In the Atelier

Monday, April 4, 2011

in the atelier…karen rieger

I think you can safely say one of my favorite artists is Cana­dian Karen Rieger. We first spot­ted her work in Cal­gary, and over the years have col­lected seven of her pieces, both large and small. I still enjoy them every day — the vibrancy, the sub­jects, the decep­tive sim­plic­ity of the com­po­si­tions. I don't have an inter­view with her to share, but you can read her artist's state­ment here. Enjoy this selec­tion of her work, avail­able through a num­ber of Cana­dian gal­leries, and one or two in the U.S.

I feel her women are always indulging in hid­den thoughts:

"Evening" by Karen Rieger

"Evening" by Karen Rieger

"Primavera" by Karen Rieger

"Pri­mav­era" by Karen Rieger

"Citron" by Karen Rieger

"Cit­ron" by Karen Rieger

Rieger's flo­ral still life pieces are always lush with color:

"Tulips and Cherries" by Karen Rieger

"Tulips and Cher­ries" by Karen Rieger

"April Flowers" by Karen Rieger

"April Flow­ers" by Karen Rieger

What do you think of these gor­geous pieces?

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Monday, March 21, 2011

in the atelier…with cathie joy young

In the ate­lier today is painter Cathie Joy Young, whose work first came to my atten­tion via Twit­ter. In perus­ing her port­fo­lio online, I found I really had to stop and study each piece to try and inter­pret the mean­ing. The sto­ries are not under­stood at first glance. It's intrigu­ing that Cathie her­self feels the sto­ries are not hers, but rather bor­rowed.  The col­ors are rich, the abstract fig­ures always con­vey­ing emo­tion. With the artist as the con­duit for these visions, the viewer is invited to dive in and explore.

In her own words, here is Cathie Joy Young:

"Shall the Meek?" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Shall the Meek?" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

1)   What path led you to your life as an artist?

My Dad was a painter. When my brother and I were very young both par­ents encour­aged us to draw and later to paint. My Dad painted in oils and his stu­dio was in our home so I was around it all the time.

When I was about 12 my Dad started show­ing my work along­side his own at casual out­door art shows. It was all rep­re­sen­ta­tional work. I sold occa­sion­ally and that was inspir­ing. When I would get too cre­ative – as in work from my imag­i­na­tion instead of from ref­er­ence it was frowned upon because I was actu­ally mak­ing good pocket money doing water color roses and pen and ink horses. I did not take art classes in high school and was not active with art again until I decided to apply to art school. I fig­ured I needed to go to col­lege and I really did not want to have to deal with required under­grad­u­ate classes like math and sci­ence so I thought  a pri­vate art col­lege was the way to go. I got accepted to the Pacific NW Col­lege of Art in Port­land, OR, and intended on major­ing in Graphic Design. Half way through my first year I changed my major to paint­ing. After grad­u­a­tion I worked in restau­rants and painted at home and would show occa­sion­ally. Even­tu­ally I got art-related jobs so that I could make a liv­ing that way. I worked at a stag­ing and prop com­pany called Stage Right. I free-lanced at dec­o­ra­tive paint­ing jobs and then I con­tracted to McMe­namin’s and did mural work in their var­i­ous hotels, the­aters and pubs.  After leav­ing that job there were a few years when I did not paint at all, and then in 2005 I started all over again in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent way.

Since then I’ve been show­ing my work at var­i­ous gal­leries and shows in the US and sell­ing my work inter­na­tion­ally online.

"Inside Miracle" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Inside Mir­a­cle" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

2)   Please describe three sources of inspi­ra­tion for your art.

My inspi­ra­tion comes from painters I came across while I was in art school years ago and from authors I read going back as far as child­hood. The visual artists I most admire are Odil­lon Redon, Marc Cha­gall, Ivan Gen­er­alic, El Greco, and many of the Expres­sion­ists as well as medieval painters. The writ­ers who have helped shape the way I think are Her­mann Hesse, Aldous Hux­ley, John Galswor­thy, Thomas Hardy, Doris Less­ing, Tove Jans­son, and George McDon­ald. Besides the listed artists and writ­ers I am also inspired by the act of paint­ing. What I mean by this is that the very action of pro­duc­ing inter­est­ing imagery keeps me going.

