Intuitive Color Artist
Lynchburg Living Editor Shelley Basinger:
Andrew, the first thing we notice about your artwork is the use of color. Why do you enjoy using lots of bright hues?
Andrew Riscart: Because it’s so powerful. It leaves so much up for interpretation. It allows the viewer to take ownership from their own personal perspective.
SB: That’s why you describe yourself as an “intuitive” color artist.
AR: Right, I like to blend the real and recognizable with the abstract. I approach this by replicating recognizable characters and then manipulating color theory to interact with the viewer. I find this often requires some kind of response, but still leaves a lot up to interpretation. In short, I play with color theory while letting value do all of the work.
SB: When did you first become interested in art?
AR: When I was about five years old. I got mad that my neighbor’s cousin could draw so much better than me. I guess you could say I became determined. That’s when I really started to practice.
SB: What types of training have you received?
AR: My mother signed me up for a drawing class when I was 10. I later took a painting class at Central Virginia Community College with Kenny Weinfurtner. He showed me how to build a foundation. Over the past year, I’ve been picking things up along the way. Mostly through the internet; I study creatives that inspire me in various mediums like painting, music, poetry, and film.
SB: You’ve recently decided to make art a full-time career. How did that transition happen?
AR: It’s funny—I took a class under a very successful businessman. He kept on repeating the phrase: “What’s in your hand?” That’s where you start. If you want to be successful in business, start with what you have available to you right now. Another phrase he would say a lot is, “Your gift will make a way for you.” When I moved back to Virginia, I kept thinking back on this. The only thing I kept coming back to was painting. So, I started painting. I will ride this wave until it crashes, and then I’ll catch another one.
SB: The doors have certainly been opening for you! We are seeing a lot of your work around town.
AR: I have pieces hanging on Main Street in Dish, Starr Hill Brewery and the White Hart. I also have one inside Riverview Records, a new shop on Jefferson Street. I have some murals at the new Main Street Bar and Grill, and I’m also working on a piece for Crisp’s new beer garden. It’s expected to be open at the end of July.
SB: We heard about you from an Instagram post by Star Hill. How has social media influenced your artwork?
AR: Social media has opened a new avenue for artists, like myself, to create an audience. One we otherwise would not have been able to. It can be a powerful tool in this regard and in many others. However, social media can also be very dangerous. Unfortunately, it has become a substitute for one-on-one human connection. I’m beginning to see this can leave an emptiness in people. I believe fine art can bridge this gap between a sea of choices and what is actually physically tangible right in front of us. I continue to paint for this reason. I personally live for the one-on-one interaction painting affords me. I think this past year really put things into perspective for a lot of us. The greatest impacts are made one human interaction at a time. If we can love the person right in front of us and then they in turn love the person right in front of them, it creates a ripple effect.
SB: You’ve been getting a lot of requests for commissions. How is that going?
AR: I love doing commissions. They have been my bread and butter, if you will. However, I’m becoming more selective on what I choose. Mostly because I also need the commissions I do to fit a common vision with the style I’m evolving into.
SB: What’s next for you? Any future goals?
AR: I just want to be a part of the bigger picture.
You can find Andrew on Instagram: @riscart