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Interview with Jean-Pierre Leclercq

“During my forties I joined a few artist’s workshops and discovered that I could draw with pastels”

French artist Jean-Pierre Leclercq defines himself as a traditional painter. He enjoys working with pencils, pastels and oil paint. His work involves romantic symbolism and exalts the female silhouette. Jean-Pierre’s paintings are realistic, delicate and beautiful.

This talented artist started his career in 2003, after turning 40 years old. Leclercq’s hard work and effort, along with the study of the great academic artists allowed him to succeed in his artistic career. In 2012 he was one of the finalists of the 11th International ARC competition and has showcased his work in many galleries and exhibitions in France.

“Conque”, painting by Jean-Pierre Leclercq

In this Q&A French artist Jean-Pierre Leclercq shares with PoseSpace an interesting story of how he got into art, which artists have influenced his work and how the Art Renewal Center inspired his artistic career:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist? 

I never really wanted to become an artist. I love art, all kinds of art. I also play music but for me drawing comes naturally. It has always been there; paper and colored pencils were part of my childhood. I didn’t choose an artistic career because mathematics was safer and, since I am colorblind, painting usually ruined my drawings. It was during my forties that I joined artist’s workshops and where I discovered that I could draw with pastels, at first because the colors were written on the sticks, and later I got into painting by selecting the colors I needed carefully and by frequently asking people around me for feedback.

How did you get started with New Realism Art?

My interest in academic painters allowed me to discover the ARC and all this movement of renewal of this painting style. I had the chance to live in Versailles for a long time and I was able to visit the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay regularly.

Which painters have influenced you? Any contemporary artist?

First the 19th-century painters, French artists like Gérôme, Bouguereau, Lefevre, Cabanel, and others like Waterhouse ou Alma-Tadema. I was also very impressed by an exhibition at the Petit Palais on Sargent and Sorolla. Among contemporary painters, I particularly enjoy Zhaoming Wu and Jeremy Lipking for their lights. I am fascinated by Roberto Ferri’s flesh and I had the pleasure of doing a one-week internship with Shane Wolf who is a great painter and a great teacher. 

“Olivia 1” by Jean-Pierre Leclercq inspired by oliviap051 

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

I love Olivia Preston and I am working on a long project with Thea.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about. 

About the sketch I learned the hard way that you always have to fix the graphite pencil before painting. Besides, I only use charcoal for my preparatory sketches.

Jean-Pierre Leclercq’s website: http://www.jpleclercq.fr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jp.leclercq

Artquid: https://www.artquid.com/artist/jpleclercq/jean-pierre-leclercq.html

Interview and translation by Andrea Miliani. 

Original responses:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist? 

Je n’ai jamais vraiment voulu être un artiste. J’aime les arts, tous les arts. Je fais aussi de la musique mais pour moi le dessin est juste naturel. Il a toujours été là, feuilles et crayons ont accompagné mon enfance. Je n’ai pas choisi une carrière artistique car les mathématiques étaient plus sûrs et comme je suis daltonien la peinture venait souvent gâcher mes dessins. C’est vers la quarantaine que j’ai intégré des ateliers d’artistes et où j’ai découvert que je pouvais dessiner aux pastels tout d’abord parce que la couleur était inscrite sur les bâtons puis je me suis mis à la peinture en sélectionnant bien les couleurs à utiliser et en demandant régulièrement un retour de la part de mon entourage.

How did you get started with New Realism Art?

Mon intérêt pour les peintres “académiques” m’ont permis de découvrir l’ARC et tout ce mouvement de renouveau de ce style de peinture. J’ai eu la chance de vivre longtemps à Versailles et de pouvoir assez facilement et donc très régulièrement me rendre au Louvre et au musée d’Orsay.

Which painters have influenced you? Any contemporary artist?

Tout d’abord les peintres du XIX, les français comme Gérôme, Bouguereau, Lefevre, Cabanel et d’autre comme Waterhouse ou Alma-Tadema. J’ai aussi été très marqué par une exposition au Petit Palais sur Sargent et Sorrola. Parmi les peintres contemporains, j’apprécie particulièrement Zaoming Wu et Jeremy Lipking pour la lumière. Je suis fasciné par les chairs chez Roberto Ferri et j’ai eu le plaisir de suivre un stage d’une semaine avec Shane Wolf qui est un grand peintre et un grand professeur.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

J’adore Olivia Preston et je travaille sur un long projet avec Thea.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about. 

A propos de l’esquisse j’ai appris à mes dépens qu’il faut toujours fixer le crayon graphite avant de peindre. D’ailleurs je n’utilise plus que du fusain pour mon dessin préparatoire.

Interview with Lewis Braswell

“The world will not (and should not) settle for warmed-over mediocrity. Artists were made to be extraordinary”

Lewis Braswell defines himself as a Christian artist who seeks “to remind the viewer of his or her relationship in the divine dialogue among God and people”. His work —inspired by the Renaissance masters— explores the human male figure as well as the meaning of manhood, expressed primarily with charcoal and washes on surfaces.

