Where do you paint?

I work in my office studio, located in New York City’s West Chelsea arts and galleries district.

What type of painting do you do?

I primarily work with oil paint on canvas. I sometimes incorporate digital print-outs, adhesive contact paper, and other materials in my paintings. I also work in a variety of media, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. I use traditional materials--such as clay, plasters, gouache, watercolor, pen, and inks--as well as digital media, to create digital etchings, engravings, and prints. In general, the medium is determined by the project and methods I want to use or experiment with. My creative rules are based on an open system and I choose whichever materials best express what I want to say visually.

What is your studio like?

My studio is in an old manufacturing building. It is an open space, a white box with walls and high ceilings. The space can be configured in many ways, depending on the type of project I am working on at the moment.

I do not use an easel?

My paintings are done on the wall; I have a hanging system for the canvas, which can handle a canvas up to nine feet long and eight feet high. The wall is eighteen feet long by twelve feet high, so I can do very large work if I choose. I usually stretch my canvas by hand over a wood frame, which I make out of 2x2 pine, or use pre-made stretcher bars. I prepare the canvas with gesso, usually three or four coats. This gives me a high, bright white surface. I use a #10 or #12 cotton canvas, about eleven to fourteen ounces. I also use linen canvas when I can afford the expense.

What are your paintings about?

My work is contemporary and I am an artist working in America, so I guess I would be caterogized as a contemporary American artist. Many of my paintings are based on ideas and statements that I feel are important and reflect upon contemporary life. I have done paintings based on social content, political agendas, artists and art history, the plasticity of form and function, and the basic elements of painting, such as color, line, form and shape. I've also worked on art which reflect my personal ideas and feelings, which I need to express. Some of the works are commissions or projects, based on pre-determined specifications and imagery. Sometimes an image, thought, or idea presents itself to me and I need to illustrate or represent the idea to capture what I am seeing or feeling. This can be the beginning of a painting, sculpture or installation piece, and is the visualization of what I want to express.

Do you know what you want to paint before you begin?

Some days I start with a blank white canvas and begin to work with line and color, and the painting appears. It becomes a dialogue between the painting and me, a "cause and effect" relationship. I apply a color or a mark and the paint says something back, and I answer. At other times, painting can be purely mechanical, with a purpose and an end result in mind.

Why have you experimented with so many different art forms?

I consider my overall body of work style-less. I can change the rules of painting or art-making as I see fit, to meet my needs and expressionistic vision. Innovation and taking risks are important. I like to experiment with my work at times, by trying different techniques, materials and ideas.

Why did you start exploring digital printmaking processes?

Digital engraving and etching allows for great experimentation, because you work from instinct, and the computer graphics programs make any mark reversible. I consider digital engraving to be the twenty-first century's printmaking--the modern equivalent of the practice that Dürer, Rembrandt, and Picasso all mastered.

What gallery represents you?

A gallery does not represent me. I am an independent, self-represented artist. I show and sell my work through my studio, or at independent shows and exhibits. You can schedule a studio visit.

Where do you show your paintings?

I show my work whenever possible, as opportunities become available. I usually show two to three times a year at independent curator shows and exhibitions. I host several open studio shows a year.

Do you make a living as an artist?

Yes, I am a full time professional fine artist. I have been paying my monthly bills and living expenses for many years.

How long have you been an artist?

I rented my first studio in 1980, in an artist coop warehouse in the warehouse district of Minneapolis, MN. I moved to New York City in 1988. I found an artist studio in Soho on Mercer Street and worked there until 2005. In that year I moved from Soho to Tribeca; I remained at 401 Washington St, Studio 5E. In March, 2009, I moved my studio to the West Chelsea Arts building.




© copyright 2016, Scotto Mycklebust. All rights reserved.