We’re excited to have our March artist of the month, Jim Salvati! He was a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine’s 30th Annual Art Competition. His painting, Polka Dot Dress (oil, 18×18) is below. Keep scrolling to see what Salvati has to say about art and life.
www.jimsalvati.com ~ West Hills, California
I got serious about art in College, although I have been exposed to it all my life. I come from a creative family of architects and artists, and graduated from the Art Center College of Design with a BFA. Art has been my only source of income since graduating the ACCD. I only sell art and it has been a very successful, long career, and it’s getting stronger, although I do also teach at ACCD once a week in an advanced upper level graduate class. I’m very fortunate to have this career.
I work in oil, alkyds on canvas or wood, and gouache or graphite on paper. The subject in Polka Dot Dress is a friend, Sarah, and she poses once in awhile for my class. She wore this dress and I felt I needed to paint her in it. I usually paint friends. I do draw from life, but don’t have the patience to paint complex paintings from life. I prefer working from my own photos to take my time and accommodate my busy schedule as I have a full schedule of them every month. I end up feeling rushed when I paint from life. Photographs work perfectly for freedom of time and a hectic schedule.
My color palette is never the same. It always changes with my ideas and subjects. Mood and atmosphere usually dictate my color palette. This painting took about a week to ten days. Working on Birch panel has a great feel and I love the look. I do paint prolifically, but take long periods of time to complete an individual painting . Patience is not one of my good traits. I need to see things finished and paint “combat ” style in long stretches of time to complete a piece.
I left the upper right area of this painting almost pure wood, with just the under painting washes and lines for depth, since it looked like the wooden wall . The rest of the painting is thick oil. My paintings are very thick.
My future plans are to build my career. I am very passionate and excited by my work now more then ever. All I think about is art and creating it. I’m in a really good place in my career . I want to expand on new ideas and images and I don’t like complacency. I produce a lot of work.
When I worked with Interview Magazine in the 1980s, I was invited to many of Andy Warhol’s Beverly Hills parties and that experience marked me for life. Being in that period of art and producing art helped me with my work ethic and creativity. I’m blessed to have met him.
For thank yous, I’d like to say “Hi, mom and dad!” Also, the great Phil Hays hired me to be an instructor a year or so after graduating Art Center. He was a big influence on me as well.
I entered the art competition to be seen, to get exposure and show new work, and to get new gallery representation through networking.