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MEET GREG OSTERHAUS | SEPTEMBER 2022 ART EXHIBIT

Palette/Greg Osterhaus

PHOTO via Palette Home by Tasha Tolliver

GREG OSTERHAUS

Where are you from and where do you live now?
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My family was a GE family and we’ve lived in the suburbs of Chicago, and Schenectady NY. But I’ve lived in Roanoke since my teenage years. a teenager.
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How does where you live impact your paintings?
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Most of what I paint are areas within 100 miles of Roanoke. With the exception of the crab paintings. I photograph new live crabs whenever we go to the beach on our vacation.
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How did you choose oil painting as your medium and why?
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As an art major in college we tried a respectable variety of mediums. It seems I always come right back to oil paint/medium. There’s an ongoing tradition with oils, and I enjoy being a part of that.
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Describe the power of color and what it means to you.
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Color seems to have a direct link to my emotions. When I make my color choices it reflects an emotional response.
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What, if anything, would you like people to know about your paintings?
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I’d like them to know that what I’m doing now results from a 40 year long effort to paint compelling landscape scenes. A painting is a series of thousands of specific decisions that are put-down on canvas and in a particular order.
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Describe a typical day in your studio.
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I paint in the mornings most of the time. I like to start something new and make it my mission to cover the entire surface of the canvas before I break for lunch. In my studio I tend to have 10-20 paintings in production at the same time. I like to skip from one thing to another and allow the paintings to develop in tandem.
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Which artists do you most look up to / draw inspiration from?
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I’ve been a fan of the impressionists, Monet especially. And also the work of Wolf Kahn, whose work is heroic to me.
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When did you realize painting would be your career?
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After about a year of architecture studies, I realized I didn’t really belong there. At that point I needed to choose a new career. The only occupation that has ever made  sense to me long term is “artist”. Even as a kid I knew I wanted to be an artist, even before I knew I wanted to be one, if that makes sense.
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What have you learned as an artist?
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At first I was more into quick gestural brush painting; over time I’ve learned to slow down and take my time with the work.
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What advice do you have for emerging artist?
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Don’t listen to the tired old  cliche that all artists all must starve. If you stick with it, and put in the time, your work will improve and you will find an audience. That and don’t be too quick to pleasing other people than yourself. That’s where the best work gets done.
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Do you listen to music while painting? Who are your favorite musical artists?
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I listen to a wide variety of music, everything from Alt country to classic rock and here lately Gospel. It’s rare that I don’t have music on, but from time to time it becomes necessary to work in silence.
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What's the best way to relax?
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I’m still trying to figure that one out. I am more at peace with myself when I’m working, but I have been making a real effort to take more short breaks throughout the day and explore the concept of “down time” more.
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Tell us about a recent adventure or excursion?
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Last year I had a farmer track me down when I stepped off the side of the road and onto his property to photograph a great barn scene. He was angry that I was taking photographs on his land. I apologized and escaped with my life.
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What's your definition of contentedness?
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Finding balance between technique and instinct.
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If you couldn't be an artist, what other career would you choose?
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If I could just snap my fingers? A chef maybe.
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What are some of your next level art goals or challenges?
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I’d like to continue to find better ways to paint in my own voice, and for my paintings to have an ever-increasing honesty to them. There is no safe way to
achieve this apart from putting in the time and following your gut.
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What are three random facts about yourself?
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I am a big reader. fiction mainly.
Art does not come easy to me. It’s hard work. I struggle, a lot.
My morning breakfast routine includes a large Diet Coke, daily.
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Do you experiment with any other forms of art in addition to painting?
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Just the pottery. I have been doing pottery semi professionally for some 20 years. I focus on decorative “art pottery”. When my kids were younger (they’re now all in their 30’s) I would work on arts and crafts projects with them.
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What does an ideal day look like to you?
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Zero interruptions.
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If you could master one skill you don't have right now, what would it be?
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I think I could benefit from some form of meditation.
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If you could only choose three colors to paint with, which would you choose?
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Red yellow and blue? That’s a hard one. I’m not sure I could even come close to that level of discipline (LOL).
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Do you have any particular favorites from this collection?
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The landscapes. I think I’m turning a new corner with my approach; following my gut a bit more. Trying not to pay too much attention to my inner critic.
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Favorite quote or line that inspires you?
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“Start like a brick layer, end like a jeweler.”  I’m not sure who originally said this. It refers to the quantities of paint one uses at different stages of the painting.
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Thank you, Greg. We can't wait for opening night!
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If you're reading this, you're invited! Opening reception for Greg Osterhaus is on Thursday, September 8th 6:00pm - 8:00pm  
5813 Grove Avenue Richmond, Virginia 23226
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