Updated: Mar 6, 2020
1. Where did you first find your passion for painting?
I have been drawing and painting before I learned to speak. There are photos of me from age 3 painting with an easel. I was encouraged by my mother to do so, I was always very visual oriented.
2. How has your upbringing informed your painting practice?
I always drew and scribbled superheroes, dragons and imaginary figures. At first it was a very innate, instinctive, inexplicable reaction towards reality! At age 12 for some reason it was all the rage amongst my friends to draw grotesque faces and he who drew the most hideous face won.
I grew up in Israel with many uncertainties & family problems, I had to serve in the military and that helped my personal growth. At age 22 I remembered the story of Oedipus who gorged out his eyes in an act of showing how blind he was. To an extent I felt the same, but my resolution was different, I chose to use my gift of sight & talent to depict the world I inhabit.
I didn’t want to harm anyone or waste more of my time in anger and frustration, so I chose to show how easy it is to fool the eye;Trompe l’Oeil and by doing so come closer towards truth.
It was also a way to focus on the positive, since I am a realistic painter, I try to find beauty in everything, there is an Arabic saying that translates for those who see beauty the world is beautiful.
3. Can you tell us about the making of you painting 'The New bridge to Jerusalem'? as you remember it? Did you paint it en plein air in front of the motif? What challenges did you face during the process?
My father's house is on the outskirts of Jerusalem in a pastoral small village called Moza elite, it is considered to be near the forest of Jerusalem, but now a lot of that area had become reduced to a very small amount of territory due to human inhabitants, we were also part of the relatively new comers there, it is a very ancient place for human dwellings even predate the roman empire that had paved one of the main roads to Jerusalem.
As part of Israel's government attempt to improve the infrastructure and roads, the created many garish massive reconstruction of highways to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, exactly in front of my father’s house.
Since I finished school I try to work and paint every day religiously.
Both to improve my technique but also to improve my mindset and understanding of reality,
I'm always searching for new stuff to paint, and one while walking my dog, after painting " The bridge 2 b" and Other sketches of the construction going on, I decided to take on something more ambitious.
At first I had a square canvas 75x75 C"M
and as always, I went out to start painting
(I usually paint in front of the motif out in plainer air, or in front of the model, rarely do I paint from photos but I do not exclude that possibility)
After filling out the square canvas and feeling that it something was off, I realised that the composition wasn’t working, so I did a small paper sketch to see what it would look like if I added in the sky, and rest assured it made all the difference, and so like Antonio Garcia Lopez Edgar Degas and many other painters,
I just connected another canvas to the top of my square, and started filling that in as well, stepping back frequently trying to see the big composition, then I realized I had a fundamental perspective problem with on of the lines of the bridge, and so I corrected it, at some point I started connecting the upper and lower canvases to make them feel like on image.
I was painting it on long intervals traveling to Paris and working on an offshore gas platform in the Mediterranean Sea.
It was a bit frustrating at times to not be able to solve the stuff that were wrong in the painting,
But I did alla prima paintings in the meantime, and there was also a positive side to the long intervals, it gave the paint time to dry and when I came back it I had a fresh view about it that allowed me to make large changes to it.
Also, since I had the job on the platform, I wasn't dependent financially on the painting for income, a thing that gave me a larger amount of security and risk taking.
4. What materials would we expect to find in your studio? Do you have favourite brands of brushes, paints or surface, and if so for what reason?
I have many materials in my studio, I have dry mediums and wet ones, dry ones mainly consist of graphite pencils, charcoal paper erasers and stuff of that sort,
For the wet medium:
I have an ink set, watercolours, acrylics and oil paints, for the oil paint I have pine tree distilled Turpentine, dammar varnish, linseed oil, cobalt siccative, white chalk, gamsol odourless spirit, & plenty more,
The oil colours I usually use are
led white by RGH
And all the rest are by a company called Marine
Cadmium yellow medium