Spotlight Artist Robert Scopinich
Thalo loves to promote artists and each month we spotlight a member of our community!
This month we are pleased to have Robert Scopinich as the thalo Spotlight Artist for July.
Thalo Team: Can you give an "elevator pitch" of your work?
Robert Scopinich: I paint scenic ocean and beachscape paintings with a touch of surf culture. I like to capture the many moods of the ocean and the folks who revere it as a sacred and native ground. I strive to do that in both my studio and plein air settings. I mostly work in oils.
TT: What is your artwork about and what do you want people to take from it?
RS: I have always had a close relationship with the ocean. I am inspired by its beauty and I am compelled to create my own impressions of its mystique through painting. I hope that viewers will feel the same sense of excitement and wonder.
TT: Which artists do you feel have influenced your art the most?
RS: The impressionists have influenced me the most. If I had to pick favs it would be Van Gogh and Monet. But also many of the modern day plein air artists. I could list many that I really like, but Ken Austere had a particularly strong influence on me.
TT: Do you have a preferred method of presentation for your artwork and why? (Examples: workshops, gallery shows, Instagram, etc.)
RS: I enjoy social media for fast feedback, but I much prefer inperson gatherings at gallery shows or pop up venues. It’s wonderful connecting with people and sharing perspectives on art, life, and nature.
TT: Out of all of your creations (or bodies of work) which one did/do you find the most cathartic in creating?
RS: Almost all of them have had some level of catharsis in the struggle to get there and occasionally it is followed by the euphoria of making it. Sometimes the rush is more intense than others but I can’t say which one tops the scale. Each new one seems to claim my passion.
TT: When was your “Aha!” moment that led your work to where it is now?
RS: When I was a young guy at the art students league in NY, an elderly man watching me struggle to paint the model, politely asked to touch my canvas with his brush. In just a few moments I saw the magic of his paint dabs transform and become the real life image before me. “Aha” - I got it!
TT: How has your work (or technique) changed over time?
RS: I am always experimenting with new techniques. In that way my work is always evolving, even if slowly, it’s getting closer to its purpose and intent.
TT: How do you promote yourself and your art?
RS: I have a website and use social media to bring attention to my latest work and to promote shows I am exhibiting in. Promotion has to match your style. If your art is about nature’s serene beauty, then your marketing should be soft spoken as well.
TT: Do you have any tips or advice for fellow artists based off of your experiences thus far?
RS: I like a quote by Andy Warhol: “Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
TT: What are you working on right now and why?
RS: I am working on figurative paintings now because I not only want to capture beach scenes but also the life which inhabits it.
TT: What would you consider to be your "biggest achievement" with your work thus far?
RS: Engaging people emotionally in the work either through their memories or experiences. When a painting resonates with someone there is an enormous feeling achievement.
TT: What was your first work of art that you were proud of? Where is it now?
RS: I did a watercolor of a ship in the ocean at age 6. It reminds me that I have always had an inclining for rendering the properties of water. I chuckle as I say, It was proudly displayed on the refrigerator in my parents’ home. I don’t know where it is now.
TT: Do you take commissions? Why or why not?
RS: Yes, I take commissions. Of course it brings in revenue but more importantly it is another valuable form of promotion.
TT: What do you do when you aren't working on artwork (hobbies, job, etc.)?
RS: I love surfing, photography, and teaching painting. I also like to play music.
TT: What is an area in your work that you feel weak in that you want to improve upon and how are you going to get there?
RS: I study the masters of plein air and strive to become more kindred to their loose and deliberate brush styles. I want to do more with less. I strive to do that by painting more on location. Outdoor conditions are always challenging so It demands that you paint that way.
TT: How do you overcome art blocks?
RS: Surfing is that special place for grounding and renewal for me. I just go to the source, that is where I find my zen.
TT: Where do you see your work taking you in the next 5-10 years?
RS: I don’t even think about it. Each painting is new and the focus is now.
TT: Is there something that you would like to share with us that we have not covered, that pertains to you and your work?
RS: I grew up in a family of boat builders. Creativity and craftsmanship were instilled and the arts were always encouraged and supported. Also I worked as a visual effects artist in feature films for a number of years honing my skills for composition and realism.
TT: If you have links for your website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, etc. that you would like to share, please include these addresses below.