The Temple News: What inspires your work as an artist?
Petros Pappalas: Well, basically, I have this intensity of feeling toward life and specifically my relationships with people, and I guess we can even call that a sensitivity. So basically, when I paint, it is a manifestation of those feelings, which are not only exciting but revealing to me when I create it. So I guess painting, in a sense, gives me answers and even gives me the opportunity to experience myself and what I feel in a very real, visual and physical way.
TTN: What do you want to communicate to the world through your art?
PP: I’m not really at that level yet. Right now, I’m not as concerned with how people see my art. I more so concerned with finding the answers that I am looking for, so that when I do get to that point, when I can be concerned with conveying a message, I will be able to convey that message as clearly as possible.
But right now, my mission statement, so to speak, is to just paint and … to paint as authentically as possible. And basically what I mean by that is I want the expressions in my paintings to be a very clear, almost mirror reflection of life … not the ideal version, not the degraded version but the very honest version of life.
TTN: What answers are you looking for?
PP: At the surface level, I am looking for the answers for how to create a good painting. It’s kind of like shooting an arrow. Right now I don’t really feel like I am hitting the bull’s-eye. I get close at times, but [I’ll] know when I hit the bull’s-eye because I’ll feel it. I feel it would be appropriate for me to kind of establish my voice, but right now, I guess you could say that I am just training myself.
TTN: How do you maintain balance in your own life?
PP: I try to start my day off with prayer and meditation every day. That is a very important part. I want to condition myself to have a mind of steel, so that I can deal when things are penetrating my heart. I realize now that I’ll never be able to stop that, and I don’t want to. I don’t want to become calloused so it’s important for me to maintain a strong mind in a disciplined manner so that when things are hurting inside, it doesn’t hurt my performance, so that I can turn it around and actually use it. It’s basically maintaining a faith.
Quentin Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.