“Observing Observing (a white cup): Dean Fisher”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Observing Observing (a white cup)” opens September 12th and continues through October 31, 2015

Curated by Eric Elliott, Michael Howard & Norman Lundin. More than twenty artists (both gallery artists and not) accepted the invitation to submit work.

Reception for the artists, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #14: Dean Fisher

1. How did you respond to the idea of the white cup?

Actually, the theme for this show is right up my alley and I’m very pleased that I was invited to participate in this exhibition.

Over the years a subject which I have often returned to are white cups hanging in a cabinet or arrangements of white cups along with other objects.

I’m very attracted to the challenge of painting whites objects via direct observation, trying to find the many subtle colors and tones which occur as well as the very reserved palette which can evoke and suggest so much. This is perhaps a reaction to the fact that so much imagery today is very “in your face” and brash, it’s very appealing to try to create a compelling image with means which are exactly the opposite to the devices which are used as contemporary attention grabbers.

A major influence for me is the work of Giorgio Morandi who is such a master at squeezing so much poetry and interest from reserved means such as these.

2. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I consider myself a full time artist although I work part time as a figure and landscape painting instructor at Silvermine Art Center and privately from my studio in Connecticut. Making and thinking about art is the main focus during the majority of my waking hours.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I first considered myself as an artist when I realized that nothing would give me the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment as putting my feelings and perceptions of the the things I like into paint or graphite, this was at the age of 18 or so.

4. What are your influences?

Big list! All aspects of Nature, Uccello, Piero, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Vermeer, Degas, Vuillard, Morandi, Uglow, Gwen John, William Nicholson, Lucien Freud, Patrick George, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Justin Mortimer, Stuart Shils, Alex Kanevsky, Diarmuid Kelley, Anne Gale, This is just a few from a very big list.

5. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My wife and I converted a large barn and carriage house into our home and studios. We designed it to be about 1/3 living space and 2/3 studio space, so we each have separate, spacious studios. Each studio has skylights so there’s plenty of natural light and for working at night I’ve installed 2 fixtures of full spectrum lights in each of the studios.

6. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I love to work one on one with a model during a 4-5 hour session. When that isn’t possible, I paint still lives from the dozens of objects which I have in my studio. I also like to wander out in our garden and paint whatever catches my eye. If I spend the majority of the day working in the studio, I love to end the day by going out and painting an evening landscape, this is always very liberating.

7. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I almost exclusively work with oil on panel or linen. I never set out to paint a series of work based on a theme. I always try to focus on those subjects which interest me the most at the time and almost always have 6-8 paintings under development at once. It naturally occurs that the paintings are related in some way and each painting ends up serving to problem solve and unlock ideas which aid the other paintings which are underway. This cycle works well for me because once I achieve momentum, I can generate a lot of focus which in turn gives the work more clarity. I often have music on via NPR which is mostly classical..or I’ll choose music of various types from Youtube and binge on a particular artist all day long. Sometimes I prefer to work in silence though.

8. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

No, nothing really unique. Brushes (mostly bristle filberts), an assortment of palette knifes. The potential for what can achieved with these basic tools is endless and I feel there’s so much more to learn.

9. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

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I love to design and build things, furniture, accessories for our home, entire additions on the home. My wife and I watch a lot of films and TV dramas..mostly foreign via Netflix, there are so many beautifully crafted lesser known films out there! I love to play tennis, bicycle ride, kayak and travel. I also love to read but struggle to find enough time to do so as much as I would like to.

"Suspended Still Life", 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 34"

“Suspended Still Life”, 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 34″

“Canopies: Kimberly Clark”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Canopies” opens June 27th and continues through August 22, 2015

The exhibitions includes the work of Kimberly Clark, Eric Elliott, Tamblyn Gawley & Evelyn Woods.

Reception for the artists, June 27th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #11: Kimberly Clark

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1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I work part time and paint part time. Currently, I am the website manager at Prographica and the off-site gallery assistant at Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Prographica’s affiliate in Culver City, CA. In addition to this work, in the fall, I will be the Art History Instructor and Gallery Coordinator at the Fine Art Center (a high school for the fine and performing arts in Greenville, SC).

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

Right after I my undergraduate studies, I received a commission to design and paint two 10’ x 50’ murals for a retirement home outside Philadelphia. The walls were being refinished, so I had to come up with a way to complete the project in my studio. At the time, my roommate and I were sharing a loft space in an old home that was once a mansion in North Philadelphia. Our studio was what used to be the ballroom. In the end, I created two multi-panel installations that included over 100 hand-built stretchers. I worked full-time on the project from design to installation for about 8 months. It was an amazing project to complete at a formative time in my career.

3. What are your influences?

Time spent in the landscape is the main influence on my work. Painting in the landscape is, for me, meditation of a kind; time begins to slow, and as it does, life becomes less complex. Looking into and through the trees is where I see harmony and is the focus of my current body of work.

