Thursday, February 25, 2021

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jerry Salinas

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

From Jerry's DPW Gallery Page:

Hello! I live in sunny Phoenix, Arizona for the last fifteen years. I paint people, cityscapes and still lifes. I studied at the great American Academy of Art and at the Palette and Chisel Academy, both in Chicago. I have been mentored by Romel de la Torre for quite sometime. The last twenty-some years I have been an illustrator with a studio in Chicago working remotely. I teach the full-time oil painting program at the prestigious Scottsdale Artist School. If you're ever in town look me up! I like to paint and dance, eat and paint.

What did you want to be growing up?

I always wanted to be an artist. When I was going to graduate high school my parents (Thanks Mom and Dad) asked what art school I was looking into and I haven’t looked back.

I remember my sister sneaking out with my dad’s car and driving all the siblings for a joy ride to Chicago’s downtown area. She pointed to a window on an office building with a man working at a drawing table. She said one day that will be you. I ended up working with an illustration studio in that same building. So, my family was always behind me and I appreciated the confidence they had in me. It helps to grow up with that support.

When did your artistic journey begin?

It truly started when I entered art school. I had some bumps in the road between school and my illustration career.

I always painted but did not decide to do fine art full time until I became fifty years old. My wife said start now, I don’t want you being a bitter old man.

Thanks for all the support, my wife.

(click to view)

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

Did you have any long periods without creative expression? How did you "get back on the horse"?

After art school I didn’t do any art for three years. I owned a restaurant with my brother. Once I was out I told myself nothing will stop me from being creative. That was a great kick in the pants.

I also have had periods where I can’t finish a painting. My solution to “getting back on the horse” is to pull away and take a break. So, I put the painting aside and do drawing exercises or search out new references for future paintings. I also don’t look at it for a couple of weeks. When I do I come back with a fresh eye.

What mediums and genres do you gravitate to? Which ones don't appeal?

I use mostly oil paint. I also like to draw digitally or with a pen. I love subjects with people in cafes, at farmers markets or on a city street. I love that I can go to a café, take a seat, enjoy a coffee and sweet. I can pull out my sketchbook and draw people with the site and sounds that will hopefully inspire my paintings.

There is nothing I don’t like to paint. I feel my paintings may be figurative but I always add landscapes or still lives as a part of the story. I do love abstract backgrounds done with knives and brushes or whatever I can find to apply the paint. I will use whatever medium, genre or technique to get a painting done.

Street in Italy
(click to view)

What was the process like of pinpointing your personal style or finding your voice?

I think my style came from my influences and the subject matter I paint. I paint more figures so I look at more figurative artist. That feeds into my style.

Name an artist, well-known or not, who you admire. Why?

Wow! I don’t know if I can pick just one. I am inspired by many from all genres of painting. Richard Schmid and all the students who have directly or indirectly been taught or inspired by him would be my choice.

I have been around long enough that I have seen he has influenced many artists and illustrators.

Add Diego Velasquez the great Spanish painter.

Sweets Time
(click to view)

If you could offer one piece of advice to your younger, creative self — what would that be?

Always be fearless and don't worry about what other people say or like. Creativity comes from being an individual.

Do you utilize any habits or tricks for winning the distraction and procrastination battle?

I was an illustrator for many years and have worked with deadlines. Give me a deadline and I will get it done.

If I do procrastinate I make sure I am learning or improving my art during that time.

Vespa Florence Italy
(click to view)

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you push forward?

I teach oil painting at the prestigious Scottsdale Artists School. When facing any doubt or adversity I always think about my students and see how they keep working to get better and be creative.

What are some of your long and short term goals for yourself or your art?

Long term goals are to keep painting and hopefully offer wonderful paintings to my collectors.

Short term I hope add more paint and get a touch more abstract.

Kitchen Staff
(click to view)

What does success mean to you personally?

My success is knowing I have done a painting that a collector would love to purchase because I touched them in some way. Making a living of this crazy business helps.

What is one of your proudest moments in your creative life?

Selling my first painting on Daily Paintworks. If I can do it, you can do it!

Casual Day
(click to view)

Thanks, Jerry!

© 2021 Sophie Marine

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