Q & A with ANDREW SUTHERLAND

Q & A with ANDREW SUTHERLAND

Q&A with ANDREW SUTHERLAND

Presented by SALON NINETY ONE

1. You have a very distinctive use of colour; what goes into your decision-making for your colour palettes?

When I first started painting, I was terrified of vibrant colours. I would only use washed out colours and added a lot of white to soften them further. I used a very limited colour range – perhaps 2 to 4 different colours in a painting. I have built this range up over the years, but I still prefer a muted palette for the most part. I generally start with softer tones and work towards stronger areas of colour with some sharp accents here and there. I have found out through trial and error which colours work for me and have slowly built up a repertoire over the years.

2. What is your most important artist’s tool? Is there something in your studio that you can’t live without?

My black crayon. 90% of my sketches are done with this, and it’s the starting point for the majority of my work.

3. How would you describe your creative process?

The first part of my process is always the same. I start with an idea or reference from one of my many sources – old books, postcards or the internet and then develop them through very rough drawings. After that I move onto painting and the process changes again depending on the medium. Acrylic-based works are done in many layers over time and oil paintings are generally done in one or two sittings.

4. What was the biggest opposing force that you have encountered on your creative journey?

I think just finding my own voice as an artist. I feel like everything was such a battle when I started out. I was constantly creating, but with no real direction. I was always looking at artists around me to see what was trending and using that as inspiration but somehow all the work I was doing at the time felt hollow. It took years and years of experimenting and playing to finally reach a point where I felt like what I was doing was actually a reflection of me.

5. What drives you as an artist?

I get excited about what’s to come. I love playing with new mediums and ideas and really enjoy the idea of what I could make and what I’ll discover in the future.

6. Do you feel like you were born to do what you are doing now?

Not really. I feel like I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, and I’m a firm believer that you can achieve whatever you want as long as you focus hard enough.

7. Are there any artists or artistic influences in your family?

When I was really young my dad drew me a picture of a house with some trees behind it. It was a really quick pencil sketch, but I was so impressed and fascinated by it that sparked something in me. My dad is not an artist but that was a defining moment for me. Thanks Pops.

8. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not creating art?

Rock climbing, hiking, camping, listening to music, Deejaying to myself, swimming in cold water, eating good food with friends and drinking whiskey.

9. How do you find your habits changing throughout the year?

In winter I find myself working shorter days in the studio as the natural light disappears far earlier. I spend more time drawing and researching and, in this way, winters are more of a brewery for ideas and a time to play and experiment. When the season change again, so do my practices and I’ll find myself working longer days in the studio once again.

10. How do you know when a work is finished?

I know a piece is complete when I can’t add anything that will improve it. I like my paintings to appear finished, but I also like to leave areas unpolished and more open to interpretation. I find this gives the viewer a chance to see things I don’t and create their own stories within the work.

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