IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Tim Lowly

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IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #57: Tim Lowly

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Tim Lowly, photograph by Ben Scott-Brandt (2016)

1. What is your ideal working environment?
I like to work in a meditative space. Ironically, that space might be a public space: as artist-in-residence at North Park University I have on occasion worked in public contexts such as the gallery or the library. I love to listen to music while I’m working: usually of the contemplative sort (a favorite being Arvo Pärt’s “Alina). Light from over the left shoulder.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio?
An upcoming exhibition. Nothing is more motivating.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I primarily work with Golden’s matte acrylics. After many years of working with egg-oil emulsion tempera I moved to matte acrylic as a medium I could handle more aggressively and adventurously.
I often have multiple projects en route conceptually, but usually focus on making them one at time.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
Teaching and curating (primarily as a professor at North Park University) are more than my primary sources of income: they are a great joy. Writing and performing music is a serious secondary pursuit.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I’m very interested in art as a way of deeply engaging the great community of artists, both present and past. Most of my works are in conversation with another artist’s work.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
“Study for Shore” is a study for a large work (imagine it being ten feet tall). In preparing this work I invited Chicago artist Maya Durham into a conversation about what the work might be. Her contribution–the upper portions of the piece, depicting fossilized shells–could be a shore or the sky. In the lower half my daughter Temma is seen from above, partially in shadow, looking off to the right. The overwhelming tactility of her hair suggests our intimate presence, but the shadow and her gaze elsewhere questions that relationship. The fossilized shells unmoor the idea of time and scale within the work.
(In developing this work I found particular inspiration in Antonio Lopez Garcia’s, “Woman on the Beach”.)

“Trying to Get a Sense of Scale” – This painting appears to depict a painting or photograph leaning against the wall of a room. The size of the work within a work is unclear. The picture within depicts a woman leaning over an unseen figure on a couch. In the foreground is a wheelchair.

The woman is my wife Sherrie and she is assessing how to pick up our daughter Temma (which is not a light matter!). The reflection on this action / event and it’s depiction as a picture (of indeterminate size) in a picture is intended to function as a metaphor for the task of assessing the scale of a life.

(Art I was thinking about in conversation with this work: Robert Gober’s leaning door in his 1988 installation at the ICA in Boston and the image construction strategies of Michaël Borremans.)

“Tilt / Iron” (currently in progress) is another study for a large painting. The subtle trapezoidal shape of the work alludes to a rectangular work leaning against a wall (as in “Trying to Get a Sense of Scale”). As the title suggests the color / texture of the work intentionally references rusty iron plate, pointing specifically to the large-scale iron works of Richard Serra. Again the subject of the work is my daughter Temma who in reality exists in utter contrast to the grand scaled machismo of Serra’s works. In the painting Temma lies in bed, with her back to the viewer as she faces a window. The possibility of a portal within the painting is complicated by the window’s overwhelming light: suggesting, perhaps, that this woman has access to something beyond our comprehension or power.

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“Study for Shore”, Tim Lowly with Maya Durham, 2016, mixed process drawing, 37″ x 29″

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“Trying to Get a Sense of Scale”, 2012, acrylic on panel, 21″ x 18″

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Josh Dorman

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IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #55: Josh Dorman

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
As a NYC-based artist, I can’t say that I have the ideal environment, but in many ways I’m fortunate. In the city, I have a basement studio with one small window. I’m not eager to work very large these days, so the cave-like space is good for me. I use incandescent clip lights to create pools of warm light on my paintings. Because I use a lot of collage, the panels move from table to wall to floor. I sometimes work lying down on top of the panel. Last year, we bought a little home in the Catskills and I’ve set up a small studio there as well. Looking out the glass doors to see wandering geese and flowers and green is heavenly. But it can also be a distraction. It’s easy to get drawn away from the ineffable world of a painting to the tangible act of picking a flower or a cucumber. I often listen to music or podcasts while working. The more my left brain can be occupied, the less it gets in the way of the creative process. And the less it can bother me with doubts and questions.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
Coffee helps. As a part-time teacher and father of twins, I take every moment I can to get to the studio. Summers are sacred time. It also helps to have a looming show as a motivator. And seeing an old friend at the Met or MOMA can inspire me. A wall of Klees or Turners can send me sprinting home to work.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several? Though I’ve experimented with animation in the last several years, the mixture of paint and collage is still inexhaustible for me. I use only antique paper sources—maps, charts, textbook engravings, player piano scrolls. I usually have 5-6 panels of varying size going in the studio simultaneously.

4. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I consider my work to be connected to the painting tradition in a deep way. I believe all great art is conceptual and spiritual. And what is termed “Conceptual Art” holds very little interest for me. I seek to create work that feels current but also outside of time and place. For inspiration, I look to ancient and Modernist sources. From Sienese paintings to Persian Miniatures to Breughel, Redon and Ryder. I try to use collage (appropriated images) in a way that honors the original creator and transforms the meaning. I hope to build worlds that invite the viewer in to figure out what is painted and what is collaged. I hope to generate images that are utterly specific and completely open-ended.

5. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I could discuss “Shipwreck” briefly. It began, as do most of my paintings with a small compositional sketch. I knew I wanted an enclosed body of water. I knew I wanted it to be seen from above, underneath and sideways simultaneously (like Cubism, yet visually not at all). I glued down a base layer of old player piano scroll paper. The dots and perforations generate a rhythm, create a horizontal pattern, akin to waves on a sea, and also remind one of DNA charts and other modern technologies. I then created a nest like border by laying down pine needles and grass, pouring watery inks and letting the liquid evaporate. Similarly, gears and embroidery wheels created ghosty stencils in the pink sky. Once this enclosure and pool was built, the sea creatures, bathers, and detritus of humankind began to fill the pool, while fossils and bones embedded themselves in the border earth. This is all improvisational, based on the piles of old books I surround myself with and on the forms that call to each other, jumping scale and substance. After several weeks of layering collage and paint washes, the actual ship was one of the final additions, giving a central anchor to the piece. What it all means I leave to the viewer. I have ideas and suspicions, but if I were to know the exact narrative beforehand or afterward, I would lose all interest in making art.

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“Have You Seen the Red Village?”, 2012, ink, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″

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“Shipwreck”, 2014, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″

IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation- F. Scott Hess

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IDENTITY Method: Degrees of Separation
Darlene Campbell, Kenny Harris, F. Scott Hess, Ira Korman, Judy Nimtz, Sarah Perry, Robert Schultz & Peter Zokosky

July 7 – August 27, 2016
Opening Reception: July 7, 2016: 6 – 8 pm

Method: Degrees of Separation, the second of three IDENTITY exhibitions, highlights the art process with a special appreciation of historical methods within a voice of haptic ways of seeing. The featured artists come from various points of view—conceptually, pictorially, and aesthetically—yet collectively they share a deep dedication to creating artwork by way of a traditional method. In curator Eleana Del Rio’s words “Tradition by way of ‘method’ – stated loosely – is the exhibition’s topic.”

