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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

Interview with David Nelson

“Once I saw that contemporary artists were dealing with ideas, everything changed for me and I was hooked”

David Nelson is a contemporary artist based in Dublin, New Hampshire. His interest in art began as a child when he discovered comics. Later, at the university, David studied and admired the great artists, but ended up revealing the real value of contemporary art. His work, both abstract and figurative, capture his style and innovation with striking colors and disruptive ideas.

Nelson defines on his website one of his main interests in art, the idea of agency: “For something to come into being by letting other forces be the agent doing it.” This concept makes more sense when we see one of the paintings of his “Incarnation” collection; a bunch of dots in cyan, magenta, yellow, and key —properly placed—that create beautiful shapes of human bodies when seen from the right perspective.

“Incarnation: Garden Variety” 20’ x 16’ clear acrylic finger-painted on billboard vinyl (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A artist David Nelson shares with PoseSpace how he developed his techniques, how he discovered CMYK dots, what contemporary art means to him and a few details about his experience at the Governors Island Art Fair:

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

When I was in my teens, I was an avid comic book collector, and took a comic art class with a local artist. I loved it. I decided to study fine art at University of Maine, where the department head surprised me by taking my not-very-traditional portfolio seriously and was very open and encouraging. I was also happy the university setting would give me the opportunity to study literature, my other big interest.

One of your main interests is the idea of agency and you use only primary colors. What inspired you to come up with this concept?

I began my studies absolutely hating contemporary art, thinking it was the biggest cultural hoax in history. Until my senior year, that is, when I was forced to study it. In spite of myself, I became fascinated. Art was about ideas. Art was a visual means to explore complex questions about life—the same philosophical and theoretical questions I was discussing in English Lit and science classes. What’s the relation between order and chaos, emotion and intellect, objectivity and subjectivity, pattern and disruption? Once I saw that contemporary artists were dealing with ideas, everything changed for me and I was hooked.

Which artist or painter has influenced you?

When I had to do a paper on a living artist for the Contemporary Art class, I told the professor I didn’t know any— my heroes had been Degas, Vermeer and Tiepolo. He said, “OK, do Jean Dubuffet.” I never heard of him, so when I saw his paintings looked like the scrawls of a child or tar poured on a canvas, I was horrified. That is, until I read his thinking behind it. He was trying to capture something universal and atavistic, something deeper than intellect or observation. He was grappling with those same dynamic balances I was: organic/mechanical, emotional/intellectual, abstraction/representation.

How has your style changed over the years?

In college I made abstract works with a tight linear pattern, but using paint that would creep and craze on its own. I created strict grids that were made up of scribbles, mechanical patterns made up of organic leaf shapes, splatters that were random, but precisely placed by a friend’s personal computer.

Later, experience in graphic design and art direction introduced me to CMYK process color. This got me thinking, what if I spattered the dot pattern with paint? What if I controlled the paint by using random numbers or scattered objects? I’d be making an image by relinquishing control rather than taking hold of it. Colors would layer and mix “on their own.” I spent about ten years exploring this dynamic in non-objective process paintings.

I was tempted to use the CMYK dot idea to form more concrete images, but that was crazy — introduce subject matter? Things!? Actual things are so freighted with meaning—or plagued with cliché. Then I remembered Dubuffet: kids and cavemen all wanted to draw the same thing— the simple human form.

So I took straightforward, full-body photos of my family, color-separated them, blew them up to life-size, and executed the coarse dot pattern with clear CMYK acrylic from a ketchup squirter. No pose, just standing there—a record of “this is me.” I liked how the vagueness of the painted dots fought with the photographic “realness” of a particular individual. I’ve explored this idea in a range of scales—applying paint with industrial syringes at postage-stamp-size, to finger-painting 20’ x 16’ figures on billboard vinyl.

To learn as much as I could about the figure, I decided to try sculpture. It worked for Degas, after all! I was pleasantly surprised to find I had a pretty good working knowledge of anatomy. Drawing those muscular superheroes in my comic art days wasn’t wasted.

“Garden Variety” 12” x 12” x 20” Polymer clay, artificial moss, glass garden cloche (image shared by artist)


How did you discover www.posespace.com?

