Let the storks fly! – Interview with an Artist, part 2

I’m often asked to personally deliver a sculpture to its new home to help with placement and installation.  For me, it’s always a special experience to be involved in the process.  I can’t say it’s close to bringing one of my daughters home from the hospital, but it has its similarities.

It’s a quiet ride. High alert. Straps are tight.  Roads seem bumpier, traffic faster and driving is very defensive.  A block feels like a mile and 35 mph feels like 65.  The arrival is met with smiles, a bunch of ooooohs and fondling.  Unloading is sacred.  Then the parade.  The band soon fades and the crowd thins.  It’s quiet again and the world spins just a bit differently.

Here are three more deliveries.  So, let the storks fly…

Jana Ireijo, Solvang, CA

When did you first discover your creative talents? I always knew I had a gift for drawing and art, but for years it was a hobby, nothing more. It wasn’t until undergraduate school that an art class changed my life. It was Introduction to Oil Painting. I remember sitting at the easel, smelling the paint, and feeling the way it felt on the brush, under my fingers. It was instantaneous – that knowledge that I had found my calling. I knew that I could make that paint do anything I wanted. Years later, time has humbled that ego, but the paint itself never fails. I start mixing it on the palette, and once again time stands still.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. I often think of the first painting I sold. I wish I had the name of the guy who bought it, so I could check up on it! It was at an art fair in Chicago. He came back twice to see it, before he finally purchased it. I remember being so flattered, because had a small house which he took great pride in. Every piece of art and furniture had a specific memory or meaning to him. It was a painting of a bulldog I was really attached to, and had a difficult time letting it go. I imagine where it hangs on his living room wall. Does he still love it? Is my painting happy?

Who are your favorite artists? I remember being struck the first time I saw Andrew Wyeth‘s “Christina’s World.” I myself was a teenager, and the sense of isolation was just devastating. I am entranced by the symbolism of Northern Renaissance painters. The artist I most identify with (and wish I could paint like!) is Francis Bacon.

Artist: Jana Ireijo
Title: LOVE ME
Medium: Oil on canvas, 48×48 inches
Website: http://www.janaireijo.com

Anna Marie Francesco, Upland, CA
When did you first discover your creative talents? I was doing my undergraduate studies at Cal Poly Pomona & I could not decide what to declare my major in. I was discussing my major options with my father & he said, “Why don’t you major in art?…You have always been creative.” I decided to give it a try. I changed my major to Fine Art & never looked back.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. One sale I will never forget was to the President of Claremont Graduate University, Dr. Robert Klitgaard. He selected me to be the recipient of the President’s Art Purchase Award & my piece currently hangs in the President’s Mansion.  I was very honored.

Who are your favorite artists? Lee Bontecou, Mark Rothko, Mark Ryden, Barbara Kruger, Joshua Okon, David Amico, Chris Burton, Chuck Close, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Jay Defeo, Lynda Benglis, Jimmy Gleason, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Anish Kapoor, BanksyJohn Baldessari & many many more…..

Artist: Anna Marie Francesco
Title: Untitled
Medium: Joint compound & spray paint on canvas.
Website: http://amfineartsite.com

Sherrie Parenteau, Plainfield, CT

When did you first discover your creative talents? I first discovered that I was an artist when I was about 6 years old my father told my sisters and I to all draw a picture of his truck, he was a cross country truck driver, we did as asked and to his  surprise (and mine) my drawing was quite accurate and highly realistic. I knew then that I was given a gift.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. My most memorable sale was  August 2009.  I  had won a one women show in a regional competition  in Mystic CT. and had invited my collectors. One of the collectors that came brought her family with her. As I was talking with her daughter about a painting that her mother had lent me for the show she mentioned that she thought it was odd that I didn’t mention on the painting label that  the painting was in the collection of Sally Jessy Raphael (the former talk show host) I was astonished that the collector I had meet with may times before was in infamous talk show host. Since then Sally and her husband Karl have been collecting my work and currentlly have 8 of my pieces in their collection.

Who are your favorite artists? My favorite artists include but are not limited to… Manet, Vermeer, Velazquez, Alyssa Monks, Alex KanevskyPaul Fenniak, and Winslow Homer.

Artist: Sherrie Parenteau
Title: The Secret
Medium: Oil on panel, 48×60 inches
Website: http://www.sherrieparenteau.com

Interview with an Artist…part 1

Over the next few weeks, you’ll find internationally diverse artist interviews revealing thoughts on their personal creative discoveries, their intimate and memorable “red dot” stories and their exclusive artist guest list.

