“Observing Observing (a white cup): Fred Birchman, Kimberly Clark, & Evelyn Woods”

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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 #30: Fred Birchman, Kimberly Clark & Evelyn Woods

Fred, Kimberly & Evelyn have each participated in our interview series in conjunction with earlier exhibitions.  We posed the following question to each:

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

Fred Birchman:

When I was told of the idea, my main thought was how can I make it interesting? I immediately thought of it falling, not only did it give me the opportunity to view it from different sides, but also I got to draw it three times! It is also difficult for me to separate most forms from their context. So rather than doing so, I decided to write out the running dialogue that usually occupies my brain whilst I’m making something. That way it becomes MY drawing and MY white cup. Thanks for including me in the show. Now I’m going to go get some coffee….

Kimberly Clark

This was a real challenge for me.  I procrastinated as long as I possibly could.  Though my work is rooted in observation, the idea of setting up a white cup seemed very far removed from where the inspiration from my work comes. In the end, I became interested in how I would, and if I could, make a painting of a white cup that had space and air around it.  Of the two paintings that are included in the exhibition, I had a difficult time letting go of the oil painting.  I painted it again and again, sanding it down and painting it again.  I kept getting pulled back into the painting, because something was missing.  I’m not sure if I ever found what that was, perhaps that needs to be answered in another painting…

Evelyn Woods

I got pretty excited when I first heard of the white cup invitational show.  It got my brain to working up ideas for how I could paint a simple white cup but make it visually interesting. So much so that there are still around 20 more paintings waiting to be explored.  This challenge also propelled me into doing something different with my work.  So that’s a good thing.  I also went back to using the camera to create the cup compositions, which not only freed up time but allowed me to edit before starting the painting.  In my previous drawings I worked directly from a composed still life set up in the studio.

“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.