Interview with Judith Cameron
I understand that you grew up in Southern California. How much of Southern California’s beauty influenced you to become a realist landscape artist?
For me, it wasn't so much that Southern California scenery itself inspired me to become a landscape painter. I would have been drawn to any landscape, as so many, many artists around the U.S. and the world are each inspired by their own native landscapes. I would say instead that my abiding love of scenery, mood of place, and light and shadow, to name a few, are what I long to grasp and capture and transform through my art. My nod to Southern California would be how incredibly lucky I am to live in such a beautiful, naturally diverse area.
It sounds like you appreciate the challenge of painting. What is the biggest challenge for you?
The challenge is absolutely something I love about painting! This has to do with the nuts and bolts of technique: surfaces, brushes, paint brands and colors and how to use and employ each of these elements. All the technical aspects of painting provide endless challenges and ways to learn and grow. I love experimenting and learning new ways to try out and use my materials.
You said that the impressionists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and California impressionists influence your work. That said, what kind of art do you have hanging in your home?
The only paintings hanging in my home are my own. Curiously, as far as collecting and displaying art, I am much more drawn to fine-art black and white photography.
What typically attracts you to a subject?
I depend on a sort of Aha intuitive moment for the scenes I want to paint. Almost always it's about mood, light, and color.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
My favorite medium is oil, although I've never really explored the other media traditional to landscapes of watercolor, acrylic, and pastel.
My educational background was in printmaking and ceramics.
I hear a lot of artists speak about the important of light, including you. Why is it that lighting is such a factor?
Well, I think "quality of light,” would be the key phrase in my case. Mornings and late afternoons are traditionally the times when many artists, myself included, not to mention photographers, are happiest to be painting a scene. Shadows are long, colors are saturated and dramatic; the tension between warm light and cool shadow is enhanced, and the overall mood of a scene is often much more intense than at high noon, for example. Backlit scenes too offer their own unique qualities of design and mood.
What has the community of Laguna Beach done for your career?
It's hard to over state the influence of the Laguna art community on Orange County in general, let alone on my own small career. To aspire to be an artist here in Laguna, which has had a very robust art community since the early 20th century, is to feel a connection with all the pioneers of the California Impressionists. I feel incredibly lucky and honored to be accepted into the Festival of Arts this year and to be able to exhibit with so many artists I respect and admire.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to aspiring artists?
As an artist who came relatively late to this artistic vocation, I would say:
Trust your own desires
Believe in your own ability
Get as much technical training as you possibly can
Know that it's never too late to realize a dream
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