Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Artist Interview

Artist Interview:
Jay van Schelt

I'd like to thank Mr. van Schelt for taking a few minutes out of his day to sit down with us and tell us about his artwork.

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 
    I could but what fun would that be? One should discover another. Not just listen to their story about themselves don't you think? I guess that tells you a bit about me. I am all about the discovery.

Who or what inspires you? 
    Actually at this point, it is the fact that every moment is a brand new one that I have not yet been in and that leaves infinite possibilities for an outcome, which is very inspiring to me.

Who is you favorite artist? 
    I am not sure I have a favorite one. I look at art and mostly I love it but am very bad at working to remember the peoples names thanks god for bookmarks on the internet browser. I did get to meet Alex Grey the founder of COSM and his work is very inspiring. I also get a lot of inspiration from my grandchildren I love the fresh way they look at things. A long time ago an art teacher told me that every stroke is an emotional response to what you are seeing, and I have to say that no matter what, when I see any art I see emotion. sometimes the emotion is sublime and other times it is not so sublime but there is always an emotion that comes through. I think that the great artists could evoke the emotion they wanted to from their art. 

Do you have a favorite time or place to paint? 
    I have a workshop for the acrylic painting and glass art that I do on my back yard. But for digital it is just my desk top IMAC and me. If I had my way I would never get up, but a guy's gotta eat.  

Do you have a favorite food or drink while you create your art? 
    Coffee, coffee and more coffee 

As artists, we all have times when we get stuck. What do you do when that happens? 
    I guess I get up and do some movement like tai chi or just go and play with my grandchildren. That helps to distract me from the block. Sometimes it works, other times I just have to set that one aside and try something else for a while and come back to it. 

If you could ask one question of any person, who would it be and what would you ask? 
    I would ask Leonardo Da Vinchi and  the questions would be how do you know its done. So many times, it's do I need to do more? Will that be too much or just enough? I guess that is the burning question of my current art spaces.   

Now that we’ve got the easy stuff out of the way, let’s talk about your art. 

Would you like to share something from you latest project with us? 
    I would but it is still in my head and I am working on things that will allow it to be created. It is the idea of expressing the moment you discover that the entry in to the present moment, is a brand new experience. Even if you have done something before, it is new because you are new. Kind of like an interview you have done it before but there is more that you have experienced from the last time you did it. That new stuff influences the outcome in ways that you cannot predetermine. It is exciting to always do new things.

What style is it? 
    The style of this will be a digital composite. I will be using items created from several different programs. Then I will over lay them in gimp which is a digital manipulation program for the final output. 

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration from? 
    I guess it comes from my long involvement with the oriental healing and fighting arts in a way. Although when I started I was an oil painter from the Bill Alexander vain. I saw him paint and he just was having so much fun at it that I thought I could do that. He also wanted to share that with others.  And that feeling of wanting to enrich lives has been a big part of mine for years. My wife Kat and I have a vision of a program called The Colored Canvas that shares art with the young, the old or really anyone with an interest. That is why we are working hard at our art so that one day we can share it. 

Of all your works, what’s your favorite? 
    Like all of my children I don't have a favorite. They are all great in their own way.

What artists have had the strongest influence on you as a artist? 
    As I isaid earlier Bill Alexander was a big influence. He made it real that I could do it. The art of Mars1 is really great as well I had met him at a workshop once and he helped me to see some things that I did not see before. And that is the greatest gift you can share as an artist I think the sight to see some thing in a new way. 

Do you plan your projects out or do you let your artwork guide you as it goes along? 
    Most of my projects are not planned unless there is some kind of commission piece that some one wants some thing specific. I Just start with a blank canvas and see where it goes from there. There may be a specific idea in mind to start but that is all and I usually forget that and later say, oh yea I was going to do that. 

What is your favorite medium? 
By far the digital medium is the best with so many choices and ways to be creative. But I love to work with glass as well and then painting with acrylics is great fun. but I think at this point the digital is the best for me. 

What has been your biggest challenge? 
    Finding balance between work family and my art. Art takes time and that is time you cannot get back. Family is very important to me now so I have to remember that I can come back to the work later and let go of it so I a can take the time to be involved with the family. 

What has been your greatest reward? 
    I am not sure how to answer this question. Life has given me plenty of success and plenty of low points, so I learned not to judge things as I did in the past on reward or loss. I guess the greatest reward I get is that I get to do it again today rather then not be able to. 

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned? 
    This question is linked to the above. the greatest lesson is that you don't have any "have to's" in life. only things that you choose to do. Many people will say no I don't I have to do X, Y and Z or else. While this is right it is also an incorrect perception of the situation. The situation is that you have the choice to do X, Y and Z or not. Not doing them has benefits and/or consequences just like doing them. The difference is that once I decide to do something (based on the benefits and consequences)  I am left with the feeling I get to do this. Which is different from I have to do this.  It may seem simple yet it is one of the most profound lessons I have learned in life. 

If you had one professional wish, what would it be? 
    I guess I would have to say to find myself doing this in the years after I retire so that I can have an interest that effects the world around me for my whole life.

But before we go, do you have any last words of wisdom to offer those reading this? 
    Remember that no matter what you have inside yourself, the greatest artwork ever created "Yourself" let if be created. 

A sample of Jay‘s work can be found at Deviantart

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