Thursday, July 4, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mark Webster

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Mark's painting, "Abstract Geometric River" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing his interview.

From Mark's DPW Gallery page:

I wanted to convey the depth of motion of the human figure, landscape, or still life both active and at rest. The result became a form of sculptural abstract imagery of not only the subject itself, but rather the time and space that it occupies in a single moment, or several single moments reducing the form into less complicated shapes. After several drafts I begin developing areas to gain the effect of either greater tension or greater flow. This combined with an edge on edge effect is what gives my work a dimensional depth. The result is a juxtaposition of organic and artificial forms giving my work a sculptural presence.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been drawing for most of my life. Most of my earliest work was mainly comic book related. It wasn't until I had taken a figure drawing class in college that I decided that I wanted to try painting as well. I took a few painting classes and while I did enjoy the classes, I didn't paint again for a few years. I started painting on a regular basis about 15 years ago. It was around 2002-2003 that I had decided to start painting with the intention of showing locally and at international juried exhibitions. In 2005, I had a large enough body of work to do a few shows and have been exhibiting my paintings ever since.

Abstract Geometric River
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the home page announcing Mark's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I was having a slow period when the gallery I was showing at asked me to do thirty paintings in thirty days. It was after this show that I felt daily painting was feasible. I knew that creating works in the "Futurist" style wouldn't be possible due to the fact that they take so long to create. I have been able to employ a number of different styles and techniques to at least post new work on a semi-regular basis.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Daily painting does allow for plenty of experimentation. I've used acrylic, oil, pen and ink, markers, charcoal, collage, pastel and watercolor. Some of the genres I've worked with include Impressionism, pointillism, cubism, futurism and I'm sure there were a few other “isms” as well.

Abstract Ocean Coast
(click to see original image)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

I have a tendency to always return to oil as well as pen and ink for whatever style I'm working in at the time.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Lately I've been thinking about sculpture but just haven't got around to figuring out how to set up the studio for it, or even where to begin for that matter.

Who or what inspires you most?

As far as influential artists go I would definitely have to list Braque, Leger, and Boccioni.

(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Many people will say that a blank canvas is the most daunting situation for an artist. I would add to that a halfway finished canvas as I've had a number of them sitting around the house for years.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I find that the time to work isn't too difficult to come by. Getting motivated to start working is sometimes. In fact, I generally find it easier to paint after I come home from work as I’m already active rather than starting up on a weekend morning.

Ocean Landscape with Sailboat
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Lots of sketching. Generally the larger paintings start as sketches then graduate to pen and ink drawings. If I like the way the ink drawing looks I’ll paint a scaled up version on canvas. For my smaller works (futurist landscapes in particular) I’ll usually draw in pencil/charcoal right onto the canvas panel, always keeping in mind a general sense of rhythm and color harmony while converting natural landscape into geometric compositions in my head.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I try not to spend too much time overworking a problem area in a painting. I had spent many years never really “finishing” a painting because I felt that something was not perfect. I had decided then that my previous work was now finished and whatever elements I felt were wrong with a composition that were going to require a major overhaul I would work out the best that I could without completely restructuring the painting. Then I would concentrate on what I felt needed more work in the next painting.

Abstract Geometric Rose #3
(click to see original image)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Lately I've been juxtaposing smooth and rough blending techniques to get a more dramatic effect.

What makes you happiest about your art?

It's in small doses and never any one thing in particular. It can be a color composition or design that turned out perfectly, or an acceptance letter to an exhibition.

Thanks, Mark!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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