Sunday, December 31, 2006

Art Space Talk: Drew Ernst

I recently interviewed artist Drew Ernst. Drew is a talented artist with a keen eye for realistic detail. His work deals with love, hate, joy, and sadness. The full spectrum of emotion is conveyed within the context of his art.

Mr. Ernst polished his painting skills through studying with accomplished artists including Sidney Goldman, Peter Paone, and Bo Bartlett. Drew was also a pupil of the accomplished artist and poet Martin J. Garhart.

This serious painter embraces the traditional techniques of painting. His high level of skill is obvious upon viewing his body of work.

Drew is currently painting full time and lives with his girlfriend Amy and his dog Pocket.
Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "In high school I knew.They let me leave at noon so I could go home and work independently on my art. I had self motivation art isn't something that someone else can make you good at,so I guess that was just something that was built into my head."
Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "Yes. Mostly politics and whatever is going on in the world my main gallery is in D.C. so it's great to have an underlying theme to the work in a place where the audience is up to the minute on current events."

Q. On average, how long does it take you create one painting?
A. "My large paintings take one to two months depending on the complexity on the image the large pieces range from 7ft-14ft."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?
A. "My biggest studio ritual is to turn on Internet radio through my stereo first thing with out that I would be crazy."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "Lawyers"

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?

A. ""The Inside" Two people lying on the wood floor it's very cinematic viewing from above the figures make a kind of yin yang shape. It's a painting of breaking apart and coming back together, I think it's a painting people can relate to."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how did it help you as an artist? What can you tell us about the art department that you attended?

A. "I attended The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts (PAFA) the oldest art school in America.I went to PAFA because I knew I wanted to be a fine artist they only have three disciplines painting, printmaking, and sculpture. At PAFA you learn by doing you work all day every day on your craft its a place for self motivated people you get out of it what you put into to it. This is where I really learned how to draw and paint."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "Oil painting was a mysterious medium to me I came from a very small town nobody could teach oils to me so I learned watercolor first I waited until college to learn oils from people I admired."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

Q. Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

A. "Zenith gallery in D.C. I have a show there right now thru January"
Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "The toughest part was getting out of art school. I was creating work trying to find a gallery with no money and no outlet for my work. "

Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?
A. "I like to see what it's going to look like in the end."

Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?
A. "There is no art scene where I live at the moment in Ohio so I travel to D.C. & NY regularly."

Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?

A. "Maybe in some subconscious way."

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the 'art world'?

A. "My work has a focus on large contemporary figurative oil paintings. Images just come into my head I paint them and try to make sense of them. The art world is great it allows me to do what I want and what I love."

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Drew Ernst. Feel free to critique or discuss his work.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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