Artist Interviews: Carla Raads

Artist Interviews: Carla Raads

Contemporary artist Carla Raads, based in Lytham St.Annes, joins us for Artist Interviews this month. We explore her artistic background and unique painting technique. Alongside this Blog 'Artist Interview' we have the first in our new 'Artist Signature Series' over on YouTube, giving you a unique visual insight into Carla's artwork and her painting technique:

Q: Can you tell us about your Artistic background/education?

A: I studied art and design up to university level in Manchester. However, I believe the most relevant skills I learnt, in terms of what I do now was under the mentorship of my teacher and friend Phillippe Aird. He showed me what it was like to be a real artist. He taught me about materials, framing and selling work.

Q. Your process is fascinating, we love how you combine the spray with hand smudging of the paint. How did you discover this technique?

A: I returned to painting 12 years after my art education. I had an overwhelming desire to use my hands and project my emotion directly onto the canvas. This is how my technique developed. I experimented with different mediums and found that the spray paintand acrylic resulted in a chalky texture and I loved the feel and look of it, I feel it resembles life like clouds.  

Q. Do you work in a studio or from home?

A: I work from my studio which is at home, It is a converted garage space.

Q. Who are your Art Influencers? Inspirations?

A: That is always a difficult one to answer. There are so many talented artists but I try not to be too influenced by other ideas and artists as I want to stay true to my own work.When I started painting again, I mainly painted emotions depicted by the sea and I tried to honestly convey the feelings I had inside.  I still try to paint as honestly as I did then. I do admire realism and realistic painters. I feel so much patience is required to paint like that.

Q. What helps get you in "the zone’ to create your work,  music? out in nature? quiet?

A: Absolutely music. My work is very physical and I love to move with the painting I am creating so music is an important tool to encourage the energy I am putting onto the canvas.

Q. Do you keep a sketchbook? How often do you use it and do you travel with it?

A: I do have a sketchbook but it hardly ever gets used. My work is very organic and changes as I create. I try not to over think the paintings unless it’s a very specific commission.

Q. Where does a piece of work begin for you? Can you describe your process?

A:  A lot of my paintings begin when I am out on a run, I look at clouds formations and the sea as I run past the beach or sunsets in the evening.  I will then think about all those scenes at night and the next day I am inspired and ready to paint.

Q. What technique do you prefer to use?

A: I love mixing acrylic and spray paint

Q. What are your most important artists tools?

A:With out question, my right hand and fingers.

Q What are your favourite materials?

A: I absolutely love Pintura primed roll for my canvases, ARTdiscount Deep Canvases are great too. Acrylics, I love Liquitex heavy body, Cryla and ARTdiscount for my titanium white acrylic to mix and blend. For spray paint I love Montana Gold.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A: A Huge 2m x 2m Hexagonal Black and Gold painting, a private commission.     I had some difficulty finding canvas roll wide enough but the guys at Art Discount managed to find me some primed roll that was just the right size! 

Q. Where can we see more of your work online or in person? 

A: you can view most of my work and processes on Instagram @artbyraads.You can also read my blog and purchase original works and prints on my website artbyraads.com

••Take a look at our video version of this interview giving you a unique insight into Carla's artwork and her painting technique: 

catherine peters
catherine peters


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