Review Me: Lindsay Hirsch: Visions of Reality
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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Lindsay Hirsch: Visions of Reality

Lindsay, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions in this interview. Tell us about your artistic background story and if there was a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as a visual artist?

I was brought up by parents who loved to go to museums. My mother has told a story about my first day in pre-school, where I went into the classroom and looked at a painting on the wall and said “look, it’s a Degas”. I don’t know how accurate this is, but it’s a great story. I started doing pastels and watercolors as a child. I loved the impressionist and Toulouse - Lautrec and did a lot of copies of these works as a child. I do not remember a time in my life when I did not paint, except for periods when I has young children, it was the least work i have ever done.

The behavior and reaction of parents in praising and displaying art is very effective in their child's taste, and visiting artworks and walking through them helps the child get some knowledge about art styles and understanding of art. Was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely?

I did not pursue showing my work when I had young children, that is the closest to “fear” or doubt. Painting for me is as natural as dancing, or walking, for most people, it simply never occurred to me not to do it. I now have the time and frame of mind to work full-time at my art.

Great job! Your passion for art is truly commendable. What is your daily routine when working in your studio?

I get up, and have coffee and a protein bar, and decide what I need to work on that day. Then, I will usually spend about 30 minutes meditating. After that, I can look at my work and decide what to do. Does something need to be fixed? What is not working on a piece or reading correctly as a form. Then, I start working. I usually work in oils for a period of days or weeks, and then, switch to pastels, I find it difficult space-wise to have too many materials out at once.

We really want to know what steps your artwork goes through to become a complete painting, Lindsay. So, take us through your process of making your artworks. How do you move from an idea to an artwork? Where does an artwork begin for you?

I usually have an image or visual idea that comes to me. From that starting point, I will try to find a model or photo that I have already taken that could work for the idea. I will also decide what medium to work in that would best express the idea. I will do some sketch studies, and color studies for composition. Once I have a good idea of the composition and colors, I will start to block in the colors and form and then work from that point till it is done.

You say you have always been a “life painter”, and in my work, one can see a quintessential something that would be definable as “me” throughout your life. Is there a central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork is unique?

I am generally a figurative artist, so people are the main theme. I do tend to work in mini-series of ideas 3-5 paintings of each. I find that for me doing small series tends to help me get my ideas across in an economic way. Of course, this could change at any time and I might need to do one big painting or more smaller ones.

You paint from life to bring a broader understanding to what you see. Would you like to give a particular interpretation of your work to your viewers or you prefer to leave the whole interpretation to your audience?

I come from the school of thought that an artwork should stand on its own and be able to be understood without a written commentary. Of course, that being said, I am happy to provide my insights. But, the interpretation is individual, and if a painting means something to another person that is their reality and it’s all good.

Anything can be an inspiration to an artist. Nature, life, people, music, memories, sounds, and voices, etc. Then, the space and the subjects appear, and finally, the artist creates the artwork using the materials, colors, styles, and techniques of his/her choice, and shows that inspiration in front of the viewers' eyes. How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

There is no one way I get inspired. My works come from a visual fantasy, thought, dreams, vision, there are many ways an image speaks to me to be made manifest. Oftentimes there are themes in my personal life that will lead me to have a vision that needs to be expressed.

What about subjects. How do you select your artworks subjects? Where do they come from?

I recently did a series of Hopi Women, I found that during Covid and Sheltering in Place, I felt like looking to the Past, towards lost worlds, and places that were no longer there. I have a huge admiration for Edward Curtis’s photographs from 100 + years ago, how he must have been a visionary and found the need to capture the indigenous people of America, as if he knew this was the end of their world as it had been for hundreds of years. I used some of his old black and white photos and some others old photos and wanted to make them live in color like paintings.

Which of your artworks or art collections do you think of the most? Are there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for? And if yes, what is it?

No, not at this time. I hope I have many years of work that is yet to be done to define me. But if I had to answer for the present, it would be the paintings of Indigenous people, I feel that their story has not been really told, not as a contemporary one anyway.

Lindsay, what are your art influences? Who are your favorite contemporary or historical artists and why?

I have many artists that I love and draw inspiration from: Chardin, has always been a favorite, Ingres, for his love of composition and lack of anatomical accuracy when it suited him. Toulouse - Lautrec, always a favorite, his drawing skill is impeccable and mixed with real passion which is rare. Degas, the same. My teacher and mentor Euan Uglow, who was simply amazing, and very misunderstood. Euan was a Real artist, it was his whole life and he walked the way and talked the talk, he was one of a kind. I learned my ability to measure and think in terms of a two-dimensional plane from him.

If you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past, who would it be and what will you ask about?

Toulouse-Lautrec, I would like to ask him about drawing and the use of color. I find that since photography has become such a part of our daily life, we no longer see clearly. I can always tell an artist from 100 plus years ago, there is NO sense of photography in their works and the drawing back then was always impeccable.

Your artworks are very popular among our readers, and everyone is waiting for your future works. Any upcoming works or future projects that you would like to share with our readers?

I am currently working on lots of new pieces and feel like I am always evolving.

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