This talented artist has always been fascinated by the way the human body can tell a story and this became his passion. Braswell was born in North Carolina, got a bachelor degree in Science in Religion at the University of Mount Olive and recently earned his bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Central Florida. He has participated in several exhibitions and has worked as Art Gallery Assistant and Art Teacher and Instructor.

“The Spirit of God” by Lewis Braswell (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist Lewis Braswell shares with PoseSpace how he combines art and religion, the challenges he faces with the nude figure and how he learned to appreciate cinema and video games:

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

As an artist with a basis in faith, I seek to mimic the Creator by acting creatively. I try to choose subject matter that gives the most effective means of doing this and in this way I worship the Creator. Ultimately, the art must reflect my heart and be clearly evident to the viewer. If this does not happen, the art is a failure.

Do you have a favorite living artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

Undoubtedly, my favorite artist is Michelangelo. His work is completely descriptive of what is necessary for any artist to expect of him or herself. Michelangelo saw the best of what was around him and made it better in his own work. That is what today’s artists have to keep in mind. The world will not (and should not) settle for warmed-over mediocrity. Artists were made to be extraordinary.

What challenges do you face working with the nude figure?

The nude figure provides for me the most timeless and expressive way in which to engage a viewer. The challenge, given the complexity of the figure, is in moving the viewer beyond what may be understood as familiar and requiring that they ask the tough questions that he or she may be avoiding. Because the human body can be used to represent something literal as well as something ideal or symbolic, there often arises difficulty in an interpretation. My preference is that the art will speak beyond any hesitancy in comprehension and meet the viewer at exactly that point of resonance.

Drawings by Lewis Baswell inspired by PoseSpace models JesseJohnV (image shared by artist)

How do you use PoseSpace.com’s photos?

I have tried to learn how to represent the figure through several means and the photos have been key in my initial understanding of anatomy and movement. In referencing these photos, I have repeatedly found that my later drawings from imagination have a much higher level of information to provide. PoseSpace and the Art Model Books are really providing some of the absolute best resource material for artists of the figure. I tell drawing students about them all the time.

How do you start drawing — do you have any rituals?

Beginning a drawing is very special and may be different each time. The surface material upon which I work usually initiates a direction and gives information on my choice of medium. It is significant to me how I find this material. I often look for suitable drawing surface material in the trash and the discovery of a something useful is, to me, priceless. The size of the surface material is also very important and a formulation of possible compositions may develop just from understanding the dimensions. All of this takes place both physically and mentally before any kind of mark is made on the surface material, but I see it as beautiful and necessary. Basically, I  try to let the surface have the first say in what develops.

“Study for Life” by Lewis Braswell (image shared by artist)

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about

Lately, I have been forced to recognize the artistic elements of cinema and video games. I am such a traditionalist that for a long time it was inconceivable for me to acknowledge these contemporary methods of visual artmaking. However, in learning the level of dedication and persistence of the workers in these fields and in experiencing some quality pieces for myself, I must say that I am sometimes very impressed.

Lewis Braswell’s website: https://lewisbraswell.wixsite.com/artist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lewis.braswell.5

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Les Satinover

“I clearly and seriously believe the human form is the highest and most meaningful subject matter to consider for art”

Les Satinover is an American figurative artist whose primary concern is “to capture the figure, primarily male, through this prism, evoking strong emotions for the viewer in the encounter of Flesh and Form”. Even though idealized male figures stand out in most of his paintings, also landscapes have an important presence. He moved to Austin, Texas, a few years ago —from North Scottsdale, Arizona—, and this change of environment had an impact in his creative process.

His work is colorful, realistic, honest and beautiful. Satinover’s techniques show a background in art studies: in the 70s he got an MFA and a BFA degree in Painting and Drawing, and since then he has participated in several art shows and earned many recognitions. However, he worked for 36 years in a successful parallel career in corporate retail design. It wasn’t until 2012 that he retired and decided to work full-time on his own art.

Painting by Les Satinover (image shared by artist)

In this interview, Les Satinover shares with PoseSpace how he got into art, which artists have inspired him, how Austin’s landscape has influenced his work and his thoughts regarding the male body in art:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

My earliest inclination as a teen was exclusively creative leaning and I began drawing in pencil and pastel, graduating into watercolor (I received a junior high school summer watercolor scholarship to Cal Sate Northridge, CA). Before I could drive,  I took my bicycle to the local library after school, poured over every artist monograph and art history tome, checked those out that met my interests in representational subject matter, and would go home and make studious copies. I intuitively selected great master work such as the still-lifes of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, and the  domestic interior scenes of Johannes Vermeer, that captured all the jeweled light and interior spatial evocations that stir me to this day. I simply remember that I ALWAYS felt that I would be an artist, so there were never any inner conflicts as a young man or frustrations in trying to settle on a purpose in and meaning for my life.

Painting by Les Satinover (image shared by artist)

A few years ago you moved to Austin, has this new location influenced your work? If so, how?

This is a perfect question in light of my recent work and one that I submitted to you – wherein I incorporated my own self imagery and two models from your catalogue. The Austin Hill Country is simply resplendent with verdant landscape, rolling hills and oak and cedar trees,  that are expressive and abundant. I painted my self portrait as a take on an artist with models in the natural setting of the beautiful Lake Travis area. The area’s sunlight, water and rocks is quite breathtaking and parallels my imaginative panoramic expressions of western landscape coupled with pairing forms in deep space. And Austin is also a hub of creativity, artistic expression and a certain degree of open-mindedness.

