Thursday, January 12, 2017

DPW Spotlight Interview: Peter Lentini

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

To enter to win Peter's painting, "Attentive" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Peter's DPW Gallery:

Children possess art as an intrinsic perspicacity which in most is diminished as they mature. Yet there are some who continue to hold the vision. When I attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I majored in sculpture and even though I paint almost exclusively now, some of that sense of fullness and the drama of shadow and light of the solid object still persist in my work. Over the years, I have continued to manipulate materials, building furniture, objects such as spinning wheels, and traditional wooden boats, some photos of which appear on this site at the end of my gallery. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil, painting since first grade and enjoyed visiting art museums from an early age as well. I knew not to touch, well paintings at least, sculpture was another issue.

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

As for stops and starts, of course. When I attended college in fine arts, I majored in sculpture so I have always been engaged in making: wooden boats, working with wood, carving, spinning wheels, furniture, cabinetry, various forms of design, tile work and carpentry always with some painting interspersed. Though I have made a point to paint regularly and have been doing so for some ten years now.

(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I have painted more in watercolor, transparent, white paper, but over the last several years have been enjoying working more with oils, usually on stretched cotton canvas but also on wood panels which I make. I use only three colors, primaries, a red, a blue and a yellow, and with oil of course a white. Nothing falls away, I learn from each and every venture, every aspect and approach; it is all a way of seeing regardless of details.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am easily satisfied and absorbed so I am rarely aware of any conscious change or attempt to change. I do not seek excitement or novelty, but I do enjoy depth and intimacy with the medium beyond mere thinking.

Mona and Lisa
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

There might not be inspiration per se, but I enjoy the work of other artists if I find an emotional connection or I admire the manner in which they conceive composition or value relations sometimes with all aspects present.

What does procrastination look like for you?

I do not procrastinate, though I do not paint every day either but I usually have an idea of what I want to paint next and start easily enough at the right time, without anguish or waiting for a muse.

Vapor Arch
(click to view)

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

As for making time for art, that is directly related to wanting to make art. I look forward to and enjoy painting so I paint.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas for painting, there are always far too many, but I will narrow the field, mix it up, get close and something will clarify itself as requiring my attention. Of course, there has to be incentive so the idea must be evocative. At least for representational art, many beautiful subjects or situations cannot be rendered successfully with painting. Words can form beautiful images, but these often will not migrate onto the canvas.

Duo et al
(click to view

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

I would never give a thought to "keeping it fresh", however, paint what you enjoy and never look back, set no goals, remain unfocused. Build a wall, make some stairs, prune a tree. Art is not suited for tedious rules or regulations. As Gandalf might have said, “A wizard is never late, but always arrives when he chooses.” There is never too much of this or too little of that. The painting simply needs to work and above all the result must be pleasing or more if possible. Never allow anyone to define you, ever.

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

I do not think in terms of "learning", nonetheless, it is always about seeing and making, never conscious, never imagining what I am doing is art, because it may not be and I am better off not knowing. However, always attempt to make better art, to see more deeply, to enjoy more obliviously.

Duet at First Light
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Specifically, the time in an oil painting when the white is gone, (not the same for watercolor) then it begins to manifest itself, then every move is of consequence, that is a pleasure, absorbed and painting. The joy of art is the fulfillment of making something, having something appear that was once only gessoed white canvas, something from nothing even if that is only an illusion. It is only an illusion anyway no matter what we may pretend to the contrary. So simply, something from nothing, a gift, a surprise.

Thanks, Peter!

© 2017 Sophie Marine

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