It became pretty clear that If I was investigating the body in this iconic way, it was inevitable for me to consider the nude. It was great to find quality reference at Posespace. I’ve been especially glad to see models with “normal” body types and straightforward poses. The 360-degree views are tremendously helpful for sculpture.

Can you tell us about your experience at the Governors Island Art Fair?

Governors Island is a former military base 800 yards off Manhattan’s southern tip. For  five weekends each September, over 100 artists from around the world transform spaces in the historic buildings with their art. I showed paintings from my “Incarnation” series in 2017 and 2018. It was terrific to talk with hundreds of visitors every weekend. My artist’s statement prompted a lot of great conversations: “The human experience means bringing our unseen into where it can be received some way by other bodies. And something is always lost in translation. So life is always a beautiful, frustrating challenge of giving and receiving partial messages, garbled transmissions, incomplete sentences.”

David Nelson’s website:  www.davidnelsonart.com

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


Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Davey Edwards

“I believe the female anatomy is one of the hardest to sketch in realist form. The way movement and gravity affects the fluidity of women’s anatomical parts is one of God’s greatest designs”

Davey Edwards teaches cadastral sciences in Texas and has a Ph.D. in geosciences, but during his spare time —besides riding his Jeep— he uses his pencils to improve his drawing techniques and exercise the right side of his brain. A few years ago, he started drawing on his son’s lunch bag and, after some encouraging feedback, he decided to share his art.

Even though he doesn’t consider himself an artist, he’s been building an interesting portfolio on his Instagram account. The female body is his biggest challenge and favorite subject. PoseSpace poses have helped Edwards understand the human body, and social media channels have been a great source of motivation: “I use other’s artwork on Instagram to inspire me. There are a lot of great artists around the world!”.

“Lazy Summer” by Davey Edwards inspired by Adhira from Posepace (Image shared by artist)

In this Q&A interview, Davey Edwards shares with PoseSpace his goals and aspirations as an artist, his favorite painters, and the life experiences that have influenced his work:

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

Currently, I am a professor of cadastral sciences at a university in Texas.  I grew up loving the sciences but also loved art; drawing, painting and sculpture. When I went to college, I studied pre-medicine with aspirations to be an orthopedic and design prosthetics.  My love of art found a new avenue when I studied anatomy and where I got into figurative art of the human body.

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

All day I use the left side of my brain, to be able to sit down and concentrate on an art piece give me a sense of relaxation and use the right side of my brain.  For several years now, I have been wanting to write a graphic novel, or an illustrated novel. I have a storyline and have sat down a couple of times to write it but usually get busy and lose interest before getting it back again.  The name is Allu, it is about a succubus born from a fallen angel, Lilith, and Adam and Eve’s first born, Cane. It is a mixture of legend and biblical history.

Allu, Davey Edwards’ fictional character inspired by Sarahann (Image shared by artist)

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

Well my favorite artist and the one I think I usually emulate is William Bouguereau but he is not living.  But for one that is living I would say Amahi Mori, she is a pencil artist who has got a great understanding of human anatomy. I would say that I try and use her style of pencil art combined with Bouguereau.  As you can see, as long as I practice and push my ability, my art has evolved with pencil.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

If I had to choose a favorite Posespace model, it would be Saju and Sarahann.  They appear to be tall and proportioned to how I would like to see my character, Allu.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

I think I live a very interesting life.  A lot of what I get to see influences my artwork from real life to museums.  If you scroll through my Instagram account, you may notice that I primarily sketch/paint female characters.  This comes from my love and respect for women and not what some might think. I believe the female anatomy is one of the hardest to sketch in realist form.  The way movement and gravity affects the fluidity of women’s anatomical parts is one of God’s greatest designs.

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

Oh if I could only be right half the time…

Davey Edwards’ instagram: https://www.instagram.com/doubledaggie/

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Dennis Young

“It is inherently satisfying to reproduce on paper or canvas a likeness of a human soul that engages the emotion and the concerto of effects and highlights of the human form”

Dennis Young is a self-taught artist located in New Castle, Delaware. He worked in healthcare for many years but now he is a full-time artist. Around twelve years ago, he decided to paint again and remembered how much he enjoyed doing this. Figurative art that captures moments—cityscapes, facial expressions, experiences, landscapes— became his new passion.

