- Where are you from and where do you reside?
- I was born in Maryland, and spent most of my younger life in Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh. I have also lived in Ohio and Massachusetts before moving to California. San Francisco has been my home now for a few years, and I’ve never experienced anything like it. The climate, beaches, landscapes and sunlight in the surrounding Bay Area are unmatched and have definitely changed me as a person.
- How do your surroundings direct your approach to your work? Do you find that environment relates to your work?
- I have found that since moving to California, my environment has had a huge impact on my work. The amount of sunlight, different types of plant life, and living close to the ocean are a few things I enjoy on a daily basis. Even though San Francisco is a struggle to live in sometimes, it’s the most stimulating place I have ever lived. That being said, and because I’m a painter who works intuitively, I think all of these experiences are subconsciously reflected in how I paint.
- Do you ever find yourself making a painting in San Francisco and realize you’re doing something very Maryland or Pennsylvania (or Ohio or Massachusetts) in terms of your decision making?
- Where I am now in my life and because of the fact that my work has changed so much in the past few years alone, I think Maryland and Pennsylvania don’t have any significant influence on my decision-making today. However, I do think those periods in my life are very important in how I got to where I am today. My roots as an artist started in those regions, so perhaps if you look hard enough you might be able to make those connections.
- What necessities do you require when making your art?
- I usually have headphones on while paint. Other than that, the most important thing for me is a quality surface to work on with enough support to withstand many layers of paint and the possibility of being scraped and sanded down. I also need a brush and a lot of paint on hand to paint thick.
- Have you always worked in painting?
- I didn’t start painting until my early twenties. However, I have been drawing my entire life. Later, I began studying printmaking and focused primarily on woodcuts and etching. Being able to make multiples of my work allowed me to collage with several versions of the same piece. After years of only working with printmaking and collage, I was craving for something more and I’ve found that through painting. Painting has allowed me to achieve the movement of where I want to go and what I want to see.
Being able to make multiples of my work allowed me to collage with several versions of the same piece.
— Tyler Scheidt
- How has your work developed in the past few years, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
- My work has developed quite far in the past few years. I started painting seriously about five years ago. Before that I worked primarily in printmaking and collage, which still has heavy influence in how I work today. In the past couple of years my paintings have become more abstract and the color is more direct.
It’s difficult to tell where things will go in the future, as it feels like each painting I make is a search for something and takes me a little bit further ahead. I am trying to allow myself to loosen up a bit, while at the same time make more confident decisions.
- How important is spontaneity in your art?
- Spontaneity is very important to me and is one of the main reasons I started painting. The way I was working with printmaking was very direct and I wanted to widen my limitations. By using a dynamic range of texture, line, color, and collage, I am able to create paintings organically, but still in decisive layers. Working both positively and reductively has allowed me the freedom to work in any direction. What I’m interested in the most is how these spontaneous relationships between objects and space develop, and how they reflect our own lives.
- Can you clarify what you mean by ‘widen my limitations’?
- When I say widen my limitations, I really mean that I needed to expand the mediums and possibilities I work in. As a printmaker, I was working strictly with black ink woodcut relief printing for years and felt like my work had started to plateau. I knew what the finished artwork was going to be before it was complete. Not to say that painting has more possibilities than printmaking for all artists, but personally, for me, I think it does. It was a way to throw myself into a similar but new medium where I could be challenged again by a whole new set of circumstances. I believe, at least, the way I wanted to approach painting was limitless in how a painting can start and how a painting can end. The way I worked in printmaking was a very systematic, step-by-step process, and in painting it seems like anything is possible. I can change directions instantly, in real time.
When starting a painting I try to set up problems for myself to solve, and only by working through many layers and thinking through the act of painting can it be completed. This also allows change and progression to occur naturally. It is this unknown and constant search I subject myself to in painting that allows for wider limitations.
I believe, at least, the way I wanted to approach painting was limitless in how a painting can start and how a painting can end.
— Tyler Scheidt
- What are some themes you find recurring in your pieces, intentional or not?
- Initially, when I first started painting, many of my paintings were simple juxtapositions of architecture in the natural world. As my practice has evolved, my work has become more complex and includes many layers of interweaving spaces and light. Also, the architecture in my paintings now consists of thick beams of painted light traveling throughout the surface.
There are some common motifs that consistently find a place in my work such as plant life, horizon lines, and gradient light spectrums. I think these objects ground the placement as a viewer, and gives a sense of familiarity while experiencing my paintings.
- What tangible objects or intangible moments are you most interested in representing through your works?
- One of the most satisfying things I find about painting is the unlimited range of possibilities in creating an image. The paintings themselves are tangible moments of something intangible in reality. I paint the light in my paintings with the thickest amount of paint on the surface, almost to the point where light and color becomes isolated as objects. As a person who is interested in science and physics, I am naturally interested in how these strange relationships between things in the world function. By having a diverse range of texture and by the use of layers, I try to make paintings that become more than the sum of their parts.
I paint the light in my paintings with the thickest amount of paint on the surface, almost to the point where light and color becomes isolated as objects.
— Tyler Scheidt
- Are these relationships strange because your use of texture is unintuitive, giving weight to something that is otherwise weightless? Or are they strange innately?
- I believe the relationships between things in the world are strange innately, and my paintings attempt to exaggerate them. However, I believe both of these statements could be true. By painting light this way, it kind of skews the laws of physics, both in the image and the physicality of the painting itself. All of reality is made up of relationships, and it is the interactions between everything that creates energy.