Artist Daily Member Spotlight: Steve Henderson
Daily: Tell me about your oil painting process. Are there rules you adhere to
or just the opposite?
|Summer Breeze by Steve Henderson, oil on canvas, 24 x 24.
Although I do follow fairly strict procedures, I permit myself the freedom to
give new approaches a try. If they work for me, I adopt them; if they don't, I
toss them. Different paintings require an
appropriate approach. For some paintings, I take the time to study their design
structure through preliminary sketches and studies. Other times I enjoy jumping
right in and applying the paint alla prima, allowing each stroke of oil on
canvas to mold the image into being.
One thing that always holds true
is that I ask myself many questions before I even begin the painting process. Questions
such as, Why am I painting this? What does this image mean to me? What more can
I do with it?
How do you view experimentation in painting?
positively. Artists should have a spirit of experimentation at every level,
style, medium, and subject matter. An abstract painter can benefit from the
discipline and draftsmanship of representation, and the representational
painter can benefit from the looseness, compositional possibilities and
imagination of the abstractionist.
Where does illustration fit into your fine art oil painting practice?
SH: Working in
the illustration field for 20 years kept me flexible and disciplined: flexible in that I illustrated
everything from medical illustrations showing blocked arteries and hip
replacements to cartoons of angry germs and tired office workers, and disciplined
in that I had to meet deadlines and please art directors.
How and where do you sell your work? What has worked for you?
||Shore Leave by Steve Henderson,
oil on canvas, 16 x 20.
SH: Direct sales through my
website, representation through fine art galleries, and indirect sales through
workshops and classes. Stay flexible and eclectic in your approach. Offer items
in various sizes, formats, and
price ranges to expand your body of interested buyers, and keep in touch with
your collectors through direct and indirect contact about your latest work and
Is American Artist magazine a
resource for you?
SH: Yes, we live 30 miles from
the nearest town of any size, and on her errand runs my wife, Carolyn, will
drop in and sweep up magazines for me to read, one of which is American Artist magazine. I enjoy the
range of topics covered, and use it to keep up to date on various techniques,
some of which I try myself or introduce to my students (I conduct workshops and
teach extended learning at the local community college). I appreciate the
how-to articles for the latter aspect, because the authors will bring out a way
of explaining something that has not occurred to me.
As Steve says, American
Artist is a source that keeps artists thinking while shedding light on oil
painting techniques and processes that are tried and true. And right now the
Artist Daily store is offering 50% off CD compilations and back issue magazines like Painting Workshop with the Masters, which was our largest issue ever and covers every aspect of painting we need to progress in our art. Enjoy!