Artist interview #48: F. Scott Hess

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1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
At various times in my career I’ve had some quite ridiculous studio spaces, like a flat in Vienna where I shared the hall toilet with the old lady next door, or small shacks at two different residences once I moved to Los Angeles. Now I paint in the garage, which seems quite spacious. I get studio envy easily because I’ve never put much effort into where I paint. I see some other artists with spectacular spaces and wish I had that, but have never found it necessary in the creation of my work. I think that is because when painting my head just goes into that image space, and I don’t pay any attention to my surroundings. The lighting has to be good, however I don’t require natural light, just bright and neither too cool or too warm. I also listen to music or books while I work. It is a good time to catch up with the classics of both.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
I don’t need motivation to get into the studio. I’ve been quite prolific over the course of my career. Painting is what I want to do to most, so there is no special effort required. When I was younger I painted from about 9AM into the night, but once I had kids I usually knocked-off at 6PM. Even though the kids are now grown I still stop at six unless I’m under a deadline or just really pushing to finish something.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
Oil paint is the medium I am most at ease with. In college, and a couple of years after, I was just doing drawings and etchings, When I learned to paint (it took at least two years to do it adequately well) I loved the speed of application, the intense color, the variety of brush strokes, and the surface of the paint. I continue to do sketches and life drawing as important means of study, and I do finished drawings when someone asks me to take part in a drawing exhibition, but otherwise my energies are directed towards oil painting. Usually I work on only one piece at a time because I find that most efficient. In my Paternal Suit project I often had ten or more pieces going at once, and that slowed down progress on the whole series.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
Except for art related interests, I’m probably a very boring person. I’d rather be painting than socializing, going out to eat, or seeing a movie. I enjoy hanging out with fellow representational painters the most, as we all have a common interest that consumes us. I have enjoyed traveling with my family, preferring places where we can spend an extended amount of time, like five-weeks north of Rome, a couple of summers in a small village in Greece, or a year in Iran. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in museums all over the world, especially when I was younger, and still enjoy seeing great painting as much as anything out of the studio. My wife and I have always enjoyed hiking in nature, and take two or three long walks a week in our local Griffith Park.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
With all of our screen devices that cascade thousands of images before one’s eyeballs everyday, there isn’t a more traditional method of creation than that of applying colored mud to a woven surface and producing an image meant to be stared at for hours if not years. Mankind has been painting for 40,000 years, so I come from a long history of mud daubers.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Method- Degrees of Separation, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
Transfiguration grew out of a decision my wife made to have the giant rubber tree in our front yard cut down. She was sick of the continuous rain of brown leaves and a root system that invaded the whole neighborhood, but I saw the tree as the most beautiful thing on our property (it sure wasn’t the house). When it came down it felt like a violation ecologically, aesthetically, and personally. Of course, there are wonderful Freudian implications there as well, and so I painted an image with the two of us, a tree coming down behind the houses, and my arms out-stretched in Christ-like identification with its truncated form.

Studio Drama has two sides of the artist at work, the expressive and the critical. You need both of these to make art that is any good. You start in an inspired state, expressing a vision you have as best you can, fluidly and ‘in the zone,’ as they say. But this is a good way to churn out crap as well, so your inner critic has to step-in, take a look at what has been done, and say, “This shirt is the wrong color, that gal’s nose is off-center, this figure has big hands, and the whole composition has to move left three inches.” It is a back-and-forth collaboration between two diametrically opposed individuals. It sort of resembles the US Congress. I’m amazed I ever get anything done.

“Observing Observing (a white cup): Matt Klos”

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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)” 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.

Conversation with curators Michael Howard, Norman Lundin & several of the artists: October 15, 7pm.

Artist Interview #32 Matt Klos

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

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in “The White Cup” exhibition since the idea of whiteness has interested me for many years. Thirteen years ago I titled my thesis project at the University of Maryland “White Paintings” which dealt with a theme of whiteness that has fascinated me ever since.

White can be understood as blank, untarnished, or void. Whiteness as described in David Batchelor’s Chromophobia (Reaktion Books, 2000) has been understood in Western culture and intellectual thought as being without corruption or contamination. Notions of white in this line of thinking hold to a cerebral and technological baseline.

As someone who spends his time looking at visual phenomena and trying to make sense of it in paint I prefer a messier, and decidedly less aloof, notion of white. As an artist I am interested in white’s receptive qualities. Rather than white being impregnable I think of white as a conduit that is deeply sympathetic to its environment. White is the universal reflector and on its surface all color collides. These colors alternately exchange rank and file. One hue emanates strongest at one moment and another at the next. Rather than white being understood as a non-color I see it as an every-color holding congruency with the scientific properties of light.

Colors as seen on the white surface are reflected almost directly akin to a face reflecting in a mirror. When multiple colors are reflected on the white surface, which is often the case, they take on complex intermingled notes. When painting white we ultimately are painting what the white surface is not, or rather, what the white surface is reflecting. The difficulty in painting white is finding equilibrium between the emergence of color on the white surface and the surface as a whole. If reflected color is underplayed for sake of a surface the iridescence of appearance is lost. If the color notes are overplayed the surface ceases to hold together. As it goes with acting, for an optimal effect the artist must play everything on the line.

