Patricia Schaefer (Click the Link)
John David Wissler (Click the Link)
"Interviewer: You got your MFA from the Parsons School of Design and have studied with an impressive list of painters including Leland Bell, Paul Resika, and Larry Rivers. Please tell us something about your evolution as a painter and what has lead you to become the painter you are today.
JDW: First, I want to thank you for asking me to do this interview with you Larry, I am honored.
This is a great question! Early on, I was a bit of a perfectionist (perhaps the poster child). I wanted to be in control of it all. I drew and rendered everything, seeing all the details as important and painted some very pleasing, pretty, dead paintings! My high school art teacher, Faith Lang, and later my friend, professor and artist George Sorrels, opened the door for me to see great painting. This was the beginning of painting for me. In Claude, Corot, Inness, Cezanne, and Matisse, I saw moving spaces, full of air! Color that moved my eye, that took chances and was never static. I realized I was not happy painting how I was taught. I needed to begin to move the paint, free myself from the rules. Explore; push myself to move beyond what was comfortable to me, to see! I began to consider building and creating the tension between shape and color, Opening the picture plain in a dynamic way. This can be heightened color and value or subtle. It is truly about building relationships on the picture plane that create believable space. No longer was I only interested in the surface of things, but more.
As Corot said in his great letter to his friend Stevens Graham “Clouds that stand still are not clouds, motion, activity, life, yes, life is what we want…life!” This is something I try to bring to all my work, open air or studio invention. I am not at all interested in making narrative painting, but, my painting is an honest reflection of my life through paint. I don’t expect the viewer to “get “this. I enjoy when someone tells me a story about what they see, how they relate to my painting. When someone does get it, that is very satisfying for me."