Spotlight Artist Richard Nowak
Thalo loves to promote artists and each month we spotlight a member of our community!
This month we are pleased to have Richard Nowak as the thalo Spotlight Artist for August.
Thalo Team: Can you give an "elevator pitch" of your work?
Robert Nowak: I believe that paintings should emotionally uplift the human spirit and create a source of delight as food for the soul. I see beauty around me in nature and try to convey the beauty in my interpretation of what I see and incorporate that feeling in my paintings.
TT: What is your artwork about and what do you want people to take from it?
RN: Usually I paint landscapes, seascapes, garden park scenes, florals and some still lifes in a realistic style with an impressionistic flair. I use a lot of texture especially in my oil paintings with painting knives and brushes and love the juiciness of the paint to make bold colorful statements of what I see. I want the viewer to feel the beauty of nature and feel good about the world around them.
TT: Which artists do you feel have influenced your art the most?
RN: I believe that the French Impressionist such as Monet, Pissaro, Sisley, Van Gogh and others have influenced me. Also American impressionists such as Redfield, Garber, those in the “New Hope” Pennsylvania school painters are a great source of inspiration. Also, the Rockport/Gloucester school with past masters such as Emil Gruppe and Hibbard and current masters such as T.M. Nicholas and Stapleton Kerns and others are painters who I admire.
TT: Do you have a preferred method of presentation for your artwork and why? (Examples: workshops, gallery shows, Instagram, etc.)
RN: I use Facebook and Instagram and post my new work to view the feedback which is a learning experience. I currently show my paintings in a couple local galleries and am seeking more representation in long established and respected galleries.
TT: Out of all of your creations (or bodies of work) which one did/do you find the most cathartic in creating?
RN: I enjoy and learn something every time I place my brush on canvas. I can’t say any one is the most cathartic.
TT: When was your “Aha!” moment that led your work to where it is now?
RN: I believe taking painting workshops with painters/artists that I admire have taken my work to the next level in that a concentrated energy in a short lapse of time can impact your work. Each time I take a workshop I feel that I have taken something away from the experience that has expanded my view or take on my painting.
TT: How has your work (or technique) changed over time?
RN: I started out on larger paintings with a great deal of texture especially in my oil paintings. I balance that now with thinner areas to make more of a contrast. I enjoy en plein air painting now especially in local garden parks or river scenes on smaller canvas panels to achieve more immediacy in the painting. The colors and values are truer because the eye sees better than the camera does.
TT: How do you promote yourself and your art?
RN: I have a website and a painting blog that I add to every week. Also, I teach a weekly acrylic painting class with a local creative non profit and lead plein air painting sessions with my students.
TT: Do you have any tips or advice for fellow artists based off of your experiences thus far?
RN: Paint for the passion of it and not for any financial compensation. Just as a jogger has to have his fix by running so a painter/artist has to paint to make his life complete. Once the art bug has bitten you you are a different and better person who views life with an expanded spiritual perspective.
TT: What are you working on right now and why?
RN: I try to paint the summer garden colors in local garden parks every week. Also, I am taking a painting workshop this month in Gloucester and will be plein air painting marine scenes which I am looking forward to.
TT: What would you consider to be your "biggest achievement" with your work thus far?
RN: My next painting is my next achievement. You never really reach the pinnacle and am always striving to capture the art “spirit” in my next painting.
TT: What was your first work of art that you were proud of? Where is it now?
RN: I can’t recall. I have many earlier paintings in my home collections and others that I have given as gifts to family and friends.
TT: Do you take commissions? Why or why not?
RN: Yes, from the clients good photos. Paintings are better momentos than photos because they inspire the emotions in the viewer.
TT: What do you do when you aren't working on artwork (hobbies, job, etc.)?
RN: I still work full time in print sales but will shortly retire and devote more time to painting.
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?
RN: I am paying more attention to the smaller details in completing the painting. Such details add realism to the painting and are like icing on a cake.
TT: How do you overcome art blocks? Don’t wait for “inspiration” to start a painting.
RN: Just go to it and inspiration will come your way as you work. I do go over my art magazines such a “American Art Review” with its many examples of past and current painters which do inspire me.
TT: Where do you see your work taking you in the next 5-10 years?
RN: Hopefully, more people will see my paintings and be willing to buy them. I hope to be represented in better art galleries.
TT: Is there something that you would like to share with us that we have not covered, that pertains to you and your work?
RN: I would recommend that beginner painters go outside and learn the plein air painting experience. Because the light changes so fast the window is only 2 to 3 hours before everything looks different. This forces you to make faster decisions in regard to colors and values and improves your painting techniques.
TT: If you have links for your website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, etc. that you would like to share, please include these addresses below.
RN: Yes, my website is: www.richard-nowak.pixels.com
my weekly art blog is: www.richardnowakfineart.com
My facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/richard.nowak.73
My instagram link is: @richardnowakfineart