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Interview With Myself, Part 3

Posted on: June 5th, 2012 by Jeff Weispfenning No Comments

How does your work use space?  How does it relate to the surrounding space?

My pieces tend to be close up views of the person in a traditional portrait or bust study.  Often times, I will show the whole body, but usually on a large canvas.  If I use a smaller canvas, the whole person will be very small and less detail is available for me.  I tend to like the person to be life size.

The portrait usually sits in the space, and may be surrounded by nature if outside, but if inside, tends to be alone.  That is, nothing else around the person, usually close up.

 Where does this work fit into your development as an artist?

I’ve been painting for 18 years now, and for that whole time I’ve studied the figure.  My work could be turning more realist, but still slightly off in some way.  I think all artists try to improve in some manner, including me.  The work is similar to work from the past, just better, I think.  My techniques may have changed, but my mind still tries to show people as who they are, in the concept or theme of the piece.  Be they one armed drummer girls or regular women in all their finery, I still love to paint them to completion.

I tend to like the latest painting as soon as it is completed, but I know the next one could be so much better.  Sure, I have many misses, and many losers, but I always try very hard on each one.  I never leave a painting “unfinished”.  I like my work to have a certain look to it, a certain quality of doneness.  If something isn’t working, I may even go so far as to paint over it, but that is seldom the case.

I am always striving to improve.  This work shows that aspect.  I think that an artist should keep working, so they don’t lose their feel.  It’s almost like practicing piano… the more you do it, the better you get. 

How does it relate to other artists work?  Who inspires you?

I can see my work as similar to certain other artists who paint portraits.  Sure, some are much better at it than me, but all artists are at different levels.  Also, artists have different ideas as to what constitutes a finished piece.  Theirs may be much more polished than mine, more photorealist or something.  All sorts of artists have similar qualities, but none are totally the same.  All I can say, is that I am following my dream, my manner of working and my idea of what is good.  I can see certain things similar, but I try not to follow the trends.  I try to follow what I feel is my concept.

Painters I admire:  

Gustav Klimt, Paul Gauguin, Charlie Thysell, Egon Schiele, Vincent Van Gogh, Fritz Scholder, T.L. Solien, Edouard Manet, Edvard Munch, Paul Cézanne, Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Henry Darger, Balthus, Otto Dix, Marc Chagall, Gil Elvgren, Bela Petheo, Francis Bacon, Frida Kahlo, Amedeo Modigliani, Franz Marc and of course John Singer Sargent.

(Photo by: Becca Sabot Photography)


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