Feb 23, 2017
I had the wonderful privilege of sitting down with renowned artist and educator Langdon Quin. We discussed his work with observational art and invented imagery. Langdon was gracious enough to provide some images of his work that you can see at the end of this post. He shared how he started working with invented imagery and how his work as an observational painter has influenced his growth and evolution. Langdon’s passion for art is infectious, we discussed some of his influences over the years and how his role and educator has also impacted his life and work.
What is “Invented Imagery?” Invented imagery in the term artist Langdon Quin puts it is creating paintings of objects or scenes that he has created in his mind. This can also include a memory of a place the artist has seen but the art is created solely on that memory. Another fascinating example that Langdon shared was a painting he did of a landscape that he often travels by, but instead of painting that scene from the angle he had seen it in passing, he painted it from an aerial viewpoint. Langdon has taken an intriguing journey combining his skills as an observational painter and allowing it to evolve into his work with invented imagery.
When you are in the middle of your career or a particular fast paced phase of life you lose track of your own growth and development. In the hustle and bustle, introspection and personal growth can take a backseat to the pressures of daily life. It was such an honor to sit down with artist Langdon Quin as he draws from his 35 years of experience in the art world. One of the most prominent topics we discussed was his growth as an artist. Langdon looks back on his growth as incremental - bit by bit he adapted and developed as an artist over time. He has never been in a hurry to make huge leaps and changes and he cautions other artists to heed this wisdom.
Competition, innovation, and success are the idols that American culture worships in the marketplace. How does an artist fit into that ecosystem? Can an artist survive when competition and success reign supreme? Most artists won’t have a problem with innovation, the art world is built upon this idea. What about competition and success? To keep the creative spark alive, a good artist will resist the urge to let success define their passion. Competition can be helpful but often leads to comparison and envy. Artist Langdon Quin talks about his struggle to keep his work at the forefront. Langdon decided to focus on what matters, his work. Success will come and go and competition isn’t on his radar. He creates because he can’t image doing anything else.
Society often communicates to young people that you just need to get qualified in your field, work hard, and success will follow. Is that accurate advice for people pursuing their passion in the art world? Artist Langdon Quin doesn’t think it’s helpful to look at success in the art world in such a sequential way. Looking back on his 35 years as an artist, Langdon notes that the landscape is ever changing and a wise artist will learn to adapt to those changes. Success may come and go, sometimes it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Langdon advises artists to keep at it, don’t give up and don’t be discouraged. Success shouldn’t validate or invalidate your work.