Residency Artists 2018-19 | The Arts Center

Residency Artists 2018-19 | The Arts Center


Well you from early on, I kind of committed to creating a new a new body of work. Which the downside of that, was I didn’t want to bring my old work in. Which means I had to create everything, everything that I wanted to show… was I had to create it in the last, you know two months, so Yeah, there’s a discipline is something that you know… And just just trying to work as quickly as I can and trying to make as much as possible and hoping that it, you know, works out, and that it all looks okay in the end. You know, like I said since it was it was kind of developing as I did it, just having some… You know I did kind of come up with a process and so it’s just kind of having some faith in the process that it’s… you know, I’m gonna produce something that’s presentable. Justin, You talked about your previous types–and they were types–I ones that I’ve seen—beautiful… To this much more loose composition. What were your challenges there? And how do you deal with the negative–you mentioned negative space? And how are you liking it? I think the first part first. I really like, again, the forms that I’ve kind of come up with. And partly because, like I said before, its kind of freed up.. my ability to draw again. The thing that’s… I’m struggling with is color right now. You know, if you look at all this stuff over there, all the paintings they’re it’s like a Technicolor something you know. It’s there’s so much going on and so… After a few where they like this one looked kind of thoroughly psychedelic. I wanted to kind of tone it down a little bit. Or maybe put some more thought into the entirety of the the color composition. As opposed to the sky is this color and the sky is this color, you know. That’s that was your first question. How are you liking it? And it’s funny that you bring up color because my next question was “Tell us a little bit about your pallet.” And then I realized he have an entirely different interpretation. Because you say “Technicolor” and “all over the place” and I think they’re very balanced and muted and soft in color. Great. There we go. (Laughter) The colors…the palette that you’ve chosen–I can see are connected with sunsets. Is…? So how are you liking it? How are you liking this new direction? And how do you see yourself progressing? Or going on? I like it. I do like it and I think it’s more into… the process is more enjoyable than my previous process And I think there are a lot more challenges with it because it’s it’s I don’t have a sort of a compositional… Sort of a single composition. It’s already figured out that I keep repeating over and over again. I see it as a beginning Beginning of an idea and Like I said before it’s only really about two months old: the idea. So I’m not really sure where I’m going to take it next where it’s gonna if it’s going to calm down a little bit or or What? The the oil painting in there was a challenge because I— Actually something I really like about these is the is the negative space of the paper Where the paint is is sort of one… It’s it’s one surface. It’s one texture. Sort of one world and … the paper is something completely different. A different texture. It’s flat. It’s not…it’s not… there’s no sense of depth to it. And so conceptually that works for me what I was going to do. When I got to the oil painting It didn’t make sense to me to leave it white. And so I included color in there and then it was more about matching colors. Like well, this looks good. And this kind of makes this stuff pop out and… So that’s an open question that I’m not really sure about yet. So Kim, your subject matter is really specific. Tell us a little bit about it. I call them nooks and they are spaces for whimsical wonders–usually tiny. They were always the whimsical wonders of a fantasy realm or a fairy realm But through this ceramics process I was actually able to make some far more visible wonders like mice and toads. And they’re just houses or doors to help kind of draw attention to the smaller details of a forest, which can lead itself to looking at more to the ground area views, but there are a lot of details within those views that are beautiful and inspiring. So the little…eggplant? That you have in front of you is not really representative or what you make. A lot of your work has natural elements in it, so why did you pick clay and then added the natural elements? Why didn’t you work in wood or whatever? I like being able to take the clay and mold it to what I see. Wood— I have to work a little bit more with what it gives me. And clay, even though there are times when it’s pretty sure certain that the clay wants to be a certain form or a certain way. I can play with a little bit more. I like the challenge of being able to make the wood grain. I love making the wood grain in the clay. And trying to copy the grains, knots and hide little details within. As if there was a gnome or fairy or pixie that took it and kind of shaped it with magic, rather than leaving it as nature left it. I wanted to go to Tara. Can you tell us a little bit about your subject matter. We can see birds… in combination with flowers, somehow… How did that come about and would we see these birds within the flowers that you’re showing them. So this painting, the pygmy owl, here was the first of the series actually and it was it was a