In an interview for LandEscape you mentioned that you want to “push for the acceptance of the nude form”. What challenges have you faced working with the nude figure?

I clearly and seriously believe the human form is the highest and most meaningful subject matter to consider for art. Throughout many centuries preceding the 20/21 century, in western art, male nudes as a classical subject was de rigueur and a large part of the canon and studio/atelier practice. I want to strategically bring back an acceptance of the male form particularly along with the appreciation of its beauty and majesty. That being said, there is still a social inhibition that attaches shame to representations of men without clothes. So, my work is honest,  but not prurient!

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model or book?

I can’t say that I do, however I think your service and quality in the provision of source material is invaluable.

Do you have any shows or activities on the horizon that you’d like to tell our readers about?

I was in a show late last year at bG Gallery in Santa Monica California.

How do you view the state of figure art in the current art culture?

I think figurative art today is expansive, rich, sometimes steeped in a classical pedigree, inventive, infinite in possibilities and exciting!

What advice do you have for amateur figurative artists who have a special interest in the male figure?

The subject matter is still a pretty tough sell to commercial art galleries, but I am fortunate in that selling it is not a dictate for the work I love and do.

I retired from a 36 year career in corporate retail design and went into my full time studio practice in 2012. I work entirely in service of my own vision without the financial requirement to make sales. Validation is an extra. What comes after that is fate.

Painting by Les Satinover (image shared by artist)

Les Satinover’s website: http://les-satinover.squarespace.com

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Brian Smith

“My work is exclusively focused on the human figure and consequently I have been a longtime fan of PoseSpace”

Brian Smith is a professional artist, award-winning graphic designer, and art professor from Canada. He started his artistic career as a designer in 1969 and created his own business in 1979. Smith and his team earned several design awards and in 2004 he decided to become a full-time artist and focus on his fine art pieces —something he had been already doing on the side for many years.

Soon after leaving his company, Smith gained more recognition as a professional artist. In 2005 he was awarded the title of Honorary Drawing Master by the Drawing Society of Canada, in November 2008 he was named Artist of the Month by American Artist magazine and even got featured on TV on the show “Star Portraits” in 2009. Brian has also been teaching life drawing, portraiture and figurative abstraction for over 30 years in colleges and universities in Canada —such as the Ontario College of Art and Design University and the Haliburton School of The Arts—, as well as at his own studio.

“Underwraps – Secret” by artist Brian Smith 


In this Q&A Canadian artist Brian Smith shares with PoseSpace how he got into art, what artists influenced his work, how he discovered figurative abstraction and what he always says to his art students:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

I am very fortunate to be the son of a full-time artist. My mother was a fashion illustrator and spent her working days as well as her time off, drawing people. So it was natural for me to become enamored with the idea of figurative work. At the age of 21, I was accepted directly into 2nd year on full scholarship at the Ontario College of Art and Design, graduating in 1969. Over the next 37 years I was a professional graphic designer including running my own business from 1979-2004, and my staff won over 90 international design awards over that period. In 2004 my two senior employees bought the company and I was then able to focus more on my fine art work that I had been doing all along in the background. From 1985 to the present I have been teaching drawing and painting the figure at several post-secondary colleges and universities as well as conducting workshops across Canada and a Master Class in my own studio.

Which artist or painter has influenced you?

Many of my painting influences are figurative abstractionists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Eberhard Hückstadt, Melinda Cootsona, Harry Paul Ally, Carmel Jenkin,  and Kathy Jones. My drawing influences are much more classical and include Pierre Paul Prud’hon, Edgar Dégas, Alphonse Mucha, Anthony Ryder, and Zhaoming Wu.

You’ve earned several awards. From your personal view, what’s been your greatest artistic success?

In January 2005, I was awarded the title of Honorary Drawing Master by the Drawing Society of Canada. Gerrit Verstraete, co-founder of the Drawing Society, noted that to receive this honour, an artist must “demonstrate a substantial commitment to drawing as well as mastery of drawing techniques. They have developed a body of work that positions drawings as complete works in themselves and not just preparatory work or ‘studies’ for paintings. A Canadian drawing master is an artist who loves to draw, who draws well, who is comfortable in one or any number of styles and who has spent many years creating drawings that in turn have become valuable contributions to Canada’s overall artistic heritage.” Previous inductees have included Robert Bateman, Peter Mah, Eric Freifeld and Ken Danby. Pretty good company.

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you prefer books or individual poses?

My work is exclusively focused on the human figure and consequently I have been a longtime fan of PoseSpace. I am fortunate to live in a large metropolitan area and have fairly easy access to many excellent models. However, PoseSpace offers me the opportunity to choose different model “looks” and poses at a price that is very reasonable. One of the features I most like is the ability to see the pose from 16 angles and choose my pose from the various nuanced angles. Most of my PoseSpace purchases have been books/DVDs which give me an even further discounted price as well as so many more poses and angles.

