1. Who were your teachers or influences?
My influences are many. I can describe the first time I saw a Norman Rockwell painting as a 5 year old child as being like seeing a magician perform a trick that was both captivating and mysterious all at once. The 5 year old in me still admires the "magic trick" in art. Artists like Jan Van Eyck, Maxfield Parrish, Hans Holbein the younger, . . . to a lesser extent, . . . Bougereau, Gerome, and Vibert still hold sway in thoughts about painting. As we get older and mature a bit, we don't look at these guys as much, but we still appreciate how they enticed us into pursuing the dreams of being an artist, . . . there's hundreds of artists that I have admired and have influenced me over the years.
2. What technique did you find most useful when learning to paint?
Watercolor paintings techniques with body color and dry brush
3. What are 3 key principles of making good art, in your opinion?
1. Drawing is important. Drawing is a complicated thing. It can be a complete art in itself, a series of quick markings to describe something, to capture a fleeting moment in time, . . . a foundational structure to be later used like a map or a plan to make a more complete artwork later . . . I think when people in my field ask how someone's "drawing" is, they tend to be referring to their ability to draw either from their imagination or from life, . . . their quality of line, their understanding of structure, light, form, etc, . . .Drawing is very important in my field
2. Being able to make a connection between what you are making and why you might be making it. It's important to be cognizant of what you are trying to say. Your voice is a direct connection to your absorption of the sensory information you have taken into your brain over the course of your life.
3. Being aware of history, of culture, . . . art is a continuing conversation and to just be completely immersed in your own world per say, can be both problematic as far as connecting to other humans and beneficial as far as having your own voice, . . . it is a fine line I think.
4. What are the most common mistakes that you see other artists make?
Sometimes artists exhibit their work when they aren't ready yet, . . . it is also a tricky generalization to make, but I believe that many young artists just haven't had the life experience yet. More often than not, where that invisible line is drawn is kind of up in the air. I think many of the more seasoned artists can recognize when someone just doesn't have it yet, . .. whatever that "it" is.
5. If you were to train someone to paint like you in 1 week, what would their training look like?
I don't know if I can train someone to work like me to be honest, . . . especially in a week. I think they would already have to know how to draw and render at a relatively competent level. I'm not saying my work is hard to replicate, but there might be some nuance that is not attainable in a weeks time, . . . That said, I would sit a person down and make them sit through hours of the same visual information I grew up looking at, . . . sort of like Malcolm McDowell's character from A Clockwork Orange(1971), . .. strapped to a chair, eyes forced open, . . . viewing German Expressionist movies, Film Noir, Atomic Age Science Fiction, Classic Horror movies, Hitchcock, Orson Welles, . . . they would have to study Victorian watercolor techniques, . . . curvilinear brushstroke exercises, . . . graphite rendering,
etc, . . . you get the picture.
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Art Goop is a Q&A for artists by artists. We ask questions designed to examine the techniques and methods of some of the most inspiring artists working today.