Recently, Young opened his own gallery where he exhibits his beautiful oil and pastel paintings. He specializes in plein air art and has earned many awards in this field. During winter, he takes refuge in his studio and works on portraits and human figures.

Dennis Young’s business card featuring painting
 of model Jenni (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A painter Dennis Young shares with PoseSpace how he became a doctor and an artist, his regrets and satisfactions, advice for students or artists interested in plein air painting, and more:

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

At the end of my last semester in Pre-Med in college I opted for a studio drawing elective where I drew assignments in charcoal on newsprint. My instructor set me aside from the rest of the class to work independently. I also drew faces from photos and that really pleased me. But I had intended to become a doctor since ninth grade and art did not figure into that. During the first two summers at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, I went out into the countryside in Wilmington and painted landscapes that would take me weeks to complete. I had never heard of “plein air painting” and I had no instruction. I still loved to paint faces and did so back at home. When I started a private practice in psychiatry and started a family with my wife, Teresa, I put away the paints for the next 30 years and didn’t think about them. Now that’s a HUGE regret. I stumbled upon a notice in the local paper for an introductory watercolor class and tried it. Then it all came back to me. For about the last dozen years or so I have been trying to make up for that lost time and think about how much farther along I would be in my artwork if I had just peeked out an hour a week back then to paint and draw.

Why figurative art?

I am drawn to paint the human figure and especially the face and the eyes. It is inherently satisfying to reproduce on paper or canvas a likeness of a human soul that engages the emotion and the concerto of effects and highlights of the human form… the light and shadows, the warmth and coolness, the form and subtleties. Sort of Pygmalion-like, I look forward in the mornings to visiting the easel and gazing (critically) upon the developing form on the easel where only days before there were only a few unintelligible paint marks on the canvas.

Can you tell us about the process of making your work? How do you decide when to work in your studio and when to work outside?

I especially enjoy painting outside and being engaged as part of that subject. I like to paint where people are and to interact with the curious. I have even dressed in pirate costume and painted Delaware’s tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel. The difference between painting inside and outside is analogous to listening to a concert on the stereo and being at a live performance. I do not paint outside in the winter months and my studio is my favored activity where I paint from photos in travel and also my portraits and figures from live models but especially from the PoseSpace site. That is a joy that justifies winters for me.

I begin the painting of the form directly with lightly sketching in thinned oils and then block in colors and focusing on getting my facial proportions right. I establish highlights and put a lot of focus on the eyes. I suppose my 40 years of office consultations where I would listen and look directly into the eyes and facial expressions of people have influenced my gravitation to perceptions of facial nuances.

(images shared by artist)

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

I have several PoseSpace models I gravitate to but the one I have painted the most is Jenni. She has brought me awards and she graces my business card. She garners the most comments in my newly opened gallery, Mo’zArt. That’s the gallery I have opened in Old New Castle, DE after having retired from medicine.

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

I have participated in quite a few competitions and shows in the past ten years and I will be in more this year but the highlight of my artistic ambitions has been to open my own gallery a year ago in the center of the charming historic town of New Castle, Delaware. I exclusively hang my own work. Though I am not making a profit from sales I am having a blast. I host Fourth Friday Art Loops there where residents and tourist come and enjoy the art, good conversation, wine and live (in warm months) music. My current show for February and March is exclusively the form and portrait, “Clothing Optional”.

What advice would you give to young artists regarding plein air painting?

I would advise someone new to plein air painting to make every opportunity to go out and paint, even if in solitary circumstances. One reason is to soak up the experience of being out in the aforementioned live “concert”. Another is to attempt to see nature as the instructor who will show color in shadows or who will give a critique about painting what you SEE rather than what you KNOW. This is an opportunity to get your mistakes out of the way and to feel good about some beauty you’ve created been if you hadn’t planned it. You will surprise yourself one day with some real gem you’ve painted and that will come with practice.

What’s been your greatest artistic success?

