Our first July 2016 Art Walk LA featured artist is Peter Bucklin of Portland, whose primarily acrylic work relies on music and movement. He also participates in Grow L+A’s live art-making on Lisbon Street during Art Walk. Learn more about Peter below.
LA Arts: Where will you be showing your work at this month’s Art Walk LA?
Peter Bucklin: At Fuel, but in their event room called Sidecar. I’ll also be painting in the Grow L+A storefront window.
LAA: When did you first become interested in the arts?
PB: I’ve always been interested in the arts. While my passion is painting, I love all kinds of art, especially music and dance.
LAA: What is your current preferred medium? Which have you explored in the past?
PB: I started out writing poems and doing sketches. At some point I played around with watercolor painting. I also attempted to write a book and my lead character was a painter. I decided maybe I needed to paint. I mostly paint with acrylics now on canvas or wood panels.
LAA: What inspires your work?
PB: I’m fascinated with consciousness, which for me is the universe inside me. My creativity lives in my universe, and perhaps it is the universe. My art making is much more focused on the process than the outcome. I almost never start with an idea of how I want something to look. Instead I’m trying to get to a place where I’m separate from my active thoughts, into a quiet zone, into my consciousness. In there, creativity seems like electricity that bounces off all kinds of energies that make up my self, my being and at some point when I’m totally in my process, I think of it as being fully turned-on, aroused, my painting becomes magical. I can’t even begin to explain what happens in those moments or how I got to the result. It just happens as if I’ve been turned free to paint without any thought at all. It’s a beautiful place to be and experience. I often use music as part of my process and will sometimes dance while I paint, even if it is just subtle movements. I’ll also say there is a lot of painting time when it seems like I’m searching for that moment and simply moving paint around. For me, all painting is a practice. And an act of self giving, self love.
LAA: How is your heritage reflected in your art?
PB: I’m not sure how to answer this question. I think every experience, every sight and sound I’ve taken in, influences my art. I had a very challenging childhood. My mother was an addict. Life was chaotic to say the least. There was a time where I really just drifted. Fortunately I was put in situations that made me want to have my own life, and doing the work to recover my life has given me a willingness to be open, question, seek, explore, be curious about what I might be missing, what I don’t know, how am I limiting myself. That process is very much a part of my creative process — seeking, looking, asking, being open to the unknown.
LAA: What is it like to be an artist in the LA area?
PB: I live in Portland. A friend got me to come up and participate in the LA art walks and I’m so glad I did. It is such a great community that comes out for the art walks. I have done art walks in Portland and they tend to be crowded, hectic, impersonal. I’ve had really wonderful conversations and I see a lot of appreciation for the artists that show work here in LA. And I really appreciate what Ryan Rhoades is doing with Grow L+A, and the opportunity to paint during the art walk. It is a fun way to share what I do.
LAA: What’s your relation to LA Arts and its work in community arts?
PB: Today it is really the art walks. I’m enjoying getting to meet other artists who live and work here. Who knows what the future will bring. There is a really great artist community here.
LAA: Where can people go (either online or in-person) to see more of your work?
PB: The best place to keep up with my work is Facebook. I also have a website, but I have not done a good job keeping work current there. I’m actually exploring a different alternative for a website. It’s a work in progress.
LAA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
PB: Don’t hesitate to say hello to me [at Art Walk]. I really enjoying meeting people. Art is very subjective and I don’t get hung up on whether my work is liked or not. There is lots of art that is not my style. But I’m almost always fascinated with the person making art. And people who appreciate art. So I look forward to continuing to meet people here in LA.