Pimp My Uke Artist Profile – Rhys Padarn Jones

Community Music Wales have challenged leading Welsh artists to design and paint a ukulele in their own unique style. A number of exciting and diverse artists have accepted the challenge, and progress on the ukuleles has already begun.

The next artist we would like to introduce you to is Rhys Padarn Jones. 

Who are you and where are you from? 

My name is Rhys Padarn Jones. I live in Pontarddulais near Swansea, but I'm originally from Llanddarog, Carmarthenshire. I am a Welsh medium primary school teacher who enjoys creating acrylic paintings during any spare time that I have. Some of my art can be seen at www.orielodl.com and @rhyspadarn.

How would you describe your art style?

I hope that others would describe my art as being quite unique. I believe in plenty of colour and bold shapes. My artwork wouldn't work without words. Every canvas contains a picture made up of words. I use song lyrics, poetry, nursery rhymes, quotes etc. The words I use are almost always in the Welsh language. We have such a wealth of Welsh language poets and bands in Wales, I believe my art is just another way of promoting and drawing attention to them.

Who are your main artistic influences?

To be honest, I don't know. Like many people, when it comes to art, I know what I like and I know what I don't like. I haven't consciously tried to copy the style of anyone or anything I've seen before. I suppose my biggest influences are the poets and lyricists whose words I have the pleasure of using. If I like a particular song or if a poem means something to me, I will no doubt try to gain permission to use the words in my artwork.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever painted?

We have a feature wall in the downstairs cloakroom toilet with a montage of my artwork (in wall paper form). 

How does it compare to painting a ukulele?

I believe the ukulele is much more of a challenge. Painting a one dimensional, flat surface such as a canvas is much easier.


What was your first idea when we asked you to paint a ukulele?

I was certain that the ukulele would need to be colourful and include some Welsh words. Being a musical instrument, I wanted to include the lyrics of a song. To appeal to a broad range of people (Welsh speaking and non-Welsh speaking) I thought that Calon Lân would be a popular choice. Plenty of hearts on the design would not only provide an interesting pattern, but could also represent the ukulele's future owner's love of music.

How does the finished artwork compare to your initial thoughts and are you pleased with the results? (if you have started)

It's so far so good. Watch this space!

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