Michaela reclining” painting by Brian Smith based on model Michaela (image shared by artist)


Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about

For the first 40 years of my fine art career I focussed on classical red chalk drawing of the figure much like da Vinci and Michelangelo. And, as I improved my skills over those years, I thought I had reached a pinnacle in my art. In 2002 I discovered figurative abstraction thinking: “How hard can abstraction be?” However, after 40 years of accurate, proportional, well-rendered figures, I discovered I knew nothing about abstraction and that it was immensely more difficult, more challenging, and therefore, more rewarding than lifelike, classical drawing. So, here I am at 74, deeply in love with being an artist and challenged every day I go to my studio to create work that is meaningful and maybe just a little bit better than the art I did yesterday.

How has your style changed over the years?

As I mentioned, I was classically trained in the typical red chalk drawing style of da Vinci and Michelangelo from the time I was 18 years of age. My goal for the next 40 years was to develop that specific skill in order to capture the essence of the model in a classical drawing. I still do classical drawing every week and I do regard it as the foundation of all my art. However, when I was invited to be a member of a 3-person exhibition at a major Toronto gallery, we decided (out of the blue) to spend the year leading up to the opening date, being more abstract in our work. The other two artists seemed to understand what “more abstract” meant and showed some very exciting and strong work. I, however, clearly had no idea how difficult abstraction would be and consequently, my work paled beside the other two artists. And the challenge for me began. Over the past nearly 20 years, I have explored figurative abstraction, bumped soundly into dead ends, thrown away a serious amount of canvas and paper, and have

also had some very exciting results. And I continue to grope my way into a style that I enjoy and that gives me satisfaction without becoming formulaic. Life is good!

What advice would you give to young artists just starting their careers?

I tell my students all the time to “Show up for work!” The great thing about being an artist is that, if you want to be a better artist, you simply do more art. So, show up for work as often as you can —even if you are not working on “the big project”—, just show up and work/play at your art.

Brian Smith’s website: http://www.drawn2life.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/briansmith.aoca

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/briansmith.aoca/

Twitter: @briansart

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Roy Stanton

“My interest in the human figure as a subject is at the absolute foundation of what I enjoy doing as an artist”

Roy Stanton is a talented American artist based in Florida. Even though he has been interested in art ever since he was a little boy, he also studied Zoology in the University of Florida and worked as an animal trainer at the Busch Gardens Zoo for a few years. Later, Stanton took a different path in his professional career and started painting and sculpting, followed by studies of Digital Art and Computer Animation at the University of Washington.

Stanton is also an actor with a solid background in stage and film. He played Major Joe Williams on SyFy original series “Z Nation”. His interest in horror, science fiction, and fantasy is also present in his sculptures, paintings and graphics. This artist’s most recent solo show at the West of Lenin gallery in Fremont was called “Heroes, Villains and Monsters”.

Frankenstein by Roy Stanton (image shared by artist)


In this Q&A artist Roy Stanton shares with PoseSpace how he got into art, what he has learned on open studio sessions, who are his favorite living artists and why Vaunt is his preferred model:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

Having a father who was a frustrated graphic artist (his family never encouraged him to follow through on the goal) meant I was exposed to drawing at a very early age through the pieces he would create at home, and I think being a fairly shy child meant I would spend more time on my own drawing than playing outside with other kids. Even so, I think a book my older sister gave me, “The Great Comic Book Heroes”, was the catalyst that really set up artwork as a permanent part of who I am. In fact, my earliest career aspiration was to be a comic book artist. That changed when I discovered and started paying attention to fine art and pop art, realizing the potential of telling stories and communicating ideas through a single image. My interest in sculpture came later and for a time dominated my artistic endeavors, but, eventually, I found that the enjoyment I get from simply putting pencil to paper and drawing is, for me, really unmatched by any other artistic pursuit.

As for making a living from it, ultimately I’d say that I’m a semi-professional artist, in that I’ve never solely made my living by it, but at times it has contributed a great portion of my income.

You’ve been attending an open studio on weekends, what have you learned throughout this experience?

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is the extremely valuable use of a model in creating imagery. For many years, after completing my formal instruction, I was doing work without using a model of any kind. In some cases I just didn’t have access to one, but other times I simply was so taken with an idea I would dive in and ignore the step of working out a pose with a model. I wouldn’t say that was detrimental, but going back to an open studio I was reminded of all that I had forgotten from not looking at a model. By the same token, when I discovered the PoseSpace website and started using the photos as reference, it was a similar revelation: it told me what I didn’t know, and helped me to polish my skills in composition and basic figure drawing.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model or book?

As a matter of fact, I do; I love using Vaunt for a lot of my prelim sketchwork. She does some terrific pose work and has a body and face type that I like using in my painting and sculpture. I often get a “femme fatale” vibe from her, and those tend to be the females I like to depict: ones that have an edge and some complexity to them.

Drawing of model Vaunt by Roy Stanton (image shared by artist)

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

I think at this stage of my artistic life I’m more open to exploration than ever before, and am trying out new media as well as technique. I still have a strong interest in portrait work, but I’d like to get back to a little more symbolism in my paintings and re-acquaint myself with oil in creating those images. I have been greatly inspired by my new home in south Florida as well; we’re surrounded by amazing wildlife, birds in particular. I think I’d like to capture many of the birds as the subjects of my new portraits. That doesn’t mean I won’t be using people in my art as well, I think my interest in the human figure as a subject is at the absolute foundation of what I enjoy doing as an artist, so I can guarantee that I’ll be continuing to utilize open studio and PoseSpace as resources for future work.

