Thursday, December 19, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Csaba Tibor Palotas

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

From Csaba's DPW Gallery Page:

Hi, I am Csaba. I am passionate and enthusiastic /mad/ about painting. I love the smell, the texture and the unlimited possibilities that oil paint offers. I love the way it moves too!

To me, to paint is equal to bringing something alive. It doesn't necessarily mean creating a photorealistic likeness but to awake an emotion, feeling maybe a thought. My opinion is that a painting should look like a painting; therefore, I am constantly on the search of the border where the brushstrokes transform to "the object/subject of painting" but remain brushstrokes and paint.

Sometimes only the distance helps and sometimes unchecked blending happens.

I do my small size paintings from life, and that includes my small landscapes as well.

I have to say thank you to Carol, for her book and for the inspiration.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

First, I started tattooing. It was much easier to see a career out of it than traditional art would offer. It had some very appealing mystical qualities to it, and the subject matter would always vary by customers. So I started with that.

Later, when my father passed away, I wanted to create an oil painting for our family. This was my initial entrance to oil painting. The more I painted, the more I loved it.

I don't think my personal history is critical, so I keep it to a minimum. Everyone has highs and lows in life. When I experienced the very lows in my life, I found that life has a whole spiritual dimension to it which I had ignored for so long. This was a profound change and got me out of the self-pity state. Spirituality became my subject and bonded with oil painting. I found my "ikigai", the Japanese term for "reason for being".

I don't consider myself particularly talented. As a matter of fact, everything came late to me, so I don't claim an early start advantage. I would rather be an inspiration to those starting late.

Bread and Water
(click to view)

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

What do you think about art?

Hard question, it would be a bold statement if I could define art. I guess everyone has to find their own ideas about it. I would be happy to share my thinking points. All art is an imitation. It sounds like a platonic expression. Still, I am not sure exactly what Plato's idea was about art, and I have no chance to discuss it with him, so let me explain how I think about it. I don't mean that it is fake or has copyright issues. It is easy to see it in representational art like painting, where the artist reproduces what is in front of him. It is much harder to find in poetry, music, pottery, dance, knitting, cooking or writing. But if we look through our sensory apparatus, seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, touching (I like to include the mind too), we feel something, an emotion is awakened. So the artist reproduces, imitating this feeling or emotion by creating something that other people, by experiencing the artwork, can feel too. It becomes universal as felt again and again by many unique individuals. It becomes especially valuable if it touches us.

So the first cornerstone of art is the expression of the felt feeling. This is, in some cases, not even conscious. The most common moving emotion is beauty. Beauty is present in everything around us, and nature provides us with plenty of perfectly imperfect beautiful subjects.

The second point is the creation process. It includes at least a human being.

It has to have "the human touch". The artist is a god to his creation.

Creativity is present in everyone, but not everyone realises that. It is the task of the individual to drive that out. No one can tell where those areas are, as it is self-discovery. It could be hard, but once it is dug out, and surfaces, life becomes much easier. Here we arrive at passion.

When it comes to my art, I like to combine painting with writing. In a landscape painting, even a title is too much or unnecessary. Images or visual art is a passive thing. They communicate something to you or not. Still, sometimes I feel I want to write about it, not to explain but to generate thoughts or feelings with the combination of artwork.

Painter's Primary Sandwich
(click to view)

Where do you find beauty?

I find it easy to discover beauty around us. Just colours on their own carry emotions; it has been proven by many great abstract artists. Simply drawn lines can store energy. A movement can have grace. Letters can form words, and words can change lives. So there is a vast majority of options for finding beauty. When I really looked at it, what is for me the most beautiful first came to me as the female beauty. But when I looked more in-depth, and I took out sexuality, I ended up thinking of artworks and creations of human beings. I could not decide which was most touching, but Philip de Laszlo's portraits and Raphael's drawing ranked very high. But then a scene came to my mind when I visited Masca, in Tenerife. On the way up to the village, we stopped and looked at the panorama presented by wild nature. There were trees, high rocky cliffs with misty semitransparent fainted fog, revealing the incredible depth underneath us. The air was filled with the smell of jasmine with a touch of ocean scent. That's it, I thought!

The depth, the vastness and the blues of the sea with the colours of the sky were one of the most beautiful scenes I had ever witnessed. This made me realise that nature is the most beautiful thing. Nothing else would make me feel more alive and present than a 360-round panorama of limitlessness, the wild variety of colours, texture smells and sounds of nature. So my answer is nature.

Toilet Paper and the Divine
(click to view)

What are the most essential things an artist must have?

This applies to me; can't say it's right for everyone. I found two things, and they conflict with each other. One of those is self-discipline. It is the core of the artist, aiming for mastery, knowing that he/she can never fully reach it, but still keep going at it. In her book, Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg mentions that her teacher, a zen monk, suggested that she make her writing her daily "practice". Meaning that she should do writing daily and let it become her spiritual practice.

It resonated with me, and I knew that drawing and painting is my such "practice". It needs self-discipline. The goal is to get in the flow state.

The other part of self-discipline is finding the demons and ruling them all. If the artist fails to do that, it will tear him/her apart.

The second thing is freedom. The artist must have the freedom to go through rules, to use any tools to be able to make his expression. The only thing that should control him/her is his self-discipline and his moral compass; to me, that includes honesty too.

(click to view)

Science and art, do you think they link together?

It did for a good few artists, one of those was Leonardo. So yes, I think there is a connection. The pattern is that in science, everything continuously proves itself wrong, while still rapidly advancing. Think about this, most of the things we can translate to numbers. Painting by number is not what I have in mind. Printing process, yes, music, movement, etc. Mathematics and physics are behind everything. There is still so much to discover; however, we feel we know everything. I like to keep an open mind and see where I can combine science into my art. The statement: "I am an artist, not a mathematician!" falls short if we would know how much calculation our brain does while we organically, flowingly rub our brushes to the canvas.

Geometry and symmetry are present in the human body, and any artwork has a level of composition. Golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence can be found in nature, so it has to have a place in an artist's work too.

How do you keep your art fresh?

To me fresh it means that it is painted from life. I include that in my daily practice of painting. The more life painting the better. Sometimes I use photographs too /not fresh. :)

Portrait of Reverend Willard
(click to view)

How do you avoid burnout?

My goal is to burn out. If I don't burn out, I don't express everything I possibly can before I die, I have to come back, and I don't know how to do that. So I aim to burn out. I want to be able to "renounce the world " before I die. I don't see burning out as a bad thing. It is a change in the progress of one's journey, the next step, or a "level up". I visualise life as an upward spiral. I don't want to attach unnecessary fear to the natural process of change.

I am aware of human suffering, and I am not an exception to that. It is a different subject. Suffering relates to the ego. Things not working out as we wanted them and it's painful.

As simple as it sounds, so hard to get through it. Walk-in nature and any physical activity, or sport can help to pass those feelings. 

What makes you happiest about your Art?

It feels good to look back and see some of those paintings I did in the past, they might not be perfect, but all of those are the steps in my progress. Even more fulfilling if someone decides to pay money for it to include in his/her home. My real goal is to give, and it might sound "cliche", but I believe that evolution has a forward motion. On top of that forward motion is humankind. I found that "giving", and "service" is what contribute best to the forward movement. I wish that my art aligned to that. If those expressions I create touches someone, I am glad, that is my purpose and makes me happy.

Thanks, Csaba!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

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