Our Staff Member Spotlight Featuring the Work of Talented Painter Brad Maxey!
This month we have decided to feature one of our many talented staff members here at Platt College, Brad Maxey! Brad is currently the registrar assistant here at Platt and we are thrilled to do a spotlight on his beautiful work.
Interviewer: You have been working here at Platt for quite sometime now. But what students may not know is that you have an amazing talent for art and design yourself which makes you a wonderful addition to the school. How long have you been painting for? And what inspired you to start following your passion to paint?
Brad: I started seriously painting in Junior High when I was 13 which was 41 years ago. My art teacher and her mother were both accomplished artists and the local art scene where I grew up was very active and lively (Roanoke Virginia) I had been in art contests and drew a lot when I was in elementary school as well. I won my first award in 4th grade with a drawing of a witch. I remember going to look at the show in one of the shopping malls and I was so disappointed because I realized that even though I’d won first place I had forgotten to draw part of the witch’s glasses.
Interviewer: You currently have your artworks on display in several local art galleries and exhibits, where can people go to view your work? And how long are the events for?
Brad: I am included in a show produced jointly by the Oceanside Museum of Art and The History Center in Balboa Park called “Nature Improved”. The head curator, Bram Dijkstra is a well known scholar with many published works on literature and painting. Being in this show was an honor. I was asked to submit paintings for possible inclusion in this show because Dijkstra and some of the other people organizing this show had seen my work in the Carlsbad Cannon Gallery’s Juried Biennale show that ran from February to March last year. The Oceanside portion of Nature Improved runs until February 22nd, while the History Center show continues through March. I am represented by Noel Baza Fine Art on India Street in Little Italy. Some of my things are nearly always on display there as well.
Interviewer: What would you say is your favorite piece of work you have created and why?
Brad: I think I like one of the paintings included in the Oceanside show, “Wires” more than any painting I’ve completed in the last two years. I like it because it was a subject I had wanted to paint for a long time and when I finally got around to doing so I enjoyed the play of light and shadow, the sense of place represented by this composition. Those are two of my favorite concerns in my landscape painting-time and place
Interviewer: Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
Brad: I am inspired by my environment, the outdoor urban sights that I see every day. You can make a painting about anything. I enjoy the look and feel of familiar places and the surprises that come with seeing them at different times and on different days.
Interviewer: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Brad: I love all the tools I use. My old Chinese butcher trays for mixing paint, the brushes-some worn down and just right for some uses, others newer and sharper and of course my easel crusted with 3 decades of paint. The little latch that holds the height adjustment is cranky and doesn’t work half the time without a lot of messing around but I just live with it.
Interviewer: Who is your favorite artist?
Brad: My favorite artist changes frequently. I love a broad range of artists, mostly painters because that’s what I enjoy. I just saw a show of Richard Diebenkorn and have always been inspired by him. I love Willem de kooning, David Park, Edward Hopper, Antonio Lopez, Felix Vallotton, Marlene Dumas, Peter Doig and especially James Doolin.
Interviewer: What advice can you give to the students at Platt and other inspiring artists who want to find unique ways to get their work exhibited?
Brad: Enter juried shows! Find community centers that have competitions and opportunities to show. In San Diego check out the Art Institute, Exhibit Hall, in Balboa Park. You can also go together with friends and find suitable spaces for a show and work together to get the word out that you’re doing so. There are even online shows, where you can “exhibit” digital images of your work. Some of those are very interesting and that is an avenue I’ve never tried.
Interviewer: Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?
Brad: Where painting is concerned, there is no replacement for time and hard work. While the act of painting is rewarding as you do it, the best thing about it is working on and on and trying new things and just growing with it.