China Jordan, and how she became an Artist and Founder of ArtistAnd
My artistic inheritance has been a debate between both parents and their genes. My mum argues that she is naturally creative which is true, but decorating the house is quite a different skill to portraiture. My dad on the other hand believes he had the artistic gene as he would often paint the outside of warships whilst in the navy. Not sure that's enough evidence dad but OK! Whomever I got it from is anyone's guess, maybe it's not in my genes at all. Perhaps I was just lucky enough to find what I was good at and like any skill, it was nurtured, encouraged, and I did my 10,000 hours.
In order to draw nature, we must first recognise shapes rather than features. When I was in nursery, I remember painting my first shape and realising that this shape looked like an eye and that the cartoon circle eyes I had been drawing were not what eyes looked like at all! The realisation was the turning point for my ability to see differently and it gave me the passion to pursue this exploration of shapes, colour, and value even further.
I ran home and asked my dad who is an engineer, "What can I draw? What can I draw?!" He showed me how to draw a cube, a chair, and a table. I was amazed. Just these few simple lines and voila, I could recognise these shapes and see a table on a piece of paper. Most importantly, I could do it all by myself!
That's when the obsession began. I would draw faces all the time, I would ask for paints for Christmas and I would practise painting secretly in my room. (Sorry mum) I often ended up rolling over them and exploding the tubes everywhere with my chair on wheels. It's just a lot of effort to move your equipment to the kitchen all the time. But hopefully, they can forgive me now as they can see the outcome of my secrecy.
At school, our Art teacher wasn't exactly traditional. Faced with weird requests to add purple leaves on my realistic still life, and encouraged to make paper mache, I was regularly disappointed with the educational system. Still, I continued Art into GCSE's, A-Levels, and finally my degree at Wimbledon college of Art. It is safe to say this college does not have a soft spot in my heart, but a rather disappointing curriculum for someone of my need and quest for knowledge and understanding of the traditional ways to learn and the principles of colour, value and light.
It wasn't until I worked with the Academy of Realist Art as an intern that I
experienced what it was like to train like the old masters for just one week.
That week changed my life. We learned the principles of Bargue drawing
(it's amazing, look it up) and every single penny dripped. I got back to
university and suddenly I was able to paint with realism, emotion, and
imagination. I went back again the next year and learned some painting
techniques over the course of a week and again, my mind was blown. Why
did I waste 3 years at University were Art History wasn't even compulsory in
our education. What the f***?
Since then I have been an Art Technician, a Gallery Manager, and an Artist.
Invaluable experiences into the art world, the way Artists live, and the value
and importance of this craft. Art should be accessible, it shouldn't be elitist.
People should not be scared to pick up a pencil and try to draw. there are
so many benefits to drawing and paintings, why not try it? You might even
find you love it.
From Wimbledon Collect To Mayfair
China has exhibited amongst a wide selection of galleries including, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, on Pall Mall, D-Contemporary in Mayfair and The Sinclair Gallery in Rickmansworth.
Graduating from Wimbledon College of Art with a BA Hons in Fine Art, China has since studied with various classical living masters including the likes of Fernando Freitas, Cuong Nguyen, and Ewan Mcnaughton.
ArtistAnd was created in 2019 to allow companies the access and benefits of painting and drawing without the price tag and to allow this practice to become inclusive. She believes everyone is capable of enjoying and participating in drawing, Art is for everyone.