Artist Interview – Painter Chris McGinnis

The second interview in my series of Art of the State participants is painter, Chris McGinnis. You can find his work online at his website, and of course see his painting, Coordinates #5, at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2013 at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA.
Chris McGinnis, Coordinates #5
Coordinates #5 ©2011 Chris McGinnis oil, acrylic, and graphite on paper 20″ x 30

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I began painting and drawing at a very young age. Entirely as a hobby in the early years. I remember drawing a lot of military imagery as a child. Like many young boys I grew up with an attraction to the military and an idealized understanding of honor and sacrifice. In middle school I developed a serious interest in the arts as a potential career path. This led me to complete my BFA in painting and drawing from Indiana University of PA and a subsequent MFA from University of Arizona.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Salvage ©2012 Chris McGinnis oil on canvas 36" x 48"
Salvage ©2012 Chris McGinnis oil on canvas 36″ x 48″

Lately I have been inspired by romantic notions of landscape and the history of landscape as cultural icon. I have been reading a lot on this subject including Simon Schama’s “Landscape and Memory” and Rebecca Solnit’s “Landscape and Power.”

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

I admire a wide range of artist famous and otherwise. Those working today who inspire me include Mark Tansey, Heather Greene, Michael Borremans, Ann Hamilton and Larry Gipe to name a few.

Coordinates #20 ©2011 Chris McGinnis oil, acrylic, graphite, collage on paper
Coordinates #20 ©2011 Chris McGinnis oil, acrylic, graphite, collage on paper

4. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I own some exceptional drawings and paintings from regional artists who I have come to admire. Two that stand out are Lindsey Landfried and Ryan Woodring.