Sign up today to get future interviews delivered to your Inbox.  Also, feel free to recommend your favorite artist for a featured interview.

Enjoy ~ Paul

Katrin Jurati, Los Angeles, CA
When did you first discover your creative talents? I remember very distinctly, in first grade, the teacher speaking to someone else about me, as I had the revelation, drawing my bird Hansi in his cage (that the rungs of the cage had to be drawn first, with the bird behind so he appeared within it) while hearing “she’s the best artist in the class.”  I was shocked.  That was the first moment I identified myself as artist.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. I hate to say I forgot which piece I sold first.  In Buffalo, I sold out 3 years worth of work, so it’s a bit of a blur.  The connection to each collector, of seeing their collection in their home, was amazing.  Unfortunately, out of that work, I remember the piece that I didn’t sell most, a heavy metal sculpture.  Instead of excepting $3000 I wanted $4000 and ended up putting it in storage and then lugging it to California to collect dust downstairs in the garage.  Probably my favorite sale was at the Anderson Gallery.  The collectors wanted it delivered to South Carolina, and invited me down for a week at the beach.  Precious memory.

Who are your favorite artists? My parents had a Picasso drawing book of nudes you can be sure I studied for years.  He’s still my favorite, loved the museum in Paris.  As a child Vasarely made a great impact on my first Museum visit, later punk, with all it’s emotive expression.  Cave Painting, Indian painting on buckskin, El Greco, Gericault, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Kahlo, Ana Mendieta, Baldessari, Godard, Agnes Varde, Louise Bourgeois, Rothko, Sautin, Goya, William Blake, Henry Darger, Raymond Pettibon, Monet, Eva Hess, Paul Klee, Philip Guston, and Lily Van Der Stokker easily begin the list.  Lately, I’ve been into Vera, the designer.

Artist: Katrin Jurati
Title: Grit in the girl/Puts punk in the pearl
Medium: Ink on silk – each piece (4 total) is 56″ x 6″ inches
Website: http://katrinjurati.com

Kristine Harper,  Copenhagen, Denmark
When did you first discover your creative talents?
It is hard to say exactly when I first discovered my creative talents – but I seriously started experimenting with and investigating my creativity when I was studying art. I have always been fascinated by color; I love how one, with color, can capture emotions and shape mental or physical landscapes.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. Selling art is kind of strange – my paintings are reflections of my thoughts, and thereby very personal. There are always paintings I am more attached to than others, and they are the hardest ones to let go.

Who are your favorite artists? I am very fond of legends in abstract expressionism like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, but also Gerhard Richter and Danish artist Per Kirkeby inspire me.

Artist: Kristine Harper
Title: New beginnings
Medium: Acrylic paint on canvas, 100 x 100 cm/ 39.4 x 39.4 inches
Website: http://kristineharper.sat0ri.com/

Kara Joslyn, Oakland, CA

When did you first discover your creative talents? I think it was before I can remember. My mom tells me that I was drawing and arranging trinkets/objects ever since she can remember. I think I realized I was an artist in second grade, though. The class drew portraits of a different student every week and then the student acting as muse would pick her or his favorite drawing to put up in class until the next round. One week we drew our teacher, Ms. Nielsen. My drawing wasn’t picked, and I couldn’t fathom why – it was my masterpiece – so I asked her why I hadn’t been selected. She told me it was because the drawing was inappropriate. I was confused. I pressed her – why did she think so? She pointed to the bust area of my rendered portrait – then I realized… I was the only student who had given her breasts (denoted by one W-shaped line). I felt it was completely unfair since I was just being accurate, and tried not to cry – until I got home.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. I was most excited when I sold a piece to my favorite professor, Linda, and when I sold a dyptich to a Rock Star, Tina from The Bobby Teens.

Who are your favorite artists? David Bowie, Nick Blinko, De Chirico, Kay Sage, Judy Chicago, Vija Celmins, Matisse, klee, Justin Olerud, Travis Wyche, Fritz Lang, Johannes Itten, NagelHunx and his PunxPeter Seville, Ertè, Nellè, Leslie Shows, Laura Owenskandinsky, arthur dove, the ancient greeks, the makers of the venus(es) of villandorf…the list could just continue on.