Do you have a favorite living artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

I have three that stand out in particular: Kehinde Wiley, because his paintings are monumental, yet retain an unmistakable sense of life; and in the less “fine art” realm, Adam Hughes and Alex Ross. Hughes is a master of form and pose, while Ross brings a realism and humanity to his watercolor work that is unmatched.

Where do you get your imagery from?

Predominantly from the twisted avenues of my own mind. It’s a pretty wild time in there, I gotta tell you.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about.

I think that would have to be the notion that there was an endpoint in growing as an artist; that the education would, at some point, be over. Completely wrong. To be honest, I find that each image, at its beginning, holds the same excitement as the first, and the same challenges. Will it work? Can I accomplish what I want? Granted, I have the benefit of experience to bolster me up when those concerns pay me a visit, but I have to say that getting that little bit of uncertainty definitely keeps boredom from setting in. Give me a new problem to wrestle with, a new challenge to solve, and I’m a very happy artist.

Roy Stanton’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheArtOfRoyStanton/

Deviant Art: https://www.deviantart.com/roystanton

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Carol Heyer

“I really enjoy being a freelance artist, spending my time working on the things I love”

Carol Heyer is an American full-time illustrator and writer who usually combines fantasy, sci-fi and realism in her work. She has created 30 children’s picture books—among them Humphrey’s First Christmas and Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude— and has earned several state awards. She has also worked for prestigious companies such as Disney and Scholastic, and even wrote Thunder Run, a film released by Cannon Films.

Her rescued dogs, Peanut and Cashew Nut, are her studio companions and coworkers. This talented freelance artist is constantly working on new projects. A few months ago, Heyer’s painting for a fantasy series, “The Root Doctor”, won a Finalist Award in the CFA, The Circle Foundation For the Arts contest.

“Rootdoctor”. Fantasy Art 30 inches by 40  acrylic
 /Circle Foundation of the Arts Finalist (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist Carol Heyer shares with PoseSpace how she got into illustration, who are her favorite artists, how PoseSpace helps her develop her art and what life experiences influenced her work:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into illustration?

My mother was a great artist and she taught me how to draw when I was a young child. She instilled a love of art that never left me. My father was artistic too.  He made gold rings cast from wax forms. Eventually he started making contemporary sterling silver jewelry. I learned jewelry making from him and made jewelry for a few years.

I took art in high school and then when I went to college, they asked me what my major was, I said art and I’ve never stopped painting and drawing.  I work mainly with acrylic paint on portrait canvas and prefer working larger, at least 30” X 40”.

Which artist or painter has influenced you?

There are so many, but I think my all-time favorite is still Maxfield Parrish. I love his colors, the contrast between cool and warm. I also like N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth.

Alla Prima, or direct painting is a style I really appreciate, and among the artists I admire are Richard Schmid and Tibor Nagy.

Have PoseSpace photos and books helped you in your artistic career?

Definitely! For years now, I’ve bought all of the books offered and many, many of the individual poses and sessions for various freelance assignments I’ve worked on.

How?

Well I’m a full time illustrator with little time to hire models. So I take full advantage of PoseSpace and all of the amazing photos. I’ve painted angels, and wizards, book covers, educational art et al. I always say I’ve painted everything from bookmarks to book covers!  I prefer to work realistically and having great reference is essential for me to get the results I’m after. I often take several PoseSpace images and meld them together to fit my composition.

Angel drawing by Carol Heyer based on michael 022—01 (image shared by artist)

What is the importance of gesture drawing for you?

Figure drawing is really important in all my work. Gesture drawing brings a spark of movement and energy to all of my illustrations, from humor to realism.

Do you have any shows or activities on the horizon that you’d like to tell our readers about?

I was invited to show my art at in the TRAC 2019 Invitational Show, (The Representational Art Conference). I currently have three paintings on display.  The name of the show is Imagine and the art leans toward fantasy, which is my specialty. Among the artists showing are Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell and Roger Dean, etc. all artists at the top of their field.  

I’m also working on a new children’s Halloween picture book and I’m having so much fun creating the characters and writing the text.

I like to have at least three easels going at the same time.  I.E., one with fantasy art, another with children’s illustration and of course one with my current assignment.  If I find I get bogged down on one painting, I switch to another and work on it for a while. Then I can go back to my original work with a fresh eye.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

I worked for several companies in their art departments, including a movie production company. There I worked on story boards and production art, as well as writing. One of my scripts Thunder Run was produced and released in theatres. Another was produced and released to video. I worked there for some years before going out on my own to become a freelancer, illustrating and writing children’s picture books et al.

I really enjoy being a freelance artist, spending my time working on the things I love.

