This past week I have been working on this painting for the bedroom. Tonight I caught my cat Lily doing her best odalisque beside it so I snapped these shots of them together.
Today’s artist’s interview features yet another blossoming talent from the Woesthaus night school of play and painting, another new friend and true kindred spirit, already drawing near and dear
to my heart. . .who like myself also too, has come to embrace a passion for
petals and pastels.
I met Mallory last spring. . .when the snow was thick on SWIC pavement. . . and we all propped our canvases close to one another trying to find some warmth in the midst of those Midwestern crows and cornfields. 😉
Mallory was the quiet one who smiled all the time. . .with a painting style very much like the artist
herself, overflowing with an abundance of warmth and sensuality.
You could just stand and watch her dab and dance around the canvas all day. . .her energy is so
So on with the questions now! Just sit back and enjoy the wild ride! (and do try to forgive this spacing format. i am not sure how these line breaks happened with wordpress. . .can’t seem to delete them either. very mysterious!)
schooled from 4th grade all the way through high school, and we always had art
classes with friends. I remember I loved copying photos because I loved drawing
peoples faces. I would try to get my drawing to look just like the photo, and I
would always get so mad if it didn’t look just right.
started college at Southwestern Illinois College. I have loved every single art
class I’ve taken at SWIC. I really wanted to branch out and learn what I could
do with different medias, so I took as many art classes as possible. I loved
drawing, which I knew, so I took every drawing classes possible including the
studio classes. I then went on to design, photo, ceramics, and painting. I feel
like every art class I took influenced how I perceived my drawing later. I
graduated SWIC 2011 with a double associate’s of AFA and AA.
2. How do you get your hands and feet wet and dirty? What media / material & process do you like best, and why?
huge fan of color pencils. I like to make things as big as possible. When I was
younger I would work on things 8×10 or 5×7 because it was faster to finish
and easier to get done. Now that I understand the amount of detail that can go
into a piece just by upgrading the size to 30×36 or even larger, it makes me
feel that the time that it takes to fill the space is worth it just so I have
the perfect ending to my journey with the piece.
what I really let loose with. My friend often says she loves to watch me paint
because I make such and mess around me. Splatters of paint will speckle the work
space around me, and the clothes that I wear, she just thinks it’s so
working on a piece. I will go days without eating while working on a piece, not
because I can’t afford it, but because I can’t pull myself out of the “trance”
it has me in. When I do emerge to eat it’s a quick cheap meal that I can quickly
eat before starting again. I also like to drink wine while I paint. During the
“fasting” time I “feed” myself with music, and books, and sources. It is
important to be educated in the world around you so that can convey itself in
4. Now that you have some food in your stomach, tell me a bit about your process.Do you have a ritual to get things started? Comfort stuff. . .listening material?
on the floor in my room and prop my canvas up on the wall. For drawing, I like
laying my drawing board with paper on top right in the center of my floor
and kneel over it, it feels natural to me. I hate easels, I hate standing, and I
even hate sitting in chairs. When I do art I feel like I need to be at one with
myself and the best way to do that is to have no distractions, just me and the
very influential in the artistic process. I will listen to things based on my
mood or the mood of the piece. I normally loop the same albums over and over
depending on what the piece is making me feel. A common CD is “Lungs” by
Florence and the Machine, I could have the CD on repeat for hours and still not
get tired of it. Other that that I will listen to Bjork, Radio Head, TV on the
Radio, and sometimes even Ke$ha (just for fun).
5. What inspires you most?
thoughts, even the decomposition of a person, anything that has to do with
someone can and will inspire me. I’m working on a series right now completely
inspired by the expressions on woman’s faces after they die. Although from the
outside this sounds like a graphic horrific task I find the decomposition of the
body to be beautiful when painting. There are so many colors and so many things
the paint can do. Each “dead woman” will tell a different story just by
the expression in their eyes and face. I’m hoping this will draw in the viewer
and create a thought process to discover the poor soul’s story. Make
people wonder what happened?
are finished. By the time I am done I hope to have 15 drawings and
6. How have you evolved in your process? What learning experiences have had the biggest
ceramics, even make up design to help me with my drawing and vise versa. The
number one thing I would tell anyone that helps is take a design class if
someone is able to. It really helps with a persons artist vocabulary,
the composition of a piece, and even dabbles a bit in color theory. Other than
that I really feel in is important for a person know history, literature, even
biology, everything in life that can be leaner can also be conveyed into an
7. If you could do dinner with any creative person , dead or alive, who would it be and where would you go to dinner?
out in the 1990’s, his work is just breathtaking. He uses his intellect to
create these beautiful paintings of dewy vixens, and random symbolism. I
would probably take him to sushi? Ryden had a solo exhibition in Tokyo in 2003
so I feel like sushi would be a good fit to his interests, plus I just love
8. What would you order and what questions would you ask?
good white wine of course!
that evokes so much feel using every day items, such as meat? I would want to
who what his inspiration is as well. Why dose he create
such ridiculous worlds?