Artist: Kara Joslyn
Title: Vista Equinox Sunset
Medium: Graphite and acrylic on paper,  22 x 20 inches
Website: http://karajoslyn.com

Sara Joseph, Bangalore, India

When did you first discover your creative talents? When I was 10, my best friend used to sit in class and draw cartoons from newspapers during free hours and I used to see that and wait for her to finish drawing as I wanted to color it. One day she said, “Look , why don’t  you try drawing ?”  I said, “No I can’t draw, I can only color “. But finally, through persistent encouragement I drew Winnie the Pooh from the newspaper. The drawing turned out to be really good, which marked the beginning of art in my life.

For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. I had sold my first work to a friend of mine.  But the most memorable experience was when I sold a work  during a fair called ‘Chitra Santhe‘ where thousands of artists come together to sell their works here in Bangalore, India every year. It was in 2009 when this man came to my stall and checked a work of mine when I wasn’t there. He came back the 2nd time and asked my friend if the artist was back and I weren’t. Then he came back the third time looking for me to buy my work from me, but again I wasn’t there and he bought the painting when I wasn’t there. I was feeling really bad that this was the first time someone eagerly wanted to meet me and I wasn’t there all the three times he had come. Then finally in the evening while we had to pack up he came with his family to tell me he loved my work and wanted to meet in person to tell me how much he loved it.  I was overwhelmed by his gesture.

Who are your favorite artists? My works are a combination of abstraction and realism. I use an abstract background and I keep the portraits as real as possible. This is to show that it’s not the society that am interested in but the people and what the common man in India is like. I love to do portraits, as faces carry the emotions, of a person.  And in abstraction I use squares in the background which represent society which I used as I was inspired by Piet Mondrian and his representation of colors and geometric forms. My favorite artist in realism or I would say photorealism is Chuck Close. I love the way he uses faces of people or his self portraits in different styles to portray a skill beyond photorealism. The expressions are very neutral but the massive sizes he works on and his technique is amazing. Others, to name a few, that have inspired me are Salvador Dali, Michelangelo, Monet, Jeff Koons, David Kassan, Amrita Shergill and TV Santosh.

Artist: Sara Joseph
Title: Bounded
Medium: Oil and acrylic on canvas
Website: http://paintedpainter.blogspot.com/

Stopping time…

Scientists, land developers, farmers and I battle with Mother Nature.  We all do on some level.

Early on when creating metal sculpture, I attempted to preserve the scrolling texture and the organic feel metal has after forging and forming.  I wanted to protect the clean deep hammer marks, the wrinkle in the bend and the abstract patterns from my 25 pound metal grinder.  It’s a challenge.

Finished steel is the end result of a process.  Even raw off the shelf, it’s still a manufactured product. Rust, once my nemesis, now my friend, is the action of steel regressing to its original natural state.   I don’t think the process can fully be inhibited…especially if you desire a natural “metal” look.  The same really applies to wood as well.  It’s like trying to stop time.

I find great satisfaction in combining stone and metal with my work.  As a result, I’m a rock junkie.  I’m constantly eyeballing stone on country roads, highways, weddings, funerals and backyard barbeques.   On a recent stone hunt, I found a magnificent collection of rock unlike anything I’ve discovered before.  After trekking 10x times my weight in stone, exhausted and trying to put my arms back in their sockets, I found the most beautiful specimen of Mother Earth.  It’s so outrageously breathtaking that it caused me to reflect on an ugly but real phrase….something like “ambition exceeding talent”   No artist’s talent  can compete with Mother Nature.

So, alone this rock stands…for me.  Not to be incorporated in a sculpture or altered in any way.  When my forearms ache from drilling, my back from lifting or when my brain feels bankrupt, it’s my God I talk to, confide in and yes, for a moment, it stops time.

Is it boredom? Do I have ADHD…or something else?

Fire pit...with a twist...

Often when I perform a task, I find myself adding a twist. Even with the ridged parameters of an excel spreadsheet, I’ve found art in numbers with cost analysis and business plans. As a bored teenager, I would create abstract-impressionistic patterns when mowing the lawn, and it doesn’t and won’t stop there. In search of answers, I turn to my genetic line.

My Father was a very creative and innovative engineer who designed intricate conveyor systems that robotically handled the most delicate items to large bulky raw materials that required micro-modifications and delivered from point A to Z with precision and efficiency. My open-minded, care-free, adventurous Mother brings just that to her paintings. She’s a great experimental watercolorist that tests tradition and strives to learn and develop her own voice. Her drive to learn and evolve comes from her Father , a beautiful and simple, but extraordinary complex man with a great soul. In retrospect, I believe he never found his true calling, but he lead a very happy and satisfied life.