I am still awaiting my greatest artistic success which may forever elude me. That would be winning a significant award in a major plein air competition. Otherwise my cherished successes has been the satisfaction of seeing the emotional reaction in people to whom I have delivered a commissioned painting. Even when I wasn’t so satisfied with the painting myself!

Dennis Young’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dyoungarts

Website: www.dennisyoungarts.com

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Duke Marsh

“I realized that with emotion that I can paint any subject I want in any style I want”

Duke Marsh is a talented rising painter located in Southern California. He recently started his artistic career and shares his wonderful paintings on his Instagram account. His biggest influences have been “the delicate touch of Michelangelo, the shadows of Rembrandt, the softness of Monet and the vivid life of Van Gogh.”

Marsh’s art education is based on visits to distinctive museums such as the Getty Museum. He explained that after looking at art history he then tries to recreate the paintings from his personal perspective to build what his mind sees. Color blindness didn’t stop this artist from daring to experiment with color, emotions and realistic representations.

Sailboat in a Plein Air scene by Duke Marsh (image shared by artist)

In this Q&A painter Duke Marsh shares with PoseSpace how he started his artistic career, why artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt have had a great influence in his work and how he will pursue his professional career:

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

I always wanted to be able to paint or draw but I think the logical side of my brain got in the way. Then, about three years ago I learned a different way to think about pictures. That is when I finally started making worthwhile paintings. I’ve now done 96 paintings in the last 3 years.

Since I really didn’t have any art training, I had a lot to learn (I had one watercolor class 40 years ago.) While I have a doctorate, my jobs have been in everything except for art. My goal was to first teach myself to be able to paint realistically. I figured when I have enough control of the brush to paint the sailboat in a Plein Air scene and have it look realistic, then when I go to do something that’s more impressionistic or fantasy it will be what I actually set out to paint.

Is art a hobby for you or do you make a living from it?

Right now I do this as a hobby. However, I’m a goal-oriented person and I plan on doing this professionally. I’m in my sixties now so I have more and more time to paint. And the world has no limits, so I started putting my paintings on Instagram. Now that I have an inventory and my own styles I am just looking for the right gallery to form a long-term relationship.

How did you discover www.posespace.com?

The Art Model books led me to the posespace site. The girl holding her legs is the first nude I tried to paint. It was inspired by one of the poses. I had real troubles with the skin tones since I’m color blind.

Painting  by Duke Marsh (image shared by artist)

Van Gogh seems to be a great influence in your work. Can you tell us about your connection with this artist?

Once I started getting fairly realistic, I realized that I needed some motion or emotion to make the pictures more interesting. Also, I liked the dramatic use of black by Rembrandt. However, I still thought my paintings were lacking quite a bit. Too much black loses the vibrant emotions. That’s when I started combining vivid Van Gogh colors with the black shadows of Rembrandt while still trying to get some emotion or movement into it. I realize that with emotion that I can paint any subject I want in any style I want.

Also, when I read that van Gogh was alive during the Golden Age of the Cowboys is when I started doing my “What if Van Gogh met” series of cowboy paintings.

Do you ever think about what your legacy will be?

I haven’t thought of what my legacy would be until you ask that question. I hope to be remembered as the painter who brought paintings to life.

Duke Marsh’s Instagram:  @duke_marsh_artist

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Aleksandar Tancovski

“I don’t care how long it takes, one day I will be making oil paintings on large canvases of fantasy art like my Old Masters”

Aleksandar Tancovski is a 21 years old art student, born in Skopje, Macedonia. Ever since he was a little boy he enjoys drawing, especially the female body. However, when he was in high school, Aleksandar thought he would become an actor, until one day his father found a pamphlet of an art course that changed his life.

This young artist was so fascinated by the atmosphere of his art course that he decided to enroll in the Faculty of Art & Design of the European University-Republic of Macedonia (EURM). One of his biggest fears is being replaced by machines, that’s why—he explained— he didn’t choose an academy of traditional arts; taking a more modern academic program gives him peace of mind.

