Friday, July 12, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Glenn Brill

"Once you are committed to making the best image you can make, using the best art materials is the only choice you have. It is no different than other professions. In order to get the best results you need the best materials." --Glenn Brill

International painter and art material technical expert, Glenn Brill grew up knowing he wanted to be an artist.  He was the chosen one in elementary school to paint posters for "safety week" and opted to work visually versus textually when it came to school assignments in junior high.  But, it was college, working on his BFA after already receiving a degree in psychology that Glenn started considering himself an artist.  

Glenn notes that while in art school, both undergraduate and graduate, there was no serious discussion about art materials from his professors.  Upon entering the workforce at Landfall Press in Chicago as an assistant printer in lithography, Glenn had his first experience with professional artists and print shops commitment to materials.  "Indeed, I remember Claus Oldenburg going around the print shop with a light meter to determine the exact area he would set up to draw on the stones. Later when I worked at Tamarind Institute I was able to collaborate with many artists as their printer. I was fortunate to work with Francoise Gilot, who was Picasso's last mistress. We had many discussions of color and materials. Discussions of materials were common place at Tamarind. Indeed, it was expected to only use the best materials," Glenn explains.


Around 1992 I began to work with art material companies, first in education, then in product testing and development. It was then that I truly began my education, investigation and understanding of the best art materials and how they are made. Since then I have been able work directly with the manufacturers of paint, paper, brushes, drawing materials, and canvas."

With Glenn's passion for good materials, and a deeper understanding than most artists of what he is using by way of materials, Glenn has chosen to primarily work in oils, acrylic and printmaking, producing a range of artwork from three dimensional abstract work, to monotypes, to sequential landscapes.  When he is choosing to work with a brush, Glenn prefers the natural bristle for most techniques, the Mongoose (similar to the Mongolian Sable) when the natural bristle is too stiff and the sable (like the Faux Kolinsky) for fine detail.  He shares that the stiffness and spring are important to his work, and the size of the brush is primarily dependent on the size of the painting itself as well as where he is in the process of the piece.  


Glenn's style and technique are quite unique and beautifully noteworthy, something he attributes to his surroundings and his own "art making personality".  "I am not quite sure how I have come to my personal style.  I believe your style finds you, you do not find your style.  In other words, we all see space, color, form, a certain way.  I look back at my images over the past 40 years and while the imagery might change, my use of color and space is still the same," he says.  Glenn tends to look to other artists work as a way to see how they solved problems he is going through, but also how to develop his work in new mediums.  As with many other artists, Glenn's surroundings give him the subject matter, which he might focus on for a few years or several decades.  Most recently, his work has been the landscape imagery he experiences living part-time in Brittany, France.

Besides his work as a full time artist and technical art material consultant, Glenn teaches workshops and manages the educational programs for both Gamblin Artist Colors and Strathmore Artist Papers.  To catch one of the workshops, you can find out more information by emailing him through his website:  www.glennbrill.com.

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.