12 Questions with West Fraser

Helena Fox Fine Art is pleased to announce our May exhibition Artist’s Travels, featuring Charleston artist West Fraser. A true son of the Lowcountry, Mr. Fraser’s roots are deep in the coastal pluff mud, but that doesn’t stop from adventuring far from his beloved South Carolina coast in order to satisfy his thirst for knowledge of other cultures and to ‘keep him observant.’

In preparation for our show, we have been re-introducing you to our gallery artists. Re-aquaint yourself with West Fraser, and maybe find out something you didn’t already know.

West on location using smoke to keep the no see’ums at bay

12 Questions with West Fraser

  1. When did you begin painting?  I drew and painted some as an adolescent into my teens, but I started painting and making illustrations full time after college.
  2. What are the three most used pigments on your palette? White, blue and yellow
  3. What did you want to be when you were a child?  I wanted to travel to capture a world that at the time I believed would transition from what I knew into a crowded place. Part of that was because I was surrounded by rapid development. I tell people that I am living the life I envisioned when I was only 13 years old.
  4. Rockin’ Chair  2018

    What are you reading? The Lost City of the Monkey Gods, by Douglas Preston and On Trails: An Exploration, by Robert Moor

  5. What is your favorite style of music to paint to? 70’s rhythm and blues and Jazz
  6. What is a defining moment, or a couple moments, of your artistic career? First: a published article in Nautical Quarterly in 1984 and exhibition with representation at The Grand Central Art Galleries in New York on 57th St. The oldest representational Art Gallery in NY.  Second: a Museum exhibition tour and book titled Charleston In My Time in 2001.  Third: an exhibition at the Telfair Museum in Savannah, GA, my birth city, Titled A Native Son

    After the Storm   2017
  7. How do you describe your art to others? It’s like, you know, American Impressionism or Naturalistic Impressionism, the kind of art that you would enjoy looking at…
  8. Name the top five artist –living or dead- who have influenced you the most.  N C and Andrew Wyeth, F J Mulhaupt, J S Sargent, Winslow Homer, Joaquim Sorolla, Anders Zorn, and C C Cooper
  9. What do you look for when out scouting for places to paint? Composition and the play of light or atmosphere, that is what matters, subject is tertiary in importance.
  10. Since this is a travel painting show, if you could go anywhere to paint, where would you go? and why? Peru and Chile, because there are still wild places and indigenous culture, and Scotland because I have always
    Lido Maraone   2018

    wanted to see my ancestral roots. Anybody want to trade houses?

  11. Do you think traveling to paint different areas is important to your growth as an artist? It is paramount to staying fresh, because I don’t want to be a method painter. New places and shapes, atmosphere etc. keeps me observant and forces creative technique. 
  1. What is the best piece of advice you would to someone just staring out? Work hard and focus on your specialty. For me I made a decision in the beginning to concentrate on coastal regions to find subject matter and inspiration; it really did not limit my scope or travel.


Peregrine’s Perch      2018

Join us for a reception during the Charleston Gallery Association May art walk on Friday May 4, 2018 from 5-8pm. We will have several new paintings from West Fraser of his recent travels to Europe, Central and South America. We will, as well,  have new work from several of our other gallery artists of their travels, both intercontinental and domestic. Stop by and see what our talented artists have been up to.

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