Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I had started up a “Meet the Artist” series which, sadly, fell by the wayside when the old “ball and chain” (which I “lovingly” call my old corporate job) got in the way. Now that I have more time to devote to my blog, I am so happy to start up the Meet the Artist series once again.
Once a month, I will bring you an interview with a new artist, in various mediums, and allow them to tell you their story so that we all get the chance to know more about them and their work (and by all means, share with friends )
I love that I get to kick the series off again with someone who, I can honestly say, is one of my favorite people. I am so lucky to have had the chance to meet, and get to know Scott Stoltman through my space at the Andersonville Galleria.
From the beginning, Scott has been a wonderful sounding board, and cheerleader, and I never fail to leave the Galleria with a smile when I get a few minutes to chat with him. (please note- I am not a paid spokesman, Scott is really that awesome)
I was struck by, and taken with, Scott’s work the minute I saw it. His attention to detail is inspiring for me, even as a photographer, as it makes me pay closer attention to what I am shooting to ensure every part of the photograph has it’s own important role just like every detail does in Scott’s work. When he told me he was going to be putting his work back up at the Galleria, I was sooo very excited and I am equally excited to share a little more about Scott, and his work, with you.
How long have you been painting and drawing and what got you started?
After taking some time off, I began drawing and painting again about 6 years ago. When I was 43 years old I ended a 20 year career in the airline industry. Facing a midlife crisis, I needed to reinvent myself. I began drawing again and shortly thereafter, painting.
What did you do to gain knowledge and skill in your craft? What advice do you have for budding artists?
I took art classes throughout high school and then went on to higher education at the American Academy of Art in Chicago (I was only 17 years old). Upon completing my time there life took me in a different direction and I literally did not do anything artistic for 25 years.
When I decided to get it kick started again, I took a few continuing education classes at a City College to get my hand, eye, mind coordination in sync. I am a firm believer that in reality however, 90% of what you know as an artist comes from within.
[For budding artists,] if it’s something that you really want to do, stick with it.
(I couldn’t agree more Scott!)
Do you have a favorite piece and why?
One of my favorite paintings is “After Breakfast”. From conception to execution, I tend to be very mechanical in my approach to a painting. The idea for “After Breakfast” however, was a rare occasion of spontaneity for me. One morning after finishing my Cheerios and banana I looked down at the bowl in the sink and for some unexplained reason, I had to paint it. The result is a quirky still life that I’m proud to say won an award at the Illinois Watercolor Society member’s show in 2011.
What motivates you to do what you do?
Honestly, I’m not one of those artists that absolutely lives to create. It’s something that I can do, and pretty well at that. I spent a lot of years not utilizing my talent. I feel now it’s time to cultivate it to the best of my ability. I do have to say however, that when I’m in the “zone” (fellow artists will know what that means), the world simply does not exist.
If you had to shut down your studio tomorrow and couldn’t paint or draw, how would you express yourself otherwise?
I have no idea.
(I think that’s the best answer I have ever received to that question… short, sweet and honest but speaks volumes at the same time!)
Do you think artistic ability is innate or learned?
I certainly believe that a person can be taught the so called “rules” of creating “good” art. However, I think basic, artistic ability is innate. You either have it, or you don’t.
Do you find yourself attracted to work similar to yours or different?
Focusing on watercolor specifically, my tastes vary drastically. I appreciate the technical ability of a photo realistic painting and the spontaneity and creativity of a loose impressionistic painting. To me, there is no “wrong” or “right” way to express one’s self.
Thank you Scott for taking the time to let me interview you! I am so happy to be able to share your work and a bit about you with my readers.
Scott’s work is available here in Chicago at the Andersonville Galleria and select pieces are available at the Leigh Gallery in Lakeview. If you aren’t local and would like to know more about his work and what is for sale, please feel free to comment below!
If you know an artist, or you yourself are one, and you would like to be a part of my”Meet the Artist” series, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com for details.
I leave you with one of my favorite pieces by Scott, “Waxwing. This one makes me smile every time I see it