Monday, May 2, 2011

Painting with Anne Belov

Anne Belov will be teaching a two-day workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio (WIFAS) later this month. Her theme will be “Finding the Light in Interiors.” The class will focus on creating a believable sense of illumination in your painting. Anne recently shared the following information about herself and her painting in this interview. I hope you enjoy learning about Anne.

Q: When did your interest in art begin and how long have you been an artist?
A: I know it sounds like a cliché, but I always wanted to make pictures. I think I knew by the time I was 5 or 6 that I wanted to be an artist.

Q: What do you seek to communicate through your art or your art instruction?
 A: Through my work, I want to communicate my understanding and appreciation of the world around me. My work is not about reporting, but about creating a believable fiction. I believe that it is important for those of us who have learned a lot over the decades to pass on what we have learned to others. People often ask if I worry that then my students will take that information and then copy my work. To that I reply that technical information is filtered through each person’s unique experience. Even if they “did exactly as I do” the work would be different than mine.

Q: What drives you as an artist?
A: My mortgage. Okay, I also enjoy painting.

Q: What is a recent piece of art you created and what inspired you to paint it?
A: I am almost always attracted to a particular image because of the way light falls on it, or the way that objects, angles and colors interact with one another. It is usually through these abstract principles that some personal truth or emotion reveals itself. I recently painted some peonies on a table set for a garden picnic.

Q: Do you have a favorite brand of paints, brushes, or canvas that you use?
A: I use Vasari oil paints. They are made in small batches with no fillers. They are yummy. I usually stretch my own linen canvases, because I like to work on portrait linen glued to a hard board.

Q: What advice do you have for artists seeking to improve their work?
A: I wish I had an easier answer, but really, the only thing that will improve your work is to do more of it. Having your work critiqued by a fresh eye also helps, but there are no formulas. Just do it. Another good way to improve your work is to look at art that attracts and inspires you. And, of course, take my class.

Q: What do you think is unique about Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio’s workshops?
A: Cary Jurriaans has created a beautiful space to work. She takes a lot of care with all the little details and has assembled a wonderful pool of instructors to teach. These are artists who are out there doing the work, and so they are on a perpetual voyage of discovery in their creative work. Artists that are actively involved in creating their own work have the most to offer a serious student.

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