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Artists -- In Their Own Words

Why they make art.

by David Pyle (December 20, 2004)

Next year ColArt will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Liquitex Artist Color (acrylics). As part of the celebration, ColArt is honoring a number of artists who work with Liquitex. The company will feature them in a variety of forums, including print publications, in-store point-of-sale, and a special, 50th anniversary catalog. The complete interviews as well as other exclusive content will be featured on www.liquitex.com. Here's a capsule summary of why they are artists Ė in their own words.

Jamie Bollenbach, Painter, Seattle, WA

"I donít really believe in talent as much as I believe in discipline. Persistence. I donít think that art is something that is only the result of some super special case of magical ability. Itís something that you can train for and learn from other people."

Todd Ryan, Graphic Designer/Painter, Jersey City, NJ

"I make art because there is no compromise.... There is no permission slip to put paint to canvas; I can create whatever I want."

Rodriquez Calero, Painter, Union City, NJ

"I think the imagery really comes, once again, from my identity. I find through my art, people approach me more easily but on a different level. I donít like to have my picture taken with my work because I think my art speaks for itself. think the imagery was just a way, I think, maybe to make myself more approachable."

Beth Cote, Altered Book Artist, Winnebago, IL

"Itís not just doing art. Itís being creative. People are creative in a lot of different ways but they just donít acknowledge it. I think that happy people are always creative in some way. They may be creative in cooking, or musically or mathematically. Itís part of us as human beings; itís part of our (collective) soul. Iím just really lucky to be in a job that I can do it everyday."

Bob Anderson, Painter, Cedar Grove, NJ

"Civilizations are measured and judged historically by the culture they produce, arenít they? And certainly much of the artistís job is as record keeper of the emotional, visual, political, societal quality of life. But I think the greatest gift that an artist can give is not just as record keepers but as culture makers."

Kristin Lamb, Graduate Student/Painter, Rhode Island School of Design

"Making things is the most vital thing you can do. That, and being constantly aware of whatís around you. Communicating about how important it is to stay human and just sort of stay rough and raw. Thatís a big thing for me. I donít think anything should be Ďverboten,í however horrible it is. Images are like a way to share, regardless of how troubling the area."

Franklin White, Teacher/Painter, Washington, DC

"Painting is the easy part for me. The (preliminary) drawing is more difficult because youíre making all the decisions about composition, color and so on. So, translating that into paint is the most fun for me. You donít really have to think. You can have fun manipulating the material. Well, you do have to think but not in the same way."

Garo Antreasian, Painter/Printmaker, Albuquerque, NM

(Note: Art historians consider Garo Antreasian to be the first artist to use Liquitex Artist Color Ė on a a mural at Indiana University in 1956.)

"I learned that I could do things with the materials to coax them to do my bidding. I didnít have to rely on Ė or be limited by -- whatever came off the shelf. I understood that I could adjust or compound the materials to get them to do what I needed."

(Note: To read previous Designing Perspectives articles, click on the titles in the right-hand column. To comment (on or off the record) on this or other industry subjects, email Mike Hartnett at mike@clnonline.com.)



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