Category: Painting

C. Michael Norton

Artist Q&A with C. Michael Norton

C. Michael Norton was born in North Dakota in 1951, and has been living and working in New York since 1987. He received an MA in 1979 in metal fabrication, and an MFA in mixed media plastic arts from San Jose State University in 1981. His large-scale abstract paintings echo the cacophony of urban life today. The competing surface tensions confront each other, creating a visual orchestration of discordant and harmonic tonalities. The compositions, resembling visual soundscapes, explore the notion of depth, both spatial and psychological.

He settled down permanently in Tribeca in 1992. The struggle to achieve maturity in painting came to fruition after the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001. The morning of September 11, the artist was in his studio when he heard the first plane hit. He immediately went to the street with his wife to see what happened. As he rounded the corner on West Broadway, looking ten blocks south just after the second tower was hit, he asked his wife, “How the fuck are we going to fix that?” This question remains central to his critical thinking today.

“Outside Time”, molded acrylic on linen, 55 x 91 x 9 in | 140 x 230 x 23 cm, 2020-2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Vincent Van Gogh

How did you become a professional artist?

By default, I was unequipped to pursue any other vocation or profession. Although I love history, storytelling, music, I never found a way to articulate myself in those professions or disciplines. It was visual art all the way if I could see it I could do it. I climbed on the backs of many other artists through manipulating their techniques and their visions early on, but I eventually found my own … Click here to read more

Busser Howell

Artist Q&A with Busser Howell

Busser Howell is an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor who lives and works in New York City. His painting has undergone a steady and restless evolution, from the exploration of geometrical shapes as a vocabulary for generating harmony and luminosity, to a series of tar paper and mastic aerial-view collages evoking the landscape of night bombing at the beginning of the Iraq war, to a period of more densely-textured works that were both more formal in the rectilinear division of the canvas. Originally from Ohio, Howell attended the Dayton Art Institute, Wright State University, and Boston University School of Fine art.

“Untitled (201025)”, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 in | 122 x 183 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I do not have one favorite artist. The first time I saw the Impressionists, Post Impressionists, and Fauves in Paris, I was blown away with their beauty, the colors, and use of paint. I love Egyptian wall paintings, sculpture, and design, Minoan art, Byzantine wall paintings, murals in Pompeii, Roman mosaic floors, Etruscan sarcophagi, 14th century Italian painting, Dutch painters of the 16th century, Chinese ancestral portraits, Primitive American portraits by itinerate artists, folk art, and children’s paintings. I like Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Kline, Rothko, Klee, and Pollock. Obviously, I have forgotten many, but these all stand out in my mind.

How did you become a professional artist?

I believe the short answer to becoming a professional artist is that I was born that way. There was never a time in my life that I did not know that my being was meant to create. Fortunately, I had a supportive family that gave me the opportunity to study painting with an American impressionist at the age of 13, and I attended the … Click here to read more

Claire McConaughy

Artist Q&A with Claire McConaughy

Claire McConaughy is a painter who lives and works in New York. She earned her MFA in painting from Columbia University and her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her works are a combination of elements that make poetic moments connected to the present and past, and are reactions to the process of painting and the history of landscape. These works continue in the lineage of landscape painting, and also come from her early experiences in rural mountain woods, and life in New York City.

“Redon and the Sun”, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in | 51 x 41 cm, 2019

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

It seems impossible to answer this question because my favorites are in different categories for different reasons, but to try to keep it simple, I’ll put forward several artists who have had impact on me over the years. Martin Johnson Heade is a continual inspiration for me in painting. Even though I only know a few of his paintings firsthand, they feel transcendent. When I look at them, I see all of the represented objects, but I also get a feeling for the invisible elements in the scene like the quiet, warmth, humidity or electricity in the air – somehow, he’s able to create an experience through his painting that goes beyond what is shown. Louise Bourgeois has had a strong effect on me for several decades. Bourgeois’ ability to confront difficult content with imagery that reveals her personal strength and vulnerabilities, is incredibly powerful. Her work never ceases to intrigue me. Finally, Peter Doig’s strange, dreamlike visions captivate me.

How did you become a professional artist?

I always knew that I was an artist. I was encouraged to draw, make music, and write. People responded … Click here to read more