“There’s always one in the crowd”, as the saying goes…and Canadian artist David Gluck is the one.
When I received his responses to my interview questions, I found myself laughing out loud. I also realized that when you encounter a guy like this…it’s really important how you phrase the questions.
Is David Gluck a serious guy or a comedian? I guess that’s for you to decide. Even if he doesn’t take himself seriously, one thing is certain, that cannot be said when it comes to his work.
When I saw that his painting, The Trapper, won the very prestigious William Bouguereau Award in the recent Art Renewal Center International Salon, I was totally on board…a phenomenal painting indeed, and an award well deserved.
William Bouguereau (1825-1905) in his day was considered one of the world’s greatest painters. Many consider his paintings to be absolute perfection. But, as modernist thought replaced the academic, Bouguereau went the way of so many great artists…as did the training that helped produce them. Today, some of that solid training is being resurrected and we’re seeing the results. David Gluck’s work is one such example.
The Bouguereau award is given to a figurative piece that displays a strong sense of emotion and theme. Assessing whether The Trapper really met these stringent requirements, Gluck said, “The figure; clearly a man. The theme; manliness. Emotion; pfft, men don’t feel emotions. The only emotions I feel are rage and hunger, which usually go hand in hand.”
How did he feel about receiving the award, “I was actually extremely honored to have received this award. I have been a long time follower of the ARC and they have continued to support my career.”
Wondering what he thought of the great William B…”As far as William Bouguereau goes, I know everyone is a huge fan of the guy, but frolicking wussy peasant children never appealed to me. I will say, his technical proficiency is one to be admired.”
And now, more from Mr. Gluck.
How would you define your role as an artist? I fill up inconvenient blank spaces on a wall.
How does one find their individuality as an artist? It should come naturally. I found that living apart from most other artists and being primarily self-taught was helpful in finding my voice. Also, it helps to wear a hat.
Do you consider the process of painting more important than the result? Not at all, the result is what stands the test of time. Focus on the process is simply post-modernist thought.
What is the major thing you look for when selecting a subject? A fine balance between manliness and awesomeness.
How much of your work is intellectual vs. emotional…and how would you define the difference? I am not really a man with either quality, so I am unsure how to answer that.
What colors are most often found on your palette? My flesh tone palette is Yellow Ochre Pale, Vermillion, Ivory Black, Lead White, and Raw Umber. There is also a yellow stain that might be mustard, but I can’t be sure.
How do you decide on the dominating color key for a painting, and how do you maintain it? Using a limited palette makes it quite simple to harmonize your colors. I feel the color key is often picked in accordance to the mood I am trying to portray.
I love this one…
Do you paint in layers? I typically only wear layers when painting in a cold climate, but otherwise I wear gym shorts with no shirt while painting.
Does photography play a part in your work? Sometimes. I work from life whenever possible, photos when it simply isn’t an option.
How much preliminary work do you do before beginning the final work? I would say at least half of a piece is in the planning. I always do a series of studies starting with thumbnails and preliminary drawings for tone and composition. I end with color studies before beginning on the final canvas. I try to leave very little to chance.
What is your major consideration when composing a painting? Composition of course is key. I try to work this out in the very early stages.
How does your work reflect your personality? Not very well. Most people are surprised I am an artist.
What constitutes classical painting and drawing, and why the resurgence at this time? Got me. Maybe it has to do with global warming or something.
You have the ability to paint incredibly beautiful works while using objects that are pretty common and not necessarily considered beautiful. What is the thought process behind that? Pretty objects and things don’t always make for a beautiful painting. It’s like the old saying…”It doesn’t matter what you say it’s how you say it”.
What advice do you have for a young artist/painter? Make your models bring their own towel to sit on. Otherwise you are stuck with a towel you have no idea what to do with.
What advice would you give a first-time collector? Buy my stuff.
If you could spend the day with any three artists, past or present, who would they be? My wife, Rembrandt, and Bob Ross. Actually, scratch Rembrandt, he doesn’t even speak English.
If you were stranded on an island, which three books would you want with you? One would be a choose your own adventure book to keep life interesting, Cooking with Beer, and maybe one super thick book to use as a seat.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career, and why? Easy answer, my wife. She is my primary influence being a fellow realist and the main contributor in inspiring my work.
When you become discouraged and feel the well is dry, so to speak, what do you do? I call my good buddy Jack Daniels for moral support.
Why do you enter art competitions and how do you go about selecting paintings for them? I enter competitions to win sweet mullah. Apparently I enter the same painting in every competition.
Thanks David for participating in this interview and allowing me to share your fabulous, beautifully executed works. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of you. I hope it’s good.