Can you tell us about how you became a painter?
My parents were a huge influence for me, and have always supported my work as a painter. My folks both grew up in the 60’s, and Dad played in a band so music was always playing in our house. I can remember going to galleries very early on, and being encouraged to draw and paint. I also had a terrific art teacher that really challenged me on composition, contrast, and subject matter.
What artists are you influenced by?
Canada has produced some revolutionary artists over the past 100 years or so that have been a huge influence on me and many other painters including Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, Norval Morrisseau, Robert Bateman and Alex Colville.
How do you choose your subject matter?
I really look for something that tells a story. We are exposed to so many different types of work and subject matter that landscapes can sometimes get lost and it is up to the artist to present a compelling purpose to the viewer. I like ideas that have bold images and strong colour balance.
How does your personal history work its way into your painting?
My personal history is involved in nearly every painting I do, as many are based on things I have experienced. I’ve been fortunate to live and travel in many different countries, and seeing how other cultures live in this world has brought a certain view to my work. I currently live next to the Rocky Mountains, so the dramatic landscapes they provide are also a common subject matter of mine.
What is your work process?
I currently work exclusively in oil, which can be very temperamental. As such, I typically have about 5 paintings in various stages of development. I’m one of those artists that prefers a primed canvas using a base colour, so I will often prime up to 20 canvases in a day. Each piece then begins with a pencil draft and a check on composition and contrast, followed by a rough blocking in of the main objects. I’ll usually let the piece dry for up to a week before adding medium detail, followed by another drying period. Detailing can take anywhere from a day to a month depending on the work. It often requires quite a bit of patience as there are many pieces that I’m excited about, but I have to wait before I can continue to work on them.
If you could have one piece of art, what would it be?
Great, great question – Can I only pick one? I’ll say the West Wind, by Tom Thomson, as I think it is the most iconic piece of Canadian art and was a huge inspiration to me early on. That said, if I wanted the best return on my investment it would have to be Picasso’s Guernica or Monet’s Water Lilies I suppose.
More of Scott’s work can be found here.