Meet the Artist Joe

Colour takes on a truly unique form in the works of painter Joe Armstrong. His bold and daring use of colour and application have captured the eyes of galleries and art enthusiasts alike. From raspberry skies to lilac cliffs, Joe Armstrong is an artist who breaks down barriers when it comes to the realm of colour.

Growing up in London, Joe Armstrong spent five years studying Art an Design at the Epsom School of Art. After a stint working in advertising, in 1986 he moved to Cornwall, where he went on to have a successful career in graphic design for thirty years. It might seem unusual for someone like Joe Armstrong to go from a world that demands a regimented, logistical creative approach, to one that epitomizes fluidity and freedom.

Yet for Joe, with his unmistakable style that embodies a sense of vibrant spontaneity, painting was always at the forefront of his mind and as he started to develop his work he was soon offering original art for sale alongside his graphic design business.

“I love the freedom to speak my own language when making art,’ describes Joe, “I originally started with brushes, but found that I couldn’t put wet paint on top of wet paint without making the colours go muddy. So, I tried a palette knife and hey presto! I also use my fingers, it all adds to the texture and movement.”

Now a full-time artist, Joe sells and exhibits his work in galleries across Cornwall, with an impressive range of collectors and followers of his pieces worldwide.

His paintings play with colour and movement and there’s no restrictions on paint when it comes to achieving a desired effect. With the palette knife, Joe’s work often takes on abstract tones, but the textures he creates with the oil paint gives each piece an effervescence and grace whilst allowing bold colours to sing.

“I get so excited most days when confronted with a blank canvas in my easel, I love colour, I’ll look at a tree with the sun shining on it and see burgundy, orange, turquoise, green and yellow. I love that my paintings have this vibrant and spontaneous feel to them.”

On a never-ending mission to keep developing, exploring and pushing the boundaries of his style, Joe is rarely seen away from his work and often he is out and about photographing locations around Cornwall before returning to the peace and quiet of his studio to paint, “Although my colours and treatments are my attempt at making each piece unique, my landscapes are a great representation to people that would like to take their memories home with them.”

As the dark winter months roll in, enjoying the richness of Joe’s work certainly offers a sense of nostalgia to warmer and far more colourful times. You can view Joe’s work for yourself at a range of galleries across Cornwall, including the Art House Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall.

Joe B/W