1. What is your name and what is your business name?
My name is Steve Duprey. I’m a painter and I run dupreyart.com.
2. How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
I’m entering my third year as a visual artist (painter) but I’ve been a Musician and Theatre Director for about forty years. The impetus to start painting actually came from my wife. I’d been making noise about picking up a paint brush and painting for about 25 years. Three Christmases ago my wife had had enough of the talk and went out and bought me all the supplies I needed to really get started. On Christmas morning I heard those sweet wonderful words, “There! Now shut up and paint.” I dove in and haven’t looked back. I was surprised at how easily it came and I have enjoyed every minute.
3. Explain a little bit about your process.
I paint mostly landscapes in acrylic. These are near and dear to me because I love nature. I paint, for the most part, in my studio (a spare upstairs bedroom in our home). Each time I paint, I set up the video camera and record the process. Most of my paintings take between an hour and three hours to create. Then I edit the video down to about five or six minutes (speeded up so you can see the whole process) and send it to a composer friend in Texas. He views the video and composes original music for it. Once I get the music back from him, I post the video on my YouTube page. My YouTube channel is listed as sdupe7.
As to the process of creating the paintings, it’s been, for me, more about learning the techniques and then combining them in different ways. I love putting colors in the skies that don’t belong there! I also love creating a painting that draws people in and makes them wonder what’s beyond the painting. I get that comment a lot!
4. What’s the comment heard most often about your art?
I’ve done the show circuit a bit (Clothesline Arts Festival, Letchworth, Canandaigua Lakeshore) and in just a year have earned the reputation as “The Tree Guy”. I do love painting trees and I believe that each time I do, they get more and more realistic. I often hear the comment “it looks like a photo”. I love to hear that!
5. What is one thing people find surprising in how your art is created?
Most people are surprised with two things: How short a time I have been painting and how little time it takes me to create the painting itself. There is an assumption that it takes days or weeks to create a painting. I sometimes get the comment that I should be on Public Television painting (the way one of my mentors Bob Ross did). I always take that as a wonderful compliment although I do very few paintings in the 25 minutes that he could. As to the short time I’ve been painting, I usually tell people that I have been painting in my head for 25 or 30 years and I finally let it out.
6. What’s the one tool you couldn’t live without, in creating your art?
I love my fan brush and my big fat two inch brush. I use them in virtually every painting I do. Beyond that, I couldn’t really do what I do without the technology to do it. So my computer and my video camera are essential parts of getting my work out there, and I believe that that is the hardest part of being an artist these days.
7. How has your art changed over time?
It hasn’t had much time to change since I have been at it for only a couple years. The subject matter has remained essentially the same. But when I look back at the earlier pieces that I have done I can certainly see vast improvement in the quality of the work and the confidence with which I approach a blank canvas.
8. What’s your favorite part of making your pieces? Least favorite?
I love getting an idea, seeing it in my mind’s eye, and then comparing that to the final product. There’s something about being in the moment of painting when you feel a little like the “master of all you survey”. If you want a tree, you make a tree. You want a mountain? Poof! There’s a mountain! I love moving tree branches to different layers of the painting…there’s so much power in it!
My least favorite part of painting is trying to find the exact moment when the painting is “Done”. I had a lot of trouble with that early on and would “overwork” things until they became too muddy. I’m getting much better at finding that moment, but it’s always a struggle.
9. What’s your dream project?
I love creating series works. I guess my real “Dream” would be to have a client who asked me to create a series for every room in the house. It’s frustrating to create and create and then have the work pile up in the studio. I’d love to be able to paint knowing that each piece was headed for a home.
10. Where is your art available for purchase?
All of my work can be seen and purchased at www.dupreyart.com. I also do local shows but I’m finding it difficult to find my niche. You know, that place where I know I’m always going to make more money than I spent to be there.
Beginning in April I will have a three month exhibit of my work at the Finger Lakes Credit Union in Geneva, NY. I’m very excited about that!