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Painter Chris Mars talks about his book Tolerance. – Page 2

Painter Chris Mars talks about his forthcoming exhibitions and how he tackles his pictures as they come. Chris Mars has worked in a lot of different media, including short films which he talks about here...

READERSVOICE.COM: You have a lot of exhibitions planned over the coming year or so, at galleries in Texas, California, Arizona and Wisconsin. How far ahead have you planned the paintings for these, or do you take it one picture at a time and kind of hope for the best?

CHRIS MARS: I take it one picture at a time. I try not to get out over my skis; it doesn’t work for me to force a theme. I have to let each painting breathe and as I am doing this, I am always tuned into how I am seeing the world around me at the time, how I’m feeling about it, and what the medium – the surface, the paint, the color – are telling me, simultaneously.

RV: Do you keep a journal and if so how long have you kept it for? Is it a kind of artist’s journal with lots of visual artefacts stuck in it for later inspiration, or is it all words? What things do you write about or include?

CM: I don’t keep a journal per se, but I enjoy from time to time writing about a particular piece and digging into it, expressing what I was thinking or feeling about it through words. I also collect visual references.

RV: What sort of places have you been to sign and promote copies of your book Tolerance?

CM: I did a signing at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Los Angeles last September in conjunction with my opening there. I also signed at The Laguna Art Museum in conjunction with a Juxtapoz exhibit I was part of.

I’m not big on traveling, but I have done signings at a handful of local bookstores.

RV: Did the perspective of the book give you a new insight into your art and maybe even point the way for any new directions, or was it more like a photo album and just an excellent collection of your paintings?

CM: Well thank you for saying it’s an excellent collection. I appreciate that!

I think that looking at my own work as body chronicled over time was an exciting experience. Often times it’s hard to get a cohesive sense of the work as a body when creating a single piece at time, so to see my own evolution in the work was interesting, and while I don’t preconceive where future work might go, I can at least know where I’ve been.

RV: Can you talk a bit about how you made your films and anim ation? How many people were involved and what equipment and programs did you use?

CM: There were no more than three people including myself. They were all done in bite-sized pieces between paintings. I did all the animating on a Mac at home using Cinema 4-D, Photoshop, After Effects, an HD video camera and Premiere, an editing program.

My friend Scott Ferril used Final Cut to put the finishing touches on the film. And my wife Sally always has great suggestions, and my current project is based on one of her stories.

RV: Do you plan on making more films and entering films in festivals in future?

CM: Yes. I am just beginning the process of entering film festivals, and am presently laying the groundwork for my next film Flowers for Jupiter.

RV: You have said in an interview that you work 12 hours a day painting. Can you break down what sort of hours you keep in a typical day or week, and what you do each day or week?

CM: I’m a very late riser. I start work in the afternoon. I’ll take a dinner break, and then I’ll resume and I’ll often work until 3 in the morning.