James Tomlinson is an artist living and working in Rye East Sussex. Generally working in the medium of oil & acrylic paint with the occasional shake of a spray can!
1985, I remember catching the 51 bus to Orpington High Street and getting my hands on my own copy of ‘Subway Art’ – the iconic photo journal on New York subway graffiti featuring the infamous artists; Dondi, Seen, Kase, Skeme etc showcasing their art like rebels for the world to see. It was my bible and inspiration through my teenage years and beyond.
I was transported!
Not just by the brash, in your face, raw artwork but on every sensory level of the scene. Attitude, expression, music, youth culture, voice, honesty, artists and characters I was in awe of. It was all there.
Inspiration meant I soon developed my own style and practised on the streets of Orpington and Bromley with like minded young artists, Uni, Vanz, and Reem. We became ‘USA’ (Un Stoppable Artists!)
From early childhood I was fascinated by anything that flew. As kids we explored and enacted battles up in Cuckoo Woods in High Elms. I saw my first treecreeper whilst being a soldier holding the fort (a fallen oak!). Birds were always around us in the woods and surrounding meadows.
As an adult whilst living in Devon I remember buying an old Helms Field Guide in a charity shop. It resulted in hours spent observing Buzzards whilst they soared on the thermals and my first sighting of a hobby hunting around the riverside meadows for dragon flies. A beautiful new world had now opened up to me with infinite discoveries ahead.
Now living in Rye, East Sussex, I love birdwatching in the surrounding beautiful country side and volunteer for the Friends of Rye Harbour nature reserve, one of my favourite local areas.