Carol Heyer’s website: http://www.carolheyer.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.heyer.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolheyer

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.cl/carolheyer/boards/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolheyer/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Tiziano Gilardoni

“I’m convinced that art is a continuous flow”

Tiziano Gilardoni was born in Italy in 1974 and is currently living in a small town near Milan. He is a self-taught artist who creates beautiful sculptures using modeling clay and plaster. Even though his favorite expressive medium is sculpture, he is also a talented photographer and painter.

After studying Gilardoni’s work, anyone can understand the value that this artist gives to lines, light, textures and emotions. He can capture images of the Uriezzo Gorges and make viewers admire nature’s composition or draw a nude female model and encourage people to praise her or sculpt a mermaid and arouse powerful feelings in the audience.

“The Mermaid”, sculpture by Tiziano Gilardoni (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist Tiziano Gilardoni shares with PoseSpace how he discovered sculpting, how Rodin influenced his work, who is his Art Model muse and how he explores different styles:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

If I look back to my childhood I remember I took in my hand a brush earlier than a pencil. There is no precise time in my life when I decided that. When I grew up I attended technical studies but I never stop drawing and painting during my free time. Then there have been times in which I worked nonstop on many projects in parallel and times when I created very few works.

I’m not sure I’m an artist… of course, I produce something that could be addressed as pieces of arts in the common sense, but I think that this definition should have deeper implication in the social impact of the works, time will tell.

You draw, paint, sculpt and even do photography… how did you develop all of these artistic skills?

I used to be a self-taught painter and an amateur photographer until I decided to attend a part-time 2 year course at the Italian Institute of Photography in Milan (IIF). This gave me the motivation and the critical view to seek harder for the topics and the fields of expressions I really felt belonging to me. Then in the following three years I attended some courses in the local art academy to improve my technique in life drawing. And in the meanwhile I discovered sculpting, that has been literally a revelation: I’ve never considered that could fit my way of expression until the first time I modeled a piece of clay, and from then on I realized it was the most natural and comfortable way for me. It has been the real driver to study human anatomy.

I’m convinced that art is a continuous flow: after a while that I deal with the same subject or the same technique I feel that I’m becoming self-referential, therefore I try to focus on a different topic, to experience something new or I even jump from sculpting into photography or drawing. And each project has its proper language that best fit to it: one shall be expressed by drawing, another could only be represented by a statue, and a third can only be a black and white photo. In the end, I started developing some skills to find my way, now I try to learn new skills that could fit the ideas I have in mind.

Which artists have influenced you?

I saw the marble of The Kiss at an exhibition in Milan, I started turning around it and I would never stop… in that time I understood that Rodin would have been my reference for sculpting. Sculptors can be divided in two groups: those who create a statue with a main view, and those who think that all the point of views are equally important. Rodin belongs to the second, and me too. When I work on a figure I want it to communicate something from each point of view: as long as the observer turns around it he/she should find new details, a foreshortening that provide an impression never felt before, or an unfamiliar point of view that compel him/her to stop and look again, literally a physical journey around it.

And then I like the color and the technique of Redon, the “flat” fields of color of Gauguin, the portraits of Helmut Newton, the atmospheres of Jeff Wall and the high contrasts of Salgado.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace model or product?

The one I used most is the pose set of Vaunt. I liked this shooting very much because the poses fit pretty well with the ideas I had in mind, both for sculpting and drawing. But I also have some paper book as reference, I usually go through them when I have some new project in mind and I want to figure out the right posture and details.

“A World Apart” sculpture by Tiziano Gilardoni (image shared by artist)

Do you have a favorite source of materials?

I like to go to exhibitions and look at the work of other artists, and I also look at art sites on the web. All these provide me suggestions and techniques for future experiments. But the ideas for my projects usually come from everyday life and go through a long process of sedimentation and rethinking, only when I have clear in mind what I want I finally start working.

How has your style changed over the years?

I like figurative art and even if sometimes I explore new combinations, I think I will remain linked to figurative topics. And I’m moving towards simplification, both in subjects and shapes. Looking back to the last years I know that I usually oscillate between “color” and “monochrome” times: I really like powerful colors, when I decide to work with then I privilege saturation and vividness, they really become the key point of the composition; then after a while I come back to the monochrome, especially when I use photography, it is a kind of catharsis to clean the mind from the resonance of colors and prepare myself for the next step.

Tiziano Gilardoni’s  website: http://tizianogilardoni.weebly.com

Behance page: https://www.behance.net/tgilardoni7801

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Joseph Pearson

“I believe in the power of art to provoke and expand society’s re-imagination”

Joseph Pearson is an American artist based in Asheville. He paints people and figures using pastel pencil, charcoal and oil. His art embraces the social realism concept: he enjoys drawing scenes from the street and mirroring a reality. In this artist’s paintings, you can find a woman in a coffee shop scrolling through her smartphone or a young boy getting a haircut in the barbershop.

Pearson recently held an exhibition in a private high-school called “Thoughts on the Times: Reflections on Today’s Current of Racial Injustice and Violence in America” and he was pleased when he realized that the young students understood his work. He believes that art can heal and open minds.

