|Watercolorist Stephen Scott Young getting into the
details of his watercolor technique with students.
All photos by Manuel Rodriguez.
Artists of the past are often remembered as working solo, toiling alone in their private studios and intimate garrets. But during his opening remarks at the American Artist Weekend With the Masters conference and workshop, editorial director Michael Gormley pointed out how communal our art community really is, and what a shared exchange art-making can be.
Throughout Weekend With the Masters, this camaraderie asserted itself again and again. Artists engaged each other on topics of mutual interest like technology, the nature of beauty, and the current state of representational art. There were panel discussions, interviews, and many, many conversations taking place. Students and artist-instructors not only spent hours together in daily workshops, they began to develop mentor relationships outside of those structured classes–venturing on impromptu plein air trips, taking meals together, and fostering bonds that will hopefully extend beyond their time together at the event.
Scott Christensen fielding questions from event
All of this interaction reinforced the fact that artists are part of a long continuum with art history. But they are also part of an ongoing conversation with each other. The purpose of Weekend With the Masters and American Artist magazine is to offer venues for this conversation to take place. With the conference, students were able to meet and discuss, learn and share. And with the magazine, that exchange takes place in a different form, but still focuses on bringing artists together. Artist Daily promotes this same kind of rapport by providing a place where artists from all over the world come together, share their experiences, and interact in real time. Instead of isolated, artists are better thought of as individualized, and those unique perspectives assure that each one of us brings something substantive to this essential conversation.
Being at Weekend With the Masters has proven to me how crucial this discourse is. It has meant pushing to really figure out where I stand as an editor, historian, and student of art during a time when representational art is resurging in popularity and practice. Likewise, each issue of American Artist is a dialogue about what challenges and intrigues artists, and proposes more avenues for discussion. It can be your artistic foundation, and from it you can build successive layers of skill, knowledge, and creative capacities. You can be part of this authentic and informed exchange, which is what has kept the magazine in business for more than seven decades and allowed Artist Daily to become a vital, energized artist community. So it isn't about the subject matter you employ, the medium you practice in, if you show in a gallery, or what tools you use in your art. What bears the most importance are the personal tenets you bring to bear in your work, which allow you to project a little bit of yourself out there for the world to see.