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message 1: by Heather (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:38AM) (new)

Heather | 8542 comments Painting Perceptions
Interview with Dean Fisher by Larry Groff

Man's striving for order, of which art is but one manifestation, derives from a similar universal tendency throughout the organic world; it is also paralleled by, and perhaps derived from, the striving towards the state of simplest structure in physical systems." -- Rudolf Arnheim


Summer Pond


Garden from Above


Larry: "Dean Fisher studied at the America Academy of Art in Chicago, and since, has been exhibiting nationally and internationally in prominent galleries for more than twenty-five years. Dean teaches painting at Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan, Connecticut and privately. He also teaches an amazing landscape painting workshop in Dordogne, France. He also plans to teach in Tuscany, Italy in the Spring. (2018)

I’ve been a great admirer of his paintings and the way he viscerally transforms paint into painterly monuments to nature and art."



Garden

Dean: "A major part of what my work is focused on, a faithful perceptual account of what is in front of me.

The most pivotal aspect of my artistic education was moving to Madrid, Spain after art school and setting up in the Prado museum to copy paintings, this was fantastic in so many ways...[my] primary focus was an investigation of the work of Velazquez.

I soon began to let go of my 19th century approach to painting to experiment with paint, shape and color much more…approaching abstraction but never fully letting go of representing real forms.

I also spent a year in Paris copying at the Louvre and two years in London at the National Gallery. Along with the continued copying, I was also developing my own work., working from models and painting landscapes.

So in a sense I’ve gone full circle and am painting from life exclusively, but now filtered through a great appreciation of modernist movements as well as the entire history of art.



In Between


message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8542 comments
Tightrope


Amandacera

Just about any object bathed in light is extremely beautiful to me, this can be difficult because I want to paint everything…but I try to keep it limited to those subjects which scream “paint me” the loudest.

I really don’t want to analyze beforehand why a subject speaks to me so much because this is very complex, so many things enter into this equation. By defining the reasons too much I fear that my response to the subject will be too pre-meditated, based on assumptions and a fragment of what is really there, all which I believe can inhibit the outcome. Instead I just jump int and with my knowledge, experience and skills try to put everything I see, think and feel about the subject into the painting.



Vertical Still life

I feel my intuition is much more powerful than my rational mind. As the work unfolds, many of the important qualities which are present in the motif begin to reveal themselves to me and I work hard to make sure these things are clearly communicated in the work. The painting also begins to take on it’s own life and then things get really interesting, it then becomes about making decisions based on what the painting is asking for as well as responding to the motif.

Over the years (decades!)I have undergone a long process of coming to realize which qualities I feel must be present in the work for me to feel connected with it. I’m mainly talking about the quality of the mark of the brush, edges, thickness of paint, transparencies all those things which make up a painting language.

I also want the canvas to be a place of investigation and discovery and am very happy when this sense of searching and process is present in the painting, I think this is very interesting for the viewer as well.

I want the painting to look as if it’s being painted before one’s eyes, with a very active surface…the search for a resolved image is all part of that."



Portrait of Josephine, detail


message 3: by Heather (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:38AM) (new)

Heather | 8542 comments Larry: "What do you think about with regard to getting a feeling of light and space in your work?"

Dean: "Well, if it wasn’t for the challenge of trying to capture light and space in my work I wouldn’t be a painter. These qualities are the main subjects of my paintings. If the light and space doesn’t end up working in a particular painting, I usually consider it a failure.

I concentrate on color and tonal relationships as well as using all optical devices available to me in the painting to capture a sense of breathable air and the type of light which is present. When I decide to paint a subject it has so much to do with the quality of light which i see.

I strive to keep all the forms open while developing a painting. When I feel that the edges around things are becoming too uniform, which I feel inhibits air and space, I’ll take a palette knife to it and by scraping the area or entire painting. This almost always greatly improves it and suggests new directions that the painting can follow.



