Benjamin Murphy talks to Robert James Clarke

Robert James Clarke has been an prolific supporter of Art on a Postcard since it's inception in 2014. His excellent dogs have graced all of our lotteries and auctions over the past two years and Robert has been incredibly generous in donating original images to the charity. 

Benjamin Murphy caught up with Robert recently to celebrate his print from our 20 Best of Art on a Postcard portfolio curated by Jealous Gallery coming to the AoaPC shop. 

BM - For those that might not know, please explain who you are and what you do.

RC- My name is Robert James Clarke and I’m an artist at 53, living in NYC, originally from Luton. I paint predominately dogs.

BM - Have you always been so creative?

RC -Yes …always since an early age I would copy bugs bunny from the TV, won many art prizes at school. Art in the 70’s at schools was an easy lesson where everyone messed about but I loved it. A good teacher helped.

BM – What is it about dogs that attracts you to drawing them?

RC - I started by chance with dogs but they seem to have a way of lending themselves to a fluid line an abstraction and vigour which is a challenge to catch. They are a hairy, living mass of mark and all very different in mood and feel.

BM – Do all dogs have distinct unique characters, and do you believe that they are visible in your portraits?

RC - Yes they do, you can put 30 West Highland terriers in a room and to most people the look like a mass of white dogs, to their owners, they know them straight away. I paint that distinction. It is sometimes a tiny spark a glint in the eye or the flap of an ear.

BM - What made you want to get involved with Art on a Postcard?

RC- I try to do as much charity work as possible especially as the dogs are well loved and usually sell well, so it made sense to do art on a postcard. I think my friend Sharon Elphick put me in touch with Gemma Peppé a long time back.

BM - What other exciting things are you working on at the moment?

RC – I’m about to play golf for a few weeks down in Maryland, that excites me, but when I get back I’m starting some human portraits. A new venture into the land of people …

BM – Where can we find out more about your work?

RC - I have galleries that look after me in London

Cricket Fine Art

McAllister Thomas

Hartnoll & Daughter in Mayfair

I have a gallery in Charleston South Carolina too

And my prints can be found on The Print Block

Dog #3 is available in the Art on a Postcard Shop

About the writer
Benjamin Murphy is an artist who primarily creates delicate figurative works using black electrical tape. As well as this, he regularly writes about contemporary art. He lives and works in London.
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