mercoledì 8 ottobre 2008

Interview with Rachel Bess

q)What is your name?

a)Rachel Bess

q) Where do you live and work?

a)Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

q)What is your creative process like?

a)I think and think about what I want to do, then do some small sketches to see if it will look good as a painting and then I gather reference material and put all of those together to make a complete image. After I draw the image onto the panel I start by painting a layer in white and burnt umber to establish the values and when that dries I begin the layering of color.

q)What is your favorite medium?

a)All of my paintings are oil on panel.

q)What is your current favorite subject?

a)My paintings for a long time have been about the way things work in nature. Sometimes I like to explain through a painting how or why something is, but more often the painting is about an explanation from my imagination about facet of nature.

q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)Usually about one month.

q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

a)I just recently sold out a show at Art 21 Fair in Germany, which was pretty exciting.

q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)Yes, I think Chris Mars makes amazing work. David Stoupakis, and Madeline von Foerster are also among my top favorites. All of them take the time to make every part of the painting good, not just the focal point. They are some classy folks.

q)Can we buy your art anywhere?

a)Yes. Perihelion Arts in Phoenix is my main dealer, but you can find my work in shows all over. Mostly in the U.S. but I’m booking a few shows in Europe now too.

q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t??

a)When I’m not painting, I’m working in my very tiny urban farm. I have chickens ducks and lots of food plants. Also, I LOVE science experiments, especially if they have to do with plants.

q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

a)To not quit or get too frustrated when they are trying to improve and they still think they suck. Everyone goes through that, so just be persistent and practice a lot. Then practice some more.

q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)Well, if I get too frustrated with a painting, I just crop it with a table saw or if it’s beyond fixing I sand it off and start a new painting. Sometimes I just go outside and work on my tiny, tiny farm for a little while.

q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?

a)My paintings are painted in a very realistic manner. They’re usually dark with rich colors and the images generally have something to do with science, nature and/or a beautiful and unique model. Sometimes the paintings have a bit of a religious feel to them, which is only a reflection of how deeply I feel about the subject matter.

q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a)I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree that certainly helped, but I think I learned most after I completed school and got a studio in a complex with several other artists and just spent all day every day painting and looking at paintings. That’s when I really developed the patience I needed and that I lacked until that point.

q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?

a)My tools are pretty basic: brushes, paint and panels. I guess my favorite things are the really small brushes. There’s a lot of things in my paintings that I just couldn’t do without those size 00000 brushes.

q)Who are your influences?

a)The Dutch Golden Age still-life and genre painters, biology, rocks and interesting-looking people.

q)What inspires you to create?

a)See above.

q)…your contacts…

Email is the best way to reach me, I check it way more often than I check my phone.

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