Despite the impulse to look for a provocative political message in this week’s cover, Sayville artist Scott Hartman says there’s no connection between his painting, “Waiting,” and recent elections. The painting was completed in 1992 and hung in the Washington office of Rick Lazio during his time as Long Island’s U. S. Representative.
What inspired this piece?
The original painting was completed in 1992, around the time of the war in Iraq. I was inspired by the number of yellow ribbons tied around trees by families who had loved ones serving. The folded American flag draped over the chair, along with the yellow ribbon, symbolized the modern day patriotism and daily sacrifices these families were making, as well as their hope and anticipation that servicemen and women would return home safely. I thought the name, “Waiting,” appropriate to describe the daily feelings of individuals serving our country as well as their family members back home.
There’s a definite rural feel to your work. Where are some places you find that inspiration?
I was born and raised in a small rural town in Central Pennsylvania. I grew up viewing images of farmlands and a simple way of life. I constantly look for images and places that remind me of this rural way of life, of a time gone by. My paintings depict locations from Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Maine.
Is there an artist you think is underappreciated, who our readers should know?
I’m a big Andrew Wyeth fan. I enjoy how he incorporates simple everyday things into creative masterpieces. I also enjoy the work of his son Jamie Wyeth. His portraits are not only realistically painted, but they also convey a mystical story of the subject. Another person who I truly admire is realistic wildlife artist Robert Bateman. In my opinion, all three artists capture the quiet beauty in nature that many people take for granted.
Your wife Linda is also an artist. Do you collaborate?
Yes. We share a website and a studio workspace in our home. Since we met in college, I have always marveled at her talent, creativity and hard work. It’s contagious, and these traits have pushed me to be creative. We constantly bounce ideas off each other in terms of subject matter, color and composition for art paintings. My latest endeavor is creating unique furniture, specifically tables. In September 2014, I enrolled in a “Customer-in Residency Program” with the Thomas Moser Furniture Company in Maine. I’ve been creating interesting tabletops by combining various types of hardwoods in unique patterns and designs. These tabletops are then attached to metal bases/legs to create a new “up-cycled” contemporary table. My wife and I collaborate on everything from the type of metal bases to purchase, to the designs of the tabletops. She excels at staging the finished products.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
I remember reading a quote that said something like, “Think of all the things you would have attempted, if you knew you wouldn’t fail.” My advice is to give it a try. Many times I learn more from a mistake.
Where can we see your work up close?
At Deepwells Mansion in St. James on December 10 and 11. And at the Art League of Long Island’s members show in Huntington, December 11 through January 6. My work is always on display by appointment in my art studio, Hartman Studio 44, located at 44 Richmar Drive in Sayville.
Visit hartmanstudio44.com for more info.