Tag Archives: Gauguin

Spiritual Liberation – make Art, view Art, buy Art

Paul ShampineTop ten reasons why I shaved my head:

10.          Humility.
9.             Eliminates bed head.
8.             Vulnerability.
7.             Saves  $519.73 annually in haircuts and hair product.
6.             Empathy.
5.             Triathlon performance…saves  3.14 seconds off my run, 2.718 on my swim and  4.20 on my bike.
4.             Vanity.
3.             Fitting in with the other inmates.
2.             Cleansing.
1.             Spiritual Liberation.

If you’re less likely to shave your head to experience spiritual liberation, then make Art, view Art or buy Art.  Start now and view the Art of Mary Blum,  Sara Biersteker, Linda Bladen and Helena Hötzl.
Thank you.

Best, Paul
Paul Shampine

Mary Blum, NYC
Summer Mary Blum 2012When did you first discover your creative talents?

In Kindergarten, a loaded brush, a bib and smile ear to ear for the praise from my teacher and classmates. . . a beginning. At 10 years old standing two feet away from the big Larry Poons dot painting at MoMA, my mother quiet on one side of me and my father standing on the other, I heard his soft voice say, “I don’t really think this is art”. I felt a slow running wave of shock moving from my feet to my now bulging eyes. How could my hero of information, a man who traveled Europe just to see the art, say something so completely illogical. I was stunned. I felt so confused and finally so angry! We had a well controlled argument in the Cafe. As I experienced the rest of our visit, blue dots still swimming in front of me, I realized, I was sort of like Larry Poons. Art didn’t have to be a particular thing. It just was. That day I gave myself permission to be an artist in “the Larry Poons sort of way”!

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 my first piece, a glistening blue and gold leaf painting of a fish, was a thrill, not unlike the feeling that morning in Kindergarten. Selling pieces is a fascinating push pull. (I’ve signed my child up for sleep away camp, the morning comes—- his gleeful face and I think I might go a bit mad. Who’s idea was this? He’s going away). Am I taking too much money for the piece? Have I not set the price high enough? Should I have done the piece in the first place? Oh, my. Within the realm of good business sense, for me, the theme is letting go, and letting go some more. Letting go as I paint and as I offer to share a part of myself with the world.

Who are your favorite artists?  The William Bouguereau exhibition at the small museum where I worked was magic. Everyday I met his porcelain figures, his surfaces miraculous painting. Narratives that told infinite stories.
So very powerful. Then there’s Joseph Albers, formal and minimal, often repetitive. Assuring color and form. Robert Rauschenberg‘s Combines. A stuffed goat with a tire around it. I only wish I could have been the tourist who sat on it. Unfortunately it had to be repaired. An extreme sport for the tourist and the restoration team. Louise Bourgeois with her visceral eccentricities. I wonder what it would be like to be Jean Basquiat for a day.  His brief and brilliant gushing of life and paint. Or Yayoi Kusama. Dots!!! So many artists inspire me. . . so many! And I’d like to think, the best is yet to come.

Artist: Mary Blum
Title: Summer
Medium: Mixed media metallic on canvas.
Dimensions: 36 ”x 24”
Website: http://www.maryblumstudio.com

Sara Biersteker, Venice Beach, CA
When did you first discover your creative talents? When my mom wanted me to clean the cat box when I was young, I would sulk in my room and draw a picture. These pictures were always the same. I would draw my mom as a massive queen in renaissance attire, sitting on a wooden throne. I would then draw myself very small and wearing rags. I would be sitting at the base of the throne with large tears that resembled bullets jutting out of my face. Once I had finished my drawing I would give it to my mom and run back to my room. Sometimes it worked and I wouldn’t have to clean the cat box. Sometimes it didn’t. I believe this is when I learned that visual representation has a great power to manipulate and therefore evoke strong emotion. Emotional responses to artwork give us, as artists, opportunities to experience our unadulterated selves. I believe that this process is the core of creativity.

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. The first person to approach me about buying a painting was a tall woman from Topanga Canyon. She told me that the painting reminded her of her favorite book. The painting, a 36’’ x 36’’ acrylic on canvas, I had painted for my cousin’s graduation from Berkeley. The subject was our great grandfather as a youth atop a large horse. The photo I found had been taken in old Rancho Malibu somewhere in the 1880s. Though I needed the money badly, I wanted to give the painting to my cousin so that she would feel connected to her family. I declined the offer and proceeded to give my cousin the painting. I am glad it went to her because it was created for her. She recently sent me a picture of it hanging in her bedroom of her new apartment.

Who are your favorite artists?  The artists I love change with whatever mood I’m in. My mom used to say that when I would ask her what her favorite color was. It would make me so mad. But it’s true. One artist that will always be in the forefront of my mind, though, was my grandmother. She was an advertising artist for Bullock’s-Wilshire while it was still in business. While her body of work was marked by profound control of line, she was also talented with watercolor. There are a few California coast landscapes done on cold pressed paper that hang in my studio. My favorite piece, however, is a watercolor of an old Mexican scarecrow. For years I thought it was just a man with a cigar until I finally learned to actually look at what I was seeing.

