Andrew Causon is an artist with infectious positivity. This Tasmanian born artist has been drawing for as long as he can remember, done it professionally for the past ten years and finds great joy in painting what he regards to be important; people.
“I paint people because people are important and should be remembered. I want to capture the essence of the subject and celebrate their lives,” he said. “Fundamentally, I like people; kids, young people, adults, old people. For me, the magic is in the moment when you make eye contact. I like to make friends with people, but funnily enough, people don’t have to like me for me to like them.”
It is not always the face that inspires the painting, though. Sometimes it can be the relationship between objects, the relationship between the artist and the object or the experience of capturing one’s soul. “My experience is that all in all, people are lovely. Everyone deserves their 15 minutes of fame. Everyone deserves to have their portrait painted.”
True to his positive and joyous personality and outlook on life, his art is always a positive statement. “Art needs to be a visual compliment. I like to see the beauty in people, and my art compliments that. That is my motivation.”
But as much as he loves people and portraiture, he also loves big, bold statements. His paintings are large and dominating with a strong subject matter and captivating detail. Andrew uses gold, copper, and silver leaf to capture and reflect light to create movement, connectivity, and the painting to change with each angle and the viewer’s viewpoint.
“I use a lot of metal in my paint. It creates a visual quality that changes with light and viewing angle. It makes it impossible to ignore the painting; it is vivacious. It follows you,” he described. “Gustav Klimt used gold as part of the composition. I don’t use it as a background on its own but I like to integrate [metal] into the paint. I use the leaf and blend it in with gold paint. I then varnish the painting with a high gloss varnish. My picture of Sharon Tate, for example, has half and half gold and paint. That is the most gold in any of my paintings.”
Andrew has loved art and paintings ever since he was a child. “When I was eight years old, I travelled to England. Warwick Castle had a self-portrait by Rembrandt, and that became my motivation and ambition. Rembrandt, to me, is the pinnacle of brilliance.”
Elements of these early experiences and traces of Renaissance art are very much present in Andrew’s art today. Even down to the fascination with gold, silver and copper. “If you look at medieval art, they always used gold as a background. It made the work more valuable in more ways than one.”
Painting goes further than the creative process for Andrew; it serves a more profound sense of leaving a legacy. “My paintings will outlive me in houses I have never been to, in lives that I do not know. It is a legacy that holds value in a society that seems so disposable at times.”
But his legacy will not be limited to paintings. Andrew is a maker of handcrafted lamps as well. “I make my own style of lamps, and there are no other lamps like them. I love the clean Georgian lines, and my lamps reflect that style. Perhaps with a flair of steampunk added to it,” he described his craft.
“My lamps are made of old parts that I reuse. The old pieces have no function other than beauty until you make something out of them. Then you have given them a new life and purpose. I want to recognise and redefine the value of the object again.”
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