David King is a retired art teacher. He taught for 30 years, recently retiring as head of the Art Department at Chagrin Falls High School. He currently serves on the Board of ARTFUL, and sat down with us to answer a few questions about his work, his studio and the process he uses to create his ARTwork.
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
I like that my studio is in my home – it has everything I need with inspiration everywhere. Finally, a studio that is ground level with natural light!
Is your studio a place to relax, get down to business, find inspiration, or something else altogether?
My studio is all of those things and more. It is also a music studio. When I get stuck on a painting, I can escape through music and when I come back to painting, I have a fresh eye and hopefully will be able to resolve things. Most importantly, it’s my space to clutter or clean.
If you could describe your studio in ten words or less, how would you describe it?
Stimulating, warm, inspirational, full, eclectic.
How or why did you decide to pursue your art?
I had no choice. I got a lot of attention for my drawings when I was younger and I liked it, so I kept doing it. Eventually it grew into becoming an inseparable part of my life. Combine art with my love for show and tell and I was destined to become an art teacher. I think most serious artists have to make something. If I’m not making something, I get crabby.
Currently, what medium are you working in?
I work in oil paint mostly but I also use oil stick, chalk pastel and acrylic. It just depends on what I am doing. I have been playing with printing on canvas and collaging paper scraps, I have been finding objects on the ground and collaging them on old wood scraps. I’ve been frottaging objects and painting on the results. I wish I didn’t have to sleep, that way I could get more done.
What is your process?
My current body of work has me gleaning images from family movies (transferred to DVD’s) and re-configuring them to create images to paint.
How do you find inspiration? Or what resources do you take advantage of to assist you in the creation of your art?
As stated previously, my current process is using old family movies to find images that evoke some wonder for me. I use the computer to help me freeze the movies and capture screenshots for references. Inspiration can come from anywhere, other artists’ work, museums, found objects, everyday surroundings.
What is your greatest challenge when it comes to your art?
The greatest challenge is to be a “contemporary” artist. I try to push myself to be uncomfortable. Remain consistent and grow. I want to utilize time efficiently. To keep reminding myself that it’s about the process.
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would that be?
Find a good doctor so you can be cloned. That way, you can have more than one life and do all the things you want. If that doesn’t work out, make art everyday. Go to as many shows/museums as possible. Read about art. Write about art. Talk to artists. You don’t make it to the Olympics by doing one push up.
Do you feel your community is supportive of the arts and/or how can your community better support the arts?
Yes, Cleveland Heights is “Home to the Arts” but we can always use more support. The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the finest museums in the world. I’ve been to quite a few museums all over the globe. I’m proud of Cleveland. The art scene is happening here. We have a very strong art family and it’s growing. It’s an exciting time to be an artist in Cleveland.
PHOTOS COURTESY STEPHEN CUTRI.