Welcome to AllArtWorks Featured Artist Series!
1. What other profession is similar to being an artist and why?
There are no other professions similar to being an artist - the basic fundamental of being an artist is that we produce works of art that are literally pieces of who we are, and in order to survive, we sell them. Many artists barely scratch out a living doing this, and they are forced to work other jobs to support their art, so in terms of that dilemma as part of a “career” — artists are unique.
Many times, families are unsupportive of their choice to be an artist and the implications of that - all the old stereotypes are regurgitated. But, in the digital age, it’s easier - not easy, but easier - to find an audience or following, but the core issues remain the same, even with better opportunities. So, artists are unique in their struggles to carve out a career. But, I realized very early on that if I wanted job security, I would need to be a teacher or some other profession that offers security and a steady paycheck, not an artist - and I’ve accepted those terms - the instability and uncertainty of being a professional artist - through lean times and fortunately not had too much to grumble about.
2. What’s the nicest thing you can remember someone said about your work, or an individual piece?
Just last week. A collector sent me an email saying how happy she was with the purchase of two oil paintings, and how much beauty and nostalgia they brought her in their new places in her home. Those types of emails are the encouragement that keep me uplifted if my spirits start to sag a bit.
3. What’s one thing you’d like everyone to know about you as an artist?
I’m very solitary, and I’m a creature of habit. I work in a consistent schedule between my two studios, and I am very introverted as a general rule. I travel solo, but I really enjoy meeting new people in my travels. I am not much of a morning person, but I do love waking early, particularly when I’m traveling - to see the occasional sunrise.
4. What was the last piece of art that you saw that blew you away?
That’s hard to say. I see many amazing artworks online - and although I may love what I see, it’s never quite like the experience of actually seeing an artwork in real life. Pre-pandemic, I made it a habit to regularly go to the museums, and seeing the works of my favorite artists there never fails to amaze me. In particular, I think the most stunning piece(s) that really surprised me, or that “blew me away," was Monet’s “Water Lilies” series at the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, when I saw them years ago. Just their size and complexities of stroke, and the fact he did them at such an advanced age, was so surprising to me. The works were pretty incredible.
5. What’s something you haven’t done but you want to do in art/painting?
Sculpt. I’m really yearning to do that - but I never seem to have the time or space to embark on that. Maybe this will be the year.
I’ll have to go with Ingres, or my old Master teacher would berate me on that, haha, no but actually, I lean to Delacroix, just for his passion. I think they are both superb in their own right, Ingres for his sumptuous realism, and Delacroix for the sheer energy in his paintings. Delacroix was a Romantic artist that tackled some dodgy content for his time, and did that very beautifully and I think that is a goal we should always strive for. I have derived a lot of inspiration from his aesthetic - beauty and truth are not mutually exclusive - and he was considered a precursor to the Impressionists, who also have a very strong influence in my own work.
*The reason we ask about Delacroix and Ingres is because they were contemporaries with wildly different styles!