Artist: Sara Biersteker
Title: Old Rancho Malibu
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 36 ”x 36”
Website: http://www.BierkstekerArt.com

Linda Bladen, Los Angeles, CA
Maria.Linda Bladen
When did you first discover your creative talents? My father was a professional artist in Chicago. Both my parents discovered that I could stay amused for hours with some paper and crayons. This began at a very early age – possibly around three years old. I was lucky to have my father around to validate me and encourage me. It shaped my identity as an artist from the beginning of 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. My biggest thrill was probably when I sold a piece before the show opened. The Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors was screening for new members and then showing the work at the La fond Gallery. It was exhilarating because I was accepted into the group and then discovered a red dot next to my piece when the doors opened. It had been purchased by the juror of the show.

Who are your favorite artists?  Since I grew up going to the Art Institute of Chicago, which holds the largest collection of French Impressionists and Post Impressionists outside of Paris… I will say I love Degas, Gauguin, Caillebotte, all of them really…  van Gogh is one of the greatest painters, Camille Claudel‘s sculpture, Corot – a great innovator, the American painter George Inness, Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, Isabel Bishop‘s character studies… too many to name.  Then going back a little… Georges de La Tour and then Velasquez, who started new ideas about painting, and inspired the great portrait painters like John Singer Sargent – “a painter’s painter”.

Artist: Linda Bladen
Title: Maria
Medium: Oil on wood panel
Dimensions: 32 ”x 48”
Website: http://lindabladenart.com

Helena Hötzl, Alingsas, Sweden
When did you first discover your creative talents? I always used to paint and draw and worked several years as a make up artist painting faces. One day I got an email from a man at Saatchi gallery in London telling me that they liked my website and thru them I was invited to participate in a Scandinavian exhibit with the best contemporary artist in Budapest, Hungary.  That was when I realized that I actually had an creative talent in me.

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 done a piece with women with trench coats that I went to a gallery to ask them to frame it for me.  The man at the gallery looked at it and asked me who had done it? I was very shy and remember looking at the floor telling him that I did that one.  He bought it as fast as I can remember telling me how great it was.  I started to realize that maybe other people would like to buy my art too.

Who are your favorite artists?  I love Gustav Klimt. My favorite. At an exhibit I had a man told me I had some similarities of Modigliani. Never though about him but starting to like him more and more. There are so many good artist out their today.

Artist: Helena Hötzl
Title: The lady in the red dress
Medium: Acrylic/kohl and pearl liquid
Dimensions: 100 x 70 cm
Website: http://www.helenahotzl.com

Creative Crisis – Interview with an Artist, part 6

After reading the most recent post, Kathryn Arnold, blog interviewee forwarded a Newsweek article regarding a significant decline in creativity scoring in the American youth, “Creative Crisis.”  While citing TV, video games and school curriculum as “culprits” for the new disturbing downward trend, my daughter of twelve years  Samantha, brings Inventive Creativityanother possibilityto light.  I’m calling it the MacGyver Factor.  She feels that as we evolve with technology, we’re not forced to use our creativity for problem solving etc.  So, we’re not exercising the right side of our brain as much as we have in the past. We’re our own enemy.  Our creative forefathers have made us right-brain lazy. That said, Isabella, daughter of ten moves in the Skype view and says she’s done with her art class as of Friday for the rest of the year due to a recent curriculum change. Now, creativity runs through these girls veins, including their sister Alexandra (nine) like vermouth in the Kennedy’s.  I’m not worried.  Life’s the classroom.
So, what do you do? Like anything else that’s important to you, you take ownership and manage the process. When you go to the beach, you help build mutant sand creatures.  You play visual games to spot what land features you see in the lakes mirror-like reflection.  And you give an eight year old a camera.  The interviews continue…

Danielle Ezzo, Brooklyn, NY

Patterns in Healing Study1-Danielle EzzoWhen did you first discover your creative talents? Both of my parents were artistic, so from a very young age I was painting, drawing, and taking pictures. I thought I wanted to be a painter as I got a little older, but didn’t know how that could translate into a career. Funny that I was thinking of the ‘practical’ side so young. Because of this, my grade school focuses were more on the sciences, and it wasn’t until applying for college that I decided I was going to go back into art. I guess it’s hard to pin point an exact moment because it was always there to some varying degree.

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. Oddly enough, I sold my first piece of artwork when I was a freshman in high school. Our project was surrealist based although I don’t remember the precise assignment. Essentially, I painted a fish bowl in the shape of a cat with detailed aquatic life inside painted with acrylics. It was suggested by my teacher that I submit the work into a community gallery show that was to be exhibited at the town’s local library. After the show came down, another teacher from my school contact me about purchasing the piece. It was definitely very flattering for a fourteen year old!