I fall squarely in the middle with a slight slant on my Father’s side. I view business challenges with a different perspective and hopefully bring that same innovative and fresh ideology to my sculpture. My career choices have been diverse and I’ve lead a very adventurous life. I think I’ve passed those heritable traits, along with a few others to my daughters.

So, for now, let’s go with what I’ve heard before….”you’re something else.”

My current studio...

As I prepare for my upcoming show, I’m getting away from metal for awhile, but sticking close to nature. As nature struggles to repair itself from our invasive actions, I’ve discovered gravity again as I wrangle an invasive plant (wild grape vines) on the property here in Newtown, CT to construct a series of spheres representing…

Inspiration – Part 4

Image supplied by my daughter, Alexandra, age 8, NYC.

I have a habit of going to a dictionary to note how “they” classify or define everyday words. Words we use independently with our own self-defined thoughts surrounding that word. (By the way, I met “they” once…wasn’t very impressed). So, I recently looked up “artist.” This is what I came up with: 

~”A person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination”
~”A person skilled in some task or occupation”

Conclusion – We are all artists. Some of us just stop calling ourselves artists after the third grade.

I’ve received some very positive feedback regarding the “inspiration” question. Continuing on this theme, I’ve devised three questions below that I hope yield the same feedback.

  • When did you first discover your creative talents?
  • For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold.
  • Who are your favorite artists?
Similar to the last query, I’ll post answers with an image of the artist’s work. Below is the last round of “inspiration” essays…for now… 

 Kalliope Amorphous, New York City, NY

Kalliope Amorphous Swept Paul Shampine Art Artist Sculpture Sculptor “Much of my self-portrait work is driven by themes of isolation, alienation, death and the deconstruction of the personality. Because of this, it is first a sense of neccessity to externalize and visually represent these emotions that is the inspiration. There are certain archetypes that reflect these states, and I tend to gravitate toward them. For example, my Resurrecting Ophelia series was created because I wanted to visually explore ideas of isolation, grief and the symbology of water.”

There is a quote by my beloved Artaud which I often refer to when considering the idea of inspiration:
“No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.” –Antonin Artaud”

Artist: Kalliope Amorphous
Title: Swept, Self Portrait
Medium: C-Print, 16″x20″
Website: http://www.kalliopeamorphous.com/

Ron Laboray, St. Louis, IL

Ron Laboray Paul Shampine art artist sculpture sculptor“One of the best aspect about making art today is the loss of a master narrative. There is a freedom to create and sustain any discourse you wish, in any method or form you desire. I choose to make works that combine a certain level of conceptual rigor, a light hearted humor, andthe beauty of a well crafted object. Formally, I am interested in the
visual spacial dynamics of the two dimensional surface and the ability for more than one representational system to communally cohabit a picture plane. The paintings oscillate between concepts in abstract mapping, and photographic representation.  Abstraction or photographic representation are not placed in opposition to each other, but are a matter of distance, related through actual, perceptual, and procedural distances. The paintings, as historical document, attempt to archive common cultural effect. Popular culture disseminates information that leads us to believe places in our world like Metropolis and Gotham are the homes of super heroes. Many locations enjoy a simultaneous existence in both fiction and reality. Beliefs generated by invented identities influence our perception of the real. Imagined identity can also be imposed on place through reoccurring phenomena like the Super Bowl, World Fairs, or a papal visit. These events, though short lived and migrant, create an atmosphere of close connection and in this, the chosen locations will share in the legacy and identity that is lent through hosting these various spectacles. History is shaped through these matters of influence.

The location of history is another area of interest, since popular culture has always distilled beliefs, desires, and life lessons. For example, we know history is told through images and objects a civilization produces. My objects reflect the time they were made by embracing both the synthetic materials and digital data banks that have had a recent emergence. These materials are then, from our time and metaphorical of our shared experience, embracing the validity of the art object as historical document or anthropological artifact.”

Artist: Ron Laboray
Title: South Park
Medium: Auto enamels and surfboard resin on aluminum, 4’x5′
Website: http://ronlaboray.com

Nicole Wilson, New York City, NY

Nicole Wilson I have always been very visually oriented in the world. I remember as a small child my teacher informed my parents that I was spending “too much time staring out the classroom windows and too little time focusing on the lesson plan”.  Who knew it would later dictate one of the chief passions of my life and would ultimately be a career choice.  For me everything from other artists work, watching a terrific play, hearing a moving piece of music,  reading an arresting article,  or anything I find arousing can serve as inspiration for a piece. I often translate an idea through my own life experiences growing up.

