The Black and White Photo Show: Carolyn Krieg


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.

The Black and White Photo Show, a group exhibition of work by Marsha Burns, Eduardo Calderón, Dianne Kornberg, Carolyn Krieg, Glenn Rudolph, and Andrew Yates (1945 – 2011) opening January 9, 2016 and continuing through February 27th.
There will be a reception for the artists on Saturday, January 9th from 2-4 pm.

Artist interview #36: Carolyn Krieg 

Carolyn Studio

This is our second interview with Carolyn, you can read a longer interview with her in Interview #7.

1) How is your process different in the studio compared to when you are out in the world?

In one sense, that of observation, my process is the same. Out in the world I look with “new” eyes and “soft” eyes and the rest of my senses. This seeing directs my camera as I angle to capture whatever amazes me. In the studio I intuitively “emerge” the final pieces with drawing and painting techniques, still using “new” and “soft” eyes.

2) What is the emotional impact of the tone in your work?

My work has always been about emotion and the tone varies. One of my favorite dealers once said to me about my India series: “this work is too emotional for me.” My emotional response to what I see/experience in this world is my work. To answer the question more generally, I believe that the emotional impact of the tone in any artist’s work depends on the viewer’s response/life experience and how much soul work they have done. If the observer connects deeply enough, they will find both the light and the dark in all my work.

3) In your mind, what does it mean for your work to succeed?

For my work to succeed for me, it must be seen and hopefully create some kind of connection, some ah ha moment, some mystery and/or question for the viewer. I am communicating with my work. I try to create works that people want to live with for a very long time and pass on or let fly to a new home, kind of like a child.

“Carolyn Krieg: Equus ferus caballus”

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.

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

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

Artist Interview #7: Carolyn Krieg

Carolyn Studio

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

I have been a fortunate working artist since 1989 with part-time landlord, wildlife rehabilitation and Soma Neuromuscular Integration work supplementing my studio work at different times.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

As a child I took pictures with a Brownie and drew pictures with pencil. I wanted to be an artist beginning in 4th grade. I received a degree in French Language and Linguistics and taught for a short while before taking the leap and returning to school to study art. I had a professor my first year who said we would know we were artists when it was our discipline, our choice of work. That resonated with me- 1983.

Brownie camera

Brownie camera

3. What are your influences?

Much inspiration comes from reading– fiction, myth, poetry, history, psychology. Where I live and with whom I live, both people and animals, how I spend time when I’m not “doing” art –all this parallels my work and in some way influences it. My parents’ only extravagance for themselves was to purchase art while raising nine children. In 1973 I moved to Paris to study (also taking mime classes with the Polish ex of Marcel Marceau). I took train and van-camping trips that included museums in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Morocco (having to return home only because of amoebic dysentery). What I saw in first person, after seeing the images in books for years, blew me away. An exhibit that deeply influenced me was a floor of Impressionist work at the Hermitage which I saw during the Cold War in 1972, labeled “decadent art” and off limits to the Russian population in that era. One of my favorite museums is the Prado. Goya, Bosch, El Greco, Velasquez. I nearly lived in the Louvre some days when I lived in Paris. Recently, my favorite museum was the Gulbenkian in Lisbon—with its’ varied and beautiful Ottoman/Asian collection. Some live and some dead big name artists whose works have influenced and informed me: Jasper Johns, Chagall, Ryder, Vuillard, Frieda Kahlo, William Blake, Rembrandt, Degas, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Durer. Locally the artists whose work I own: Glenn Rudolph, Fay Jones, Jim Lavadour, Jim Kraft, Michael Spafford, Mark Calderon, Lauren Grossman. On a national level, for their translations of the animal kingdom: Susan Rothenberg, Deborah Butterfield, and William Wegman. Nancy Spero and Imogen Cunningham and O’Keefe, the list could go on.

One of the pieces Carolyn grew that is now in her collection: Tom Hardy’s 1951 Lithograph, “Horses and Rider”

One of the pieces Carolyn grew up with that is now in her collection: Tom Hardy’s 1951 Lithograph, “Horses and Rider”

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

My original studio of 1500 sq. feet is now my home as well, for economic reasons. I have an “office” space upstairs with my computer and printers and cameras and some storage (and a bed). I have a 10×20’ room in the barn where I store and show work and frame and paint (if not outside). The lighting is daylight florescent.

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

There is no typical day and my art work is interspersed with my animal chores, exercise (swim or jog or horseback ride) and rental/property chores. Some days it is work on the computer, some I photograph, some I paint, some I frame, some I prepare canvases and board, but I do need variety to not get burned out. I need quiet and do not listen to anything when working. My brain is too full already. Working is one kind of meditation and connection to the universal for me where I lose track of time and place and self.

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

I work with all kinds of things photographic and acrylic. I sometimes use oils and resins, but after having a cancerous kidney removed, I am careful about toxic substances. I spent many years tearing apart Polaroids and altering the transparencies without gloves and printing in the darkroom handling chemicals-the craziness of youth. I work on several pieces at a time, stopping and returning when I’m fresh.

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

I will use pretty much anything that gets my job done when I am mixing media, from any tool to any kitchen utensil. My combination of steps vary (mixing media, cameras and films), but in general begins with my conventional chemical or digital photograph. Presently, I transfer my images to a computer and use Photoshop for drawing and painting before printing on archival inkjet paper. Then I will sometimes transfer that paper onto board or Plexiglas or canvas to take it further with acrylics and sanding and more painting. With previous work, I generated a Polacolor print from the digital file, and cut/tore off the positive transparency, which I painted with oil and ink and then used in place of a negative in a traditional (analog) color enlarger. I printed on archival chromogenic paper, then sometimes transferred the print and/or transparency onto canvas or board or Plexiglas and worked further with acrylics and resins. I draw, paint, erase, sand, tear, cut and digitally manipulate. This allows for fictional gain and generational loss, similar to what happens when experience moves from perception to memory. It reflects the psychological process of teasing meaning from mystery.

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

Currently, I swim and attend a Pilates Reformer class at least once in a week and daily jog with my dogs along a lovely little route that affords me a view of Rainier (I call her Tahoma, her original name) when she is out. I also ride my horse in nature as often as I can squeeze it in. My parents are 89 and 92 and I try to get to Portland to see them as much as possible. I try to travel abroad once a year for new inspiration and source material (and horse riding). I go to ACT theatre as a subscriber and love movies.