January 2013 Featured Artist Chris Sedgwick

Model Mayhem My name is Chris Sedgwick. I am a professional artist(oil painter) living in Colorado Springs. I am always looking for new models, both male and female. I will pay for modeling time but am open to trades for high quality prints of my work, private painting lessons, or any other trade of choice.

Passing of the Ages by Artist Chris Sedgwick
Passing of the Ages by Artist Chris Sedgwick

ARTIST STATEMENT…

The inter-penetrating layers of symbolism, mysticism, and narrative in my work constitute a timeless world of ancient rituals and divinatory rites. In synthesizing techniques of the old masters, ancient mystical teachings, and contemporary science, my work focuses on the uniqueness and universality of inner landscapes and transcendent experience.

MODELS I HAVE WORKED WITH…

Valeri Kimbro – MM #791306 Pesha Forest – MM #2291700

Seer by Artist Chris Sedgwick
Seer by Artist Chris Sedgwick

Steve Gray Chris Sedgwick is a Painter who says he moves around a lot but always tries to live right by or in the mountains. He currently lives in Manitou Springs, Colorado, which is right at the base of the Rocky mountains near Garden of the Gods; a beautiful park with gigantic red rocks that jut out of the landscape. Chris says the area is very inspiring. His works are described as Transcendent narratives.

The Eternal Formation by Chris Sedgwick
The Eternal Formation by Chris Sedgwick

Chris is represented by Gallery Minerva located in Asheville, NC (www.galleryminerva.com) and the Elaine Erickson Gallery located in Milwaukee, WI www.elaineericksongallery.com

You can see Chris’s website at www.crsedgwick.com Chris was a feature Artist in the American Art Collector Magazine 2009.

On his work Chirs says… “The inter-penetrating layers of symbolism, mysticism, and narrative in my work constitute a timeless world of ancient rituals and divinatory rites. In synthesizing techniques of the old masters, ancient mystical teachings, and contemporary science, my work focuses on the uniqueness and universality of inner landscapes and transcendent experience.”

How long have you been making art?
I have been making art ever since I was a small child; my parents were very encouraging of my interest in art.

Interests you have other than art you feel are important to mention?

Many of my interests intersect with my artistic endeavours; principally my love of learning and research into ancient cultures, mystery religions, modern sciences, symbology, and sacred geometry. I also love travelling, hiking and being outdoors.

The Nature of Self by Chris Sedgwick
The Nature of Self by Chris Sedgwick

What are the main medium/s you work in…

Most of my paintings are solely oil paint and gold leaf but occasionally I will use some crystals, minerals or other forms of raw earth. I have really moved away from sketching in the past couple of years, I prefer to conceptualize a painting in my head before I begin sketching anything out and when I eventually sketch I am usually doing quick stick figures to figure out the geometry of the composition.

How do you describe your work, realistic, stylised, abstract, narrative, symbolic, other?

I would have to say that my work would fall under the category of magical realism with some narrative symbology thrown in there.

What are you currently working on?

I am in the works on a concept involving the four elements of platonic thought (fire, air, earth, water) including the alchemical concept of the “quintessence” all compositionally laid out to the golden ratio. I am in a transition point in my work right now, I am moving out of a ”Rembrandtesque” dark sparse phase towards lighter symbolically rich area where I am adding more color and graphic elements.

Your art education was…?

I enjoyed my undergraduate art education, I attended Florida State University; I split my focus between sculpture and painting but after graduation I focused solely on painting. Sculpture is a hard field to brake in to especially if you don’t have the wherewithal to cast metals or the studio space. I attended UNC Chapel Hill for my M.F.A. just last year but withdrew after the first week, I realized too late that academia was not exactly suited to me anymore, along with a lot of financial concerns compiled with the fact that I have no desire to become a professor- I do think that furthering ones art education is a good idea I just think that the costs associated with it are downright obese in America right now; matriculation has really become a big business in itself regardless of it’s benefits in the long run. I am still interested in attending small workshops and would hope to someday be able to teach workshops myself.

What did you do before or during becoming an artist?

I worked in a bronze-casting foundry, we cast medals, plaques, art, and door knockers, it was very tough work but it was fun.

What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?

I like oil paints versatility, portability, historical richness, and wide acceptance in the art world. I wish it wasn’t so hazardous to the health but I try to take measures against that.

Precession by Chris Sedgwick
Precession by Chris Sedgwick

What can you tell us about your planning and making process for making art, and has that altered over the years?

For me I usually get my best ideas before going to bed or in the afternoon while the sun is shinning very bright, there is a slight breeze and the surroundings are calm and quiet; I have found that I don’t really get great insight while the weather is bad and I rarely get good ideas when I sit in front of a sketchbook waiting for them to pop up. I have noticed a very strange phenomenon in my work, I always seem to be narrating experiences in my own life through my work but I do not realize it or they do not happen until roughly six months later. It is not that I set out to narrate my experiences, in fact I attempt to do the exact opposite, but somehow about six months later I discover how the piece relates to me personally. This process has happened numerous times and I can’t really figure it out.

How important do you think craftsmanship is to artistic creation?

I think it is paramount.

Does the sale of your work support you? If no what else do you do to support your art ?

It has solely supported me for years, but recently I have had to look for supplements to my art income on account of the economic downturn here in the U.S. I would say that the life of a fine artist in my experience is pretty tough, one has to be comfortable with never knowing when the next pay check will come, the baffling cost of healthcare is always a hurdle, and it can be rather lonely but I think it is all worth it in the end.

Not to sound too pessimistic but I think the dream of being a famous artist, collected by the best museums, and always in demand by collectors may be a pipe dream for the overwhelming majority, myself included. I see a lot of great contemporary artist being overlooked, whole genres even being written off or dismissed, and I have noticed the propensity of museums to showcase similar collections of a small group of contemporary artists- though that small group is generally amazing. One of my favorite artists I would include in this group would be Julie Heffernan, I love her work, and it seems that no matter which museum I visit they always have one of her pieces. Read the entire interview here.

http://www.crsedgwick.com/

Ed. Note: Chris uses goldleaf in his art. Here’s a video on how to do this technique: