Linus Galleries, Painting Gallery LA
2014 Artist Interview Series
Linus Galleries, a fine art gallery based out of Los Angeles, presents our sixth interview. The Artist Interview Series is a new blog featuring Linus artists from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. The blog aims to be an enjoyable read, sharing insight into the artist’s creative process and workspace, as well as their view of the world around us. This week we feature Erik Kaye and his watercolor fine art paintings.
1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.
I am Erik Kaye. I paint in watercolor, and although I’m an American from New Jersey and Oregon, I have lived outside of Tokyo, Japan since 1998.
2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?
Although I studied art at the State University of New York and the Rhode Island School of Design, I still consider myself to be self-taught. I continue to work in the themes I did before going to art school, and I have built up on those themes.
3) This is a hard choice for many visual artists, but what is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?
It is true that I buy more tubes of cobalt, light-cobalt, turquoise, Davey’s grey and Chinese white than any other colors. I like colors that are fully saturated, with a little grey or brown in them, in order to showcase the brighter colors.
4) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike?
I have numerous themes I cycle around in; landscape which I usually render more realistically, portraits and figures which I like to work in Japanese brush, both black and in color, and purely abstract gestural work based on brushstroke and calligraphy. But I also cycle in natural objects often rendered as mandalas, I like to paint food, packaged fish, mandala sea-shells and vegetables. I love landscapes as I have an intuition of the geomantic character of the places that attract me. But they demand more of me, more time and accuracy than the other modes I work in.
5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium?
Watercolor demands great focus to be both spontaneous and controlled, but it is very satisfying to balance these two characteristics, or at least try to. Blending and grading colors wet is always challenging but great fun. Watercolors are more exciting for me than oils or acrylics because the colors are more light and bright and true.
6) Do you have any secret talents or party tricks unrelated to your art making?
I sing well, I like karaoke, I write poetry (and have been published), I know thousands of songs.
7) Which describes you: Beach, Forest, Desert, Field, or City?
I’m an oasis in the desert. Around me parched frontier; if you enter my gates I am lush, exotic, mysterious, abundant. But if you see me, be skeptical, you might be seeing a mirage. I’m hard to find.
8) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating?
I always listen to Yes, Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu, Krishna Das, Return to Forever; the classics. Contemporary doesn’t do much for me but I like Indie stuff when I hear it, like post Chemical Brothers or trance. I challenge one and all to introduce me to something that grabs me.
9 What do you think the future of your medium will look like for other artists or as a whole?
We are entering into a time of deep transformation. Surviving it will depend on accepting that Gaia changes; it will depend on cooperating together to share and transform resources rather than fighting for them. Artists do better in smaller micro-economies than in macro ones; in communities that are small enough to wrap our minds around, and our hearts. Availability of resources will always change and we may not always be able to buy Winsor Newtons or even Fig Newtons. We may have to go back to making our own pigments and paper. Internet technology is already being limited, and will probably be determined by income disparity as it evolves. But when we lose one medium, another will appear in its place.
10) Any parting advice for budding artists?
Wait, yeah! We are all interconnected and equally divine. Share the commons and spread the wealth. Never be too sure that your choices aren’t effecting others, both positively and negatively. Apply art and creativity to sustainable economy, not zero-sum or I-win-somebody-else-loses economy. Don’t be afraid to journey inside yourself. Money is not the determiner of success.
If you are interested in purchasing artwork from this artist or any of the artists featured on this blog or our website please CONTACT the GALLERY
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