“Observing Observing (a white cup): Robert Schlegel”

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 #20: Robert Schlegel

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

I don’t do a lot of still life work. I like the idea of a challenge and this seemed to be a good one to attempt. At first it seemed somewhat simple but once started the magnitude of the complexities multiplied. Formal white cup, informal white cup. Representational white cup. I eventually decided on paper cup that morphed into a more formal pottery white cup.

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

I consider myself a full time artist .

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

In 1977 I was selected by Wayne Thiebaud for inclusion into the Artists of Oregon show at the Portland Art Museum and it was with that validation that I realized I may become an artist.

4. What are your influences?

Cezanne, Matisse, Winslow Homer, Schwitters, Fauves, Morandi, Hopper, Wyeth, Bay Area Figurative artists. I am influenced by the rural and city landscapes, especially the architectural intrusions into these landscapes.

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

I share a three bedroom ranch house with my brother, a print maker/painter. The house is about 1500 square feet. We each have a painting space and share a print making room. We use shop lights in makeshift tracks for our lighting. We are in the woods in the coast range in Oregon.

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

The days in the studio vary depending upon the work that needs to be completed. Stretching and preparing canvas and preparing frames occupy some of my time. I begin work in the studio around midday and often go until midnight. I enjoy the solidtude that evening brings as it seems to enhance my ability to create, especially when painting. I typically like to work from sketches done in the field. I transfer these sketches on compositions on canvas, panels, found and archival paper. I listen to music most of the time, jazz, classical and have an ipod shuffle of albums. I’ve listened to Springsteen’s “Live in Dublin” more times than I can count.

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

I work on several projects at a time. For two dimensional work I primarily use acrylic and frequently used other mediums, i.e. charcoal, paper, text.. I paint on found papers and paint over pages of books. Recently I have been engaged in fabric and paper mache and found object sculpture.

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

Sticks and putty knives for scraping and mark making, spritz with water, rags to wipe, old brushes that can slop on paint, meshed bags to create texture. For sculpture work I use mostly found objects, pencils, wire, reclaimed wood, paper mache, cloth, screws, nails 9. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job? I enjoy reading, restaurants, walking and trolleys in Portland. The Oregon coast. Camping. Traveling.

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