Artistic Excellence 2016 | Honorable Mention: Clark Gussin


Clark Gussin, The Farrier Hears the Call of the Sea, oil, 48 x 60.

Clark Gussin, The Farrier Hears the Call of the Sea, oil, 48 x 60.

What inspired your winning entry? Caravaggio and Rembrandt’s use of light and color. I visited an exhibit of Caravaggio’s work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and became inspired to integrate what I saw in his work.

How did you first get interested in art? By visiting the National Gallery of Art as an adolescent.

Where did you study art? The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, the California College of the Arts, the Bay Area Classical Artist Atelier, and Warren Chang’s studio.

Did you pursue other careers before you became a full-time artist? I’ve always been a graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, and videographer, but I’ve been a full-time painter since 2014.

What artists have influenced your work? Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Andrew Wyeth, and the Van Eyck brothers.

What inspires you to paint a scene? Since I was raised on a farm and am an avid outdoorsman, it’s the beauty in nature: The light in dawn, sunsets, and dramatic weather provide endless subjects.

What is your creative process? I often start from ideas while sketching or painting outdoors, which I use to develop a bigger concept that may contain images from other places, a process developed from training as an editorial illustrator.

What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? A solo show at the Triton Museum of Art, and Living Artist status from the Art Renewal Center Museum, both in 2013.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Be courageous, adventurous, and experience as much of life as you can. Mount and dismount from the left. Live on the edge or you will take up too much room. Believe and be baptized.

Where can collectors find your work?

This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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