As I was working on “Perched” and “Diagonal” for this exhibition I tried to maintain a stance of receptivity to color nuances on the white object. During a painting session color nuances ebb and flow from fluctuations in the light source and based on the artists visual path across the object’s surface. In this way the artist becomes attuned to the environmental situation of the white object itself echoing its own environmental awareness.

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

Yes, I’m a full time artist in the sense that my life really informs my work. But of course, I work to make a living. I teach full time in the Visual Arts at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD. I also manage a few properties which couples the enjoyment I find in working with my hands and working with people.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I’ve always considered myself an artist or at least someone who was artistic. It wasn’t really a self-knowledge born of the idea that I was making things that were interesting or well done but rather something that other people would say about what I did. So, after a while you sort of pick that up and it becomes your own.

4. What are your influences?

I put together a show, “A Lineage of American Perceptual Painters” which went on view in the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD about a years ago. The exhibition includes a number of my favorite painters and greatest contemporary (or near contemporary) influences.

More here, http://www.sjc.edu/programs-and-events/annapolis/mitchell-art-gallery/mitchell-gallery-archives/2014-2015-exhibits-and-programs/#perceptual

My work is also really influenced by life in general. I’ll read a book or see a show and it will kind of overwhelm me, like a really catchy song that you want to hear over and over again, and eventually fizzles but is not gone completely. So during the immediate aftermath of exposure I am somewhat possessed by a particular idea and it seeps into everything I do and say. It’s terrible really that I’m so fickle. Right now I’m super obsessed about the Picasso sculpture exhibition at MOMA. The way he married line and form is mind numbing. I mean, I didn’t even think I liked Picasso that much. Nothing was accidental or overlooked and every material he came upon become and artistic statement. I laugh maniacally every time I think about it (which is constantly)!!!

My wife and I love to travel and that always seeps into my work… in the last few years we’ve been with the kids to Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul, Prague, Seattle, and San Diego.

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

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My studio is fairly large. It is the full footprint of my home and in my basement. I guess it’s about 900 sq. feet but it’s fragmented into a “clean room” where I have a cluttered desk and have racks of paintings and a somewhat open space where I have a table saw, drill press, and work tables. Among the “dirty” space I find inspiration for my interior paintings. I work in diffused light during the day which comes in through basement windows and under various artificial lights at night. Paintings occur to me over a long period of time. I’m a quintessential Cezanne painter in the way that good ideas occur to me only after I’ve muddled with ideas that aren’t that good for quite a while. Ideas that come to me which are purely formed bore me or make me extremely wary. I tend to toss them aside.

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Working outdoors at Fort Howard

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

Typically I get down to the studio late at night during the week. It’s 11:27pm now and as soon as I finish this I’m heading down. By 2am or so I’ll need to wrap it up or will pour a glass of Glenfiddich and go back to it for a couple hours (a decision I’ll regret when my alarm goes off at 6am). Tonight will be a later night than usual. On a good night I’m down there by 9pm. On Fridays and weekends I take a large section of the morning and afternoon to paint and am working on a large painting of my bottles in natural light at the moment from Noon-5pm when the light is right. I also head outside to paint the landscape when I’m fatigued of my interiors or if it’s a particularly beautiful day. Some people golf. I’m a big Spotify listener and I tend to listen to guys with guitars… Ryan Adams, Joshua Ritter, etc. I also love drone or trance music… really I don’t even know the name of the genre… but in the Crystal Castles realm. A close friend, Jeremy Jarvis, makes some of his playlists public and I always glean good music from those lists. Oh, and WTMD, a local Towson University radio station.

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

I work primarily in oil but will use acrylic, watercolor, gouache, and all manner of drawing media to keep things exciting. More and more lately, as my family and other responsibilities mount, I’ve been working primarily in oil since some of my studio epics move at a glacial pace and I really want to complete several for upcoming exhibitions. I work on many, many projects at once. When I begin a project or am nearing the end I tend to get tunnel vision and hone in on just that. The middle of a painting, the doldrums, are what I dread!