Drawing by Aleksandar Tancovsky (image shared by Artist)

One of his beautiful drawings—of our model Adhira, is featured on PoseSpace’s home page. In this Q&A Aleksandar Tancovski explains how he discovered fantasy art, who are his favorite artists and what are his aspirations as an artist:

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

Like every kid, I started drawing early, the difference is, I didn’t stop. In kindergarten there was this kid that was drawing knights and castles. Sounded like a better idea than the monsters I was drawing at that time so I started drawing knights, at first on top of castles or just single units standing in the middle of nowhere.  I’ve always been a daydreamer, always imagining myself in some medieval battlefield or a fantasy world with creatures, my parents and peers were worrying why was I lost all the time and walking in circles, running around or swinging with my arms. I guess this would be considered normal as an artist?

As soon as I got into primary school I started drawing legions of knights in which they engaged into battles like in a strategy video-game (basically stick figures with bows and arrows, shields and spears, swords, horses). I guess the inspiration for that came from video game Age of Empires 2 and Stronghold. As soon as that phase passed, I got into drawing weapons, tanks and soldiers because I played First-person shooter video games and finally, I got into Warcraft 3 (fantasy strategy game) and started drawing characters from the game (Elves, orcs, undead, human). It was then, when I looked at some of the concept art and fan art of the characters in the game, that I learned of a theme called ‘Fantasy art’.

Which artist or painter has influenced you?

When I learned about ‘Fantasy art’ I looked it up on Google images and as I was scrolling through the images, a drawing of an elf woman with a spear caught my eye. It was from a fantasy artist named Clyde Caldwell. And I was like: “Wow, the female body sure is a great thing”.

I was fascinated by the female figure and it went off from there, I found out about other artists like Boris Vallejo, Luis Royo and of course, the best of the best: Frank Frazetta. I looked up to them like previous generations looked up to the Old Masters. They were the Da Vincis, the Durers and the Caravaggios for me. All these barbaric women, witches, fairies, demons, they were like visualizations of my dreams. Probably induced by video games or movies. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to visualize my dreams and share them with others, maybe my daydreaming and night dreaming could be put to some good use. So I what did I do? I started copy drawing. But something wasn’t right. Why were my drawings nowhere near as good as my Old masters? (Gee, I wonder why) Because I didn’t know the basics of shading, I didn’t know about form or anatomy. I was just trying to make my drawings look as much as possible as theirs.

It didn’t work that way and when I think about it, why would I want to copy somebody else’s style and story? Why not create my own? So I decided, I will learn anatomy and shading but not by copying someone else’s drawings, but by drawing real models where I choose how to shade, what to shade, what kind of pose it will be, how much contrast to put, the contours and only that way I will be able to slowly develop my style and learn anatomy before I go into fantasy art. Posespace enabled just that.

At one point I had a pretty dark imagination because I got into the thriller genre and I was also influenced by Beksinski and H.R. Giger, I drew macabre art but it had more shock value than actual artistic merit. Until I have perfected anatomy, perspective, coloring and shading, I will not go into that despite the ideas waiting in line to be realized.

Painting made by Aleksandar Tancovsky (Image shared by artist) 

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

I daydream and night dream more than I actually draw. Before I start drawing I usually do a few sketches or just crosshatch on a bill or a piece of paper and draw simple shapes to warm up. I listen to A way of life from Hans Zimmer (from the Last Samurai, great movie) and other music from movies, anime and so forth.

What is the importance of gesture drawing for you?

Well practicing gestures helps a lot, I think that I can draw a decent pose just from my mind and I’ll need that when I won’t have a pose in front of me or won’t be able to find the pose I’m looking for.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

Hmmm, this one is a bit difficult to answer. I think currently my best drawing is the one of Michaela‘s pose*. To me it’s more about the pose itself and the lightning. I like high contrast and when the tendons, the veins, the muscles, the ribs and the wrinkles are visible and pop out. I like the body in the drawing to look as one of my art course teachers put it ‘Powerful’.

*featured on the cover image

Do you have a favorite source of materials?

I think I shouldn’t move to another medium until I have perfected the pencil but I had to at the University. I use mostly Staedtler pencils and Faber Castell. As for other mediums, I am pretty good with pastels (Koh-I-Noor) and watercolors (Faber Castell and Staedtler). I have not practiced enough with acrylics and oils, but I intend to use oil in the future as my medium of choice, hopefully.

What are your goals or aspirations as an artist?

