10 Interview Questions to Ask an Artist With Nick Ward

Nick Ward is figurative painter and printmaker who creates portrait based works that explore stories of the women around him. Originally from a small town outside Portland Oregon, Nick currently resides in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston, MA. His work has twice earned him the Elizabeth Greenshields grant.
  1. What are your thoughts about artist statements?
    Personally, I do not especially enjoy writing artist statements. That said, I understand that when you are dealing with complex concepts in a piece, it is good to leave a few breadcrumbs along the way so that people can find their way through the work. I try to fulfil that need by discussing the process of finding my way through pieces on my website. I think it works better than a general artist statement, but it doesn’t exactly fit neatly onto a wall label at the gallery.
  2. Who was the first major art collector of your work?
    The first prominent collection I made my way into was the Tullman Collection, which was also the first to have more than one piece. Since then, a majority of people who have purchased one piece, have come back for multiple pieces, so I guess the race is on to have the most in one place.
  3. How do you see your work influencing others?
    I get a lot of different feedback, but the overwhelming majority is from young women who are interested in the make-up paintings. A lot of them are students who are doing projects where they creating work inspired by those paintings and exploring their own relationship with the mask of make-up, which is amazing. A lot of them end up sending me images of their work, or links to blogs documenting their projects, it’s always really cool to see.
  4. What was the first artwork you remember from your childhood!
    I don’t really have any art related childhood memories. I know that is a terrible answer, but I just didn’t get interested in art until I was older, so nothing really stands out in my mind until much later.
  5. What are you working on now?
    I have just started two more text/sext message portraits, and I am about to sit down with a model to start prepping the next piece.
  6. Do you use photography as a point of reference before starting a painting?
    Definitely. I enjoy working from life, but my current process is really about exploring skin in a very labor intensive way. Beyond that, I enjoy the challenge of inventing details that have been lost in the reference photos, and exploring the ways that digital files can add their own sorts of abstraction into images.
  7. Whom would you like to have sit for a portrait?
    Since I am working on a series of portraits that deal with private images that have taken on a life of their own online, it would be pretty cool to get a celebrity or, someone well known that has dealt with this involved in the project.
  8. What galleries or shows may we see your work?
    Often times, you can find it at Sloane Merrill Gallery here in Boston. Soon, you will probably be find me in a show at Thomas Young Gallery, along with a couple of the upcoming shows organized by Poets and Artists. Beyond that, you just have to get on my email list, of keep your eyes on my website to see where I will pop up next. www.sloanemerrillgallery.com
  9. What's your favorite color?
    When I was a kid, it was green. As a grown up, my favorite color to use in a painting is sky blue.
  10. What is your website?