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» Interview on the Savvy Painter: Artistic Motivation, with Scott Conary


I'm a painter living and working in Portland, Oregon.

As a child, in my mind if not in reality, we always lived closer to the cows than the suburbs. Never straying too far from the woods and open fields, endlessly I would draw what creatures I could catch and keep for the day or the season. Sketchbooks were filled with bugs, snakes, toads, and animals that proved harder to catch - the dragon, the dinosaur, the imp. This was the east coast where the trees were as individual as people and the farms were as old as anything could possibly be.

After art school (Rhode Island School of Design, BFA '93), I started a somewhat unintentional journey to find a home and to see the country. Nearly fiftenn years ago, my wife, a violinist and teacher, and I settled in Portland, Oregon. Along the way, we lived in the south, the mountain west, and probably some places in between. To fill in the blanks and empty my head, the motorcycle became my tool to explore the landscape and I put many a mile on one motorcycle or another.

Today's story that will shape our lives for years to come is that of our young daughter, Jane. A beautiful bundle of laughter, Jane was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare and dangerous heart defect that has required multiple life-saving surgeries and will require more in the future. It has been difficult and consuming. She has a long and uncertain road ahead but today she is thriving and adorable.

Throughout all of this, the urge has been to paint. It is what I do and what I am. That I'm painting better than ever is no small thing.