|Autumn Twilight by Deborah Paris|
A continuation of my interview with Deborah Paris. For part one click here.
Deborah- It's important to never reach your goal. Always be fascinated. When you choose to be an artist that choice has consequences, how you live your life...what you feel compelled to do. You must never reach the place you want to be.
L- Please talk a little bit about your metamorphosis as a painter.
Deborah- I started out as an alla prima painter painting in a high key fashion. Ned Jacob, my mentor, painted that way as well. I didn't have a reference for indirect painting in landscape. I didn't know a contemporary painter that painted that way.
I was a pastelist first. The way I was working was suited to pastel. I didn't worry about dry or not dry. I just picked it up and put it down. Ironically when working in pastel I never did an underpainting. I always worked directly. My move to oil and glazing was a technical transformation driven completely by aesthetics.
I had continued my art history studies and became reacquainted with the Hudson River School, Constable and Corot. I remember the big exhibit of Hudson River painter, Sanford Gifford (the same exhibition that was at the Met in 2004 and DC in 2005.) At that time I lived in New Mexico and the show was at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. I drove there twice, just to see it. It was an amazing show.
Through my studies and visits to museums I began to be drawn to the Tonalist way. I read information about technique, I wanted to understand it better. I started to realize the important part of the way the aesthetic could be made manifest.
L- What attracted you to Tonalism?
Deborah- The emotional component of the work made it so powerful. I always loved poetry and I felt a great kinship between poetry and painting. The Tonalist aesthetic had the same components as poetry- creating visual and literary ideas. It was more compelling.
L- What inspires you most?
Deborah- The landscape inspires me. Everything starts there. In the last 5 years I have understood it in a deeper way. I am more amazed and in awe of what I see. I have more time to look at it now. It's part of my job. The more I look, the more I feel connected to it. Before I traveled a lot. Now, for the past 3 years, I paint where I live, where I am intimately familiar with the landscape. When I moved here to east Texas it really reminded me of where I grew up in North Florida: big pines, water, marshes, big oaks. I felt instantly comfortable.
In this time my focus has shifted toward a more intimate view of the landscape. Of course, that is part of the Tonalist aesthetic, but in my case, it is also because I've had a chance to become really intimately familiar with the area around where we live (very rural) and this has had a profound impact on my art.
Next techniques and inspirations......
Meanwhile check Deborah's website and blog.