I’m back with another addition of Artists Talk. Like always check out our Artists Talk page for the full interview, but here is an excerpt.

Q: Tell me a little bit about the ideas behind your work and what you hope to convey to your audience. How would you describe your art to someone who has never seen it?

TW: This is a big question.

I think I try to convey what any artist tries to convey.  It’s hard to put into words, but it’s a little like saying everything and nothing all at once (that’s not very clear, I know).

Making the work, I try to include everything from small bits of self reference, bits of feelings and opinions about day to day things, to the big ideas about why we make art, or why we do anything for that matter.  I think these are the same sentiments that drive anyone in his/her chosen profession.  How can I make the world a better place by doing what I do best? ….

….In this case, the works are oil paintings; some on panel and some on canvas.  They are mostly realist paintings painted with a, somewhat, limited palette.   I like to think that paintings depict the things I see, but only when the things I see look like the things I imagine.  By this I mean, they are pictures of scenes one might see in real life, but they have a quality that makes them seem not quite real.

QHow has PAFA’s M.F.A program influenced your development as an artist?

TW: The program has influenced my art in many ways.  Technically and theoretically, it has pushed me to better define what I am trying to achieve in my work, and it has provided me with a community in which to do this.

More specifically, I like to think that I can now attempt to join the lineage of Philadelphia artists with whose work I have become very familiar through the Academy.  From Thomas Eakins, to Walter Stuempfig, to Sidney Goodman, to Vincent Desiderio…all of these and more have influenced me.  Historically, there is a bleakness to Philadelphia realism.  Perhaps it started with trips to The Philadelphia Museum of Art as a child, but I am drawn to this sentiment, and I don’t think I would have been able to hone this taste as easily if I hadn’t attended PAFA.

The Frightened Ones, 2010, oil on panel, 18″ x 24″

Icarus and the Bird Girl, 2011, oil on panel, 48″ x 72″