Artist in Residence
by M Sebastian Araujo
Recently I had a chance to peek into the creative realm of Mr Gordon Publow and amazing Landscape Painter who is going to be featured in our Annual Summer Art Show....
Why do you think ART is important?
I believer ART is vitally important because it is one of the purest forms of expression. It doesn't matter what the medium or style is an artist chooses to create a work. What does matter is a person choosing to express himself or herself in a tangible way. A world without ART would be a dreary place to live. Legend has it that when Winston Churchill (himself an accomplished artist) was asked to cut funding for the arts to support the war effort during WWII, he replied, "Then what are we fighting for?". History does not confirm that this is a direct quote from the august Prime Minister, but the sentiment is there and spot on.
How did your artistic journey begin?
Fifteen years ago my wife and I were traveling to Nantucket with friends for vacation. One of the friends was an accomplished impressionist by the name of Paula Frizbe. Knowing that I loved art, Paula told me that she wanted to teach me to paint while we were on the island. My response was laughter. I told her that I had never paintedin my life; couldn't draw a straight line; and was somewhat color blind. Her response was, "It doesn't matter. Anyone can learn to paint.". She then went on to tell me that when she had taught at the college level her finest student was a young man who was completely color blind. He couldn't tell red from green if his life depended on it.
However, he could see values. After patiently explaining values to me (the ability to distinguish from the darkest dark to the lightest light in a subject), she asked if I had ever been in a gallery and seen a still life or landscape that from across the room looked beautiful, but when studied up close looked flat or one dimensional. I acknowledged that I had.Her response was, the artist knew how to draw and knew colors, but did not understand or grasp values. Values give any subject (still life, landscape, portraiture) shape and dimension. A beautiful painting can be executed with one color.
I knew I could tell light from dark, so I decided to begin painting. Unfortunately, while working in my career, I didn't have a lot of time to paint, but I did take night classes and weekend workshops with some wonderfully talented artists. I retired from my career in 2009, and since then have had much more time to devote to my craft. Painting is something I enjoy doing almost every day, and each time I approach the canvas, I strive to improve my craft.
If you could have a chat with an artist, who would it be and why?
Difficult question! There are so many. However, certainly one of my most favorite artist is the Spanish impressionist, Joaquin Sorolla. He was a master at capturing light and not
being a slave to detail. His brushwork is amazing. I would have loved to watch him paint!