9. Now that you have made your marks, pass the torch. ..what advice do you have for emerging
took!!! Also, listen to your teachers! My teachers would drive me so hard to get
more out of me, and although it gets hard to listen and even go to class at
times, they know what they are talking about. Artists especially young ones
often think we don’t need help, but that is not the case, there’s always room
from improvement. So If a teacher says get an artist statement, make one! If
they say go home and drink a cup of tea then draw the leaves at the bottom DO
IT! They know what they are talking about and it’ll make you a better artist in
work for me is keeping an artist journal. I love writing, but I HATE drawing and
planning things out before I start them, I love to just dive in, but every time
a teacher has asked me to do one I’ve done it.
10. For your burgeoning fan club! Please tell us where we can find
Right now the only
place I have my art up is my own private facebook. I’ve thought about making a
SLART page or a fan page on facebook but I’m afraid of any backlash or people
not understanding my art.
alittle more I will think about making my art public.
Manet’s Still Life^
As I type this, the work in progress on the easel is based on a photo from last week: a glass pitcher filled with lilies, roses, gerbera daisies, coral bells.
Initially I arranged a still life on the sidewalk table behind my garage, where I could make a photo framed by trees, grass, sunlight and sky.
Afterwards, I took my jump-drive to the copy shop where I noticed the printed image looked a little dark on paper. . .so now I’ve been straining to see the detail, light and shadow in the photo. But mostly I’m having trouble seeing all the contrast and color on the glass pitcher.
So now I am studying these Manet still lifes, wishing I could somehow channel his talent for this:
you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is
One of the ways I like to jumpstart the creative process is to sit in front of music with a lapful of assorted magazines and a pair of lightweight padded scissors. Images can come from most anywhere, not just magazines though, and as type this, I also feel a twinge of pity for the person who inherits my hacked-up coffee table art and photo books.
I also like to shop yard sales, thrift stores and book sales for fodder.
Most forms of media fall into the category of fair game when I am searching for just the right image or language to finish a collage narrative however.
As a result, I have amassed quite a collection of cut-outs methodically and obsessively stored and organized in notebooks, file folders, and sealed plastic containers.
The activity keeps my hands busy, but it also keeps me in a constant state of daydreaming, imagining and exploring all the surfaces and textures suggested by the photos.
It’s a cheap thrill, I guess. . .but somebody’s gotta do it.
Sometimes stories come as I place images next to each other based on shapes and colors
and sometimes I begin with a story in my head or a loose idea.
Mostly I just like to play though, and proceed with no particular place to go.
Here is the story of a pastel painting, one that began with a tiny artist trading card I made at a friend’s house.
First the baseball-card sized collage, enlarged for the blog:
Tomorrow I will show you where I took it from here. From collage to pastel painting. 🙂
anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they
themselves never hoped to see – or like a sealed letter they could not plainly
read. ” —Alice Walker
Yesterday I finished my iris painting, an act which left my easel empty again. . .so afterwards I assembled this outdoor still life with a little help from a gardener friend next door. I already had the peace roses, yarrow, and coral bells in my yard. Mary provided the yellow gerbera daisies, lilies, and a few lacy varieties I can’t name at the moment.
I snapped some photos of the bouquet to set aside for future paintings.
Later I brought my easel outdoors to photograph the new painting. The outdoor light really changed the look of the work, making it seem a little flat and washed out. . .so out came the brushes for some sunlight tweaking. A couple of hours later, I felt like I was really finished (again).
It was nice to see Mary’s reaction when I showed her the new work. Now that the original iris has dropped its petals, the painted one is bringing back some happy memories. 🙂
And now for something completely different:
Still busy at work on my iris painting. But was excited to post a new listing on my TessiluStudio Etsy website today: