Scott Rispin began his 30+ years of artistic pursuits developing logos, carving and hand painting signs in his hometown of South Lake Tahoe, California. After settling in Erie Pennsylvania in 1990, Scott has been a working professional in nearly every aspect of the commercial arts; from ad agencies to silk screening, custom graphics/signage to sought-after muralist. He received his BA in Art Education from Mercyhurst University in 2003, and his MFA in painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2008. Scott has received awards in sculpture, painting, and public art projects.
Scott spent 11 years at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College since 2008, where he taught painting, drawing, visual studies, and art appreciation, and served as the Technical Director for the collage’s Studio Theatre – building imaginative sets and creating unique environments. Scott has also taught beginning through advanced painting, drawing, airbrushing and printmaking classes at the Erie Art Museum and in his studio since 2009.
Referring back to his 3-Dimensional focus as an undergrad, texture and a palpable physical presence are identifiable characteristics of Scott’s images. Through juxtapositions of paper-thin application to thick, muscular textures, everything is open to potential abstraction; shape, form and color. Depth of field is often reversed, bringing forms that are easily overlooked in the outside world into areas of expressive dominance in the painting. Color is manipulated in order to challenge the viewer’s natural desire to see things a certain way. Color harmonies and movement/counter-movement are always at play in Rispin’s paintings.
Scott is thrilled to be back in the West since relocating to the Atizona area in 2020. He is currently teaching a variety of studio classes and art appreciation classes at Yavapai College and Embry-Riddle University, and is leading studio classes periodically. Scott operates out of his studio in Queen Creek AZ., and looks forward to making many paintings out in this incredible landscape.
“My work has always been about attitudes, choices and the act of “seeing” versus “experiencing”. It’s about the nature of reality and what we claim to know about it. Our brains package and edit visual information. It reveals neither a picture of absolute truth nor a perfect reflection of the world, but instead creates an inference based on our long history of experiences, beliefs, fears, desires and prejudices.
How do you know what things really look like, what’s really there and what isn’t? You don’t. Parallel universes? Quite possibly. Orange water and purple grass? You bet.
Since moving back to the west, I, like so many before me, have indulged in the magnitude of natural beauty that surrounds us. Some of my current painting reflect that awe and wonder. But many of my images are not born of exotic locations, experiences or narratives. Many come from parking lots, mud puddles and snowbanks, from weeds and sidewalks. They come from little scenes people pass by every day, with neither the time or interest for inquiry. My paintings neither supply nor require answers. They demand nothing, except that you pay attention. To everything.
We experience the world through our own well-constructed realities, our natural - and self-imposed - limitations. They become quite comfortable. But this is where attitude and choice come in. We can choose to take things at face value, as we always have or prefer to. Is this the most rich, interesting and rewarding way to experience the world? It’s an attitude of potentials and possibilities. We can choose to adopt and nurture that type of attitude, and apply it across all areas of life; socially, politically, spiritually and personally – and, of course, looking at art.”
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