AMO Art Chat
Our highlight interview this week is the extraordinary interview we conducted with David A. Leffel. This interview is full of tidbits of information and advice! David was born in 1931 and spent a number of his early years in the hospital. He spent his time drawing and later decided that he wanted to continue his creative pursuits, thinking if he could draw or paint for a living it would be a wonderful life. Thank goodness that is exactly what he did! As a result this prolific artist’s works will, if not already, be cherished by future generations much like we cherish the past masters of yesteryear.
We asked David a number of questions and his advice was given in such a generous way. His simplicity on a number of subjects took us to thinking about a number of things, techniques and painting in a different way. Why do we always complicate things to the point of maybe over-analyzing them. Maybe? One example of this, is our tendency to overwork a painting. When we asked David about this, his answer was first a definition of what overworked means. It means, “All–the whole painting–has places that pull the eye from one place to another.” He then discussed how to rescue that overworked painting. “All you need is a strong focal point.” Don’t be so in love with your work, he went on to say, that you are afraid of making changes to it. Figure out your focal point, your star of the painting and then calm down, paint out whatever is needed to bring your eye to the focal point without making it compete with the focal point. While this may seem to be easier said than done, taking time when we are painting to step back and examine what our eyes are doing is a must. Turn your back on the painting, give your eyes some rest. Calm the mind. Then turn back around and just observe what your eye does. Is it moving rapidly from one place to another? Does it move to the focal point and enjoy what’s there? What’s your reaction to the painting? In other words, get yourself out of the way, as David would say.
We discussed the stages of Representational Art that David has experienced through his lifetime. How, when he started painting, that he didn’t know or realize that representational painters existed and that they were still creating representational art. It continued to make a comeback or exist if you will, until today, where there is a prolific group of artists and attention to the this art genre. David coined a new phrase for his work and other who paint in this genre. Abstract Realism is taking the essence of the subject matter and painting it. This lead us to a discussion of edges, which can be a show in itself (and will be in the near future). Don’t miss David’s discussion on edges, which he calls the “soul of the painting”.
David’s advice to us was to “look for simplicity. Don’t think it is difficult. If you think it is difficult, then it will come out that way.” Words to live by.
You can listen to this interview at:
By downloading it from iTunes, by clicking here
Don’t miss this interview and be sure to forward to a friend!