We’re off to a busy 2015 at Huff Harrington Fine Art and it’s always exciting when new artists join our little family. We’re delighted to welcome a wonderful new painter whose sweeping and magnificent landscapes, seascapes and waterscapes have had us drooling since we first laid eyes on them. Please meet Craig Mooney…
Craig was born and raised in the heart of midtown Manhattan and his roots in art go back to his youth. His father, also an artist, taught him how to create works from discarded art supplies found on city streets. To Mooney, the bustling and energized city was an endless source of inspiration from an early age. We put some questions to Craig the other day and here’s what he had to say:
HHFA: Hi Craig. We’re dying to know more about you so let’s start with your painting process? Whenever the mood strikes or do you treat it like a job? Or a happy medium?
CM: My painting process varies widely, sometimes more so depending on the season. I would say that Iʼm more deadline driven. I usually paint at night or early in the morning (for some reason afternoons are hard-maybe I get caught up in the more mundane aspects of the day.) I work in an old warehouse building and at night itʼs dead silent- no interruptions just me and the work…
HHFA: Music? Silence? Favorite dogs or cats to keep you company?
CM: I paint to music. All music. Music is a great passion of mine from classical to ambient/ electronic to jazz rock and bluegrass. Music can get me in the “zone” faster than if Iʼm painting without it. I think it acts to distract the conscious mind-the mind set of making deliberate decisions on the canvas and allows the subconscious to take center stage in the process.
HHFA: Do you have a dedicated studio space? Tell us about it…
CM: My studio is located in Stowe, Vermont, one of the most bucolic and picturesque towns in New England. Ironically my studio has no view! (It’s) a raw, hollow industrial space (with) a beautiful sculpture garden and a path that leads to a beautiful stream. (That’s) a great place to take a break from the studio.
HHFA: Plein air or at the easel in the studio?
CM: (Since) I paint from my imagination, I’d rather take mental impressions of things I have seen and recreate them back in the studio. Growing up in a cramped apartment in midtown Manhattan fostered a reliance on my imagination to compensate for what I could not physically see or experience. It is what has shaped my work in the present day.
HHFA: Whatʼs your great inspiration for your work? Experiences, places, scenery, location?
CM: It might be a bit of a cliche but nature and all aspects of the natural world inspires my work. So are cities and the urban landscape. In the last few years I have been exploring more of the ocean and waterways, and beaches. So travel is essential to what inspires me.
HHFA: Favorite artist?
CM: My father is my favorite artist. He is a gifted amateur painter but amateur only in the sense he never sought out professional recognition. My father chose a life in medicine as a physician and kept his world of art mostly to himself. He taught me to paint as a child. Hints of his work can be seen in my figures on city streets, and in his bold and broad gestures. (HHFA: we love that! What a great story…)
HHFA: Big difference between your watery landscapes and your energized cityscapes. Can you explain how such different situations can be so inspiring to you?
CM: My work has a cinematic element to it with an implied sense of drama. Not sure if that really deliberate or not they sort of turn out that way. It may be a deserted beach if Iʼm seeking solitude or a bustling avenue with traffic if Iʼm craving energy and excitement.
HHFA: What do you love best about being a professional artist?
CM: I love being able to connect to people with my art and to know that maybe in a small way Iʼm contributing to society. When I hear that a piece Iʼm made for a hospital brought some comfort or respite to someone in a time in need, that makes all the difference to me.
HHFA: thanks, Craig. We’re so happy to have you here at Huff Harrington with us and can’t show your work off!
That’s one of the beauties of owning an art gallery – we get to surround ourselves with beauty and creativity – and take great inspiration from the supremely talented artists who create these masterpieces.