Reading Emerson and Rilke were early influences and still are. Monet was the first artist my mom showed me when I was a child. After that, my list like anyone’s is long, but the most important are Cezanne, Turner, Innes, Corbet, Constable’s studies, David Hockney’s photos, Van Gogh’s drawings, Joan Mitchell, and Jake Berthot. I have been fortunate to work as an assistant to two artists in Seattle for which whom I have the utmost respect. An influence not so much on my work, but that has been important to me throughout my life, has been the music of Bruce Springsteen.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

I converted a bedroom in my home as my studio. It’s about 150 sq. ft. My yard is rather large and is full of trees, so I split my time between the two. I try to paint as much as I can with natural light and supplement it with artificial light when needed.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

Since moving from Seattle to Greenville, SC last year, I work from home. Before I start my day, I go into the studio to look at what I worked on the day before. Several days a week, I work on projects for either KDR or Prographica and sometimes both. To clear my mind before entering the studio, I go for a ride on my road bike and sometimes for a hike. When I enter the studio, I’ll usually sit in silence for a little while to determine my next move. I sometimes listen to music or a podcast, but more and more I find myself working in silence, listening to the birds outside or now that summer has arrived, the thunderstorms that arise in the late afternoon.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I try to work on a watercolor outside directly from the landscape and an oil painting in the studio. I like to have several paintings going at once so that I can allow one to sit for a time if needed.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Not really, pretty straight forward, though I am always looking for things that I can press into the paint on my palette and then onto the canvas to produce small circles. If you look closely, you may see them in many of my paintings.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

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I try to spend as much time outside as possible and enjoy hiking, biking and camping with my boyfriend, Josh. Our dog, Emmy is a wonderful traveling companion and keeps me company in my studio. I’ve always gone on long road rides and this past year I have really gotten into mountain biking. It brings together my love of biking and being in the forest. There is awesome mountain biking all around Greenville. In the early evening, I enjoy sitting on the front porch and watching the lightning bugs light up our yard. I also spend as much time as I can in the kitchen. Recently, I have become interested in baking bagels and breads and I try to make fresh pasta once a week.

Canopies: Eric Elliott

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Canopies” opens June 27th and continues through August 22, 2015

The exhibitions includes the work of Kimberly Clark, Eric Elliott, Tamblyn Gawley & Evelyn Woods.

Reception for the artists, June 27th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #10: Eric Elliott

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1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

I currently teach part time, work part time at Prographica Gallery, and make art part time.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

Although I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, I made the decision to dedicate myself to becoming an artist when I was 19 or 20. But, I don’t think I considered myself an artist until after graduate school when I was still making art, but no longer an art student.

3. What are your influences?

I’m influenced by pretty much everything around me, whatever I’m reading at the time, the art I’m looking at, the houseplants in my apartment, the light, the weather, the seasons… The artists who have influenced my work the most are Giacometti, Cezanne, Morandi, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Euan Uglow, Philip Guston, Monet, Edwin Dickinson, Ann Gale, Vuillard… the list can go on and on.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

I have only been in my current studio for about 6 months and it is about 300 sq. ft. It has natural light from skylights, which has been a struggle to figure out how to control the light for my still lifes. For nighttime and dark days, there are overhead lights with a mixture of different temperature light bulbs.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I usually sit in silence when I first get to the studio and figure out what I want to tackle for the day. Once I’ve made a decision on what I’m going to do, I’ll put on NPR, a podcast, or an audio book and get to work. My brain likes to chatter and I find that having something on in the background keeps that part of my brain busy, but when I have a big decision to make I usually pause what I’m listening to until I’ve figured out the next step. I’ll take a break for lunch and then get back to painting until dinnertime.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I prefer oil paint, and I usually have a few things going at once. At various stages during a painting I like to look at it for a while to figure out what to do next, and while I do that I usually start something new.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Nope. All pretty standard tools, devices, and process.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I hang out with my wife Devyn, watch an episode of something, read, and think about the next painting.

* Eric’s work is represented by James Harris Gallery in Seattle.

“Canopies: Evelyn Woods”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Canopies” opens June 27th and continues through August 22, 2015

The exhibitions includes the work of Kimberly Clark, Eric Elliott, Tamblyn Gawley & Evelyn Woods.

Reception for the artists, June 27th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #9: Evelyn Woods

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1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

Unfortunately not… I mainly support myself as an artist as an LMP (licensed
massage practitioner). In addition, I do some window display design which
includes the construction and installation of props and some interior retail
merchandising. Being self-employed allows me to create big chunks of time
that I can spend in the studio.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I found this to be an interesting question. So, I thought about what defines an
artist. So, I googled it. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition. “An artist​ is a person
engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to
creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage
in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual
arts only.” Simple enough. So I questioned when I felt I was a “serious” artist
and can say that that process started after having completed graduate school
and continues as I question myself constantly. External validation is a wonderful
thing but certainly not always forthcoming. So what’s important to me is knowing
internally that I am a serious artist.