breakthrough work for me. Part of becoming a professional artist is that process of finding your voice. It’s but that unique expression of oneself. And I had been struggling with—voice. I had been struggling with how do I express myself artistically that doesn’t look like mentors or teachers or other artists that I admire. And I had done a painting of a barn owl prior to this one and while I was painting that piece the idea for this piece came to me. So…pygmy owls do sit on branches during the daytime. I’ve never seen one on a rhododendron. But I really liked the lush florals and the color. And that was part of what I felt like I was developing toward was a juxtaposition between the natural and the more lush and even somewhat surrealistic edition of how the flowers surround the birds. So in the larger painting that’s in the gallery it’s a burrowing owl that’s surrounded by these huge lush poppies. And I really chose those poppies in part because I had really good photo reference. And in part because I love poppies. And in part because it just felt like it was this lush colorful very rich expression that surrounded a bird and set this animal off in a way that made him even more sassy and noticeable and realistic, then he perhaps already was. Sure. So when I decide what species that I’m going to paint, I seek out photography that shows the animal in the position that I would like to have it in. Or at least partly the position that I would like to have it in. I work with a lot of photography that’s available online, so I have to search out photographs that either are licensed in such a way or in the public domain in such a way that that I can use those as photo reference. Although my husband is a bird guy and he photographs a lot of birds. And so I’m lucky that I also get photo reference from him bird guy. He’s an ornithologist. He studies birds for a living and so he also like it’s a bird watcher. Like he’s obsessed with birds. So it kind of made sense that I would paint birds because birds are us. And I also have this this built-in bird expert to take a piece to and say I don’t think this is quite right what’s wrong with this? And he can look immediately and tell me, you need to change the length of the bill or this is too round or that is too flat or you know. And so he’s he’s my he’s my in-house ornithologist. Yeah so I usually go through a process of sketching out some thumbnails to work out the composition to decide, you know, how I want the florals arranged, how I want the bird arranged with the florals. I usually then do a large cartoon sketch that’s to scale. That is the base drawing for the painting and then I transfer the drawing onto the panel. Mostly I’m working with these wood panels. So I transfer that drawing over and then I paint in acrylics. Actually this piece here is mixed-media. So the bird was painted in watercolor with colored pencil overlay and the flowers were done in acrylics. But I’ve since switched over to all acrylics and I am kind of unorthodox– I use liquid acrylic craft paint. Which kind of has the feeling and look of gouache. More accessible, I don’t have to drive to Portland to buy it. And it was inexpensive, so I didn’t feel like I was wasting paint or worrying about like experimenting in something that cost a lot of money. And so it allowed me to develop a technique and then I started trying grownup paints and And realized that I really liked my craft paint better than the more expensive paints and went back to craft paint. Claire, your clay has a human body as its subject matter. Although not all of it is immediately visible. Tell us a little bit about that and how you decide on these individual pieces. And what do they have to do with the human body? Where to begin? (laughter) So a lot of my work does have to do with the human body. It also has to do with our relationships to nature and memory. So a lot of times I’ll start, kind of like Justin, thinking about a memory or a feeling that I’ve experienced or somebody I know has experienced. This piece in particular is kind of about… Can you hold it up, because you held it up in such a way that nobody saw it. Everybody can see now. They’re realistic hearts. Yeah, I guess I can speak to this piece in particular. That comes from the kind of the memory of first love,. teenage angst, and kind of “Wait, what are those feelings and and how do you deal with them?” And how do you make that into like a physical concrete object? And so on the inside they all have quotes that either I’ve come up with or changed a little bit. Mostly… mostly what I’ve come up with. My other pieces also come from a lot of of memory, relationship to the ocean in particular with this series. (laughter) Thud. So that’s kind of, that’s kind of where they start and then I usually have an idea for a shape or a style of object. So this one was kind of like a large casserole dish is where I started with. A lot of my pieces are vases as well So I start with that general idea and then kind of abstracted out from a body this one having to do with kind of hips and butts and things like that. And fat rolls over here and I abstract it into kind of this one is more of like ocean waves and Crashing and flowing through that. And then how does that reflect the body and how does the body reflect the ocean? My other pieces also have to do with that as well.

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