Who are your favorite artists? Some of my favorites artists are: Sandy Skoglund, Egon Schiele, Rudolph Koppitz, Rene Magritte, Francisco de Goya, and so many others.

Artist: Danielle Ezzo
Title: Patterns in Healing, Study 1
Medium: Cyanotype with gouache and ink, 9×12 inches
Website: http://danielleezzo.com/ Blog: http://dezzoster.tumblr.com/

Greg Orfanos, Bristol, CT

Said the Cicada - Greg OrfanosWhen did you first discover your creative talents? My first recollection of having discovered any creative ability was at age 3. I was sitting on the paisley patterned mustard colored carpet in my decked out 70’s style living room doodling away on a green piece of construction paper. All of a sudden, I noticed that my drawing appeared to look like an exact rendering of the human figure. I quickly got up to show my mother and ran to her incredibly fast as I thought the drawing were going to disappear from the page.  I burst through the bath room door and held up my masterpiece. My mother, while sitting on the toilet, graciously said “Excellent, now please leave and close the door.” My first critique.  Although blunt in its delivery, I modestly accepted. I became a child obsessed. Drawing feverishly, I created these fantastic figures as if magic were pouring from my hands. Over the course of a few days I had an epiphany. If shapes were put together in any sort of way and even manipulated that I could not only draw figures but all kinds of things. My refrigerator started to look like a giant pinata. Covered in multicolored construction paper that was adorned with the most wonderful images the human eye has ever beheld. “Is that a sun over a mountain” my dad would ask. “No, it’s you” I said.  ” I like the train with the bubbles in it” my sister would say. “No, those are the gerbils in the habitrail” I would reply. This went on for some time. Needless to say my ego became bruised and the fridge went back to its original avocado green.

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.   As far as selling my work, I don’t enjoy it as much as one might think. I sell out of necessity. There is one particular sale however, that is very memorable. I received a lengthly email from a gentleman describing how much one of my paintings had captivated him. He saw so much of his own life in the subject matter. Memories of missed opportunities that all of a sudden, he felt, had become with in reach to him again. He went on to say that this painting inspired him so much so, that he was going to further his education and pursue his dream. After reading this I was dumbfounded. I wanted to give it to him for nothing but he insisted on paying for it. Never in my life has my art work ever got a response more true and heartfelt as his letter. That in of itself is pretty damn cool. 

Who are your favorite artists? There are a lot of artists that inspire me. Not just the visual ones but literary, musicians and film makers as well. So, to name a few and not in any particular oder: Grosz, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Ensor, Saint Saens, Winsor McCay, Roald Dahl, Bud Powell, Burl Ives, Link Wray, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Lisbeth Zwerger, Arnold Lobel, Brian O’Nolan, Thomas Hart Benton, Henry James, Sparkle Horse, Daniel Johnston, David Lynch, Eric Dolphy, Earl Bostic, Harrison Cady, Edward Gorey, Kenneth Grahame, Ezra Jack Keats, Judi Muscara-Orfanos, Hiedi Dentremont, David Ferreira, Deborah G. Rogers, Jennifer Richter, Kathleen Lolley, Heather Adels, Jill Herick Lee, Dave Brubeck, Wes Anderson, Richard Kelley, Spike Jonze, Richard Flynn and the list goes on.

Artist: Greg Orfanos
Title: Said The Cicada
Medium: Mixed, 36×24 inches
Website: http://www.gregorfanos.com

Amy Guidry, Lafayette, LA
The Wild West-Amy Guidry
When did you first discover your creative talents? Apparently my talents were not discovered until my kindergarten teacher called my mother to let her know I could draw really well.  My mother thought I drew like any other child.  I was the oldest of two, so there was no one else to compare my work to.  As far as I was concerned, I just knew that drawing and painting were fun.  I mass-produced artwork to the point that my mother had to throw out a lot of it.  I plowed through entire packages of- what we called back then- “typing paper.”  I was always hoping to get my hands on more advanced (i.e. messy and destructive) art supplies.
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. This is actually a tough question.  I sold some work when I was a kid, so I don’t think I completely understood what that meant.  It wasn’t as significant to me as it is now.  So I will have to say that one of my most memorable sales was one of my larger works and it was actually purchased sight-unseen.  The collector saw it on my website and emailed me about the piece.  I was not expecting it to sell that easily, but he said he wanted it and so I had it shipped immediately.
Who are your favorite artists? I love an eclectic mix of artists- I just appreciate good art in general, no matter the style.  That said, if I had to name some favorites I would have to say James Ensor, Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, Wangechi Mutu, Odd Nerdrum, and Kiki Smith.  I’m trying to keep the list small…  I admire a lot of artists, but I guess at the top of my list, those would include the ones whose work is surreal in some manner.
Artist: Amy Guidry
Title: The Wild West
Medium: Acrylic on canvas, 24×30 inches
Website: http://amyguidry.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/