Gesture drawing of Anarebecca by Joseph Pearson (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist Joseph Pearson shares with PoseSpace how art helped him to express himself, what artists influenced his work, details about the art-making process and his greatest achievements:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

My background in art started when I was about 4-5 years old. I copied the illustrations in an old Sears and Roebuck catalog. I loved the idea of being able to make a figure from lines and shade. As a child and into adulthood I was an extremely shy person. Drawing allowed me to express myself in ways I couldn’t say in words and still does. The nude human figure has been a staple of artist training for hundreds of years. It is the most challenging and to me the most interesting subject. I especially love the female form for its grace, curves and sensuality and natural beauty. In addition, the figure allows me to connect with other humans in the expressing of my ideas because of our common humanity.

What are your goals or aspirations and which artists have influenced your work?

I believe in the power of art to provoke and expand society’s re-imagination. Throughout history, the arts have played a pivotal role in the expression of viewpoints and in influencing a change of perceptions and ideas about a given subject. That’s my goal as an artist. My major influences are the social realist artists, especially those of the old WPA (Works Project Administration) under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

I had the honor of training with and being the friend of the late Hughie Lee-Smith, one of those artists. I love the works of the Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence.

I love Thomas Hart Benton, Raphael Soyer and many others of this school. Edward Hopper is one of my all time favorites!

How did you discover PoseSpace?

I discovered www.posespace.com searching for figure drawing resources.

Charcoal drawing of model MikaM by Joseph Pearson (image shared by artist)

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

My art making process starts with an idea I want to express, this may be something I read, hear in the news or just an idea that comes to mind. Then I gather source material to develop the idea. If the final product is to be a drawing I may keep it gestural or I may develop it further depending on the idea I want to convey. It all starts with gesture, gesture is everything! That’s what I practice most from posespace.com.

I paint people as portraits and figures. I work in oil, charcoal and pastel pencil. I am a muralist and printmaker.

What has been your greatest artistic success?

My greatest artistic success(s)… there have been many. Most recent is having had an exhibition at a private high school where I addressed social injustice and the kids got it! That’s the power of art! Prior to that I had the honor of painting a mural and doing four charcoal portrait drawings for a very popular downtown restaurant here in the city. 1971 as an art student at the Art Students of New York I was awarded a full scholarship to attend this venerable institution! In 1998 I was awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation of NY grant. In 1999 I Commissioned by the White House Historical Association to represent the state of MS in celebrating the 300th anniversary of the White House (2001 calendar). There are many other activities I count as major success that can be found on my website.

Joseph Pearson’s website: josephart.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Artist/Joseph-Pearson-Artist-1785168475036811/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Shannon Morrison

“After many years of using the airbrush, it has become a profoundly magical process for me. I am amazed by how an image seems to magically appear, yet my hand never touches the painting’s surface”

Shannon Morrison is a self-taught artist who creates wonderful pieces of figurative art using his airbrush and acrylic paint. He was born in Michigan in 1973 and currently lives in Arizona, where he is focusing on increasing the production of paintings and improving his technique. With an Iwata HP-B airbrush and Createx colors, Shannon creates beautiful and realistic paintings with a subtle touch of fantasy.

When he is not painting or drawing, this artist also plays the shakuhachi—the Japanese bamboo-flute— and enjoys working out. He describes himself as a “fitness junkie”, and his passion for physical activities led him to appreciate more the human body and inspired him to study human anatomy. In his most recent work, Shannon focuses on the nude female body.

“Blues contemplation” by Shannon Morrison (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist Shannon Morrison shares with PoseSpace how he got into art, why he uses airbrush as a tool, what life experiences influenced his work, valuable advice for artists who have an interest in airbrush and more:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into art?

I have always been involved in art. Ever since I was a young child, I can remember spending hours drawing and coloring. One of my most profound memories was becoming incredibly jealous one holiday because my older brother got a Super Hero drawing set and I did not. I don’t even remember what I did get that holiday. All I remember is that I wanted a drawing kit, so that I could also draw things.

As I got older, I took drawing classes in school, confident that I could go somewhere with my artistic talent. Challenging life experiences kept me from pursuing further art education past high school, but I continued independent art study on my off time and weekends. I worked with anything I could – books, DVD’s, and just pure practice.

In my thirties, I launched a small graphic art business specializing in airbrush and custom painting. This lasted about a decade before I grew weary of the pressures of deadlines and unreasonable requests. I began to realize that I was not cut out for that specific industry and closed the business.

In recent years, I have shifted focus to pursue my own visions and ideas, and that’s where I intend to spend my remaining artistic years.

Why did you choose the airbrush as your main tool?

I chose the airbrush because of its apparent unmatched ability to convey realism, as demonstrated in the inspirational works of Chuck Close, Don Eddy and H.R. Giger. Now, after many years of using the airbrush, it has become a profoundly magical process for me. I am amazed by how an image seems to magically appear, yet my hand never touches the painting’s surface – I have a thought and it’s then rendered.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

There are two major life experiences that have shaped and influenced my art, from the tools used to the subject matter. First, my family seemed to have a never-ending struggle just to get by and I grew up with very little, which forced me to use my imagination as a way to escape this reality. I would create my own intricate worlds which, still to this day, I see come out in my paintings.

Additionally, I was extremely physically active and worked hard to develop my physical capacities, which contributed to my obsession about how the body looked and moved in space. This appreciation and fascination for the human form became the main focus of my art and paintings. My ideas focused on capturing the form in action, like a split second in time, similar to that of a still frame. This stop-in-action would create questions for the viewer as they searched for the story, often creating tension that could not be resolved.  