"Egyptian Faience" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Egypt­ian Faïence" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

3)   What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?

I was recently in Hawaii and I brought home shells, coral, and inter­est­ing small rocks that I found at the beach. I really like rocks and shells and I always try to bring home a rock from wher­ever I go. I stayed away from bring­ing home a lava rock though because my Hawai­ian friend told me I would be cursed if I did. I don’t like to take chances with curses!

"Unexpected Clues" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Unex­pected Clues" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

4)   Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be:

A writer of books.

"Opening Sky" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Open­ing Sky" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

5)   What advice do you have for peo­ple who are afraid to buy art?

The pur­chase of Art has a dif­fer­ent and more endur­ing value than say the lat­est Iphone. The lat­ter will be out­dated in a few months and need to be replaced in a cou­ple of years. A piece of art is age­less and time­less and if you really love it, you always will.

"Astro Coo" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

"Astro Coo" by Cathie Joy Young, acrylic on wood panel

I hope you've enjoyed get­ting to know Cathie a lit­tle bet­ter! Please visit her web­site to see more of her work. You can also email her at catjoy@cathiejoyyoung.com or shop online here. Please leave a note and let me know what you think of these fas­ci­nat­ing pieces!

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Monday, March 7, 2011

in the atelier…with Gabriela Galarza

It is my plea­sure to have 'In the Ate­lier' this week my tal­ented friend Gabriela Galarza. We met last year dur­ing Designer Spaces and Mar­ket Places and I was imme­di­ately engaged by her warm per­son­al­ity. I did not real­ize until later that the fan­tas­tic "Gal­los" paint­ing I saw dur­ing the event was one of her works! I see so much of Gaby's per­son­al­ity in her paint­ing. The col­ors are joy­ous and vibrant, the can­vases often larger than life. One can sense the depth of her con­nec­tion to her fam­ily and envi­ron­ment. Each can­vas is laden with mean­ing, a cel­e­bra­tion. Enjoy!

gabriela galarza "la gallina turuleca"

gabriela galarza "la gal­lina turuleca"

In her own words, I present Gabriela Galarza-Block:

1)   What path led you to your life as an artist?

Com­ing to North Amer­ica. I knew I wanted a career change – I was well on my way to being a lawyer in my native coun­try, Argentina, and com­ing to the United States pre­sented me with the oppor­tu­nity to go to art school.  I wanted to be a fash­ion designer but first I needed to build a port­fo­lio. Then I took my first paint­ing class at Man­ches­ter Com­mu­nity Col­lege and I just fell in love with the art of express­ing through col­ors and emo­tions and I said “This is it.”

2)   Please describe three sources of inspi­ra­tion for your art.

My first source of inspi­ra­tion would be my fam­ily, the fam­ily that I come from. I come from a big fam­ily where broth­ers, sis­ters, uncles, cousins, and aunts played a big role in my upbring­ing – nat­u­rally for me that is the place that I go to look for my inspi­ra­tion.  Music is also a place that I turn to in order to feel inspired.  For instance, when I lis­ten to Beethoven I can­not stop won­der­ing how one day I can con­vey through my art all the feel­ings that he con­veyed with his music.  I also use music to keep me through the same feel­ing in a paint­ing. The other source of inspi­ra­tion would be a good con­ver­sa­tion or good time with friends; some­thing there will trig­ger my inspi­ra­tion and the desire to paint or make art.

gabriela galarza "dani-riqui-trompo-regalito-mariano-cristina"

gabriela galarza "dani-riqui-trompo-regalito-mariano-cristina"

3)   What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?

