More PSA Notes: Tim Gaydos

TG-021.jpgArtist and Pastel Journal contributor Robert K. Carsten recently had the pleasure of attending the Pastel Society of America’s 35th Annual Open Juried Exhibition at the National Arts Club (Sept. 7-30). Below he shares a snippet of his conversation with artist Tim Gaydos (featured in our October 2007 issue), who won the PSA’s Art Spirit Foundation, Dianne B. Bernhard Gold Medal Award for his painting, More Coffee? (at right).

“I made up this composition, More Coffee?, using two models and myself,” says Tim Gaydos. “I often use myself in my paintings, not with the intention of self portraiture, but because I’m cheap and available! I use double mirrors, both on easels. The one in front of me is a smaller one, which I can lean a little forward or backward to alter the angle of my view. The mirror in back is a larger one, maybe 4-by-5 feet, and both are wired to the easels for safety.

“The circular counter and rounded window come from my compositional sketch created at the White Manna diner in Jersey City, N.J. All of the figures, though, are changed from the sketch, as are the colors,” he says. “I’ve been painting diner scenes since about 1982, and I don’t see them as evolving so much as I do, capturing an emotion and a sense of alienation in the modern world. The figure on the right is perhaps thinking about her life, why she’s here, what she’s doing on this earth. She is in deep, if momentary, contemplation. Perhaps she’s thinking about an event in her past or yearning for a new future. The male figure, well, he’s intrigued by the daydreaming girl, while the other waitress, perhaps noticing, asks, ‘More coffee?’

“When I’m sketching in a public location such as a diner, I try to do it as anonymously as possible. Occasionally, people who have noticed me working have come up and complimented me on my drawing; I’ve never had a bad experience,” says the artist. Speaking of experiences, bringing home a PSA award is one to be remembered. “It is very, very gratifying to win this award,” he says.

To read more about Tim Gaydos, his remarkable work, and his studio setup, see the October 2007 issue of The Pastel Journal.

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