This month dot-art speaks to local artist Alex Corina.
Corina creates vibrant acrylic and pastel works capturing daily scenes, iconic sights and the musical landscape of Liverpool.
He is best known for his Mona Lennon, which supported and promoted Liverpool’s successful bid for European Capital of Culture 2008.
Corina’s work consistently celebrates Liverpool’s cultural history, including his latest work that celebrates Sefton Park’s 150th Anniversary with a wonderful collection of paintings that blend realism with vibrant colours.
How would you describe your style?
My work is expressionist in nature and style, blending realism and vibrant colour.
Which medium do you work with and how would you describe your work?
Pastels are my favourite to paint with, I just love the rich, bright, pigments that lend themselves to blending and work well in combination with acrylic and other media.
Can you talk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just go straight in? How long do you spend on one piece? How do you know when it is finished?
I would normally start in the sketchbook using either pencil crayon, ink or charcoal.
Sketching in bars down Lark Lane or Sefton Park Palm House,I may also take a photograph on my phone, for reference.
During the pandemic lockdown, I worked exclusively from photographs. My much larger pastel paintings I draft out in pastel crayon first, I then fill in with layer upon layer using a variety of marks, slightly fixing each layer.
I love to play with the colour, it is direct, tactile and the pigments come straight from the pastel.
When did you begin your career in art?
I became a full-time artist after the success of the Mona Lennon in 2003, which helped to support and promote Liverpool’s successful bid for European Capital of Culture.
I held exhibitions in Liverpool, Bradford, Keele, and Leeds in the run up to the Capital of Culture year of 2008.
Who or what inspires your art?
The inspiration for my work comes from my immediate social network and environment in ‘Liverpool’s little bit of Paris,’ Lark Lane, and my love of Jazz. Yards away is Liverpool’s iconic Sefton Park that celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2022. Aspects of the park became my ‘Art of Lock Down’, I would have an early morning walk in the park, then work in the studio in the afternoon.
Painting was my therapy, Sefton Park my inspiration.
Why is art and creativity so important to you?
Art and creativity have been important to me since art college in the 1960s and 70s, and throughout my working life.
Drawing, keeping sketchbooks and painting at every opportunity kept me in touch with what I really wanted to do for years, until I went full time as an artist.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m still working on my Sefton Park and Palm House project. I’ve barely scratched the surface of either and really looking forward to the next stage!