I grew up in a military family, and moved frequently. When I was 7 we moved to Panama and my 4 years there were crucial in contributing to my desire to be outdoors and walking. Hot summers in Texas were spent outside. I moved to Manhattan 28 years ago but within 4 years I was in Brooklyn and 4 years later I ended up in Breezy Point, a coastal neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, living on a beach…finally…
In what ways does your environment influence your work ? I live very close to the ocean and I’m influenced almost every day. The light, the water, the dunes are integral to the way I schedule my day and are a part of what I think about.
During my 19 years living on a beach – Breezy Point, a coastal New York City neighborhood recently devastated by Hurricane Sandy – I am continually amazed at what I see on the shore after a high tide recedes.
What is the best part about being an artist? The best part about being an artist is it never stops. It took me many, many years to consider myself an artist, but once I started I find it has allowed me to have a better understanding of the many ways I express myself visually. I also like living with the work I’ve created. What is the worst ? When the enjoyment gets sidetracked by less satisfying endeavors.
How closely do you follow your original idea in the process of making a piece? Very closely, but I am open to a change in direction, but that often results in a separate project.
Can you talk a bit about balancing being an artist with romantic relationships/family? Of course life gets in the way but I try to do something creative all the time. Andy Goldsworthy said he tries to make a work everyday. I’m influenced by that possibility, but I wouldn’t consider everything I do “a work”. However, I think there is a freedom in not labeling the act but recognizing it for the lineage it may represent. I think Andy even said the same thing but I sense it as well.
How do you get through artists’ blocks? No plan. It just happens. I went through a period when I focused on realistic painting and the thought of anything abstract vanished from my creative lexicon. Nothing, period. Except for some photographs, but that is more playful…but come to think of it abstract work is just play…in the good sense of the word. I stopped realistic painting due to the circumstances of Hurricane Sandy, and the abstract impulse is in abundance again. I wonder if I’ll be able to maintain a balance if I return to realistic work, which I would like to do again.
What are your vices? Doing too many other things at once.
What kind of pets do you have? Right now, a dog and some birds.
What is the last wild animal you saw? A squirrel this morning. Manta rays last month. Moose in August.
Larry’s books can be found here http://www.blurb.com/b/3134862-what-the-ocean-leaves
SENDING LARRY, LOU & THE BREEZY POINT COMMUNITY LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE SANDY AND THE FIRE. (AP photos)