Wednesday, August 5, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST: David Roberts

Here is the first interview in a series, with Artists. I have been wanting to do this for a while and finally here it is.


GKelly by David Roberts + David Roberts by GKelly

I sent a pic of myself for David Roberts to sketch and I have sketched one of him here so that the reader can have a visual of the interview taking place. David is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

In December 2006, when Grandmamma appeared on the Daily Painters gallery for the first time, she caught my eye....her paintings were so naive and they were of so many different subjects, including "covers" of other Artist's works. Other Artists that I loved. I became overly curious one day and sent an e-card to a friend of mine of the "Chocolate Dancant" (after Lautrec, by Grandmamma)
I said in the card - "Look at what Grandmamma is doing!?" I loved this cover of Toulouse's painting. There were others that charmed me: "Bright Pillows", "The Kiss", "Odalisque", "Ruins, Cariad", "Free as a Bird", " √Čtant Complet". These were the early ones....some after Lautrec, Matisse- my faves and some originals.

I had to get the story on this Grandmamma! So I emailed her and she was a HIM. (If you looked you could tell from the photo in her bio). David Roberts wrote back and gave me a brief bio and we became friends. We, each, own several of the other's paintings. He has always intrigued me. What is he thinking? I would ask myself often when I looked at his work. You can read what he says in his own words below. This painting below of "Odalisque" is my absolute favorite.

I just had to have it, so I asked how much and to my delight I was able to barter. I think I got the better part of the deal.....
I should show you some others that are his originals and not covers of other Artists...below- a good one: "Waterbearer at the Threshold"




Here are some questions that David answered for me:

Q In your words describe your Art:

A "Atmospheric"

Q You belong to the online Daily Painters Gallery and were originally going under the pseudonym "Grandmamma", please explain why and why you are now going by your real name.

A I had the grandmamma.com internet domain name (among others). And stored digital images of my work there. Someone - maybe you - described me as an Outsider Artist. I didn't know what I was, I just painted. After people started buying and collecting my paintings, it didn't seem to matter if I was an outsider, insider, impressionist, expressionist, extortionist or contortionist. Then I remembered there was a famous painter named David Roberts and so I took his name instead of grandmamma. It seems to have worked. Many who have bought my work believe it is by the real David Roberts.

Q How long ago did you start painting? Posting? What is the background story to posting on the internet?

A I quit painting in Kindergarten. And started again, ex nihilo, Oct 22, 2006. Who knows why? A power greater than myself suggested I pick up a brush and some pigments. After I'd made about 50-60 paintings I wondered: is anyone else doing this? And I discovered the Daily Painters Movement. Then I found the Daily Painters Gallery and joined in December 2006. I've made more than 600 paintings since then and posted most of them on the DPG.

Q Where else do you show your work?

A Gallery Lacosse, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: http://www.tlacosse.com/

Q What work or works of yours are outstanding to you and why?

A I always like today's painting because it is all fresh & new, smells nice & is still wet behind the ears. But if I had to choose which to save in a fire it would be the sepias: Northwest Angle, Out for Trout, Temple at Philae. I'm also really happy with a pair of mirror-image monochromes: A Winter's Day and A Winter's Night: the same scene Day/Night. I don't know why, I just like 'em. Sometimes I can't believe I made 'em. Must've been the other David Roberts.

Q Do you support yourself through your Art sales? If not, how else do you make a living?

A This man is a fulltime painter, OK? If I need money because I haven't sold a painting for awhile, I write something. Which is what I used to do for money before I was a fulltime painter.

Q Who are some of your favorite Artists?

A In awe of so many wonderful painters .... where to start? How about some to whom I've paid homage by copying their mark-making - because I wanted to know, how do they do it? David Milne, Tom Thomson, Delacroix, Lautrec, Kunihiro Amano, G. Kelly, Edouard Chimot, Kandinski, Cezanne, Rousseau, the other David Roberts, The photographer P.H. Emerson - all the other fine painters of the Daily Painters Gallery.

Q Who or what influences your Artwork?

A Everything is in the mix, one must suppose. My work is influenced by all my human experiences leading up to today. I resist all styles & genres because I don't know what they are anyway. To me, painting is just storytelling. As our DPG colleague Edward Gordon says, if someone else calls it art - that's great.

Q What is your process, for painting?

A Similar to the process for writing, as in my novel 'The Alchemist's Song'. I take all the great literary works: The Bible, The Baghavad Gita, Winnie-the-Pooh. I mix them up. I print them out on reams of paper. I sit under a tree and soak up the atmosphere, circling words that jump out at me, like making Haiku. With writing I create a phrase that usually ends up in the middle of the story - it must be just the right phrase - and write backwards and forwards (both directions at once) from there. The process for making marks on paper or canvas with pigment is influenced by this. I soak in the atmosphere of the day. I look at photographs I've shot (sky, buildings, trees, water, moon, earth - persons). I lay down a graphite under-drawing. I choose a brush. I create a palette. I paint from right to left because I am left-handed. After 4-5 hours I stop. Put caps on paint tubes. Wash brushes.

Q What is your next project?

A Some atmospheric words soon will materialize to accompany the paintings on http://blog.grandmamma.com/

HERE ARE SOME PICS FROM DAVID:

signature piece above: Blues for Pablo



Below is a little 10 question handwritten quiz I gave David to write/draw his answers and each of us scanned it and emailed it back and forth - that's why you can't read it....but he's snail mailing it back to me and when I get it I will scan it to post and it will be legible on this blog. Then you can read- even more interesting things about David. But if you click on the below image it will magnify it to read more clearly.


T
HE END
stay tuned for monthly interviews by following this blog.

4 comments:

  1. this is so interesting, thank you so much for making it possible !

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  2. Great interview, GK. I've always been intrigued by David's paintings as well. I love his style, and busject matter. Each painting is so interesting to experience. It's great to get to know a little more about him.

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  3. Gretchen...Thanks for your illumination on David Roberts. I too am a fan of his intriguing, and beautiful artwork. He had me on Grandmamma.

    In this DPG netscape, it's incredible to read more about the thoughts behind the work and David trumps (not a race indeed) others in his breadth and reach into the heart of other artists, as well as his own originals.

    Thanks David for posting your workshop, and your beautiful Canadian backdrop.

    To us moon watchers, tonight (6th...) is a full one. I just camped along the beach in Malibu and saw it rise in all it's luminocity.

    I like both your work so very much, and have been a daily watcher of your oeuvres.

    Excellent entry....and what a brilliant response.

    Thanks.

    Nina

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  4. I have been unable to leave a comment here myself and now I finally resolved that issue. Thanks all, for your great feedback and I am trying to finish up my current interview before the night is over. It is the full moon tonight and it just came over the top of the roofline into my view......more later- stay tuned.

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