Guest Blogger: Shad Anderson

I’ve known Shad and his wife Bonnie for a couple years now, and now we’re on the same faculty. Shad is a great guy, and a gifted artist.

Name: Shad Anderson

What do you do? husband, Mormon, father, educator, painter

website or blog address?

What is your current “creative outlet”? What creative things are you working on or thinking about?

Painting–I have a small room that shares the washer and dryer, and this is where I paint.

Currently I’m working on architecture, specifically architecture that is nearby. I’ve painted a couple of temples, and am now painting this sweet looking old grainery. There’s several silos and old sheds with plenty of color and personality.

I don’t know if looking at art is considered a creative outlet, but it sure gets me pumped. When I see how someone else has solved problems of subject matter, composition, color and paint application, I start to make all kinds of connections of my own, and then I can’t wait to get home and get painting. Recently I’ve decided to take this to a new level. It’s an old art class excercise, but when I did it in art class I was just starting to figure out how to handle the materials and so now I feel this activity could create new inroads for me in my painting. The excercise is to take another artists work and duplicate it. There are several artists who to me are masters at problem-solving. I love the textures of Douglas Fryer, the compositions of J. Kirk Richards, the emphasizing and de-emphasizing of Walter Rane, and the paint application of Mark Lague. Rather than just observe by looking at how they solve and master these problems, I want to observe by trying their solutions. My hope is that my own style will come out having gained new insights into how to paint more impactful paintings.

How has your view of your own creativity changed over time? Have you always considered yourself “the creative type”?

I’ve always hoped I was creative because I sure couldn’t rely on getting good math and science grades. I figured that that part of my brain was just disfunctional. What’s surprised me over the years is how logical, mathematical and even scientific, painting is. I thought that you were just born a certain way. But creativity has been my pathway into thinking I never ventured into earlier on. I wonder if the same is true for those who figured they weren’t all that creative. Logic and organization was their thing. In time did they discover that in their logical thinking they became creative. People always are telling me that they could never paint. I ask them if they have ever tried. They usually say something like, “Yea, in high school I never did well in art. I think you should try it again.”  You’re older now, you know what you’re good at and you’re confident. So now pick up a paint brush and see what happens. I think creativity is simply doing something. I’m creative not because I was necessarily born that way, but because I’ve just done a lot of creative things.

When do you feel the most or least creative? What inspires you? What stifles your creativity?

I think I’ve already mentioned above what makes me feel creative. I feel stifled when an idea isn’t working out. I used to force myself to paint through to the end, and I would just end up with awful paintings. Now I just stop painting for a while until I get all jazzed up again. Then I just paint over that other painting or start a new one. I don’t think this is the best way of dealing with it either. A part of me wishes I didn’t have to wait to be inspired, that I could just create inspiration when it was low in me. But another part of me acknowledges that inspiration can’t be forced. Currently I’m in a creative mode.

If you have any questions for Shad, post them, and he’ll answer…



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