1stAngel: When did you first become interested in art?
I first realized that there was something worthwhile in art when I saw a painting by Rembrandt. I was 17 at the time, and I was stunned by its beauty. Then, at the New York Worldís Fair, I saw Michelangeloís Pietŗ and I was deeply moved. But I didnít get personally involved until about ten years ago, except for some minor efforts here and there, and some early digital work when digital programs like Bryce first came out.
1stAngel: What style of art do you do and What made you choose the style of art you use most?
At heart Iím an oil painter, and I paint still life, landscape and marine art. Marine art is my favorite and I have purchased every book that I can on the subject, and will be republishing one in the near future. I have a good sized library on several topics, including art.
One fascinating aspect about art is that itís limitless in its possibilities. The more one learns about it the more possibilities that one sees and the more the opportunities for expansion make themselves known. Knowledge, technique, experimentation, imagination and dedication can lead to wonderful individualistic results.
I havenít picked up a brush in a couple of years; not since I seriously got involved with digital art. Iíll be painting again, but not for a little while longer. Iím having lots of fun creating my digital art, and so will keep doing so even when I go back to oil painting.
I work in several styles including organic art,
Inner Secrets #1
and a few odds and ends.
These days I create what I do because of the pleasant surprises that I meet along the way. One important criterion is simply that I enjoy doing what Iím doing. Some of the creation process is nose-to-the-grindstone work, but I know that it will lead to satisfaction in the end.
1stAngel: Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
Yes, everything at first was impressionistic oil paintings, but these days with my digital art I never know what Iíll create. I just let loose and try to create unique and appealing works that I could never conceive using any other method. My work is more likely to fall into the publicís Ďlove it or hate ití category, which is fine with me. I can paint a pretty flower, but thatís no longer what my art is about; what I create today generates more of a response in the viewer.
1stAngel: What medium do you use?
I prefer not to Ďfess up Photoshop plays a role of course, as do several other programs; I own a lot of them and Iíll use any one of them to achieve a certain effect or objective. All of the software that I use is commonly available; I like to think that itís the way that I use the programs and my approach to art thatís different.
1stAngel: What made you choose that medium?
When I paint with oils I know in advance what I will create; I plan the image and so largely I understand what the result will be before I begin. That is not generally true with my digital art. Usually when I create a digital piece, unless Iím building on a previous work, I have no idea what I will end up with. I simply begin to work and play and the art takes on a life of its own. I try to move it in one direction, and it looks wrong, and so I retrace and go off in another direction and it looks right, and so I push further into the process. The art and I work together, and I only have partial control of the process and there are some things I can change and some things I canít and itís like playing with a type of clay that will only mold itself into some shapes, but not others. Some of my art might have ten or twelve layers to it,
some only three or four,
Gift of Love
so itís not a simple or a short process for me, but the results are often surprising and delightful.
1stAngel: Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
Since I often donít start with an idea, my pieces are the result of the computer programs that I use, my manipulation of the software, and the imaginative potential that I see in the evolving art. It is the glimpse of those potentials that I then try to develop that sets the entire direction for the work. The art seems to pull me where it wants to go, even though itís really me doing the creating. I guess itís a contest between what I try to, what the software lets me do, and my reaction to the results.
1stAngel: How do you choose your images and colours?
Much of what I achieve is accidental in the original overall shape or form. I then have to use my imagination to enhance the shape of the piece, to alter it, to color it, to give it various surface properties (shadows, reflections, smoothness, etc.), to provide an integral background, and to achieve an overall artistic result. I attempt many possibilities, and I evaluate the art in many ways. It is not enough to simply have a pleasing shape or image; it must be artistic in the end.
1stAngel: How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Usually two weeks. Some pieces take substantially more; a few take less. Some I cannot complete to my satisfaction; no one else sees those.
1stAngel: What do you do to overcome a Ďblockí?
I never have that problem. To me, there is far too much potential in art to wonder what to do. Itís more of a problem to decide to pick what to finish next, from all of the possibilities that are open to me. I have hundreds of unfinished pieces to choose from. And I have absolutely no problem creating new work from scratch.
1stAngel: Who is your favourite artist?
I have several, and Iíve been lucky enough to meet a few of them like G. Harvey, Daniel Gerhartz, William Scott Jennings and Hambone. But if I have to give one name, and only one name, it would be Richard Schmid, Geoff Hunt, John Stobart, David Leffel, E. John Robinson and Pino Daeni There are several other favorites, but you get the idea. If you arenít familiar with these artists, a Google search will reward you with some outstanding art.
1stAngel: What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
Itís a piece called ďGooey Chocolate Carmel Nougat #1″. Even the title makes me grin
Gooey Chocolate Caramel Nougat #1
Itís a close tie with ďSinuosity #1Ē, which I think is a classy piece of art.
I intend to make more pieces similar in style to both of those, and have offered one for sale already; ďSmooth MovesĒ.
1stAngel: How well do you take criticism?
Iím wide open to it as long as itís constructive. I donít find comments like ďI donít like itĒ too helpful, but I do find statements like ďI would prefer íso-and-soí; that looks too Ďwhateverí to meĒ as giving me food for thought. Other people see things in my art that even I donít see, and so I donít mind people freely commenting on my work, and I in fact enjoy it. And I donít get upset if they donít like my art; itís not for everyone and it was never intended to satisfy the masses. If it were, I would be painting flowers.
Iím fortunate enough to be confident in myself and my work; criticism doesnít bother me, especially if itís constructive.
1stAngel: How do you know something is Ďfinishedí? Is it easy to walk away?
I know Iím done when I feel happy about what Iíve created; when I think it has the artistic appeal that I was trying to achieve. I have found that if Iím not genuinely pleased with it, others wonít be either. I have had occasion to go back and change something that I considered faulty after further reflection, but usually not.
1stAngel: Have you had exhibits in galleries?
Last month I won ďBest of ShowĒ in a juried annual art show at the local Heritage Museum (best of 120). I used to hang my work at a local cafe, but theyíve shut down. I donít think it was my art that put them out of business Two galleries have shown interest in my work, but I have yet to hang in them.
1stAngel: Have you any exhibits in galleries planned for the future?
I have some possibilities opening up to me, and will be hanging more pieces soon, but have no details at the moment.
1stAngel: What are your plans for the future?
Art, art and more art. I will be exhibiting and increasing my online presence and creating more art. And I will pick up an oil brush again. Maybe I will merge the digital and painting processes by creating the ideas digitally but rendering the result in oils. Donít know for sure; time will tell.
1stAngel: Looking back, what has been the best part of your work?
Self satisfaction and pleasing others. When someone either appreciatively views or purchases your work, you have left a positive impact on them. If nothing else, then for thirty seconds you have given them something to enjoy. They may even recall it years later, or may choose to hang it in their home and share it with others. There are worse ways to spend your time.
I think your work is gorgeous and in some ways haunting, Edward. You always have the colours JUST right! Thank you for the interview!
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