Our July 2020 Artist of the Month is a perfect fit to set the scene for summer. William Steiger takes us on a road trip down Nostalgia Lane with his mechanical and architectural drawings.
"I've always chosen subject matter that has fascinated me since I was a kid. I've been devoted to the landscape even when the images are sometimes devoid of land and instead rely on line and shadow to shape the vista."
"By re-examining the form, I focus on design rather than function. My subjects all first existed to serve a purpose; be it a bridge or a plane, a silo to hold grain or a tower to hold water, a train, or just the signal to direct a train, a ride up a mountain in a tram or a circular ride at the amusement park. While not initially created with aesthetic objectives, I visualize these objects and reexamine their lines, shapes and shadows so that suddenly their design is very much in focus, as if it were always the intent."
"By zooming in on a passenger car dangling from a Ferris wheel or how light illuminates the roof of a grain elevator, the scenes eliminate references to time and place. We are effectively transported to both another time and frame of mind."
"I spend a lot of time doing research. I study from life, from books, manuals, and vintage photography. Anything that inspires me. I have books and cabinets full of material in my studio. I want to learn everything I can about a subject before I begin."
"Growing up my family took long roads trips through the midwest and western states in our old Dodge station wagon. This was in an era before cell phones etc, so as a passenger I basically just spent all my time looking out the window watching the scene slowly change as we’d pass farms and endless rows of telephone poles. I think these visual experiences are the foundation of my art."
"Look around a lot and draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. Maybe it’s an exhibit at a museum or gallery (where you might expect to be inspired) but it could just easily be a scene in a movie, a passage from a novel, something you see when you least expect it - like when you’ve gotten lost on a road trip (before Waze or Google maps) and stumble upon an old trestle."