photo courtesy of Robin Redd from Art Nerd studio visit.
Interview with Seth Armstrong for “The Air is Thick” on view a at Thinkspace Gallery March 28 – April 18, 2015. Seth Armstrong will be present at the opening night March 28, 6-9pm.
SH: coffee or tea?
SH: background noise: music or tv show?
SH: snacks: savory or sweet?
SH: dogs or cats?
SH: When do you get the most painting done? Morning, Noon, Night, Middle of the Night/Morning?
SA: I’d say late afternoon/evening/night-time.
SH: What inspired the direction of your work for the upcoming show?
SA: I started out with a common narrative in mind for the show, but I quickly got interested in other stuff, and now rather than a common thread that ties all the paintings together, the paintings seem to be more sequential. One relates to the next, but each may not belong with all the others. The city of LA had a big influence on the paintings, as in the architecture and the light. Also growing up in a town saturated by the movie industry, a lot of the paintings have a filmic quality to them.
SH: Have you ever accidentally drank or was about to drink the dirty ‘paint’ water?
SA: I have accidentally put turpentine to my lips, but I’ve never swallowed it.
SH: What other artists work are you a fan of right now?
SA: I’ve always been a huge fan of my friend Chris Russell’s paintings. They are epic and colorful and amazing. I’ve got more of his paintings at my house than any other artist’s. (chrisrussellart.com)
SH: What brand of paint so you use? What’s your favorite color and brush right now?
SA: I like Gamblin oil paint right now. Favorite color is between yellow ochre or cobalt teal. Favorite brush is currently Princeton Art and Brush Co’s. They’ve got a nice flow and firmness, but they are shitty enough where I don’t have to worry too much about destroying them. Which I do.
SH: How long does it take to complete a single piece? Do you work on multiple pieces at one time?
SA: Depends on the painting. There are paintings in this show that took more than a month, and there are paintings that took less than an hour.
I generally work on one painting at a time, but lately I’ve taken paintings to the point where they are very nearly done, then spend weeks on the finishing touches as I work on others.
SH: What motivated you to choose the life/career of an artist?
SA: My parents have always been very supportive. They both moved to LA to become actors, so they understand the whole “do what you love” mentality. I’ve always been drawing and painting, so as I was finishing high school, there wasn’t any kind of deciding moment, it just seemed like the natural next step.
SH: What do you know now, that you wish you would have known when first embarking on your artistic career?
SA: I still don’t know shit, so don’t worry about it.
SH: What creative person; artist, musician, director, family member etc… has had the most influence or inspired your own artistic voice?
SA: One of the most significant people to influence me at a younger age was probably my high school art teacher, Mealiffe. She was the best. Incredibly supportive. A lot of kids from her class went on to careers in the arts.
SH: If your could invite 5 people dead or alive to a dinner party, who would be on your guest list and what’s on the menu?
SA: Ben Franklin, Elvis Presley, Leonardo Da Vinci, Brigitte Bardot, and Teddy Roosevelt. Spaghetti with meat sauce.