Thursday, September 27, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Christopher Long

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Christopher's painting "A Great Absence" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

There are several different ways to spin my ‘origin story’, but the plain truth is equally as interesting.

In brief, I failed at every other job I had attempted, was sick, and had a family to support, so this was essentially my Plan B for life. Some Hail Mary passes connect.

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

No. Once I started about seven years ago, I haven’t stopped. The longest I’ve gone without painting was one entire weekend back in 2012 when my second daughter was born.

A Great Absence
(click to view)

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

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

My medium evolution:

I started painting with model paints, then moved to oils, then to gouache, mixed gouache and acrylic together, then melted crayons, then tried watercolor, then digital (for only one day). I think I’m settling with oil.

My genre evolution:

Regional New Orleans food and drink (because that’s where I started), then portraits, then miniature still life paintings, and now currently, landscapes.

(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

I’m not sure I can answer that truthfully.  People have thrown that question at me for years now in the context of purchasing a piece- and my answers have ALWAYS been a mixture of cold-reading and absolute bull****.  It’s just not a thought I prioritize. You’d have more luck asking me at age ninety what motivated or inspired me.

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I don’t procrastinate. I may absentmindedly forget things or mix up deadlines, but I’m generally focused. I enjoy the laborious aspects of painting.

Market Street, San Francisco
(click to view)

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

If I’m not traveling or spending time with my family, I’m painting. It doesn’t come naturally to me, so I need to be prolific in order to advance.

I try to keep my life simple; I don’t pretend that I’m talented enough to juggle several endeavors at once. I’m not in a band on the side nor do I have a baking hobby (not that I think those things aren’t worthwhile).

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

The thought that enters my mind most often is: Can I make that more interesting than it already is? Most of the time I can’t. But, sometimes...

(click to view)

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

I maintain my progress by waking up in the morning.  I haven’t burned out because I haven’t been able to create what I want see yet.

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

My main challenge is definitely dealing with the social media aspects of having an online art business. I receive so many rude, bizarre and intrusive requests and comments that I’ve just begun blocking people on Instagram and not responding to certain emails.

Competing Lights, Burbank
(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

Who’s claiming that painting makes them happy?

I’d be incredibly lucky if smearing some color around brought me any true measure of joy.  It’s simply my focus; I’ll keep pursuing this for as long as I can muster.

Thanks, Christopher!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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