The December 2009 featured Cow Art and More artist was pastel drawing and painter Gary Sauder. Gary grew up on a small farm in Sonoma County, California showing registered Jersey cows in the local 4-H club. Gary attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, for two years. After college, Gary took a position caring for and exhibiting the show cattle for then, Meadow Glen Farms of Orland, California. About that time he was introduced to colored pencils. Having always been an avid artist with a pencil, this produced an exciting jump into the realm of painting for Gary.
How did you get started?
I had always been drawing as long as I can remember and had been more or less apprehensive about painting because I didn’t quite know how. I had grown bored with drawing in graphite and hadn’t done it for a long time. Then one evening I saw a movie about a sketch artist for the police and he was using colored pencils and I decided to find out more about them. I got some books on the medium and I conquered my fear of color and shortly there after I graduated to pastel and even water color and oils. I enjoy them all but I prefer to paint in pastel.
Why do you paint?
I paint because of the unbelievable sense of accomplishment and expression that it gives me. I think that it gives me a chance to express how I view the world and the beauty of it. And I think that it gives me a chance to show other people the things that I find interesting.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from my own experiences and my love of the natural world. I think that every day that I get to paint is a good day and a day that I learn something about myself. I hope when you see one of my paints that you can feel my inspiration.
What is your technique?
I suppose my technique mostly depends on the surface that I paint on. I generally work from very loose to very tight by and by working darks to mid tones to light to highlights and follow that progression about four to five times until I feel that the painting is finished. And I suppose that you would call the technique would be called realism or super realism.
Where did you learn your technique?
For the most part I am self taught, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything from other artists. I have taken workshops from other notable artists and have done several lessons in technique from master artist’s publications. And have viewed and studied the techniques of the artists that I admire the most. I also have taken to not hanging my own work on my walls at home and hang other artists work for me to see so that I don’t become too enamored with my own work.
How long does it take you to get an average painting?
For the most part I can do a painting in a week but I have done and average size (14 X 19) in a day it just depends on the subject and the complexity of the painting. I have also taken as long as three weeks to complete a painting.
Do you ever have goof ups or work you don’t like?
I have made many goof ups and have done more than a few paintings that I don’t like. I also find that as the years go by some of the paintings I did ten years ago that I liked back then, I don’t like as much now and the opposite is also true.
What would you like to do more of in the future?
I would like to do more of the same, but I would like to travel more and do more field work in many different places.
What else do you do besides painting?
Right now I distribute an amazing nutritional beverage called Mona Vie. It is a product that has wonderful health benefits.
What advice to you have for aspiring painters?
The only advice that I can give to aspiring painters is to paint often and treat it like a profession. I have found the more that I paint the better that I get at it and the more professional the result.