Artist Interview - Michael Wall
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Michael Wall and I create Contemporary Landscapes. My paintings border between abstraction and realism. I want the viewer to identify with the familiar world while simultaneously being ambiguous and fictional.
Why do you do what you do?
Because I’m searching for celestial environments where my soul can dwell. The experience of living can be inordinate. It is difficult to sustain the trials we face day in and day out. Although we may not be unassailable, we do heal, grow, and become stronger as time goes on. We all need a sacred place where we can rejuvenate. Art is very powerful and I can’t help myself. I need and want to create.
What inspires your art?
I would have to say nature and my spirituality.
How and when did you get into art?
Art is something I have done my whole life but I started taking it seriously about 8 years ago.
How has your practice changed over time?
Overall, I would say it boils down to experience. I have challenged myself by pushing more and more boundaries with my techniques and materials. By doing so, the work naturally has to change.
What’s your favorite piece of art that you’ve created? Why?
Discovering Hope. It is dedicated to my daughter who has passed away.
What’s the best piece of art advice you’ve been given?
This is such an important question! I have so much to say about it but I’ll try to keep it short. I wasn’t told by one individual this advice or that it all came at once, like turning on a light switch. The best advice came to me over time, bit by bit. It’s a lot of little things along the way. Know where you want to go with your art. Have short-term and long-term goals. Always have new goals after you accomplish the previous ones. Learn everything you can about the business side of art. Learn how to talk about your work and the materials you use with confidence. Price your work with confidence. Find new ways to fall in love with your concepts and how you create your art. Understand that your work will develop the more you do it. Never stop learning and always do your research. Keep your pride in check. It never hurts to be humble. I could go on and on but remember, it’s a lot of little things along the way.
What’s one art tip/technique you can share with us that you find really helpful?
Don’t be afraid to experiment or to fail.
Do you have any secret tips or techniques you use to salvage a piece when you make a mistake?
Maybe this falls under the “advice” question but most of the time, no one ever knows you made a mistake unless you point it out. The best way to learn is through our mistakes anyways, so simply press on.
What is your favorite Strathmore paper? Why?
300 lb. Cold Press & 140 lb. rough, 500 series Gemini Watercolor Paper. It’s simply a great quality paper to work on.
What art materials could you not live without?
Hmmm…I’m pretty versatile and do not stay faithful to any particular medium. I do use Princeton brushes and wax medium (hot & cold) in almost all of my work. I would have to say I could not work in the same way without those materials.
What types of colors are you drawn to for your art and why?
Mainly earth tones with low saturation and hues. It just comes naturally for me. I really have to work hard at getting vibrant colors into my work.
Who are your biggest influences (or who were when you started doing art)?
This is an impossible question for me to answer. I have so many from different styles, genres, and mediums…all for different reasons. Some for their work, others for who they are as a person, and some for what I have learned from them. I’m a product of all of them and none of them…all at the same time.
What’s the most common art-related question you get from your followers?
“How do you make your textures!?”
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