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

No. Not really. One technique that is quite common and something I use often is scraping down areas of a painting after a session. The palette knife is used to do this and essentially the paint is lifted off the surface but much of the impression of the mark remains. This is done to resuscitate areas of the painting that have calcified or are overwrought and also helps the subsequent layers of paint to adhere in a manner consistent with “fat over lean.” Although this is a common practice in painting it tends to baffle my new painting students each semester.

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

I come from a big family and am close to them. My maternal grandmother has 27 grandkids and a steadily growing number of great-grandkids. I spend time making calls, writing letters, and taking trips and would like to do more of all three! My wife and I had our fourth child, Stella, about two months ago. Lately, in the evening after the other kids are in bed asleep, we just sort of hang out with her and try to communicate. She’s generally really quiet and content but is becoming aware and communicates with us. It’s a trip to see her smile and respond to the crazy antics we put on! I’m assistant coach for my oldest son’s soccer team and am on the PTA which is odd, apparently, since I’m a man. I’ve never felt so out of place! But I hope to be a help.

This summer had a workout with the chair of my department, Chris Mona, who is the most buff artist I know. It was fun (and really painful) and I’ve been weight lifting since then. I’m focusing on leg workouts. I tend to be fanatical about exercise and this type of exercise is my latest fascination.

Lastly, I really love to read. My best days always begin with me reading nonfiction and end with me reading fiction!

“Observing Observing (a white cup): Sarah Bixler”

Featured

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 #31: Sarah Bixler”

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

I’ve always enjoyed paintings of white objects, in white environments. I was excited to have an excuse to paint one. I also rarely paint from still life, so the change of pace and logistics was a welcome challenge.

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

I support myself through teaching and odd jobs.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I am still struggling with that identity I think.

4. What are your influences?

I am influenced by so many things, what I am reading, what I am doing… looking at. I think I became an artist (or at least wound up at art school) because it synthesizes so many different disciplines and gives me an excuse to be endlessly curious and to spend my time learning about lots of different things. Some painters I go back to again and again are Edwin Dickinson, Alberto Giacometti, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Anne Gale, Euan Uglow, Frank Auerbach, Villhelm Hammershoi, Seurat’s drawings, Gwen John… Any list feels incomplete. My list is always expanding, and evolving based on whatever problem I am working on.

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

I have converted my dining room into a studio, or accommodated my studio to my dining room… It is not very big… maybe 150 sq ft, the light is South facing from large pane windows. I only belatedly realized how little wall space I have, but I love all the window space. Natural lighting is important to me. The walls are deep burgundy, which I became more and more aware of as I painted my white cup, on its white stand, with all the bounced light.

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

My schedule is really unpredictable right now. So, a typical “day” in my studio… I’m not sure I’ve experienced that in a while. I do my best work in the morning so I try to get started early. I am often unsure of what to do first and I find that walking or running can help me sort through my priorities for the day. Once I’m back in my studio I’ll often start by looking at images I’ve collected relating to my project, or by just putting myself in the space, looking at my painting, tidying things up. I almost always listen to music or NPR or podcasts. Lately I’ve spent most of my time on small landscape paintings and studies outside.

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

I am always working on something. I’ve been doing small gouache paintings and drawings of buildings and scenes outdoors. I think having many things going at once can helps me avoid overworking any one painting and also keeps the process new and exciting. I can try new things and experiment.

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

Not really… Just paint, and stuff to paint with. I’ve been into edges, I really like having the contrast of a straight edge, so I’ve been fond of tape.

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

I like running, biking and exploring. I enjoy working with my hands, so I’m always falling into new projects. I just took apart my cellphone to install a new screen, which was more involved than I anticipated. I enjoy reading and do a lot of ‘research’ reading, I’d like to read for pleasure more often.

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

Featured

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.

