picture of homeless man by james earley

Why I do what I do

I have often been asked why I paint homeless people or people on an emotional knife edge. From a very early age I had always wanted to paint a homeless person, I do not know why, why would a young boy want to sketch a homeless person rather than a still life, a landscape or a portrait of someone that they know? I firmly believe there are some questions that you can not answer, sometimes your heart tells you something and you just have to follow it no matter where it takes you. This is how I feel. When I paint a still life or any other subject my heart is not there, there is no emotion yet when I paint a person that has the misfortune of constantly having to walk on a cliffs edge and whose emotions are stretched to the limit my heart beats faster, my emotions fight with the image, the image is both the subject and me. I have been told by many to change subject matters to those that would look nice on someones wall. I do not want to. When someone purchases one of my paintings they are purchasing a bit of me, a canvas battleground of emotion. This is my calling.
I have met some of the nicest and true people that I have ever met on the streets, people who smile and laugh when their physical and emotional pain almost forbids them. If I can raise awareness of this issue through my art then I am a truly happy man as I have achieved what I was meant to do.

picture of homeless man by james earley
homeless man Toulouse preparation by James Earley

James Earley 2017

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