Lately I am not buy­ing on my trips; I take a lot of pic­tures.  But if I have to think about an item that I love it is a mat­era I bought on a visit to my home­town in Argentina.  It is a rawhide piece that you carry around when you drink mate (a tra­di­tional tea infu­sion from Argentina).  I bought it from Tienda Tan­nure, a store that is a mix of Chi­na­town and fron­tier gen­eral store and which has been in town for­ever.  I am using my mat­era to hold wood and long matches next to my fire­place. It is a con­stant reminder of where I come from and it fills my heart with joy.

4)   Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be:

A lawyer work­ing with the United Nations.

gabriela galarza "blooming"

gabriela galarza "blooming"

5)   What advice do you have for peo­ple who are afraid to buy art?

Don't be afraid.  Pur­chas­ing a piece of art it is one of the most reward­ing things that you can do to treat your­self. Noth­ing is more joy­ous and uplift­ing for your spirit than wak­ing up to an orig­i­nal piece of art.

I hope you enjoyed learn­ing more about Gabriela and her work. Please visit her online at:

www.gabrielagalarza.com

http://gabrielagalarza.com/blog/

And to see some of her murals, visit restau­rant Barca in Hart­ford. The spir­ited envi­ron­ment cel­e­brates the food. Try it and let me know if I'm right. (I am, really!)

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Monday, February 21, 2011

in the atelier…with Lynn Mackenzie

In the ate­lier today is artist Lynn Macken­zie, another Twit­ter con­nec­tion. What first popped into my head when I saw her work is the word "soul­ful". I see yearn­ing and reach­ing out, striv­ing for con­nec­tion. The col­ors are deep and lush, warm and envelop­ing. And if eyes are the win­dow to the soul, don't you feel you can see right into the soul of these figures?

In her own words, here is Lynn Mackenzie:

Lynn Mackenzie artist aspects of mind

"Aspects of Mind"

1)   What path led you to your life as an artist?

All my life I wanted to be an artist, but it wasn’t always easy.  At art school I strug­gled to try to please all the tutors and really lost my direc­tion for a while.  After art school I didn’t paint for many years as I felt I had lost the abil­ity and con­fi­dence, then a few years ago, my doc­tor sug­gested I give up the stress­ful job I was in at the time and go back to art –I have never looked back! It is some­thing I have to do, if I don’t cre­ate I begin to feel lost.

2)   Please describe three sources of inspi­ra­tion for your art.

My sur­round­ings – I live in a stun­ningly beau­ti­ful area of Scot­land which is immersed in myths and leg­end but am also now becom­ing more fas­ci­nated with other cul­tures as well.  Peo­ple and invis­i­ble con­nec­tions between each other and the world as a whole entity – what makes us con­nect with some but not oth­ers, what trig­gers belief in a cer­tain faith, human­ity in gen­eral.  Words – a phrase, a poem, a sin­gle word said in a cer­tain way can trig­ger a work.

Lynn Mackenzie artist facell

"Facell"

3)   What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?

A paint­ing painted by an Indian artist I had met through social net­work­ing, Shinod Akkara­param­bil– I attended an inter­na­tional art sym­po­sium in Elabuga, Rus­sia, which he also attended and we arranged to swop an art­work there.  The 10 days  spent there cre­at­ing and talk­ing with 33 other artists was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence which has inspired to me to travel more to expe­ri­ence and explore other cul­tures and meet artists from other countries.

4)   Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be a:

Writer.

5)   What advice do you have for peo­ple who are afraid to buy art?

Don’t be afraid, if you love it, buy it and enjoy it – it was painted with love and pas­sion and should make the viewer feel the same.

Lynn Mackenzie artist watching Pandora

"Watch­ing Pandora"

I hope you enjoyed learn­ing more about Lynn and her art. You can fol­low her on Twit­ter @lynnbmackartist or see more at:

www.lbm-art.moonfruit.com

www.lynnbennettmackenzieart.co

www.lynnbmack.blogspot.com

lynnbmack67@yahoo.co.uk

I hope you are enjoy­ing the artist pro­files on my blog. I believe art is key to per­son­al­iz­ing any home or office space. I encour­age you to choose art that makes you feel — and sup­port artists both near and far.

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