As an international student who aspires to be an artist, I’m on a mission to discover true America through art. While exploring New England art to know more about the art scene of my neighborhood, I immediately found Scott Waddell’s amazing portraits and fascinating video tutorials online.
What struck me the most when I came upon his work was his both realistic and romantic depiction of people in dramatic settings.His romanticized scenes with whalers resemble Herman Melville’s Moby Dick whilehis simple and realistic details remind me of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, which is a truly rare combination.
After weeks of thorough research, I wanted to know more about Scott Waddell and fortunately had an email interview with him.
1. Could you introduce yourself to Korean readers?
My Name is Scott Waddell. I am a professional artist and art instructor. I produce both drawings and oil paintings.
|Scott Waddell - artist at work (scottwaddellfineart.com)
2. Is your work connected to New England? If so, what is the connection?
I am not originally from New England. I grew up in Florida. As a kid, I knew that I wanted to live in the northern part of the country so that I could experience the various seasons and finally see snow. After I met my wife in NYC, we decided to move to New England and start a family. For me, it was exactly where I wanted to live and it was very new and mysterious. In Florida everything was new and it felt like there wasn't a lot of history. In New England, everything felt older and more historical. So, I took interest in that and produced a lot of 19th century historical whaling paintings.
|Three Brothers - oil on linen (scottwaddellfineart.com)
3. What motivated you to become an artist when you were in school?
I think that the thing that made me commit to it as a career when I was in college was seeing other artists doing the kind of traditional, classical art I always wanted to do. When I was very young I didn't see a lot of that being done so it didn't occur to me that I could go in that direction.
4. Can you tell us about one of your recent or current pieces of work?
I am working on a large narrative painting about two people who've experienced a great loss. It's set in the 19th century American West and features these two people grieving at the burial site outside of their frontier home. It's large, both figures being nearly life sized.
5. What’s your message to the Korean youth who aspire to become artists?
I would say that being an artist is not a clear path. You have to be diverse in your approach. And be smart. Mistakes I made early on where doing only one kind of thing. I started by just trying to be a gallery artist. But that's not very stable. So, eventually I ventured into more teaching, producing video tutorials, and mentoring artists online. I still spend most my work painting and selling art, but I have other things to help support that. Building a stable business, for me, was the only way to ensure that I'd continue to be able to make art---which is a must for me.
More than resemblance
The Americans represented in Scott’s work show their perseverance, bravery, and restlessness in sublime and dramatic situations. When I look at his paintings, I feel almost like he is saying, “Today, many Americans are worried and anxious about the future in the chaotic worldof ongoing terrorism and racism, but the American Dream will never be forgotten because they will never give up on it.”
Wilbraham & Monson Academy
Yewon Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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