In December, we wrote about Shedding Light, a public art project centered on a lit-from-within tobacco shed in Amherst. Scott Tulay, one of the artists who exhibited in conjunction that project, is about to have a solo show at Boston’s Gurari Collections, May 7-31, 2010.
Scott creates haunting, evocative ink, pastel, charcoal and watercolor drawings that explore light, shadow, and built and natural structures. Here, Scott undertakes an ArtSake nano-interview about his art, his kids’ art critiques, and his bygone (thankfully) cigarette stamping days.
ArtSake: What’s the most surprising response to your art you’ve ever received?
Scott: My daughters, who are eight and five, consistently complain that my drawings are “too scary.” They will ask me “Why can’t you draw something nice, with color, like with a rainbow?” Once in a while, however, I’ll do a drawing, and they’ll tilt their heads to the side and say “Not bad, Dad.” This scares me.
ArtSake: How do you know when your work is done?
Scott: With some larger diptychs or a recent tetraptych, which is about 6′-0″ x 7′-0″, I have to work on our large dining room table and rig extensions to the table on the sides to see the whole piece at one time. Usually I start these at night and keep drawing until I can’t stay awake any longer. Because I know we need a place to eat the next day, the drawing is done.
ArtSake: What’s the worst day job you’ve ever had?
Scott: My worst day job was in a cigarette distribution facility. The only reason anyone worked there was to get free cigarettes and to be able to smoke while working. I was the only non-smoker, and there were no windows. My job was to put the Massachusetts cigarette tax stamp on each carton of cigarettes, sometimes by hand. I was horrible at running the stamp machine, and would sometimes get the cartons jammed until they exploded in a fountain of cigarettes. My co-workers would then come over and pick them up to smoke, sometimes asking “Hey next time, could you screw up with the Paul Mall Light 100s?” Needless to say, my comrades loved the “rookie,” but my boss was not impressed. I didn’t last long.
Images: ink, pastel, charcoal and watercolor drawings by Scott Tulay; LIGHT SCREEN (Finalist in the 2009 Ken Roberts Architectural Delineation Competition); GHOST SHIP; INFRASTRUCTURE; LIGHT STUDY; COAL FIRING.