My Childhood Passion Was Painting
Joseph Browne, a son of big parish Grenville St. Andrew’s, a retired art teacher who taught at the Westmorland Secondary School for twenty-six years as well as an examiner for CXC for fifteen years is presently dedicating all his time and attention to painting as a full-time artist.
Mr Browne is currently part of a one-month art exhibition themed ‘Things Grenadian’ being held at the National Museum, Young Street, St. George’s.
In an exclusive interview with the Grenada Informer, Mr Browne said that his paintings are a manifestation of head, heart and hands in harmony and the creation of a mesmerizing feast for the eyes of all.
Browne recalled that art had always been his favourite subject in his primary school days although at one time he wanted to become an electrician or even get involved in telecommunication. However, painting has always been his passion.
According to him, “during my school days, we painted lots of local scenes in class namely banana, cocoa, nutmeg and people, some of which were based on stories that were told or lessons taught and students had to create pictures for them”.
“Whenever it came to art, I was always on top in my class, which was admired by my teachers and classmates who gave me positive words of encouragement. One day I painted a portrait of a woman and there I realized that my calling and my passion were in the creation of works of art”, he revealed.
He continued that as he compares the work that he has done in the past to the present, there isn’t much change but he aims at improving on the standard of his work.
Ever since I was young, I always was drawn to painting and were even amazed at what artists are capable of doing and therefore I’ve pushed and challenged myself to become the best of an artist through my portrayals.
Mr. Browne went on that he got an opportunity to study art abroad and made the very best of it by gaining all the knowledge needed to better his skill. His involvement in previous local art exhibitions he said has always been rewarding and he won numerous prizes.
Browne said his paintings on exhibition are portrayed in four categories including national dance (traditional folk dance), agricultural produce (market vendors, cocoa, nutmeg, banana etc.) and excerpts from the Carenage which he described as one of the most beautiful harbours in the region.
Browne said his next step following the one-month art exhibition is to showcase his paintings to the wider region. “I must say that lots of people have been amazed by the details of my paintings, which I have taken into consideration as feedbacks from the public views of my work is of utmost importance as an artist”, Browne explained
“My inspiration came from reading books about artists of the past and their ways and styles of paintings”.
Things Grenadian, Browne indicated is his very first exhibition where all of his paintings are being portrayed at one location and he expects that students from the various schools in St. George’s would interact with him and other local artists.
“One must have a passion for doing something, and once that passion is within them, they will never give up because whatever that passion may be, practice brings not perfection but an improvement of that passion”, he stated
He added that he works best with the primary oil-based colours of red, yellow, blue, white which are easy to use as a limited pallet and gets most of his darks from them. He said colours were once separated from drawing and was considered the icing on the cake or the glamour girl of painting.
Browne’s works are all of the local people, food, places and things etc. except for one piece that is a cartel from Barbados.
Special features of the exhibition include Art Chat by the in-house artist to students from secondary schools in St. George’s on Tuesdays and special lectures and presentations by pop-up artists on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The exhibition showcases more than 50 pieces of work, the majority of which are done by Joseph Browne. There are also displays done by renowned artist Canute Calliste – L’Esterre, Carriacou, Kwamina Brizan-Arnaud, Elizabeth James and Sadnar Woodroffe, amongst others. Things Grenadian will also display the handiwork of students who were involved in a “Learn ah Skill” training program conducted by CAMS Training Institute (CTI) at the Grenada National Museum during the past nine (9) months. They will showcase their skills in mat making and crocheting.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Coordinator of the exhibition, Milton Coy described the displays as an experience where heads, hearts and hands are working together in harmony. Things Grenadian is about linking Grenada’s past culture, tradition and historical heritage to today’s reality, creatively expressed through these paintings.
Visitors to the island, community groups and students are all invited to experience the works of art by local artists, Monday through Saturday between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm.