Painting has become a passion for South Shore musician Aldous Collins.
Story by Maria Allen
Photography by Jack Foley
Hanover resident Aldous Collins was an artist long before he became known as a singer-songwriter and front man of the Aldous Collins Band. A New Hampshire native, he got his degree in studio art from the University of New Hampshire, where he learned drawing, sculpture and woodworking. After graduating, he took a 15-year hiatus from art to pursue music. It wasn’t until four and a half years ago, when his wife gave him some art supplies as a gift, that Collins picked up a paintbrush and began experimenting.
“Painting is much like writing a song to me,” says Collins, who is known for creating large-scale contemporary pieces. “I don’t really plan out my paintings in advance. They’re more a reflection of my mood, what’s going on in my life, and what’s speaking to me. I let my canvas be my sketchbook.”
Most recently, Collins has been working on a collection of abstract landscape paintings, featuring colorful ocean waves, mountains and cityscapes. “I love the ocean and I love the mountains,” says Collins. “My latest painting is called City Vibes and I also wrote a song with that title. The painting depicts playful buildings on the water.” He creates his art using a combination of acrylic and oil paints, layered with spray paint and house paint. “I was a house painter for a while and I liked how that paint felt when I used it,” explains Collins.
During the pandemic, Collins wasn’t able to perform live gigs, so he spent extra time working on his art and launched an online musical fundraiser, called the Spiritual Gangster Tour, to help raise money for local restaurants that were struggling to survive. “I just sat in my living room and played music on Facebook Live and raised about $45,000,” says Collins. Most recently, he did a collaboration with Springdale Beer Co to launch a limited-edition Spiritual Gangster Beer that features his artwork on the cans. Whether he’s making music or painting, Collins strives to put out an energy of gratitude and positivity. “If I can capture the joy of life, that’s good enough for me,” he says. To find out more about Aldous Collins’ art and music, visit aldouscollinsart.com.