Five Questions for Artslant.com

This feature was published on Artslant just a few weeks before the site said goodbye. I’ve copied the original article here for safekeeping.

Lost | Seeing a rainbow at sunset inspired this painting by Randall Stoltzfus | A colorful, mysterious artwork made of many shimmering layers of circular brushstokes
Lost“. Acrylic dispersion and iridescence on polymer canvas, 37 x 60 inches.

This week we seek answers from Randall Stoltzfus

What are you trying to communicate with your work?

I am trying to make images that communicate that each of us is a part of something bigger. That we are cooperating whether we know it or not. And that light surrounds each one of us and whatever this is we are a part of.

What is an artist’s responsibility?

Personally, my responsibility as an artist is to reduce suffering. So I try to make something that is compassionate on some level. Maybe aesthetic choices can make an object compassionate? But I’ve also been trying to think of other angles on this. Most recently I’ve been working with canvases that appear traditional but are made with consciously sourced or recycled materials.

Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?

I’m an avid amateur gardener, so I get to coax some amazing things from the earth. It doesn’t always work out. I don’t make make the plants, of course. But I do get to be pretty involved in making a space for their lives to take place in, however briefly. 

Last summer I finally got a sacred lotus to bloom in my Brooklyn backyard. It’s maybe a little bit of a stretch to have that plant there, since daylight is limited by buildings on every side and it’s a little far north for lotus. It took a couple of years of learning, fending of eager raccoons, and just patience. 

But it all worked out and I even had a bloom that decided to open on the weekend. We had an opening reception for it, a garden party with coffee and bagels and some of our beautiful neighbors.

Here’s an early morning time-lapse video I made of the bloom we had the reception for:

Sacred Lotus Opens Time-lapse from Randall Stoltzfus on Vimeo.

What are you currently working on?

I’m excited about a series of paintings about rainbows that I’m working on right now. One of them is a big 10 foot diptych which is very fun but is also taking longer than expected. 

I saw several rainbows within a couple of weeks here in Brooklyn and so I tried to learn more about what I was seeing. The idea that the rainbow is happening across this vast field of round water droplets resonated for me. Maybe there was a relationship to the layers of circular brushstrokes I use to paint? I had to try it out.

 

Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?

Stanley Lewis http://www.bettycuninghamgallery.com/artists/stanley-lewis

Douglas Witmer http://douglaswitmer.com

Alyse Rosner https://alyserosner.com

 

Originally posted on Artslant.com by The Artslant Team on 4/1/2019

20th Annual Postcards from the Edge

I made a special miniature, reversed and adapted version of my new “Lost Rainbow” print just so I could send it into this year’s edition of Postcards from the Edge. Which means that someone with sharp eyes will take it home for $85 and support a good cause to boot. But even if the little rainbow I made stays lost, they’ll wind up with something fantastic; there’s a lot of beautiful stuff in this fundraiser.

POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE

Hosted by Visual AIDS at Gallery 524

January 19-21, 2018

Over 1,400 original postcard-sized artworks!

Visual Aids LogoPostcards From the Edge offers a rare opportunity to acquire original, postcard-sized artwork from internationally renowned and emerging artists for only $85 each. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, over 1400 works are exhibited anonymously, and the identity of the artist is revealed only after the work is purchased. With the playing field leveled, all participants can take home a piece by a famous artist, or one who’s just making their debut in the art world. Nonetheless, collectors walk away with something beautiful, a piece of art they love!