I am currently working on perfecting the technique so I can have the tools to visualize my ideas. I have tons and tons of ideas, just waiting in line, ringing my brain and I just hope they will sound just as well in the future as they sound now. There are 3 things I want to have: perfect technique, unique style and a story behind my artwork. I don’t care how long it takes, one day I will be making oil paintings on large canvases of fantasy art like my Old Masters.

I also hope that one day I’ll be a teacher as well, I’m the kind of kid that’s gotten into something he likes and just won’t shut up about it, I guess that kind of enthusiasm will be appealing to some of the students mixed with a bit of sense of humor.

Other goals would include my own comic book with characters, designing video game characters and inspiring other artists.

Aleksandar Tancovski’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atancovsky/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tancovski.aleks

Interview by Andrea Miliani

Interview with Eric Saint Georges

“I cannot imagine myself anymore doing anything else… and regret sometimes not to have done this many years ago. There is so much to learn and life is so short”

Eric Saint Georges is a talented French artist living in the USA since 1994. Even though he’s always enjoyed drawing and building objects, he has had a conflicted relationship with art. After college, Eric studied electrical engineering but didn’t join the workforce right away. Instead, he followed his artistic instincts and went to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris for two years. He learned to draw and sculpt, and participated in a workshop with French artist Pétrus in 1978.

However, after developing his artistic skills, Eric preferred to work as an engineer for 35 years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he decided to devote himself to art and started drawing, building sculptures, teaching art and experimenting with different materials in his studio in Los Gatos, California.

Ali, bronze 10″ high. Sculpture by Eric Saint Georges (image shared by artist)

This artist has learned to incorporate his knowledge —including Aikido, a Japanese martial art he’s been practicing for over 45 years— and take advantage of his virtues to create art. In this Q&A artist Eric Saint Georges shares with PoseSpace his life-changing experiences, favorite artists and future projects:

Even though you studied drawing and sculpture in the “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts” in 1978, you pursued your professional career as an electrical engineer. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that you decided to make art. Could you tell us more about this decision and how you felt at that moment?

After all these years of engineering, I felt that none of what I have done couldn’t have been done by someone else. Of course, I had fun solving some interesting problems but I felt that at the end of the day all this hard work was not making much of a difference. On the other end, I loved art, I knew I had some talent and a lot to learn and progress to make. I had been thinking a lot about it for several years, and at some point made the decision. I took another couple of years to transform our garage into a studio, wait until our daughters were out of college, and quit my job. For one year, I still worked half time as an engineer while taking various art classes and in January 2016 went into art full time. I cannot imagine myself anymore doing anything else… and regret sometimes not to have done this many years ago… There is so much to learn… and life is so short. Maybe it is the reason I like to work fast, and focus on expression and energy, with little interest in realistic representation of things.

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

My favorite is probably Andy Goldsworthy land art. I also love Pierre-Yves Tremois etchings (his lines are so beautiful).

What life experiences have influenced your work?

I believe my aïkido practice is helping me to understand and experience that power (in the case of martial art) and true expression (in case of art) cannot come from the intellect, and has to come from your core, without interference from your mind… This is also another reason why I work fast. If I take the time to think, my work loses its energy and its life.

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

I believe people have and will always connect with human form representation. That is our nature. Now, whether this is an important part of the current art culture, I am not sure…

Drawing by Eric Saint Georges (image shared by artist)

You mentioned you would like to use your engineering background to combine art and technology. Have you started doing this?

I started a project using Virtual Reality and 3D printing to create sculptures. I have also a few projects I am thinking about. One is about interactive art. Today’s technology brings us many tools we can use for that purpose. Taking people (random) inputs, and transforming them (using computer algorithms combined with physical elements) into animated images or sounds. Another one is to create interesting and beautiful ways to visualize science phenomena so that people can experience them as images, videos or sounds. These will probably take time to realize. In the meantime, working on my sculptures, designing new types or armatures, making molds, casting bronze, etc… involve a lot of engineering.

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

When I was young I thought I had plenty of time…

Eric’s website: http://www.ericsaintgeorges.com/about/

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

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-saint-georges-979817/

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

Interview by Andrea Miliani