Mastering the art of accidents with Fakington Wilde

While other artists may cringe at an unexpected splash of the wrong colour on their artwork, Fakington Wilde revels in the hint of chaos on canvas.

“Accident making, for me, is a very important part of my technique,” Wilde said.

“People go ‘oh no, I’ve stuffed up my picture’, whereas in fact you’ve probably just made the most interesting mark on the painting.”

Painting is only one part of Wilde’s creative side.

The Launceston artist is also a performance poet, writer and musician as well as a social work student and art facilitator at City Mission.

Walking into Wilde’s studio, his dog Pepsi trotting at his heels, it’s hard to pick one area to start.

Portraits and artworks line the walls, while a quirky keyboard sits ready to play 70s-style tunes.

At one end of the studio, paint bottles, brushes and odd utensils cover the tables near where he paints.

His favourite thing to paint with is a credit card, so he can push around thick, toothpaste-esque paint.

“It creates these images and you start interpreting them, you can’t help it,” he said.

Using credit cards and pallet knives to paint made one crucial difference to his work – they created accidents.

Looking at his portraits, Wide said they wouldn’t be interesting if it wasn’t for “all the paint just crashing around”.

“Accidents, that’s the difference, for me, between it being a painting and a photograph. If I’m going to do a perfect rendition of exactly what I see, then I might as well take a photo instead.”

Texture played a secondary role in his artworks, adding more character to his work, Wilde said.

He studied art at university and wrote a mini thesis on accident making.

“I have a special disorganised way of doing things.”

“I never knew I wanted a studio because when we moved here, I didn’t do painting. I just wrote.”

“If I’m going to do a perfect rendition of exactly what I see, then I might as well take a photo instead.”

Fakington Wilde

His writing came from the same space as his painting.

“It comes from turning off my mind,” Wilde said.

“When I start painting, I stop thinking about what I should be doing and just do stuff. It’s the same principle for writing.”

Wilde has published two book, including Space Travel for Idiots.

“I like to surprise people, it’s accident making again.”

He enjoyed challenging people to think beyond the norm.

People didn’t talk with the perfect sentence structure expected in a book, he said.

They didn’t speak like an English lesson, Wilde said.

Part of challenging norms was the creation of poetry cylinders to read his work off.

To fight off nerves, he wrote or printed out his poems and stuck them on tubes so Wilde could use them like batons, waving them around.

“It becomes a symbol of me.”

A lot of his poetry was quite ambiguous, but Wilde said it meant people could find their own meaning within the words.

“Everyone interprets it their own way, which perpetuates the accident.”

Light is what draws his eye when he starts to consider a painting.

He enjoys finding the light in people’s faces or on the objects he paints.

While human portraiture is the art he is best known for, Wilde is keen to start painting pet portraits.

“I think animals are just nice people.”

He posted one of his pet portraits onto social media, and soon had several commissions from people to capture their pet’s likeness.

“That was just a happy accident, really,” Wilde said.