“Observing Observing (a white cup): Dean Fisher”

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 #14: Dean Fisher

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

Actually, the theme for this show is right up my alley and I’m very pleased that I was invited to participate in this exhibition.

Over the years a subject which I have often returned to are white cups hanging in a cabinet or arrangements of white cups along with other objects.

I’m very attracted to the challenge of painting whites objects via direct observation, trying to find the many subtle colors and tones which occur as well as the very reserved palette which can evoke and suggest so much. This is perhaps a reaction to the fact that so much imagery today is very “in your face” and brash, it’s very appealing to try to create a compelling image with means which are exactly the opposite to the devices which are used as contemporary attention grabbers.

A major influence for me is the work of Giorgio Morandi who is such a master at squeezing so much poetry and interest from reserved means such as these.

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

I consider myself a full time artist although I work part time as a figure and landscape painting instructor at Silvermine Art Center and privately from my studio in Connecticut. Making and thinking about art is the main focus during the majority of my waking hours.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I first considered myself as an artist when I realized that nothing would give me the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment as putting my feelings and perceptions of the the things I like into paint or graphite, this was at the age of 18 or so.

4. What are your influences?

Big list! All aspects of Nature, Uccello, Piero, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Vermeer, Degas, Vuillard, Morandi, Uglow, Gwen John, William Nicholson, Lucien Freud, Patrick George, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Justin Mortimer, Stuart Shils, Alex Kanevsky, Diarmuid Kelley, Anne Gale, This is just a few from a very big list.

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

My wife and I converted a large barn and carriage house into our home and studios. We designed it to be about 1/3 living space and 2/3 studio space, so we each have separate, spacious studios. Each studio has skylights so there’s plenty of natural light and for working at night I’ve installed 2 fixtures of full spectrum lights in each of the studios.

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

I love to work one on one with a model during a 4-5 hour session. When that isn’t possible, I paint still lives from the dozens of objects which I have in my studio. I also like to wander out in our garden and paint whatever catches my eye. If I spend the majority of the day working in the studio, I love to end the day by going out and painting an evening landscape, this is always very liberating.

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

I almost exclusively work with oil on panel or linen. I never set out to paint a series of work based on a theme. I always try to focus on those subjects which interest me the most at the time and almost always have 6-8 paintings under development at once. It naturally occurs that the paintings are related in some way and each painting ends up serving to problem solve and unlock ideas which aid the other paintings which are underway. This cycle works well for me because once I achieve momentum, I can generate a lot of focus which in turn gives the work more clarity. I often have music on via NPR which is mostly classical..or I’ll choose music of various types from Youtube and binge on a particular artist all day long. Sometimes I prefer to work in silence though.

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

No, nothing really unique. Brushes (mostly bristle filberts), an assortment of palette knifes. The potential for what can achieved with these basic tools is endless and I feel there’s so much more to learn.

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


I love to design and build things, furniture, accessories for our home, entire additions on the home. My wife and I watch a lot of films and TV dramas..mostly foreign via Netflix, there are so many beautifully crafted lesser known films out there! I love to play tennis, bicycle ride, kayak and travel. I also love to read but struggle to find enough time to do so as much as I would like to.

"Suspended Still Life", 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 34"

“Suspended Still Life”, 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 34″