Do you listen to music while you work? What is your perfect environment to paint?

I am an amateur musician and therefore music is always on when I paint. I use music to shape moods – if the art has a light theme, I find music that creates that mood in me before I start to paint. It’s very hard for me to paint a sad theme in a painting while listening to music that picks me up and makes me happy (and vice versa).

Regarding PoseSpace, do you prefer individual poses, books, or sessions?

Early on, I had been using images from magazines and the internet, but I felt that the finished paintings and images were not fully mine because of potential copyright issues. One solution, using live models, was both time and cost-prohibited for me.  Later, I stumbled upon PoseSpace, which eliminated my need to find or afford live models.  Pose Space allowed me to produce finished art in full confidence that it was my own and without the worries of legal ramifications.

Additionally, I use Sessions, but I had started off with a couple of hard bound books from Amazon. Sessions allows me to see and adjust different perspective and angles with the same model.


What advice do you have for artists who have an interest in airbrush?

The most beneficial advice I can give aspiring airbrush artists is to see the airbrush as a tool to produce a result.  Similar to other art processes, it will have to be learned and practiced until it becomes second nature. In teaching airbrush classes in the past, I found that a lot of the students assumed that the airbrush was easy and some type of silver bullet that would paint great art for them, but that’s not the case. It takes time to master the airbrush, and even after that you still need to have developed drawing skills, understand value and shape, and have mastery of composition and color theory to produce good art. It is my belief that the airbrush does nothing more than apply paint—a very cool way to do it— but it’s still just another tool.

“The Wall” by Shannon Morrison inspired by modelBecca (image shared by artist)

How has your style changed over the years?

Art is a process that is ever unfolding and growing in me – what I am working on now may change completely in ten years. There have been times on my artist’s journey where I never really thought of myself as good enough, but I kept at it. The days became weeks, weeks became months and finally months into years, and somewhere along the way I started looking at my own art and thinking “I am getting pretty good at this.”  It became clear that I had gotten somewhere and had something worthy to say. Now in my forties, I have many years of learning and painting behind me (and so many more to go), yet I feel like I am just starting to see real fruits of my labor. My future goal is to just keep creating and moving forward.

Shannon Morrison’s website: http://shannonmorrisonstudios.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrshannonmorrison

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mr.shannonmorrison/


Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Christina Ellis

“I have worked with many mediums, both in painting and sculpture but for some reason that fact that not many people work in cement/concrete – it interested me more”

Christina Ellis has explored “the storytelling of the human experience” in art for decades. This artist began her career as an illustrator and art director, but later studied sculpture at the University of Alaska where she learned from her professor and favorite artist, Ken Gray. Her work led her to discover and feel passionate about an unpopular material among sculptors: cement.

Ellis has participated in many exhibitions and demonstrations such as the “No Big Heads” show. She is now immersed in her studio in Portland Oregon enjoying the challenges of sculpting busts in cement. She finds inspiration in strangers on the streets and imagines what it would be like to invite them to a dinner party and meet them face-to-face. The result would be hard to predict, just as her cement sculptures.

Sculpture by Christina Ellis (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist Christina Ellis shares with PoseSpace how she fell in love with cement, why Ken Gray is her favorite artist, her rituals and advice to art students:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

I have always been an artist. If I could find some mud or sticks, I was creating art. There was something about it that made the world feel right for me.

How did you get started with cement?

I have worked with many mediums, both in painting and sculpture but for some reason that fact that not many people work in cement/concrete – it interested me more. While researching concrete one day, I came across a video about a sculptor named Katherine Stanek. Her work was so beautiful and profoundly touching the way she took this blah, messy medium and created visual masterpieces. I was hooked.

How do you start a sculpture— do you have any rituals?

I have a ritual candle infused with herbs and essential oils to awaken creativity, playfulness and imagination. I have it burning whenever I am working in my studio.

Do you have a favorite artist?

My favorite artist was my college art professor, Ken Gray. He was a phenomenal artist and sculptor and a phenomenal teacher. He brought out the creative light in each one of his students. I always had a deep interest in sculpture but had been putting off taking sculpture classes because they were long and hard and dirty. One day, I learned Professor Gray had cancer. I immediately enrolled in every one of his classes. He taught me the joy of sculpting.

Scupture by Christina Ellis (image shared by artist)

What do you think of PoseSpace?

I think PoseSpace is an amazing service for artists. The care and artistry that is put into the photography of each pose is a great resource when you can’t get a live model.

You opened an art school in Southern Oregon, could you tell us more about this project?

I had renovated an old house downtown Medford Oregon and wanted to bring art instruction to a community that was not known for its exposure to the creative world. I had a full school of dedicated students, both young and old. My timing was off though, the next year, 2008, people were forced to choose between groceries and art school tuition. I had to close the doors.

What advice do you have for young artists who have an interest in sculpting?

Allow yourself to be free – play, create, make your own rules.

Christina Ellis’ website: www.cmegallery.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cmegallery

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cmegallery

Interview by Andrea Miliani