Wellesley native and current Holliston resident David Bastille will have his paintings on display throughout December in the Wellesley Free Library’s Wakelin Room. Bastille attended Perrin School, Bates School and Wellesley Junior High, and his parents still live in the same Wellesley home he grew up in. A reception will be held for Bastille at the library on Dec. 12, 10am-noon. We asked him a few questions in advance of the show:
When did you start painting?
I first studied oil painting in 1977 at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where my teacher was Birney Quick. (I had been working for Charrette, the art supply store in Cambridge, and decided that I wanted to be on the other side of the counter.) I returned to Boston in 1978 and began working as a graphic designer. Painting got put on hold until the early 1980’s, when a group of us graphic designers, wanting to get back to making art for its own sake (at least occasionally), held the first in a series of shows known as “Art/Word.” In Art/Word productions, a group of artists chooses or writes passages of text on a certain theme and illustrates them. The most recent Art/Word shows, “Women of Influence,” “F1RST,” and “Currency,” have been held at Lasell College in Newton; the next is scheduled for February 2010.
In 2003, at the urging of friends, I decided to devote more time energy, and resources to making art. I knew I needed further instruction in order to make a go of it, and have been taking classes at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham as often as I can.
How would you describe your style?
I don’t have one style, but I think you could call what I do “interpreted reality.” You can generally tell what it is you’re looking at, but there’s a twist.
Looking at my artwork, you wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I work as a graphic designer. You can tell that I’m trying to communicate an idea. I want people to see what I saw when I first encountered this scene or that object. An emphasis on structure and balance is also evident.
I often use photos that I have taken as a guide when I paint. Photos allow me indefinitely to hold onto a fleeting scene, or a piece of fruit that will soon decay, until I can render it fully on canvas.
Sounds like you have a full time job as an art director, so how much time do you devote to painting on the side?
I paint on weekends, but also sometimes in the evenings, and I spend as much time as I can scouting for landscapes and still life materials to paint. I take a camera with me wherever I go, in case something crops up.
Have you painted much in Wellesley itself and will any Wellesley-themed paintings be part of the show?
There are no paintings of Wellesley in the show at this time, though one is in the works.