The Critic meets The Artist:
Critic — Why do you insist on using paint on canvas in this day and age? Haven’t you heard that Painting is dead?
Artist — Never did like to follow the crowd. But who can tell the artist what medium to use to express their ideas, thoughts, insights, or demons? I love the richness of color that you only get with oil paint. And canvas or panel or any surface will suffice. Do you have a blank wall I can use?
Critic — Sure! Now, you started your art training in Viterbo, Italy, after getting two degrees in foreign languages. What prompted that?
Artist — I was helping to run an overseas art program in Italy because I speak Italian fluently. When the director offered me any courses I wanted to take, I joined the painting class. We sat on the ramparts of the old walled city and painted the beautiful Italian courtryside. When I returned to Boston, I started taking classes at the Museum School.
Critic — I understand your father, Walter Pashko, was a teacher at School of the Museum of Fine Arts for over 30 years. Did you ever take a class of his?
Artist — Oh, no! That would be unthinkable! But he did give me some good advice. He said, “Don’t take too many courses. Learn what you need to know technically and then go out and paint on your own!”
Critic — So where can someone go to see your work?
Artist — I’ve been a member of Vernon Street Studios in Somerville for 13 years now and we have an annual Open Studios event the first weekend of May.
Critic — I’ve seen a few of your pieces and they have a lot of color and texture. How do you go about working on a painting?
Artist — I work in layers, very thick layers, that I incise through, scrape away, and add to, in an ever-shifting composition until the final image emerges.
Critic — And what is your inspiration for such works?
Artist — Mostly my travels, the new landscapes I’m in, and the people that I meet there. I’m also inspired by music, my imagination, and great works of art.
Critic — Some people find abstract art a bit difficult. Can you give the viewer any insight into the meaning of your work?
Artist — As Georges Braque said, “The only thing that matters about a painting is what cannot be explained.” You must try to forget the words and respond to the visual image. Look!