“Observing Observing (a white cup): David Campbell”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Observing Observing (a white cup)” opens September 12th and continues through October 31, 2015

Curated by Eric Elliott, Michael Howard & Norman Lundin. More than twenty artists (both gallery artists and not) accepted the invitation to submit work.

Reception for the artists, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #16: David Campbell

1. How did you respond to the idea of the white cup?

When I paint, it is essential for the initial inspiration to derive from a visual excitement, followed by the development of the concept or narrative, if at all. If the perceptual jolt isn’t there, then I am wasting my time. Considering that, there was a good deal of false starts during the outset of this “white cup” theme. Creating and then finding a stage that had all the necessary cues that could jump-start some sort of visceral response was surprisingly difficult.

2. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I am not a full time artist even though I consider myself fortunate to have as much time as I do to paint. I teach at the College of William & Mary, which in turn feeds me when I return to the studio. I don’t think I would ever want to stop teaching.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I consider myself more of a painter than an artist, which I understand can sound like a false sense of humility; but it feels weird giving myself that title. I always knew I wanted to be a painter since I began art school in the 90s, even though I felt less like a painter back then. I think it takes time to recognize what painting is and how it should function….. as it should.

4. What are your influences?

My influences include: my sight, other painters, film, music, dreams, nature, and spirituality.

5. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My studio is approximately 13×17’. It has north lighting, although it’s a bit dark. I’d like to put a skylight in some day.

6. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I try to paint for about 4-5 hours at a time per day. Which a lot of times end up feeling like daily “sprints” compared to monthly “marathons”, if that makes sense. Music is essential while I work. It’s just distracting enough to help me not be too conscious of what I’m doing.

7. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I work in oil on either shellacked museum board or oil primed linen. I primarily use the palette knife, but am working my way back to the brush. I’m actually pretty temperamental and bounce around from one idea or project to the next. After working all over the place for a bit, a group of paintings or concerns end up rising to the top and I become pretty myopic.

8. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

At times I’ll use a 24” wallpaper scraper if I feel that the painting needs to be scraped down, unified or roughed up a bit.

9. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I spend a lot of time listening to music, maybe too much time. I’m always trying to find the soundtrack to my life.

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