paint Baroness Shirley williams, this painting was purchased by somerville college where both Shirley Williams and her mother studied. Her mother Vera Britton wrote 'Testament of youth' which was recently made into the much acclaimed film with the same title.
This coincided with another tour with Noel Gallagher as well as a relocation to Paris where he did his recent bubble series featured in his exhibition at Castle Galleries in the ICC Birmingham. Following this the Halcyon gallery commissioned him to paint a member of the Jufalli family ( One of Saudi Arabia elite families) . Following this he displayed three works in halcyons gallery in Harrods. In December 2015 Andrew exhibited works in the Prestigious 'Flux' exhibition at the Royal college of art where he was one of the few 'selected' artists to be invited to show.
Ideas and Inspirations
During his formative years as an artist, Kinsman drew inspiration from a collection of books his parents owned entitled Great Artists. Within this collection, he found himself innately drawn to landscape painting, particularly to the works of English Romantic painters, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. He also became interested in the use of symbolism and the incorporation of mythology, utilized by the Pre-Raphaelites and the Aesthetes of the 19th century. As his art progressed, his technique becoming more refined, Kinsman turned his focus towards the 17th century Dutch School; it was within this genre that he found a deep appreciation for intense colour palettes, captured drama, and the realism associated with, and well accomplished by, the Dutch Masters. The trait Kinsman finds most captivating, which still influences his painting to this day, is the “ability to create a snapshot of real life;” to be able to physically paint the surroundings, emotions and thoughts enveloped in a single moment.
His new collection was inspired by a painting which he completed in 2009, called 'Jeff'. This painting was in turn inspired by a lucid dream. The real life experience which later manifested into that dream was derived from a gig he did that same day. In between performances, bubbles were being blown against a black backdrop which acted as the stage. Kinsman was fascinated by the intense colours in their reflections. The dream saw an old man blowing a bubble showing as much detail in these reflections as his weathered skin, He knew he had to make this his next painting. 'Jeff' was the catalyst for this most recent set of works. Kinsman was also inspired by new locations, so he relocated to Paris and Tuscany for the majority of the works in this collection.
From Palette to Picture
Kinsman says: “I hate seeing a blank white canvas or board in front of me when starting a new painting. I think most artists find this a daunting task so I eliminate this by adding a raw umber wash to the surface, once dried its ready to start the drawing. I never labour over the drawing, as long as I have the measurements and proportions correct I'm happy to quickly block in basic colours. I almost relish the fact that this is the first glaze and so allow myself to play around knowing that this coat will be superseded by the next glaze and the next one after that. It’s always a process of correcting.
“I'm often asked if I use projectors or trace which I know many artists that paint with my level of detail often do. I think these artists are generally surprised to see the beginnings of my work almost minimalist for want of a better word. To know that everything is completely mapped out, every detail to be merely filled in leaves no room for surprise. I love working and re working until I'm happy with the detail, colour and contrast of light and dark and seeing this come to life over time is the ultimate thrill of being an artist.”