 As you can see in many of my paintings, I draw a lot of inspiration from children and childhood. I have to thank my parents for giving me such a wonderful life as a young person, and so it is often when I am deciding what to paint next that I will reflect on a happy moment from this time.  To me, childhood means a time of freedom, truth, and being directly in touch with the immediacy of life and the moment.  But most of the time I harness the flakes of the world I am surrounded by or even some occasions paint the serene place I wish I could be and pass it through my unique lens.”

Artist: Nicole Wilson
Title:  Lost No. 2
Medium: Oil on canvas, 30″x30″
Website: http://www.nicole-wilson.com

Sabin Aell, Denver, CO 

Sabin AellWhat inspires me and my work is life and the daily mesmerizing beauty which is revealed in front of my very eyes, often through apparently insignificant details.  I find inspiration in feelings caused by circumstances I have never been. I feel inspired by emotions, imperfection, smells, colors, material, texture of aged surfaces and the talents of other people. The moment something is created is a thrill and I think the motivation behind everything I do.”

Artist: Sabin Aell
Title: Departure to Wonderland
Medium: Installation-Acrylic on discarded billboard, 50 year old telephone wire, black tape hanging rail system.
Website: http://www.sabinaell.com

Mark Acetelli, Pasadena, CA

Mark Acitelli“Trying to create a painting that is better than the last one. Constant refinement  of an idea or feeling, untill I’m somewhat satisfied. And the act of pure expressionism from an emotion that must come out and see the light of day.”

Artist: Mark Acetelli
Title: Ascend
Medium: Oil, wax on canvas, 54” x 54”
Website: http://www.acetellifineart.com/

Meg Madison, Los Angeles, CA

“Rightsizing Narrative is a project that grew out of my investigation of memory, and the amazement of discovering what was an actual memory, and what was a memory of viewing snapshots or home movies of an earlier time. I began this project by returning to childhood places to take photographs utilizing the methodology of seventies black and white street photography to create a sense of the veracity of the real moment. Always the intent is on posing the question of what is authentic, pointing out the confusion between this “real moment” and real life.”

Artist: Meg Madison
Title: Sister Imelda (named for story by Edna Obrien) 
Medium: Silver Gelatin Lightjet, 20″ x 45″
Website: http://www.megmadison.com/

Charlotte Padgham, London

Charlotte Padgham Paul Shampine sculptor“My interest in found and organic materials and the concept of creating work that changes naturally or through intervention presents interesting questions regarding longevity and quality as well as the viewer’s response. Much of my work investigates the concept of The Uncanny, in the paradoxical ‘push and pull’ reaction, what it is in human nature that draws us in but at the same time repels us and how this response can be manipulated through re-contextualisation.

My inspiration is primarily drawn from my environment, in the textures, surfaces and structures of organic forms, architecture, science and technology. Experimentation with objects and materials, the juxtaposition and interplay of technological, architectural and organic forms, materials and contexts is at the heart of my practice.

The coalescence of art and science through materials and processes as well as thematically connects all of my work. Themes of transition, manipulation and ‘imperfection’ are explored through the analysis and re-appropriation of found objects and matter with a view to creating work that harnesses both control and spontaneity and that have the potential to or the feeling of being able to transform and evolve over time.

Artist: Charlotte Padgham
Title: Untitled
Medium: Lamda print, 30×40 cm
Website: http://www.9-lives.org.uk/

 Lucie Wicker, Boston, MA

Lucie Wicker Paul Shampine Sculpture“What inspires my work most? Other artists. I never feel more inspired than when I just get home from hearing an artist lecture, visiting an exhibit, seeing a documentary on the arts, etc. I am a member of several creative meet-up groups, including Boston Handmade, and the energy and enthusiasm I feel after meeting with these people, bouncing ideas off each other and exchanging information, is always rejuvenating. I don’t think I have ever walked away without a slew of new concepts and ideas to try. I am not sure where I would be as an artist without the support of my artistic peers and the inspiration from artists I admire.”

: Lucie Wicker
Title: White Tree
Medium: Digital Photograph, 11×14″
Website: http://www.luciewickerphotography.com

Jenny Hager, Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Hager“My work is inspired by the complexity of the human experience and my life experiences; the juxtapositions of beauty and the abject, the despair of loss and the hope of other, the inexplicability of why.  My location within these questions are inspired by landscape, sense of place, and mythology.”

Artist: Jenny Hager
Title: Hither
Medium: Acrylic, spray paint, marker on canvas, 80″x60″
Website: http://jennyhager.com/

Contemporary Abstract Artist