For those of you who haven’t been down to the #jq get ready to meet the Warwickshire based artist Shirley Cherry…
What is important to you in your art? … I love people, trying to capture their personality in pencil or paint. I’ve sketched people all my life. I used to pick on my parents and friends at school or on holiday and the habit has persisted ever since. Of course sometimes I just spot an interesting face and am compelled to draw them. I might only have a few minutes then they get up and walk away and I am left wondering who they were and what their life is all about.
What are your most amazing art moments?… As an innocent nineteen year old I took myself to Amsterdam and the Rijkstz Museum and saw Rembrandt’s Night Watch – it was thrilling, so vast and dark; possibly even more exciting as I was on my own in a strange place with my nerve endings tingling!
Then I went to Italy. I thought I knew about the Renaissance as I’d studied it in my first term at Uni, but when I got there I felt so small and naive, the Italians have such a head-start they eat, breathe and smell art through every pore, its hardwired into their pysche, and I had only just scratched the surface. So inspiring.
Why pick on the sixties?… It’s such an era of optimism and excitement – Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon, David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton, The Beatles, Michael Caine, Andy Warhol, the Avengers – the list just goes on! The world changed in the sixties but the sixties influence still keeps its irresistible, up-beat appeal. I know its nostalgic but it just makes me smile and I think we all need a bit more of that today. . .. .and afterall I am a child of the sixties.
Dogtastic – how does that fit in?…. Dog lovers would rather have a picture of their four-legged friend (or friends) than they would their closest relatives. I’m almost as bad! Charlie, our Springer with extra bounce, has bewitched us all. Our attempts to discipline him are overturned by his ridiculous winsome ways! For me, trying to reflect a dog’s personality in a painting is challenging enough but getting stuck in to the texture of their coat is something else: wiry, silky, shiny, flat or wild it’s really fun.
Why Coldplay? …The biggest rock band in the world – need I say more? I am completely smitten. I was blown away by their gig at Glastonbury. The whole production was sensational: music, lighting, lasers, different colour sets, mood changes and such charisma! A true feast of the senses, jam-packed with material for an artist to work on.
What’s the connection with Urban Coffee? … My friend Nicky Dowd introduced me to Urban Coffee Company in the Jewellery Quarter. It’s a fabulous melting pot of people. It attracts so many different characters all with their own agendas and yet everyone seems perfectly at their ease. It’s a great place to people watch for my portraits!
Is there anything else you want to add?…I hope people enjoy seeing my paintings at Urban Coffee. They are for sale, so if anyone loves them so much they want to take them home, then they can. Cherry Paintings are good to go! You can see more of my work here. I hope that Peter and his team of Urbanistas will let me carry on exhibiting my work in this great social space, while I keep coming back for more Urban coffee shots!