Artist Interview: Susan Moore

The end of last month I finally got to sit down with the talented artist and colleague, Susan Moore. Not only is she a painter from Iowa that specializes in oil paintings centered on food. she’s also an Assistant Professor of Art at Peru State College. Her ‘delicious’ work has been seen all around the country, with her most recent upcoming show starting in January at the Stanford Art Museum in Oklahoma. I can honestly say that I feel fortunate to have gotten her to agree to this interview.

In the interview Susan discusses her path into the area of fine arts. How she first chose animation as a way to express herself, and finding shortly afterwards that it wasn’t for her. Her trials of working through illnesses and rebuilding her life after a devastating fire all while starting a family. Eventually deciding to start graduate school in Denton, Texas. Susan is now in Nebraska teaching at Peru State College.
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An Interview with the illustrator and friend, Julia Townsend

About three weeks ago I decided to sit down with a good friend and former colleague to ask her a few questions to get her take into what it’s like to be an accomplished artist, I also wanted to hear the process that she took to get there. I think it’s safe to say that in many ways Julia Townsend is renaissance woman with wide-ranging skills from painting to sculpture and long distance running to sea kayaker. If there is anything that she is not capable of doing I haven’t seen it yet.

Julia has lived and worked as an artist all around the world from Germany to Dubai. She is currently living with her husband in Edenton, North Carolina, where they run the Peanut Factory (PF). The PF was a former, you guessed it, peanut factory and through which she and her husband are converting to art center. From what I understand the PF is becoming a center for all things art. It is currently hosting artist’s residencies and they have just finished a gallery for exhibitions. She plans on adding a restaurant and housing for the visiting artists as well. Continue reading

Artist: Corey Pickett

Artist Interview: Corey Pickett

Artist: Corey PickettThe latest artist interview that I had scheduled for this site was to be for a longtime friend, Corey Pickett, who is starting to make a name for himself in the art field. I use the word, “starting” a little loosely because by some measures, he has “arrived.” His work is topical and relevant to the current tone of society in the US. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I would expect his work to take off in a couple of years. He’s had solo exhibitions across the country and his work is currently being shown at ENMU, with a new exhibition in Sante Fe, that will be opening shortly. This December he will be showing in Pennsylvania too.

For this interview I decided to go in a slightly different direction than the past interviews, namely I wanted the interview with Corey to be a podcast. This was the first time that I’d done an interview like this so bear that in mind when you listen to it. I have experience with audio recordings, but I lack quality equipment and a true studio to conduct the interview. Also, in the back of my mind, I was hoping that this will be a regular method of interviews for
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Jennifer Townley

I recently came across an artist who does interesting mechanical sculptural works. The Dutch artist, according to her web site, ”

The works derive from her fascination with science, with an emphasis on physics, engineering and mathematics. Geometric patterns in Islamic art or mathematical drawings of Dutch artist M. C. Escher often serve as an inspiration. Images where lines and figures match each other so perfectly they could be repeated indefinitely. This infinity, regularity and obedience is what Townley also finds fascinating about mechanical machines; they are robust, strenuous and seemingly immortal. She is captivated by how a machine can convert a simple circular motion (rotary engine) into a very complicated nonlinear or chaotic movement pattern.

When it comes to the ‘cool factor’ Jenifer’s work is definitely in the area of cool. That being said, maybe it’s that I’m seeing her work transition and move based on the videos that I’ve seen, and I can’t help but feel that I’ve seeing the work through someone else’s perspective. In many pieces, especially those that are static, sometimes all you need is a photo of the work. Imagine though if the photographer took the photo of the Mona Lisa at a strange angle, or maybe too far away, or possibly even too close to the piece. You wouldn’t get to look at the things or areas that interest you. It could, in extreme cases change your perception of the work. This is what I think is happening to me with Jennifer’s sculptures. I know that they are cool, and that I would most likely stand mesmerized in front the pieces, but the video doesn’t do it justice… That is of course my opinion.

161 Days,   2012,   30 x 30 x 10 cm
Unique piece Metal, wood, electric motor, mechanical parts, white cord, lead.

So knowing that I have to kind of adjust my perception of her work into a more, “Wow, I bet that would be cool to see.” frame of mind, I want to give Jennifer the highest praise. The pieces that I’ve seen were effective as combining and contrasting both perception and shape. I was drawn to her piece, 161 Days. It is a combination of moving gears along with white string connected at various points around the gears. (The color of the string is important because it creates contrast.) It is an interesting joining of the shapes and perception, as Jennifer has stated she tries to accomplish. As the gears turn, the string will take on new shape as they are pulled in different angles. The eye focuses on the shapes and it can actually draw you in, and I guess maybe mesmerize the viewer.

There are several different paths that an artist can take when creating. I tend to view the quality of the piece on the end result. Kind of like the old saying, “How does it make you feel?” concept to art. There are others who will look at the technical aspect of the work, maybe the intricacies of the drawing, or the one observation that I personally don’t like to hear, “It looks so real.” If it looks so real, I mean, why not take a photograph? [small rant–sorry] You get the idea though, there are different aspects, or paths that an artist can take, and Jennifer has done an excellent job working with the perception  of the viewer, and less with the technical side of it. Her work can feel soothing and yet, makes me a little uncomfortable. If I’m correct on the simplified aspects to art, then my guess is that Jennifer is definitely in the, “How does it make you feel?.” camp.

If you’ve got the time and want to get mesmerized by her work there are videos on her site. I’ve included the video link here to one of her pieces, “Asinas”


Benjamin Shine’s Amazing Creations

So I going through my twitter account and stumbled upon an artist creating amazing works with just with fabric and a clothes iron. In all honestly though I’m taking the word of an article written about him. I don’t know for sure, my guess is that there is something more involved than just an iron. Regardless, when you see his work you’d no doubt question whether it was fabric or some other medium.

According to his web site,

“Benjamin Shine studied fashion design at The Surrey Institute of Art and Design and Central St Martins in London. In 2003 he set up his creative studio, where materials, techniques and constructional ideas continue to inform his diverse portfolio and multidisciplinary approach.”

Due to copyright concerns I’m not going to add any images into this post, but you can find some of his work on Instagram.

My own take on his work is that I’m fascinated that he is able to create something so unique in a world of 7 billion people. How is it that I hadn’t heard of anyone doing this before? Although, maybe he isn’t the first, maybe he is just the first to succeed with it. His artistic talent coupled with the innovation may have worked together to accomplish something that no one before him was able to. After all it’s not like he is using technology that has just become available.

The use of fabric appears to create more of a sculpture than painting, but from a distance it genuinely appears to be attempting to be 3D. Indeed, there are images of his work hanging in galleries that look like paintings, and my guess you probably wouldn’t be able to see that it was constructed of fabric unless you were viewing from the side. He states that he strives for his works to appear as smoke.