Monday, February 29, 2016

Oscar Jetson - Dog Artist with Unique Perspective


As we have waded into the world of Twitter, it has been fun to meet all of the dog and cat centric Tweeters!

One I am particularly fond of is an artist from the UK named Oscar Jetson. His cool and colorful art shows up in my Twitter feed and always catches my attention.

So I reached out to him to find out more about him.

Here's our interview. What do you think of his work?

Q: Your art is quite intriguing - what is your background and is this your full time career? 
Oscar: I was successful at art at my high school and was encouraged to pursue a career in art, even attend one of the prestigious art schools in London. At 18 years old I was not confident enough and felt that if I did not “make it as an artist” I would struggle to find work. I do some part-time lecturing but recently my reproduction prints and custom portraits are taking up a lot of my time. Prior to picking up the brushes again I was in the Merchant Navy and this is why I also love to paint the ocean.
Q: What got you started painting dogs? 
Oscar: I have always loved dogs even way before I owned one. I currently have a Border terrier and an English Working Cocker Spaniel. I think that dogs are such characters and are so expressive. They can be so amusing and have such a range of expressions and poses, often comical and always tend to resonate with other dog owners. I also love to paint human portraits, landscapes and seascapes.
Q: How do you choose your subjects? 
Oscar: I also love to take photos so when I get opportunity
and I
 am out walking my dogs I snap the dogs they meet with the owner's permission. I don't believe in replicating photographs in 2015 as although I respect and admire many traditional pet portraits, I think that with modern technology allowing photos to be reproduced on canvas etc..I would prefer to create something more unique and expressive. I therefore only use the photos to assist in capturing the character of the dog. Some of my paintings are more refined however and I do not always use vivid colours. I prefer commissioned work as I get to learn a bit about the dog and always receive great feedback as the painting progresses (I send photo updates at many stages).
I do get the chance to work from live subjects at times – naturally my two dogs and friend's dogs are willing models but if a client is local I am happy to visit them to make some sketches. I have done some paintings of my own dogs where they have sat for me but normally this is when they are staring at a squirrel out of the window.
Q: Any interesting stories about your subjects you can share? 

Oscar: There are too many stories to share, some heart breaking ones about dogs who have battled with long term illnesses and some celebratory ones when dogs have recovered after terrible accidents. One amusing one that stays with me was the Chihuahua and the Patterdale terrier whom I did a large watercolour of...the painting arrived and my client put it down after signing for it, popped upstairs only to find they had been so eager to open it they had torn it open and caused some damage!

Q: I find your color choices quite interesting - where do you get inspiration for the color choices in your art? 
Oscar: The colour choices I make are due to a number of factors...sometimes I just exaggerate the colours I see in a photo provided by a client, other times I include specific colours a client wants to match their d├ęcor. I sometimes request photos of the room in which they know they will hang it. Other times I just let the colour scheme develop as my painting progresses. I always pay attention to the science behind colour theory and refer to the colour wheel to ensure colours are contrasting or harmonious.
Q: How do you use social media to promote your art and how effective has it been?
Oscar: I share a lot of my art on both Twitter and Instagram, news and people also seem to like to see my artwork as it progresses. My followers can be quite interactive and all of the retweets and comments often lead to new people seeing my work. I have had commissions directly through both Twitter (@oscarjetson) and Instagram (Oscar Jetson) so I am happy that it is worthwhile.
Q: What is your plan long term with your dog painting? 
Oscar: I would love to continue as I am and considering I had an 11 year break I believe I am refining my style and technique, experimenting a lot and also improving. I would love to have my work in a large exhibition or to sell from a dedicated premises. At the moment I am exclusively online and work from my home studio.
Q: Where can your collection of artwork be found?
Oscar: My etsy site has mainly reproduction giclee prints in a selection of sizes. There are also some unstretched canvas prints. I plan to add to this by including panoramic long stretched prints of multiple dogs on canvas. I also can take enquiries on the etsy site for charcoal studies or custom paintings.
My website which will have dog news, my art news and hopefully a forum: http://www.oscarjetson.com
Q: In addition to your art, how do dogs show up in your life? 

Oscar: My dogs are spoilt like so many are. They sleep on my bed. They go with me pretty much everywhere and they even like going fishing with me. All holidays have to be dog friendly so I usually take them to the south coast of England. The cocker is an amazing swimmer due to his webbed feet. The Border terrier thinks he is but tires himself out when he is chasing a ball to bring back. I have only had to go in after him once though! Even in the car the terrier likes to have his head out of the window in the front when there is a passengers lap for him to sit on and do so safely (He has however worked out the window controls so the child lock now has to be on)
Oscar does lots of original, commissionable work for clients and can turn your dog's awesome and sweet face into a timeless and unique piece of art. All artwork shown in this blog post is just a small sample of some of my favorites. They can all be found on his Etsy site AT THIS LINK. They are all shared here with Artist's permission.
You can contact Oscar via his website, Etsy site, Twitter or Instagram.

What's your favorite of Oscar's work? Would you want your dog in unique colors to hang in your home?

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