Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spotlight on Dennis Farris, Texas Top Ten 2016

"Fred (Pa), Haunted House Volunteer"  36x38.5, oil on panel

Name: Dennis Farris
Current City: Fort Worth

1) When and how did you first become seriously interested in Art?
I have been drawing since I was a child, so it has been a constant all my life
in some way or another.

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in?
I have a BFA in Commercial Art, plus I had a tremendous art program in High School.
The Art teacher Janice Malott, exposed us to drawing and painting, in water based and
oil paints, as well as air-brush, pottery, sculpture. We really had a chance to experience
a wide spectrum of media and develop a skill level in each. I also was taught by the artist Bob
Byerley when I was a teenager. He is a virtuoso with paint, his skills as a painter and storyteller were very influential in my artistic foundation.

3) What do you try to express in your work?
I am attracted to dramatic lighting and tend to convey that in my work. In my landscapes
I love to paint atmosphere, and in portrait or figurative work I like a lot of contrast between
the lights and darks. I like to paint things that make me go "wow".

4) What artists/professionals have been your biggest influences?  
The two I mentioned above were very influential. More recently the Hudson River School
of painters has had the most influence in my landscapes. I love the work of Sargent, and
Sorolla, although I have a very difficult time creating the big juicy brushstrokes they have,  I keep trying.

5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work?
Traveling is always good for new
inspiration when possible. Getting out of my everyday environment always sparks new ideas.
If travel isn't possible I will go through my catalog of reference photos and "revisit" a location in the studio to gain inspiration.Museums and art shows and nowadays perusing new artists on Facebook
are also options for getting out of a creative "funk".

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now?
I hope to be doing better paintings, to keep learning.

7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art?
I think goals are very important for me to keep moving. I like to set a destination,
achieve it, and then reassess, and set a new destination. Art can be very fluid, so long term goals
for me tend to be broad, so if opportunity arises along the way I can be ready to see where it leads.

8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently? 
I have absolutely no regrets. Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I am doing what I love, while so many people can't,
or won't, but I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share?
I love cycling, riding a bicycle is like an expression of freedom...and I love to get to the top of the hill first.I also love
volunteering and acting in Hangman's House of Horrors, a charity Haunted House in Fort Worth.Jumping out and
scaring someone so much that they scream out of the room is such an adrenaline rush...especially when then pay
to get in.

10) Best piece of advice for other artists?
Learn from everyone, but be yourself.

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