Marc Bohne continued- some questions answered
Marc Bohne just got back to me with some interesting answers to the questions I asked him previously. Rather than add these to the end of the previous post I am putting them in a new one so people will be less likely to miss it.
Many of your smaller paintings appear to be made on site in one sitting, is this the case? Do you tend to paint the landscape as you find it, or do you move stuff around, like trees or other big shapes, to suit compositional needs? Care to say anything about the pros and cons of these approaches?
I never paint on site. I used to, but the tendency is to become a documentary, and that is not what I want to do. Somewhere in all the written stuff I may have mentioned that the paint relationship to my subjects is more like a conversation than anything. Not lawyer to lawyer, but friend to friend… full of slants and opinions, stretched truth, a little selling, and some fiction and then as much honesty that can survive those things. Like any conversation with a friend. I don’t try to capture anything.
Plus, I paint in many layers, which would be impossible to do in the field. There is also an amazing thing that can happen only in the studio, which is a process where the painting begins to paint itself at a certain point, and the tactile information on the subject is no longer too useful. How I feel about the subject takes over. I wish things could be resolved in one sitting, but the larger ones take many months, and the small ones many days usually.
That said, I think that if you stood in the spot that became one of these paintings, you would have no problem recognizing it.
When you paint on site what palette do you use? Anything noteworthy about your color, drawing, or compositional approach or technique other painters may find of interest?
I suppose this question isn’t pertinent, but I will say that over the years my studio pallete has condensed down to about a dozen tubes, with maybe 10 ancillary ones that I occasionally use when I feel lazy and dont want to mix. I mix everything, and mix it new every day. This trains the lizard brain to know color intuitively.
What other contemporary landscape painters do you admire?
Well, there are a few that I know and whose company I enjoy, but I dont think admiration is part of it. At some point, you stop looking at what others are doing, and just do what your own inner compass tells you to do. I dont want to learn from anyone else these days, I want my own voice to mature in its own track. Most painters that I enjoy looking at are not landscape painters at all anyway. Nathan Oliviera, for example, had a large show a couple years ago at the Tacoma Art Museum, and I went on a rare outing to see it. I can appreciate paint with his work, and raw drawing with Francis Bacon, another that I like to see in person when possible. I really like Greg Gibbons in Albuquerque, (bosquestudios.com) because his paintings resound in me some unique New Mexico genome, that no other canned New Mexico painter can do. I was raised there, and find Greg’s images get under my skin like few others. But we are very different as painters. I like entering parts of the world through the unique visions of people who are different, and in some cases much more successful at what I want to get at than I am. Sort of like appreciating the expertise of another trade. Greg speaks a language that I am too chicken to learn.
You make and sell prints of your paintings and a number of online venues carry your work in print form. What kinds of prints do you make? Has this worked well for you?
I don’t know what anyone might make of the copious prints and posters that have been made, but they started as a response to a lot of ordinary people asking if we could produce some for those who liked the paintings but could not afford originals. I get no significant income from them, some pocket money every year is about it. I dont make them though, they are done by Winn Devon/Canadian Art Prints. They do some limited editions, posters, and some canvas transfers. I do not allow any “enhancements” that confuse people… prints and posters are prints and posters. They were originally done here in Seattle by Winn Devon which was a local company who approached me many years ago now about the same time I was getting inquiries. I figured no harm in it, so I have let them be what they are. Once you open that box, it is hard to close it.
Is that helpful? Also, a correction… I met Stuart Shills in Ireland on his last day there. I doubt he remembers me so I couldn’t say I “knew” him. I met him, but that is about it.
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