A few months ago, as I was sitting in Books-A-Million at Columbia Crossing MD, enjoying my Caramel Macchiato and peacefully browsing through a glossy artsy magazine, I came across an image of a painting called "Song of the Coast" by Jeff Faust. I was thunderstruck by the beauty of it and could not get that painting out of my mind for days. Finally, worked up some courage and decided to contact the artist (and demanded an explanation of disrupting my peace). I had the information noted down on piece of napkin so I googled his name up and like magic I was led straight to his website. So, I shot him an email that I loved his painting and if I could write a blog about it. Even though his paintings are out there literally in the mist of clouds, the painter himself is as down to earth as one can be. He gave me the permisson to use his image for my blog post and that blog http://americanartreview.blogspot.com/2013/08/song-of-coast-painting-by-jeff-faust.html was later featured on Speaking on Art (November issue) https://www.facebook.com/SpeakingOnArt?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser . At that point I wanted more from him -- an interview with the man, the myth and the legend. He agreed and here it is for all to enjoy the amazing paintings and an awesome interview of Jeff Faust -- the Cloud Voyager.
1. When did you decide to become a Professional Artist? At what age you knew that you enjoy art?
I had started painting at an early age around 10 or 11. My parents had a nice art library and they always had various supplies around. When I was a freshman in high school, while waiting for my English class to start one day, I made the decision that art was what I wanted to do with my life. Never looked back from that point on.
2. How would you like to define the artwork you create?
It's been a solo journey for me. I never went to an art school and a loose definition of my work is what I call subtle surrealism. It's a realistic approach but I give myself the freedom to create my own worlds.
3. What is your favorite color and why? Your favorite music? Do you listen to music while you paint?
I can't really say what my favorite color is. I fall in love with a new color with every change of the tide. I use greens and blues a lot so those are the ones I probably think of most but favorite is tough when there are so many choices.
I listen to classical music all the time when I paint. Thank goodness for KUSC -- sometimes I'll listen to Pandora and listen to a variety of stuff but not nearly as often as classical.
4. How many art pieces have you sold as of today? Do you sell by size or the amount of time it took you to create the artwork?
I have sold untold numbers of paintings. I don't tend to keep a track of actual number of pieces I have sold so far so I don't know. The sales out of the galleries now are typically by size. Perhaps I'll change that soon.
5. Do you have a designated Art Studio? Do you have this studio in your house or do you rent it? The address if someone wants to send you correspondence?
I have always worked at home. I love being around my work all the time. This way I can run in and out to get something I need. The best part is having no commute when I get up as the studio is right down the hall. I can look at something just before ending the day and I love that. My website address is http://www.jefffaust.com/
6. What past experiences (good and bad) have influenced your work?
One of the main concepts of my work is how fragile life is. That can mean actual breathing life, friendships, a marriage. Years ago a good friend was killed along with his daughter, mother and an unborn child in an automobile accident. His wife was the only survivor. Over in an instant! From that point on, the fragility of life has always been near my work. But good also. A leaf blowing in the wind has a huge emotional appeal to me.
7. Who are your favorite Artists? Which Artists have influenced your outlook and work? Who do you identify with the most?
As a youngster, I was astounded by Miro more than any other. Then Magritte, Dali, Picasso and a lot of the regulars. That was my education. Looking at the books and reading art biographies. Now, I don't pay much attention to the art world but I still get tremendous value from looking at works of art even though most of the artists have been dead for many years.
8. What is your favorite media (Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors)? Which brand and why you choose this specific media?
I have always used acrylics. I used oils once for about half an hour and I knew right then that it was not for me. Acrylics let me paint the way my mind works -- changing my mind constantly about the piece. I am always rewriting my paintings. Always. Acrylics are good for that kind of thing and the paints available these days are great.
9. Is there something that you would like to share about yourself with a potential Art Collector?
Not really. It is either there in the work or it isn't .
10. Your nationality and Birthdate? Languages you can communicate in?
I am an American. I was born in New England on October 30th, and raised in California. I speak American English but can order a beer in Spanish.