Our April 8 artist of the day is Bay Area painter Robert Bowen. We took this opportunity to ask him a few questions about how his work, what's new, and how he's coping with the current situation.
KL: How are handling the stay at home order?
RB: Not much has changed for me personally, but its nice to have my wife working at home and not to have to worry about her commuting daily. I try to stay busy, try. It gets hard some days to be creative, but if I push myself over that first hurdle and just pick up a brush, it gets easier.
KL: Any silver lining to the extra time at home?
RB: My dog is super happy to have us both home all day.
KL: What are you currently working on in the studio?
RB:Well, I just finished Lo & Behold for your Artist of the Day project, thanks for including me, now I'm just priming and sanding a 40 x 40 in. panel to keep myself busy. I'll figure out whats going on that in the next day or so.
KL: Do you use reference photos or does most of your artwork come from your imagination?
RB: Absolutely reference photos, Especially for the engines and machine parts, I can't make that stuff up. I edit, change, and add my own touches of course. In the end its its like a visual Mad Lib from my mind.
KL: Who are your biggest influences?
RB: The surrealist art movement in general, but the emotional content of Francis Bacon and in-your-face recognizable styles like Haring, Warhol, and Frank Frazzeta have always made me want to be able to stand out in a crowd. That's really hard for me to say, I'm all over the place with influences. I still have a love for my graffiti roots, so bright colors are always on my mind, even if the subject matter is a bit dark.
(Photo by Michael Cuffe)
KL: Do you have any advice for upcoming/new artists?
RB: Just try to stay busy creatively. It's easy to fall in a slump and get down on yourself, especially in a moment of downtime. Keep pushing and learning, it's a never ending education, as long as you keep pushing, you'll keep growing. I promise.
KL: What do you have planned for the future?
RB: Shit, if there is one, I'm looking forward to releasing my first art toy this fall, and looking to get a book out after that.