A Q&A with artist Sean Rademaker

[The above image is “Glass and Shells” by Sean Rademaker.]

Painter Sean Rademaker (seanrademakerstudio.blogspot.com) is a big believer in seeing. Not just looking, but actually seeing past the obvious. Creative people learn early that they see and think things differently. Rademaker is no exception.

LEO: Artists find inspiration from unusual sources. What inspires you?

Sean Rademaker: I’d have to say light. I constantly find myself wanting to paint ordinary everyday objects that we see all around us. The subject matter varies greatly, but the one thing that they all have in common is the light. It has a way of making even the most boring subject matter into something beautiful. We just have to learn how to see it.

LEO: Many artists do still life. Whom do you admire?

SR: Wow, there are many that I admire, but one of those would be David Gray. I find his art amazing, but I also relate to his approach to painting. He just makes sense to me.

LEO: When did you start making art?

SR: I have been making art for as long as I can remember. Even as a young boy, I found satisfaction in creating a likeness of cartoon characters, dusty old Elvis bottles — don’t laugh — or whatever. It’s always been a part of who I am. I couldn’t imagine being any other way.

LEO: Explain your artistic process.

SR: I am self-taught, so my overall process is probably a little different than most artists. However, like many other artists I do put great emphasis on the relative lightness or darkness of the paint [values]. I paint large shapes first — then on to small shapes. I almost always paint in an indirect approach with several layers, as I feel it gives me the most depth in the finished piece. I’d love to get into teaching my techniques to others at some point. I find it rewarding to see others succeed with their art.

LEO: What is something people do not know about you, that you want people to know, of course?

SR: I’m kind of an animal/nature geek. I have always loved painting animals, especially horses! I take my camera with me everywhere I go because I never know when inspiration is going to strike. People sometimes look at me funny when they see me taking a random picture of a sunlit rock or something like that. Ha! They probably think I’ve lost my marbles. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve said it a thousand times, but being an artist is an absolute blessing. Not only because of my ability to create art, but more so the ability to appreciate the beauty that is all around us in the every day. It’s always there, we just have to learn how to see it.