Introducing Artist Derrick Breidenthal. Derrick has been creating fine art for over twenty five years. His work has been showcased throughout the US. Please enjoy our conversation below!
1) Derrick, when did you first realize that you wanted to paint and create art?
Drawing and painting started young for me. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia around 3rd grade and was encouraged to explore visual activities as one means of learning. Art was a natural mechanism to engage my brain. So it became a consistent part of my schedule. It helped relieve the stresses of things like math and English that I needed to engage in productively. As I grew older art was always an anchor for me and helped me break learning down into manageable steps. I guess I have stuck with it for so long because I like process, and it was one of the earliest things in my life that created structure for me. Which to me is all artistic process is...creating a system that makes sense to the individual artist. Regardless of any commercial success art has always helped me navigate the rest of the responsibilities of life.
2) The works of your art that I have seen have a very ethereal and atmospheric feel to them. Where does your inspiration come from?
Color is a driving force in most of my work. Specifically the combinations of a few colors and the emotional statement this creates. Combine that with a life of being in more rural locations and always wanting to be outside you can see how my work is a reflection of this. The work consistently works back and forth from these two hero's. Sometimes my love for color overtakes any direct desire to reflect a landscape, a place, or a subject. Other times the atmospheric quality of the work - for instance trying to capture a particular experience I had - drives the entire painting and color is used strictly to emphasize this experience.
3) I understand you paint Alla Prima. Would you tell our readers about that term and genre of painting?
There are a few general methods in painting with lots of in betweens. One is a indirect method composed of multi layered, many times glazed surfaces, and can lend itself to realism.
The other is a direct method (alla prima) that is generally expressive brushwork and a desire to see the painterly marks within the piece. I tend to work in a direct method. Mostly I try to paint the entire work without removing or painting over any marks I have made. Or at the least I want the full history of the material to be seen even if it goes through a stage of material removal. I don't sketch the compositions on the surface, then fold in my shadows, mid tones and highlights in a staggered manner.
The composition, the color, the light, shadow, and textures are all dealt with at once. If it doesn't work then I typically remove all the paint and start over. Realizing the main statement of the work in one moment is the overall goal for me. This technique has always been a foundation in much of my work, although recently I have been creating a different body of work that explores different techniques.
4) Who are some artists or mentors that have motivated you?
I love to stay in touch with local artist as much as I can. There is so much great work being done in this town right now that it makes it an easy place to be motivated. I move around a lot in the periods of art I look at. I enjoy looking at Goya's work.
I also like the early 1900's landscape work that began to limit color palettes and hinting at the subject matter, rather then painting every last detail. For obvious reasons. Contemporary work I have always followed include Gerhard Richter and Lucian Freud among many.
5) Derrick, where is your art shown and do you have any exhibits or special projects coming up?
6) I understand your art is included in many prominent collections around the world.
Local companies such as H&R Block, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, KU Medical Center, Saint Lukes Medical as well as Kansas State University have work in their collection. Cafe Europa purchased a large grouping of paintings and is a great place to have dinner and see some work as well. A complete listing is on my site.
7) Derrick, how should those interested in your art contact you or view your works of art?
Leopold Gallery is a great place to start in Kansas City. Or Anyone can contact me via my web site, Breidenthal Art. My studio is open by appointment as well. I'm open for First Fridays here and there, but I have an amazing new son that gets most of my time on the weekends now.
|Derrick in his Studio|
8) A new son is such a blessing and miracle! Finally, what words of wisdom do you have for an artist of any age?
That's a hard one. If you want to paint professionally only do it if its absolutely the only thing you can see yourself doing. Its an incredibly difficult business. That said do it as much as possible, don't compare yourself to other artist or try to mimic their work. Try to find your own technique and material that will emphasize, not restrict your ideas. The only thing you have going for you is your perspective and how you choose to reflect this in the work.
|Derrick's Studio where all of his amazing creative art projects take form!|
Derrick, Thank you so much for being 1st in The 2013 Artists Series. It is an honor to have you. Dear Readers, if any of you have the opportunity to view Derrick's work in person you will be mesmerized! I cannot wait to have a work of Derrick's Art in my collection!
We will be very happy to hear your thoughts and comments!
Art by Karena
Thank you so much for your friendship and support!