Q&A WITH ALAN TAYLOR JEFFRIES

 

Have you been painting from the start, or did you develop your skills later in life?

I’ve always had an interest in art since my youth, but just as a “spectator.” I never took up a brush until 2008, so I’m definitely a “later in life” painter. I also have no formal art training or education, I’m completely self-taught.

Is there a possession you couldn’t survive without? (i.e. Your dog, Netflix subscription, Oreos etc.)

The possession I couldn’t live without (apart from art supplies) is my PC or cell phone.

Do you listen to music while you work? If so what song/artist is playing while you are elbow deep in paint?

Sometimes I listen to music when I paint and it could be anything from Mozart to Talking Heads to Ornette Coleman to Elvis Costello and lots in between. Other times I paint while the TV is on. Many of my painting titles come from words/phrases overheard in a song or TV program.

Who do you consider to be your all-time favorite and most inspirational artist? Do you have a favorite museum?

I’m a big fan of most of the original Abstract Expressionists, but my all-time favorite and inspirational painter is Willem de Kooning. When I began to paint, I studied his styles and techniques in order to hone my own. I’m also drawn to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. When I discovered his work, it opened up possibilities of what could go into a painting that I hadn’t imagined before.

If you could choose your last meal, what would you eat?

I don’t know if I can pick a specific single last meal, but it would definitely be spicy hot, either Indian or Middle Eastern.