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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Atanas Matsoureff. Interview.

A brilliant artist from Bulgaria Atanas Matsoureff. Great works!

When you first realized that watercolor medium is your favorite?
Soon after I had started to paint only in watercolor and to explore its potential. I realized that there are no limits to it, that it is a medium through which you could express everything, and you can express it in different ways. I constantly discover new things – this is a play which never bores me.

Atanas Matsoureff. Autumn. 53x66. 2012

Atanas, you are the artist who`s works remind of the great American artist Andrew Wyeth. Did his art influenced you as an artist or you just happened to be very close to his aesthetics?
I believe Andrew Wyeth is the greatest watercolorist of all times. Both - before I came upon Wyeth I had wanted to paint the same. His influence on me is huge. However, I think I paint in a quite different way. In no way would I like to copy his technique or send his messages.

Atanas Matsoureff. Dreams. 60x88. 2011

Do you consider watercolor for yourselves more graphic or painting medium?
It is a common belief that watercolor is on the boundary between the graphic and the painting. To me it is a purely painting technique. My monochrome watercolors are more on the graphic side.

You have many big size works. Do you always finish them on spot or you continue your work in a studio?
I always strive to finish my works on the spot, to capture all moment, no matter how much time and effort it might cost me. I have finished few works in the studio – only when there has been little to finish, and it has happened rarely.

Atanas Matsoureff. Garret. 51x37. 2002

Do you use a masking fluid?

I rarely use masking fluid and only to cover very small surfaces. I do not like the very abrupt contour which somehow severs the masked part from the rest of the painting.

How you keep the freshness when painting many layers?
I do not use many layers. Freshness can be retained only through very careful work and experience. If you know what is going to happen, you could control everything.

Atanas Matsoureff. Viennese Chair. 57x44.2004

Do you believe that watercolor painting can be corrected?
Watercolor works could be corrected to different degrees, depending on the paper, the paint, the correction method. However, it is very hard to correct them well.

What is more important for you: color, tonal value, texture or composition?
Everything is related; I cannot separate them or decide on which is more important.

What is more important in your opinion: technique skills or artistic taste? 
The sum of these plus hard work and a lot of inspiration make a good painting, so both are very important.

Atanas Matsoureff. Grandma. 43x48. 2011

How do you prepare the paper for work? (fixing, wetting..)
I soak it and then fix it to a wooden plate with glue or tape.

Do you come back to a painting work if it doesn`t seem to come out well enough?
If a work doesn’t turn out well, I forget about it and start a new one on the same topic or change something to avoid the previous experience.

Atanas Matsoureff. Study of Apples.

How do you work on composition? Do you instantly see it or you need to work on it?
I usually see something I like, and the composition just becomes visible to my inner eye. Very often the composition is ready when I see it, so I do not change anything. I do not like cluttered compositions; I prefer something simple, sometimes minimalistic and at the same rule breaking.

Do you often meet artist fellows? Do you follow the art life?
Not very often. I am interested to some extent, but I am very selective. I am a bit old-fashioned, living in my own world, sometimes meeting a handful of friends – artists, with whom it is pleasant to talk about art.

Atanas Matsoureff.

Do you have any intention to teach watercolor?
I do not rule out teaching.

How would you determine the steps to become a master of watercolor?
To become a good watercolorist you need to dedicate years to figure out the medium. To observe. To be patient. To constantly think about it. To work a lot, out of love. To listen to your heart.


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