Virtu Gallery has released a couple of new editions by Chris Peters. Both of these new editions are giclee on varnished canvas, signed and numbered in editions of 40, “Clear Blue Water” is 12.5″ x 14.75″ and “Leaving the Shame Behind” is 13.25″ x 12.5″. I was also able to send Chris a handful of questions for a mini interview regarding these new prints and art making in general. After the images, click the more link to read the interview.
Get the prints here: Chris Peters @ Virtu Gallery
Hi Chris, Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in art?
Chris: I’ve always been pretty visual and increasingly felt compelled to get something down, like it was something I really had to do. I worked up the courage to go to an art store one day and got enough stuff to get started. I did pretty well, but had the opportunity to attend the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, and I spend 3 years there learning everything I could. It was so much easier to paint after that, but dark skeleton paintings were spectacularly unsuccessful in Seattle. Later I moved to LA, where I met the amazing Chet Zar, LC Croskey, and Gary Pressman. Those guys gave me a chance and I will forever be grateful to them.
What are some of the things (music, movies, etc) that inspired your work?
Chris: I have several poems on my website, I think paintings are very much like poetry, you are trying to express a single thought or mood. I will sometimes be influenced by a fragment of a single song lyric or other random bits. I usually see the painting pretty much fully realized in my head before I start. Where that comes from I don’t want to know – sometimes I don’t know what my paintings are about and have to guess after they’re done – its more about just getting them out of my head.
Can you please Name and tell us a bit about the people that greatly influenced you as an artist.
Chris: I am constantly going to museums and buying art books to study – I think its important for every artist to do so. Probably the biggest influence are the Spanish baroque (1600) painters like Zurburan and Ribera, although lately I’ve been going in the completely opposite direction and studying the work of Thomas Dewing and James Whistler (Americans working around 1900).
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your paintings “Leave the Shame Behind” & “Clear Blue Water”.
Chris: Both of the titles come from song lyrics, “Leave The Shame Behind” was influenced mostly by Edward Hopper’s work (although a little darker!), and “Clear Blue Water” came from seeing a misty moon one night and I thought it would be cool to integrate it into a painting. What the meaning behind the paintings is less clear to me – I have my own thoughts, but the viewers interpretation is probably better.
You went to the Gage Academy of Art, can you tell us about your experience there and the path to painting in an academic fashion?
Chris: It was fantastic. There are plenty of ways to make great art (realism, non-objective, etc), but I really believe there is only one great way to teach art, and that’s with realism. I thought the stipulation in Andy Warhol’s will concerning teaching drawing was very funny and true. At the Gage Academy we were taught to mix the colors we intended and to put them down where we intended. It was 100% technical, with nothing fuzzy, we weren’t trying to find ourselves, we were trying to learn to paint. That knowledge is very liberating, it really frees you to paint anything you can imagine. It wasn’t all fun and games though, I remember one class I spend three hours drawing a part of a model’s ear! You really learn how to observe!