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Art & Life with Raymond Logan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raymond Logan.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Do not take this the wrong way, but asking an artist a question like this is like asking us to write our artist statement. Most of us initially type “I do this because I must,” and then we delete it and stare at a blank screen for what seems like an eternity. Here goes…

You know those annoying people who say that they were born to be an artist? Well, I am one of those people! It just seems like I have always been an artist.

Most people’s lives do not follow a direct and clear path, and mine is no different. My journey had a detour in it that lasted for about two decades. From early childhood, I was the designated artist, and I always thought I would end up being some sort of artist. Later on, when I was looking to go to college, I received well-intentioned but mistaken advice to stay away from fine art and instead focus on commercial art (I did not even know what commercial art was). So, I blithely headed off to a career in the communication arts (advertising & design). I did two tours of duty as an art director, the second running my own ad/design business for over 20 years.

During this detour, I think, deep down, I always knew I would return to my art. As an art director, I was the one who over illustrated his comps and very often led with strong visual solutions supported by text instead of the other way round.

When I initially returned to painting, I did not intend to let my old career influence me; I wanted a clean break—a new life. But we are cumulative beings, and I now see that my tenure in the communication arts wonderfully informs my painting, especially my tonal dynamic and my colorwork. The “communication” aspect of my previous life may also have something to do with my decision to be a representational artist.

Please tell us about your art. What do you do / make / create? How? Why? What’s the message or inspiration, what do you hope people take away from it? What should we know about your artwork?
The simple answer is that I am a representational oil painter of people, places, and things who uses way too much paint. My art is extremely personal, but I would not say there is an overall message contained in it. I am expressing an aesthetic—my singular aesthetic—via the unique manipulation of my subjects and medium. My aesthetic has grown organically based on what I want to experience and see. Hopefully, I am successful enough expressing my aesthetic that when somebody views my work, they will know it is mine—they will be able to see me in it. Recently, I received a great compliment. After viewing a new piece of mine, a fellow artist commented, “It is great, as is the rest of your work, I like your work because you can walk into a room of a thousand works and go right to yours and know who did it!”

Though I took a couple of classes, I am fundamentally a self-taught painter. But, as I stated above, my previous career informs much of how I paint. My compositional manipulation, the movement of my light, and my colorwork were all brewing before I picked up a brush again to paint. When it came time to actually paint what I needed was to teach myself how to appreciate and grow in my medium. Do not get me wrong; it did not happen overnight. Oil paint is an obdurate medium, and it initially terrified me. It took years of cussing and spitting before I could even start to introduce my color theory into my painting.

I know you are asking about artistic inspirations, but I like to focus on life inspirations that help keep the blue devils away. As far as inspiration goes: Just about everything around me inspires me, in some way or another, but I can also tell you that we live in a great time for obituaries. If you want to get inspired, read the obits. We are witnessing the passing of the generation who survived the Great Depression and a series of horrendous wars. If you want to get inspired, read about those whose paths were far from straight or predetermined and who went through much, much more adversity than we will ever know and came out on the other side with rich and fulfilled lives. It is awe-inspiring, and you will look at your own adversities through a much different lens after reading the obits.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
Considering the approach I take with my art; I am not sure if I am the best judge. Exterior events do not alter my work, or at least not to any great extent, and I am not sure I have a good feel for the pulse of what other artists are going through. What I can tell you is this: I have seen the Southern California art community transform. It has grown into being its own unique and inclusive entity with strong mutual support, resulting in the creation of many more opportunities for artists to express themselves. In my humble and somewhat aged opinion, I think some of it has do to with the ever-increasing involvement of women in the artistic community. That increased involvement and support has positively altered the dynamic and, quite frankly, benefits us all in the process.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You may view much of my art via the usual venues: My website, blog, FaceBook page, Instagram, etc. I also send out (almost) weekly emails to my subscribers containing images of my latest work along with inane commentary talking about everything from my art to my love of baked goods. The emails also include show announcements.

Besides purchasing my art, a great way to show support is by going to my shows. Without people viewing my art, it is kind of like having only half of a conversation. I have always been open to collectors contacting me directly, but my relationships with galleries have also been pleasantly growing over the years. I am very pleased to now be represented here in Southern California by the George Billis Gallery. It is a great gallery, and I would encourage everybody to visit my work there—they have a number of my pieces on hand. The gallery has also posted many of my pieces on their website and artsy.com. The artist/gallery relationship is a symbiotic one, we work together for our mutual benefit, and the gallery’s support has been extremely beneficial to me. So again, please contact them directly. Even if just to say, “Hey, Raymond said you were a great gallery, so kudos to you!”

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait: The Spousal Unit

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please let us know here.

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