3. What are your influences?

In the past when I was mainly working in charcoal I was influenced by the works
of Louise Nevelson. Loved all that going in and out of those dark spaces she
created with found scraps. Currently my focus has been on painting the natural
world. Trees, scrubby brush, brambles and reeds etc. What draws me to these
images is not the literal image so much as how I feel about them and what my
experience has been when in nature which reaches back into my childhood.
Again my work is about going inside.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

I previously had a studio that was 600sq. ft. in size. For lighting I installed full
spectrum daylight fluorescents. Then I sold my home and studio. I currently have
the good fortune to be able to work in 100 year old boathouse with a wonderful
view of Puget Sound. The lighting is a bit makeshift in that it is a combination of
halogen and your basic hardware store clip­on lights. The next studio I build may
not be a large as the first but will have the same lighting.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I like to start the day slowly. Have a pot of tea and think about the day followed
by a brisk walk just to clear the brain. I used to listen to music but found that
listening to audiobooks helps me to be less self­conscious about painting. I have
found that listening to a story and painting at the same time really engages my
brain and I don’t feel bad about not reading as much as I would like to.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

Pretty straightforward stuff. Oil paints,charcoal,gesso and graphite. I usually
work on one piece at a time although I will put one aside if I feel stuck or unsure
about my direction. At that time I will start a new work and pull out the previous
work later to see if it can be saved. I usually have about three pieces in my mind
that I can’t wait to get started on.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Yes and no. My charcoal drawings are all drawn using a subtractive technique.
Not unusual but the way I adhere the charcoal to the primed paper via a solvent
might be. After the solvent dries I am left with this very rich and warm black
surface. I paint with oils using standard painting techniques.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

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I always feel in my element when taking long walks, usually solitary walks. Doing
my yoga practice is a must both physically and mentally. Love digging in the dirt
and growing a garden which produces some wonderful stuff to cook with.
Another of my passions, cooking and eating. Spending time with my loved ones
and a few very good friends is a high priority. I have a two and a half year old
grandson who I get to spend one day a week with since he was three months old.
That time with him keeps me both active and young in spirit!

“Fred Birchman: Reclamation Projects”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

Fred Birchman & Carolyn Krieg share the gallery space May 9 – June 20, 2015

Reception for both artists, May 9th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #6: Fred Birchman

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1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

Until recently I was doing graphic design full-time for msnbc/NBC news. I’d get up at 4:30 a.m. to get in a few hours in the studio each day. Now I forage for nuts and berries and head to the studio at a reasonable time after breakfast.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I think it was about my third year in college that I started to make art seriously. But it wasn’t until a year or so after college that it really sunk in that this was going to be a life long thing. When I had to figure out when and how I was going to make art amongst all the day-to-day stuff and it didn’t discourage me, that’s when I knew. It seemed like that would have been a good time to bail, but I didn’t.

3. What are your influences?

I had a couple of pretty strong college profs that made a big impression. Tom Schlotterback taught me how to draw and R. Allen Jensen taught me that I had to go to the studio everyday. Of course there are all the artists like Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, William Wiley, Ed Keinholz and Llynn Foulkes that I stole from…I really dug the “Cool School” guys from L.A.!

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

It’s about 290 sq.ft. (damn, that sounds small). It was built over our garage. The ceiling is about 25 ft at the point so it makes it seems a lot bigger. Maybe I should install a trapeze? I have incandescent cans on tracks. AND a big window.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I usually take up where I left off the following day. Finish up a drawing and leave it hanging to glance at while I start something else. Sometimes I’ll make adjustments or fuss a bit. After a few days if I haven’t gone back into it, I’ll take it down and consider it done. I listen to NPR mostly, but occasionally I’ll put on some jazz or Neil Young. I drink a lot of coffee while I work.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

Drawing with whatever device strikes me at the time. I usually take up where I left off the following day. Finish up a drawing and leave it hanging to glance at while I start something else. Sometimes I’ll make adjustments or fuss a bit. After a few days if I haven’t gone back into it, I’ll take it down and consider it done.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Nothing special. But I do believe that you have to make yourself available to making art. Go to the studio every day. If my brain is empty, I’ll start sweeping, cleaning up arranging, whatever…and before I reaIise it I’m onto something. There’s something about being in the studio that just gets you going.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I enjoy cooking and my wife, Robin and I usually have folks over a couple of nights a week for dinner and wine. And we travel when we can. I don’t hang around other visual artists too much, but I have a lot of friends that are other things like builders, architects, writers, mechanics, etc. Mostly they are just great folks who inspire me and keep me curious.