Since I started my blog, David Larned has been one of the people I wanted to interview most. Dave and I finally connected recently and spent a few hours at his home in Pennsylvania talking about everything from his life as a painter, his obsession with doing work on his property on his tractor to his new found love for the tradition of hunting.
Interviewing someone you know well can be slightly intimidating because you want to do a good job of representing all of the areas of their life you think highly of. You want to be sure the readers can capture the depth and character of the person. Having known Dave since grade school, I’ve always been impressed by his focus and dedication to painting. Even back then, he always knew painting was his passion. He has done an amazing job of following his dreams and creating a name for himself.
This first post will focus on Dave’s painting career. Next week, we will feature Dave’s hobbies and life on the farm (AKA ‘the farmette’). It’s not often that you find two gifted artists who are married, work in the same studio (divided by one wall, but share a door) and live on the property where they work. If you’d like to read about Dave’s accomplished wife and dear friend of mine, we did a post on Sarah Lamb several months ago.
Q&A with Artist, David Larned:
When did you discover your love and talent for painting?
I suppose I have loved painting since I first picked up a brush as a child. As for talent, it was more that I was better at painting than say derivatives or Kafka. By default, it was obvious what I should pursue.
It seemed like in high school you knew exactly what your passion was and continued on that path throughout college. Did you ever consider any other careers along the way?
Occasionally, I am tempted to be a heavy machine operator. There is nothing like moving earth with a bulldozer. But it’s really the same thing as painting. The dirt is your pigment and the dozer your brush. You are composing and reforming a space for visual pleasure. Plus, they’re just awesome.
Where did you do your undergraduate studies and what was your degree?
By the grace of god, the University of Pennsylvania acquiesced to giving me a BFA.
Did you get a graduate degree or a attend a formal painting program post-college?
Yes, at the Florence Academy of Art. Although, at the time it was a non-degree granting institution. Nonetheless, it was the most important school in my education. Without the FAA, I would not be doing what I do. I was very lucky to find the right program.
When you were just beginning your career, which were some of your favorite artists?
Wyeth, of course is inescapable in this part of the world and even today I will return to his work. Sometimes out of nostalgia for my early years of learning to paint which were so full of wonder and excitement and frustration. After Wyeth, probably came the old masters like Van Dyck, Velazquez, and Rembrandt. Later, the 19th century academic painters like John Singer Sargent became hugely important to what I believe good painting is.
Are there different artists you admire and follow today that are different from when you were just starting out?
My artistic heroes or ancestors are always evolving. But rather than dropping old favorites, I am usually adding new ones. Most every painter has some aspect to admire.
For the extended version of this interview, click here to visit the Dilwyne Designs blog.