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Six of the Best Part 17

Part 17 of an interview series in which I invite artists to respond to six questions about art, process, and creativity  (Part 1Part 2Part 3,Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12, Part 13, Part 14Part 15, Part 16). Today's artist is George Raica, a mighty fine painter who lives on the east coast of the USA (where he is also director of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University).

Philip Hartigan: What medium/media do you chiefly use, and why?

George Raica: Currently I am using the iMac computer to do digital graphics because I don't have heat in my studio in the barn across the street during the winter months. I greatly enjoy doing the images I'm generating on the computer because the work is right at my fingertips and I can get immediate results. Plus it takes a smaller amount of space to do what I'm up to. But I consider myself a mixed-media painter and have worked with lacquer over vinyl. In a separate series I used inter-mixed lacquer with latex and oil and waited to see what kind of special effects turned up as the materials dried--which includes curdling, cracking, floating, bubbling, There is also a conceptual element to the work, which I won't go into here because I'm going beyond the parameters of the question.

Philip Hartigan: What piece are you currently working on?

George Raica: The digital graphics and-in the barn. Now that it's warmer I'm working on a large piece (7'x 9') made up of configurations of gestural mark-making (triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles). Some of the marks are freehand while others are taped off. This piece is being done in my barn studio where I have a lot of space to move around.

Philip Hartigan: What creative surprises are happening in the current work?

George Raica: Gesture and shapes change in order to get the piece to "work" with regard to composition, design elements, shape, size, and configuration, as well as color value, hue, saturation, paint texture, etc.

Philip Hartigan: What other artistic medium (or non-artistic activity) feeds your creative process?

George Raica: Walking, running, walking, driving my car, reading and writing poetry, working with found-objects. 

Philip Hartigan: What's the first ever piece of art you remember making?

George Raica: Monsters, fighter jets, airplanes, and tanks.

Philip Hartigan: Finally, and you can answer this in any way that's meaningful to you: why are you an artist?

George Raica: I think I was born to be an artist; Inherent in my DNA. I remember always pounding and hammering on objects in the basement as a little boy with no specific purpose in mind. One time I made a teeter-totter for my sisters at Christmas time. They wouldn't "ride" on it because it didn't look much like a teeter-totter.

If you liked this interview, and you'd like to keep up to date with the series, why not Subscribe, or sign-up via Google Connect, using one of the options over on the right? Thanks, and keep creating


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