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What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Symbolic Art?” Are there certain assumptions and presuppositions that come to mind when you think of that phrase? My guest, Noah Buchanan uses symbolism frequently in his artwork. He is attracted to images where there is a divine force or mythological reference. In our conversation, we discuss what drew him to become an artist in the first place, what emboldened him to create artwork on a large scale, surprising reactions he’s had to his paintings, and so much more! I know artists like you will enjoy hearing from Noah’s unique perspective. Don’t forget to check out images of his paintings located at the end of this post!
Inspired by Giants
Who helped usher you into the world of art? Was it a fantastic art teacher? A mentor or a family member? What was it that captured your imagination and fueled your creativity? My guest, Noah Buchanan was fortunate to have a stellar art teacher who encouraged their students to marvel at and become inspired by the work of artistic giants like Albrecht Dürer and Michelangelo. It’s amazing how the passion and empowerment by one person and change the course of someone’s life. Who is that person for you? Do you think you’ll ever have that kind of impact on some else’s creative journey?
Working On a Large Scale
Have you ever taken your work to a large scale? I’m talking 80 inches by 62 inches LARGE. Needless to say, work on that scale is striking, to say the least. My guest, Noah Buchanan was kind enough to open up about his current project that fits that exact dimension. The figures he has created in that work are actually life-sized, which is impressive. Noah’s project is inspired by a recent trip to New York where he saw the work of 17th-century French painter, Valentin de Boulogne showcased. The sheer scale and grandeur of Boulogne’s work captured Noah’s imagination. You’ve got to hear him describe it, he takes you right there to the exhibit in New York. You can also catch images of Noah’s current project at the end of this post.
All artists want their work to evoke something within the viewer. What reactions do you think your work evokes in others? Are there notable reactions that you’ve received from other regarding your artwork? Artist Noah Buchanan has on occasion created paintings for the Catholic Church. Having created artwork that would be displayed in such a sacred and worshipful setting, Noah has received some unique responses, typically by email that are markedly different from the response to the artwork he typically shows in galleries. I hope you find Noah’s stories and insights as riveting as I did!
From Live Models to Using Photographs
Among many artists, this is a contentious issue; live models vs. using photographs. What side of the debate do you come down on? Have you always felt that way? Are you willing to hear the other side out? My guest, Noah Buchanan use to be staunchly in the camp opposed to using photographs as did I. In our conversation, we discuss what caused our opinion to change, why we embrace the use of photography, how the change has impacted our work, and more! Whichever side you find yourself on, I think it’s helpful for us as artists to really hear out and understand where the other side is coming from and appreciate the end result on its merits regardless.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:45] I introduce my guest, Noah Buchanan.
- [3:30] What led Noah to get started in painting?
- [7:30] How does Noah choose his motifs?
- [9:30] Noah talks about the project he is currently working on and it’s scale.
- [19:30] Notable reactions from Noah’s work.
- [24:00] Personal successes along the way.
- [36:00] Noah describes his studio process & working from photographs vs. live models.
- [44:00] Where does Noah get his models?
- [49:00] What habit has beneficial for Noah?
Other artists mentioned on this episode
- Albrecht Dürer
- Anthony van Dyck
- Peter Paul Rubens
- Diego Velazquez
- Valentin de Boulogne
- John Pence Gallery
- Will Wilson
- Jacob Collins
- Stuart Shils
- Hollis Dunlap
- Diarmuid Kelley
- John Nava
- Vincent Desiderio
- Bo Bartlett