Week 2 Artist Interview- Chase Wolcott

This Thursday in art 110, I had the honor to enter the Marilyn Werby Gallery and contemplate the wonderful works of art that inhabit it, as well as talk to the artist of the beautiful art, Chase Wolcott. Chase has been painting for eighteen years and when Chase has an idea for a painting, he first sketches it on paper and then proceeds to paint it on a canvas, a process that takes two to three weeks. During these time, Chase keeps many things in mind for his art, such as the light source, which contributes to the color of the piece. imageWhen he draws or paints, he has an open mind; he may draw something on one piece of paper and something else on another piece of paper and may put them together should he like the result. According to Chase, his favorite work of art is the piece to the left because it relates to animals; it represents chaos, not knowing what is going to happen. I find this work of art to be interesting because the setting is unknown and because there are humans confronting animals, a lion who seems to be ready to attack; it seems as if the lion has the woman on the chair captive and it is interesting that instead of fleeing from the lion or trying to save the woman, a man remains seated and observes the lion through a pair of binoculars. The color of the painting makes the scene look intense, as if the setting were on fire. It definitely provokes one to think about what is going on in the work of art and it invokes a strong feeling. I agree with Chase’s point of view on this painting; it is something that took a lot of imagination and creativity, and the result is beautifully strange.

imageIt indeed takes great patience and attention to detail to draw wonderful works of art, characteristics which Chase employs in his work. As illustrated on the right, Chase begins with a simple sketch of his painting and then adds more detail and begins to consider the colors, ending up with the final version, taking about two to three weeks. It is admirable that Artists such as Chase  are able to possess such patience and passion for art, qualities which not many people have. It may take a long time to create the painting, but the time is absolutely worth it, for the colors explode and the painting sends a message. imageThe painting to the left illustrates a police officer directing his flashlight toward a man drawing graffiti  with a spray can, and by the look of the artist’s face, he is in trouble. The fact that the artist is painting in the dark and in a lower part of the building shows that art must be done in secret, away from the eyes of authority. Underneath the artist’s graffiti, smaller graffiti can be seen, stating that he is not the first one to draw on the wall. Unlike the other graffiti, however, his is of a bright color and it is much larger than the rest, depicting that he is proud to show his work. Paintings such as Chase’s have always been my favorite, those of canvas oil. It is fascinating how the colors are chosen to emphasize shade and how the brush marks can be seen on the canvas; the colors really come out, making the artwork interesting, expressive, and alive.

This was my first time while enrolled in CSULB that I visited the art gallery and observed any art by my fellow peers, and I must confess that I should have visited earlier. Seeing the artwork from the outside of Werby Gallery caught my attention, and I was not disappointed upon entering; the exhibition was everything I thought it would be, thought-provoking and inspiring. I may not be a true artist or have a talent for art like many others but like my classmate Conner Hawks said, it is amazing what artists such as Chase are able to do with pastels, brushes, and everyday items, such as glass bottles, to make art. Admiration and appreciation for art is what I have; I do not know how or why, but I always find myself smiling when I look at art, can it be the inspiration they release? the tales that they tell or the emotions that they invoke? Perhaps all three, but without a doubt, art is not just colors on a canvas or a statue composed of bottles, it is much more than that, something with much more meaning and value. Observing art up close in the Werby Gallery has indeed augmented my appreciation for artists and their art; the amount of concentration, passion, and time that is invested for the sake of art, is incredible.


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