Artist Spotlight Series: Paul Westacott

I introduced you to this talented find a few weeks ago HERE who a look at a few pieces but, today we are going to get to know the brilliant artist.  

Enjoy getting to know

Paul Westacott

Los Angeles, California

What is your training?

As far as formal training goes, I have a BA in painting from Cardiff College of Art in Wales. I also have an MA in Theater design and another in design for Film. So I suppose I liked being a student. But I guess that what education really taught me was curiosity. 

I still love learning and teaching myself new things. About four years ago I decided to learn a bit of coding so I could design a new website. I never made the website but learning to code opened up a whole new world for me of making art with computer software. I find that If you have an open mind then you never know where things might lead. Now I am thinking about learning about Augmented Reality, (think Pokemon Go) and Virtual Reality, who knows what will happen?

What inspires you and your designs? 

Wow! Lots of things. I draw a lot of inspiration these days from what I see around me. The light and color of LA is always an inspiration. I am a big walker and fortunate enough to live in a part of LA where walking is possible. I find that things seep into my consciousness slowly and when I am out walking is when I synthesise what appear to be random thoughts. I suppose that is what I mean by inspiration. I take a lot of photographs to document color inspiration when I am out and about. 

What is your favorite piece?  

Like a lot of artists my favourite piece is usually the last one that I finished. If I had to choose just on other than the last one it would be a piece called Quadrant No.2. I showed it at Superfine LA in February 2020 and it was chosen as the marquee image for the fair. That meant it was on display on a massive (and I mean massive) LED screen over downtown LA for an entire week. That was a blast.

How has your area influenced your work? 

I come from the grey industrial North of England. So the light and color of Southern California has made a huge difference in my work. My work used to be figurative with  strong narrative themes and I am sure that living in LA has been a major factor in my becoming an abstract artist. I wanted the subject of my work to be color and to that let that be the central story that it tells.  

What is your favorite restaurant in LA?

Yamashiro in the hollywood hills. It is probably not for the sushi purist, but the food is delicious, the cocktails are great and the view is unrivalled. The building was built in 1914 to house a collection of Asian Art. It is a replica of a palace in the Yamashiro province of Japan and was constructed by 100s of Japanese craftsmen brought here to build it. A bit of LA history with a breathtaking view of Hollywood. 

What is your favorite cocktail? 

I am not much of a drinker, but I do have a sweet tooth so I love the occasional Lemon Drop Martini.

How do you balance personal life and work? 

It’s hard, but for the past 12 years I have had two small children. Soccer games, piano practice, homework and dinnertime make it hard to be a workaholic. More importantly, I know that they will not be small forever. That encourages me to stop and smell the roses occasionally.  

Dream trip? 

Right now, after 10 months of Covid, any trip at all. I would love to see the Aurora Borealis

Dream commission? 

I did some large murals right out of college. They were temporary and I would love to do something on that scale again.

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give? 

I am embarrassed to say that I have never really thought about it.

Who is your style icon? 

David Bowie of course!

Your favorite up and coming artist? 

Changes every day.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have a collection of both my daughters’ drawings in my studio.  

What are you reading? 

“Reductionism in Art and Brain Science”. By Eric Kandel.

I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by the Nobel laureate Neuroscientist at the Getty a few years ago. In this book he writes about recent discoveries in neuroscience which are starting to explain how the brain processes visual information and how that relates to our appreciation of art, in particular abstract art. It’s written for the layman so that even an artist like me can understand the concepts. I am particularly interested in what he says about how our brains process color. I plan to do a blog post one day.  

What are you listening to? 

Audible. “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo.

Music. Halloween Alaska, Prefab Sprout, 80s Alt Rock, WhiskeyTown.  

What are your favorite blogs / publications? 

Of course my new fave is The English Room! Not too many others these days. Instagram, Google and Pinterest are my go to for visual stimulation. I read the Guardian every day for news


Check out Paul’s portfolio on his website and be sure to follow him on Instagram




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