“Observing Observing (a white cup): Caroline Kapp”

Featured

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 #29: Caroline Kapp”

Kapp_Photo_In_Studio-1

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

I approached the idea very playfully. I worked in stages, starting with some pieces that explored visual and formal aspects of value, shape and repetition. Working with the absence of color and a focus on shape led me into several other iterations dealing with fingerprints, impressions, then a step back to more of an analytical or functional focus of what makes a cup a cup, being contained or held by, and to hold.

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

I teach college visual art, design and graphic software courses and do some freelance work on the side.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

It surprises me what a tough question that is. The earliest memory I have is drawing a figure that suggested volume. Snaky arms and legs and torso, rather than a stick figure. I was about four, drawing with a purple crayola marker, and of course I didn’t have the vocabulary to interpret or share what made me so excited about how I made that drawing or why, but I will never forget that feeling of discovery and elation that what I drew was somehow closer to what I saw. I don’t know what it’s like to not have the drive to be working on or collecting something, even more now, if it’s scratching down an idea or texting myself an image or capturing video or audio. I think it took many years of hearing people comment to me about this drive to create that I realized that a drive to create isn’t something everyone can relate to, and later on that I had unconsciously been surrounding myself with other people with that same drive because it made me feel a little less insane, whether it be art or music or writing, the medium didn’t matter. Maybe one of those moments is the moment in question.

4. What are your influences?

I’m all over the place. On the photography side I appreciate work that documents or catalogs objects and scientific phenomenon in visually beautiful ways, Anna Atkins, Berenice Abbott, or Karl Blossfeldt come to mind. I appreciate Keiji Uematsu’s work for his precarious sculptural work and impossible photographic illusions that rely so wonderfully on the fixed vantage point to work, and also the ease in which he carries his ideas and visual style so fluidly between mediums. I gravitate to suggestive or conceptual work that shifts context or startles expectation in some manner, work with words or titles essential to the piece, like Bruce Nauman or John Baldessari. I have an innate love for line quality, texture, value and color theory from painting for years, and I’m drawn to really loose, expressionistic figural work like Alice Neel or Oskar Kokoschka, and then on the other side extremely textured precision of Euan Uglow’s compositions.

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

I work in a small attic-like space with sloped ceilings that serves as an office, art studio and music studio. There is a work table, a cuckoo clock, lots of art books, postcards and instruments, lots of guitar cables all over. It gets great natural afternoon light, at other times lit by two 60watt Ikea bulbs.

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

Maybe it is how I negotiate a busy schedule, but I am more of a mobile idea collector and less of a studio artist in the traditional sense. What I do most regularly is scribble ideas down during random moments and places during the day, and the act of sketching or writing burns the idea into my mind so I’m thinking about it, mapping it out, down to little details of the composition or items I need to find at Goodwill to make it happen. When I do work, I binge on a lot of carefully crafted ideas all at once, without looking back trying not to analyze or second-guess what I am doing. What is fairly consistent, and it’s kind of funny, is that after I capture an idea, I never like the piece and I have to put it away. It never compares to what it was in my mind’s eye, and I have to distance myself for a few weeks or sometimes even months. I think of wolves circling each other as I come to terms with how it differs from what was in my mind. We eventually become amicable again, and sometimes I rework aspects of it, sometimes it was perfectly fine to begin with, but taking the time and space away from the piece is the necessary last step for it to be finished.

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

I primarily work in the mediums of photography, drawing and video. I am drawn to these because they have very different connotations or levels of “real” to a viewer based on their unique traditions and histories, and that perception affects interpretation and significance of the subject matter. My ideas often originate from there. It is pretty rare that something will end up in a medium different from what I envisioned because the medium is so much a part of the idea.

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

I think I use fairly common tools and techniques, but the way I combine the media to suit the idea might be considered unique. For example I often use paintbrushes, charcoal, folded paper and printmaking techniques to make my photographs, photographs, video projections and printmaking paper to make my drawings, and all of the above to make videos. Sometimes the physical process can go through six or eight steps of analog to digital and back.

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

I play several instruments, compose music, I cook and nerd out on cooking shows, garden, travel, hang out with my dogs.