Linda S. Watson, Stellar Nebula, painting

Interviews With Artists Nancy Staub Laughlin, Matti Sirvio and Linda S. Watson

The  Manhattan Arts International members are fascinating, talented and knowledgeable. This article/interview includes insight from artists Nancy Staub Laughlin, Matti Sirvio, and Linda S. Watson.

Banner image: Painting by Linda S. Watson titled “Stellar Nebula”

Nancy Staub Laughlin

Nancy Staub Laughlin
Nancy Staub Laughlin, Sprinkling of Glow and Flurries, pastel on paper, photographs 25 x 32.

The highly imaginative artist Nancy Staub Laughlin brings a new contemporary concept to the genre of still life.  By juxtaposing her pastel drawings with her photography she creates dynamic assemblages that are unique in composition, light and shadow.

RP: What is the one art supply or tool you rely on the most to create your art? Why?

NSL: Soft pastels. I love the layering and blending aspect I can achieve with pastels. I am fascinated with light, glow and shadows. After experimenting with other mediums over the years, pastels are hands down the best medium for my goals in the creation of a work on paper.

RP: When did you first realize your love for Art? Time, place?

NSL: It was in the 7th grade when I saw a Claus Oldenburg sculpture in a book. In tribute, in my art class that year, I made a 6-foot hot dog with relish and mustard on a roll out of chicken wire and plastered gauze.

RP: What artist has influenced you the most in your creative direction?

NSL: I would not say I was influenced, but maybe absorbed aspects of certain artists’ creativity. David Hockney’s creativity is astounding. No matter what he tries, he does amazingly. I try to do the same.

Visit Nancy’s page on this website.
Visit Nancy’s website www.nancystaublaughlin.com

Matti Sirvio

Matti Sirvio, I Will Go Up, oil on canvas, 39" x 47".
Matti Sirvio, I Will Go Up, oil on canvas, 39″ x 47″.

In bold, semi-abstract paintings Matti Sirvio brings a universal language to his art that engages viewers immediately. The internationally exhibited artist transcends geographical and cultural boundaries.

RP: What is the one art supply or tool you rely on the most to create your art? Why?

MS: I love canvases. Even though I do have a lot of works on paper, I always return to use the canvas. It lives and breathes differently from any other surface. Maybe it’s the awareness of it being a woven fabric with a lot of holes in it, just like life is, not just a solid surface, pol-ished and ready. Canvas looks like a useless rag that is waiting to be colored and beautified.

RP: When did you first realize your love for Art? Time, place?

MS: I was a young boy in the backwoods of Finland, maybe around eight or nine. I had a friend with whom we often went to ski in the winter forest. We would observe the nature, it’s colors and structures together and tell endless fantasy stories to one another. We saw fair-ytale creatures and amazing adventures far beyond the forest that inspired us. It was all about colors and composition.

RP: What artist has influenced you the most in your creative direction?

MS: Marc Chagall always stirs me up with his unorganized canvases. I love his freedom and his, not always so logical messages. He leaves so much for the others to explore and con-clude. In the same time he has so much love and joy to share. Whenever I get the chance to see his works, my heart jumps and I want to run home to paint.
Visit Matti’s page on this website.
Visit Matti’s website www.mattisirvio.com

Linda S. Watson

Linda S. Watson, Stellar Nebula (from the "Universe Series"), oil and mixed media on canvas, 8” x 11”.
Linda S. Watson, Stellar Nebula (from the “Universe Series”), oil and mixed media on canvas, 8” x 11”.

Linda S. Watson creates awe-inspiring  mixed media abstract paintings, primarily inspired by molten lava she observes in Hawaii. Deep crevasses, tactile surfaces, rich colors, and undulating movement characterize her art.

RP: What is the one art supply or tool you rely on the most to create your art?

LSW: My teacher gave me one of her brushes, a size 30 daVinci, black sable bright. It holds loads of paint and can cover a large canvas in no time. As a dry brush, it is great for softening the edges of painted areas. Also when dry, it is full enough to scatter the powdered pigments I use to increase depth and luminosity in my work. Because it came from my teacher, it is filled with good “mana” (the Hawaiian word for “power” and “spirit”).

RP:  When did you first realize your love for Art? Time, place?

LSW: In the fall of 1974 I took an introduction to Art History at a Northern California community college. I was seduced by the huge projected images of art created throughout the ages and that’s when art transitioned from a playful pleasure of my youth to a lifelong passion. For over 40 years I have studied art, written about art, traveled to museums all over the world, worked as an art librarian, curated art shows and worked on my own art. I am a true “art addict” and probably need a 12 step program!

RP: What artist has influenced you the most in your creative direction?

LSW: My highly textured abstract paintings were strongly influenced by Jay deFeo, a visual artist associated with the Beat generation who worked c1950 -1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area. My “Mineral Series” was inspired by seeing two of her greatest paintings “The Rose” and “The Jewel” in person. They are huge, beautiful works of art that cannot be captured adequately in reproductions.

Visit Linda’s page on this website
Visit Linda’s website www.lindaswatsonartist.com

Learn more about the Manhattan Arts International Art and Artists Program.

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