What is your earliest childhood memory of creating art? What did you create? Not counting all my childhood coloring books, my first painting was created at Christmas in 1969 when I was 14 years old. My parents gave me a set of acrylic paints. I immediately painted a winter scene as a gift to my Grandma Peters. Fortunately, I found that painting about a year ago while cleaning the basement.
How did you start watercolor painting? I have very little watercolor painting experience. Acrylics are my water based medium of choice. I’m hoping to learn and gain experience through GPWS monthly challenges and workshops.
Why do you create art? The process of beginning with an observation, a photo or sketch and transforming a blank canvas or piece of paper to a completed work motivates me to paint.
What is your most important artist’s tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? Probably my sketchbook. I almost always do a pencil sketch of my next painting idea, working from reference photos, before proceeding with a painting.
Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why? I enjoy the process of painting the underpainting using transparent and semi-transparent acrylics that form the basis for the development of my final acrylic paintings. That process has led me to think about watercolor painting where the transparent painting is now the final painting. I think watercolor painting is going to be very challenging!
What inspires you? After a forty year career in architecture, I returned to one of my first artistic interests: painting. I enjoy exploring how built objects interact with the landscape. I am inspired by the natural and built environment around me that has an interesting composition of objects, landscape, color, light, shade and shadow.
How do you know when a work is finished? I’m not sure how to describe that. As a painting nears completion, I will remove it from the creative clutter of my studio multiple times to another location in our home to observe it. Maybe it’s an intuition not to overwork a painting.
Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why? When I turned 60 years old I created a painting called “Red Chair” and entered it in the Dakota MasterWorks Art Show. It was awarded 1st place in the acrylic painting category. That recognition gave me the confidence to start painting again and set the plan in motion to retire from my architecture career 3 years later.
How do you overcome creative blocks? Fortunately, I have not experienced that yet. I think I have a 40 year backlog of work that I can explore now that I have retired.
What is your dream project? Designing a house for my wife and me that includes a spacious art studio flooded with daylight.
Name three artists you admire.
Lorraine Sack (Tucson, AZ)
Steve Randall (Sioux Falls)