A resident of Laguna Beach, California, Bloch is proof that with hard work and the ability to share what lies within the heart — possible is anything:
Tell us about your childhood. What things did you enjoy taking part in? Did you have any idea that you would one day become an artist?
To me it was a pretty normal upbringing; it was all I knew at the time. I was born and raised in Ecuador. My father was German and my mother from Chilean descent. We grew up in a small house in the suburbs of Guayaquil, speaking German and Spanish and intertwining both cultures.
My father didn’t believe in television, so I was forced to entertain myself. Fortunately we had a large yard and our house was surrounded by open space where I learned to appreciate nature.
Being the tropics there was so much life everywhere with lots of interesting creatures. Like most kids, I enjoyed art, specially drawing. I began collecting insects,and spent hours drawing them in great detail.
My father became my role model; I spent a lot of time with him, traveling by car throughout Ecuador on work related trips and on weekends playing tennis with him and his friends.
He always introduced me as the artist in the family, but I never imagined it as a career.
When did you decide to become an artist? Did anyone guide you in the direction of becoming one? Did you have any resistance to the idea?
I left Ecuador and moved to Florida after graduating from high school, in hopes to become a marine biologist.
I did OK with my science courses, but struggled with math for a year. I took a drawing class to fulfill my electives credits and found out that I was actually good at it.
I took more art classes and with the help of my professors, I decided to change my major into art.
Fortunately my parents were always supportive with my decision.
My father told that no matter what I decided to become, I should always love it.
What did you learn from your days in art school? Do you feel that it is essential for artists to have formal training?
I’m a big believer in college education; I feel schooling helps enlighten and expose us to the world.
I think it makes you well rounded, which gives you a broader base and deeper understanding. You can then use that information and make it your own.
I see that you have a love for the ocean. What does the ocean mean to you? What do you love most about it?
The ocean is the inspiration and essence to my work. Its size, its constant physical and visual movement, fascinates me.
It’s beautiful, powerful, quiet, mesmerizing and grand. Rather than recreating something I’ve witnessed, in my paintings emotion dictates the pace.
Explain your use of wood within your works of art. Where do you search for it? How does it affect your paintings?
I love wood, it’s a material I’ve always been familiar with. It provides great texture an color.
Since I use reclaimed wood, each piece has a story to tell; it was once a tree and then perhaps part of a fence, a cabinet or a house.
It’s imperfect, organic and interesting. I always leave a section of the wood as I found it, to show it’s original condition.
I think all of this adds interest and dimension to my work. I think it’s a way for me to reconnect with nature.
Project BE Bold is an attempt to dare men and women to take chances. What advice can you give readers in respects to going for it?
It’s a cliche, but I think we should always trust our own instinct. Deep inside we know what we want.
Life’s too short to waste it doing something that doesn’t matter to you.
In my mind artists are as bold as one can get because you have to share your inner world on a daily basis. Do you agree? Can you tell readers a bit about an artists inner world and how it feels to share it with the world?
At the beginning of my career it was very difficult to be as you call it “bold”; to share my work with people I didn’t know, or walk into a gallery looking for representation.
Now I know It was because of lack of self confidence. Once you understand and believe that this is what you are supposed to do; it’s what I studied to become, it’s what I know best, then you don’t see it as being bold.
I believe in my work and I understand that some people connect with it and others don’t, and that’s OK with me.
Any advice for artists trying to break into the art world?
My advice would be to always do it because you love it. Be original and stay true to what you are. If you’re lucky enough to make a living at it, that’s a bonus, but don’t go into it for any other reason.
Do you have any current or upcoming exhibits that you would like to share with our readers? Any books or Websites?
My studio in Laguna Beach is open to anyone interested in looking at my work.
I’m also having a solo show in December at SCAPE Gallery in Corona Del Mar, Calif.: http://www.scapesite.com/index.html
In 2008 Chronicle Books published a book about my story and work titled Wolfgang Bloch: The Colors of Coincidence. It was written by Mike Stice and designed by David Carson. The book is available throughout bookstores, or directly through Chronicle Books at http://www.chroniclebooks.com
Visit my website to see samples of my work, and hopefully you’ll connect with it: http://www.wolfgangbloch.com
What is your favorite quote of all time?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act. It’s a habit.” Aristotle