Autumn Pond


message 4: by Heather (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:39AM) (new)

Heather | 8542 comments
Figure by a Redbud Tree

Larry: "How important is direct observation in your work? Have you always painted from life?

Dean:"As a child, I did a lot of drawings and pastel paintings from photos, but as I remember the best work was done from life...During the past ten years or so I haven’t worked from photos at all. In fact, I’ve grown to wonder why figurative painters would choose to work from photos rather than life. Why someone would want a machine to do the editing for them rather than feasting ones eyes on the subject and employing all ones senses while painting or drawing.

A trained eye sees so much more than a camera does, why only work with 60% of what is present in the subject. That coupled with the fact that an artist’s vision becomes sensitized to observing nuance while working from life, this takes many years to cultivate and is an ongoing process.

I also feel there is a tendency for artists to fall in love with a particular photo, so the work becomes about doing a rendering of the photo rather than an investigation of observed reality and the resulting trail and error process over time which, in my opinion, always results in richer surfaces and a more interesting work of art."



March Still life


message 5: by Heather (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:40AM) (new)

Heather | 8542 comments Larry: "What are some of your thought on how you use color?

Dean: "During the past few years I’ve been doing my figure paintings directly on gessoed panels, allowing the warm, white gesso color to serve as the background as well as sometimes invade the form of the figures.

While doing these paintings, I try to respond very faithfully to the colors I see in the model, but I ignore the background which is present. This initially was because I had a very short time to do the painting so I just focused on the figure and it’s gesture. Then I began to combine two and sometimes three figures (or more) together with the goal of getting them to work together compositionally.

I liked the way every mark of the brush becomes completely visible, fresh and full of vitality against the white ground...One of my favorite ways of doing this is to work in a very improvisational manner, asking the model to take different poses every half hour to forty five minutes and try to combine the figures together in a visually interesting way. Some of my most recent figure works have been made in this way. This is a very challenging way of working and can be hit or miss, but when it works, the result can be very satisfying.



message 6: by Heather (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:40AM) (new)

Heather | 8542 comments Larry: "How much does a painters personality effect their use of color?"

Dean: " Well, I would imagine this would be a direct extension of their personality, it becomes a major part of an artist’s personal language. Just think of the difference between Caravaggio and Bonnard, I feel I know a lot about their inner worlds without ever having met either of them."


Figure Composition


Figure with Orchids


message 7: by Heather (last edited Aug 31, 2018 02:41AM) (new)

Heather | 8542 comments
Figure against Pink, Blue and Red

Larry: "Plein air painting is increasingly popular these days. Why do you think that is?"

Dean: "I’m not really sure about that as it has always been a big part of my life. Possibly because more painters are interested in painting realistically and discover that it’s such a fantastic way to learn about color and painting space and light. I’m also hopeful that it’s because once a person experiences working on location, surrounded by all the elements of nature, it’s difficult to only paint within the confines of the studio. I myself, can’t stay inside much when there’s gorgeous light blazing outside."


Summer Pond

Larry: "Do you see the popular Plein air painting “movement” as being significantly different from modern landscape painting made on site?"

Dean: "There’s certainly more individuality and originality coming from those painters working on their own outside. Less product oriented and more about it being an exploration of what a landscape painting can be.


Garden


Still life on Colored Paper


Still life


Figure by a River detail

http://paintingperceptions.com/interv...


message 8: by Judi (new)

Judi (jvaughn) | 59 comments Heather wrote: "Figure against Pink, Blue and Red

Larry: "Plein air painting is increasingly popular these days. Why do you think that is?"

Dean: "I’m not really sure about that as it has always been a big part ..."


Heather wrote: "
Painting Perceptions

Interview with Dean Fisher by Larry Groff


Man's striving for order, of which art is but one manifestation, derives from a similar universal tendency throughout the orga..."


I love the landscapes...so very restful, tranquil, calming.


message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8542 comments I like them, too!


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