Henry Schoebel, Anthony Pessler, and John Obuck Show New Work at Phoenix College's Eric Fischl Gallery

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See also: Aerial Photography Exhibitions in Metro Phoenix: The Good, The Bad, and the Must-See PHX Sky Train Public Art Project Is Ambitious but Underwhelming

We wanted to get the scoop on what the three artists are up to these days, so we asked them to answer some questions via e-mail. Their answers were submitted separately (but they might reveal why these guys are such good friends).

Where do you, personally, find inspiration?

Henry Schoebel: Inspiration is for amateurs.

Anthony Pessler: I will paraphrase Chuck Close here, who said, "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just get into the studio and get to work." Now that's a bit flippant, but it really does get at something. The work - that is subject and content, comes from all kinds of places - sources that are both internal and external. But the form - that is, what it ends up looking like (which is what matters, after all), comes from ongoing intimate contact with materials and processes - and paying attention.

John Obuck: I don't know. Sometimes it just strikes me like a baseball bat to the side of my head.

Does teaching influence your creative process at all?

Schoebel: Students sometimes do the darndest things, and keep you fully engaged in active problem-solving. They bring new insights to the classroom and by default to you. Above all, students remind me to be myself and see the world with a fresh perspective.

Pessler: Being a painter can be pretty isolating. Historically, it's been a pretty solitary activity. You spend a lot of time, alone in the studio, staring at your limitations. And, it can be difficult, especially in a city like Phoenix, to find a community of like-minded individuals. One of the greatest advantages of being an educator as well, is that you have regular contact with people who care (deeply) about a lot of the same things you do. They are enthusiastic and curious, and can be a great reminder of just how cool it is to be taking the road less traveled - for something you love.

Obuck: I believe that what I am thinking about in my own work probably gets filtered into some of the assignments for my classes. Teaching makes me verbalize about my work more than I am accustomed to because students want to ask questions.

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