Artist Spotlight Interview Questions

St. Tammany News:

Tell me about yourself. (Where you were born, your current career)?

Born in New York.  I had the privilege of living from Long Island (Atlantic Ocean), to Buffalo (the Great Lakes).  Moved to Slidell, Louisiana from Florida where I am still in the challenging and rewarding field of Fine Arts.

What got you interested in art?

Since my mother was hanging my pictures on the wall that I drew in school and later on I was able to shape things with my hands and create art and sculpture.

Why do you create art?

Being tremendously visual, I love to see the reinterpretation of what I have seen take shape under my own hands.

Describe your art—its unique qualities and its style.

To draw on a flat surface and putting it in contrasting colors while building a composition into a painting.  Making your eyes go towards the subject I want you to see and not to the corners of the painting.

Which is your favorite medium and why?

Oils can be used as a thin wash, which I do, not to lose my penciling or pallet knife style, nice and thick.  You can change areas in your painting or go back to it another time whenever you want.

How long have you been working in this discipline?

Since the 1970’s.

Do you create your art form with an exact message you want the viewer to receive?

It begins with the sketch (which is your guide)…What I aim for in a painting is the visual impact of someone’s spirit in there face, when doing portraits, without relying on excessive detail in other areas of the painting.  When doing waterscapes, I like to show reflections in the water of maybe from a boat or the sky and repeat the prominent color, somewhere else.

What is your favorite piece that you have done and why?

Some people have a dark side to their lives…so on my favorite clown painting, behind the face paints, one side is the bright, happy side and the other side, is painted in shadow to show the dark side of our lives.

Do you have any artists, styles, or pieces that inspire your work?

Of course, the old masters…but during my career in New York City, I’ve got to see hundreds of top-notched artists and how they work.  Some copy from one another, some learn from one another until they find their own techniques and styles.

Tell me about your accomplishments, awards, special recognitions, etc.

I’ve won many awards painting movie poster art, which hung on my walls in my New York studio.  A ribbon from the “American Society of Portrait Artists” and recently First Place at the Slidell Art League, which is actually the first contest I have ever entered. I have two letters that I kept from people who bought my art that means more to me than awards.

Are there any other comments you would like to include?

Starting as an apprentice in New York art studios I was able to see work picked up from major advertisers and was shown how it was done from beginning to the finished piece.  There are no studios like that today, so I guess I was lucky.  I taught art in a University, lectured workshops in College, but my last six years of teaching, in Florida, was a special school that had handicapped children (high school age).  To see them focus on one piece of art and forget about all their other troubles was rewarding.



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