With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios along with images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.
“Geometric Abstraction” opens February 21, 2015 and runs through March 28, 2015. The artists included in the exhibition are David Brody, Robert Perlman, Chris Watts.
Artist Interview #3: Chris Watts
1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?
Currently I teach in the Fine Arts Department at Washington State University.
2. When did you consider yourself an artist?
In my teens but in reality I became a professional artist after graduate studies at Ohio University.
3. What are your influences?
When discussing my work I attempt to broaden the influence that order, placement, and patterning have had on the evolution of my inquiries. Topics include Bronze Age monuments, spirals and mazes, Pythagoras, counting processes, scientific structures, bell ringing, Theosophy, sound, the geometrical tradition in art, and of course pattern. The relationship of Art to Science continues to be a rich resource for my creative work. My interest in patterns and systems as expressed through painting and drawing represents a life long commitment to this line of inquiry and expression. Early on in my career I was particularly interested in Constructivism, Suprematism, British Constructionists and Systems artists, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Art Language.
4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?
I have two studios both have north light supplemented with incandescent daylight.
5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?
Mornings are my best times for studio work. I try to get into the studio at about 9:00 or earlier and work until mid afternoon. Depending on the level of concentration required by the project at hand, I listen to music or have the TV running. If the imagery is detailed or complex I work in silence.
6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I work with mixed media but particularly with acrylic paint and paint pens. The imagery ranges from diagrammatic drawings, acrylic paintings to three-dimensional relief structures. I tend to have more than one project going at a time. When I run into a block with one idea I will switch to another format or configuration.
7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?
Whatever works in terms of tools or devices. My approach to the work is preconceived and precise. So I tend to generate a considerable number of diagrams and drawings relying on grids.
8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?
I enjoy outdoor wilderness adventures, playing music and upbeat conversations with plenty of laughter over a glass of quality beer.
Great thoughts, well expressed. Would like more concrete details about artistic triumphs and defeats – moments of truth and the circumstances around their revelation.
All I have to say is Chris Watts gave me the inspiration to pursue art further and deeper into the expressive nature of analytical thinking, and, therefore I am proud to say , “I push myself each and everyday in the field of graphic design thanks to Chris. Truly amazing professor and will never forget the positivity and charismatic attitude.
Casey Park Certified BFA (Visual Arts)
Class of 2011
Washington State University