AN INTERVIEW WITH FINE ARTIST LANCE CARLSON

Lance and I have not only painted together for years and we have even shown our work together many times.I was intriqued about his new “Face” series and I wanted to learn more about his process. I knew he began by seeing a face in an inanimate object (i.e. the more obvious ones are seeing a face in a house or the front of a car), but I wanted to know where he went from there, so I posed several questions to him.Read on and see his answers to his interesting approach to art.

I know you are an architect by trade, but when did you begin shifting over to fine art? I took a painting class about 15 years ago and was hooked immediately. It brought back alot of memories of creating art in my youth. (Painting to the left is FAMILY+REUNION)

Has your style changed from when you began as an artist? I don’t think I really had a style to begin with, it was just a matter of putting paint on paper. As I progressed, a certain style emerged. For a while, I vassilated between abstract and something more representational. But, I have pretty much adapted an abstract style. However I make personal connections to literature, music and pop culture.

Can you explain this series? This series began with finding a face (of sorts) in the still life (basically a grouping of objects). I find a rudimentary face and base my initial composition on that. As the painting progresses, the face may appear and disappear and the composition that remains becomes the most important thing.

What medium are you using? For the face series, it was back to basics for me. I had become enamored with mixed media where I could throw together a bunch of varying media and then solve the final composition with a little drawing. I wanted to see if I was using the drawing (on top of paintings) as a crutch. So, I limited myself to acrylic paint on canvas for this series. There was some collage in a few, but this was from “painted over” previous paintings.

Of the 4 images displayed here, I see the palette is very similar. How did you choose the palette? Because I work on several pieces at the same, I am using the same colors on all when I’m finalizing the image.

I see the relationship between the titles and the paintings, except for the one titled “Without at Name”, will you explain this? That is the name of a song by Kisschasy. I know it is pretty obscure, but it held meaning for me. (Painting to the left is WITHOUT A NAME)

What visual elements do you repeat in this series? There are alot of curves, to make it lyrical. There is also a good change in values, and I use some form of stripes and bands in each one.

How do you know when a piece is finished? I like to get outside the critique, because for me, an internal knowledge or satisfaction that I know it is complete works for me.

Do you have any plans to exhibit this series in the future? Sure, any ideas? I have submitted it to competitions and galleries. I will keep you posted when it is up somewhere.

Who is your favorite artist? I don’t know if I have a favorite, as there are several artists that speak to me. I get an adranline rush out of Ann Hamilton, but I was super excited when I recently saw the back of a Rubens/ I am also influenced by great architecture for le Corbusier to Graves to Calitrava

Who do you consider your biggest influences in art? My mom and dad and brother had plein air outings when I was a kid. They all had easels while I did somersaults in the grass. I think in some ways Franz Klein and Rodin. Wierd combo, eh? But, their work both dealt with human figures and also drawn to bodies and faces.

What do you see in your future as an artist? My future is so bright. I will just continue to create art and see where it takes me. I am taking paths as they come, but not really forging new territory or looking for wealth of fame. I wouldn’t turn it down if it came. (Painting to the left is WISE AND DEEP AS THE SEA)

Thank you Lance for taking the time to answer these questions thoughtfully and honestly. However, I have to disagree on your last answer. I think you are forging new territory by continuing to learn and explore new techniques in art.

After reading this, if you think I have left anything out, please leave a comment. And you can continue to follow this series with Lance on his blog.

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