Zachari Logan, The Waiting, blue pencil on mylar
While visiting your website, I saw that you’ve been involved in an astounding number of projects per year. What helps you stay so focused and productive?
I’m principally motivated by the act of drawing itself, as well, increasingly with ceramics. I finish one project or grouping of related works, and it has a propelling effect- I feel the desire to continue an evolution of thought linked to the work previously completed. So just the reality of having concerted time in my studio working, as a full-time studio artist. Time and space are both the goldmine of the artist. This is one of the reasons I work in series the way I do. I have been fortunate to have the added stimulation of attending artist residencies across North America and Europe for research purposes, looking at both historical collections of art and artifacts as well as empirical explorations of landscape.
How did earning your Masters change your career?
My masters was very formative, it was the first time in my education where the focus on my studio research was paramount, and I learned quite a lot about how it is to be a full-time artist.
How did you and your husband find each other?
We met in university, and at the one gay bar that was in Saskatoon at the time… its a rather small city so, there were limited spaces to meet people. This was also just prior to online supremacy (2001), so we met old school, ha!
Zachari Logan, Fire Flower, red and blue pencil on mylar
What are some unique things about living in Canada?
Canada is a vast country, second in size to Russia, with a tiny population of 36 million. We are often discussing regional differences that can seem strikingly foreign- this is a product of time and space… I like this aspect of Canada. I also like how fortunate Canadian artists are in terms of funding- Our current government understands the power of art and the need for cultural legacies!
When and how did you discover that your sense of peace – your flow state - came from making art?
It’s not always peaceful in my studio, sometimes it’s frantic if I’m working against a deadline… but I would say since childhood, drawing has always been an act that either calmed me down or gave me centre to focus. Drawing for me is thinking and philosophizing. I am severely dyslexic, and when I was frustrated by my lack of ability to read well or focus, drawing helped me to see that intellect and concrete thinking could be honed in many different ways.
By photographing the natural environment in areas that you visit, you’re able to coalesce those ecosystems into one hyper realistic world through your drawings. Do you have any tips for matching skill to imagination?
I think a helpful thing to remember is that a reference or source image is just that, so relying on the photo alone gives one a drawing that is just a copy of a photographic image. In other words, the photo exists so it doesn’t need to reappear replicated in my drawings. It simply is a reminder of the form, so I utilize my skill as a drawer to take over and lift the image from source, then it enters the realm of inspiration, a.k.a. imagination or memory; that is, the memory of being in front of the flower. In the eunuch tapestries for example, the whole compositions become gardens of blooming or creeping memories, images of flora and fauna I have encountered wherever I’ve travelled… a mindscape if you will.
Zachari Logan, Esta Selva Selvaggia No. 3, Pastel on black paper
Who is someone who has made a lasting impact on you?
I have been fortunate to become good friends with NY-based painter Ross Bleckner. I spent a week in the summer of 2018 at his studio in the Hamptons making collaborative works for a 2- person exhibition, The Shadow Of The Sun, opening a second date in June 2020 at Wave Hill galleries in the Bronx. Working with him in the studio gave me profound insight into the practices of an extraordinary artist, one of the best living painters (if you ask me). Ross is remarkably prolific and hard-working. He is also an exceedingly generous person all around.
Have you ever had to redo a piece because of an accident?
Yes, well- never redo, but fix or touch-up, yes.
What would your career be if you weren’t an artist?
Boring… no seriously I don’t know, don’t have an answer really, because I can’t imagine my life in another way.
Artist Zachari Logan