Sunday, December 7, 2014

online art interview 12.2014 with Carl Smith

Self taught or art school? 
Self taught, I have taken some night classes around Austin though and I took all the public school art classes I could. I studied Accounting in college and have worked for the IRS since 2007.
If you could own one work of art what would it be? 
Probably a mid 1970s de Kooning; one of his landscapes. Untitled XII from 1975 is my favorite painting, ever. There is also Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Louse Point, that was a little earlier. One of those.
How would you describe your style? 
Abstract landscapes. I am influenced by abstract expressionism a lot, but I am trying to get away from the aggressive mark making and just paint. All my work comes from a landscape position and a practice of making those.
What are your favourite places to view art? 
I live in Austin, so there aren’t to many places to see art so I try to go to my friend’s art shows when I can. The internet is a great way to get exposed to new imagery, of course its limited but I do my best. Houston is great, the Menil collection rules and the Art Car Museum always has good shows.
Who are your favourite artists and why? 
So there is this dude in Brooklyn Peter Maslow who makes these weird abstract urban landscape type works. His paintings make sense and are constructed logically and intentionally. He also draws well and somehow gets that into the work but not in a forceful way. The colors are toned down a lot but his art makes sense. I mean, he’s not an old master but his paintings have helped me a lot to make sense of the paintings I am trying to make. I like artists like that; that don’t hide their limitations or their feelings. Basquiat is another one. De Kooning of course.
What or who inspires your art? 
I think its wanting to feel empowered or make sense of my limited life. Painting has helped me come to terms with what I am and has helped me to have a place to be myself. So I try to get inspired by the work I have made and I try to work in a way that pushes forward what I am capable of. I have a good idea of what I can not do, and that’s a huge list, but I try to own my limitations and live within them.
Where’s your studio and what’s it like? 
In 2008 I built a 8x12’ studio to paint in about 30 feet from the back of my main house, which is really small, like 830 sq ft or something. It’s a small space which sucks but I really can do anything in there without worrying about making a mess. That has become a big part of my process and I have found trouble trying to paint anywhere else. It has taken years to set it up so I can use it all quickly.
Do you have any studio rituals? 
Nope, I just go in and go for it. I am always under the gun time wise so I just get as much done as I can before I have to go back to work again. Its really messy.
What are you working on currently? 
I am using spray paint a lot more, mostly like an under painting and using the contrast of that to brush stroke to create some color perspective. 
Where can we buy your art? 
My website is but Facebook works better. I show all around Austin but am looking for more internet sales always.
What are your ambitions?

Somehow get to the place where I can paint full time. I am always trying to get better as a painter and learn more about composing an image. Its all about composition.