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Scribble Artist Interview with Guy Laramée!

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Scribble Town (ST): We are constantly traveling on a journey.  It’s amazing how each part seems like a whole world of it’s own with all it’s intricacies and surprises. From books, to words, to feelings, all these experiences connect us, either to each other or to our surroundings.  That’s how I felt when I saw Guy Laramée’s work.  I found myself walking through his artworks, which are fantastical microcosms in the grand scheme of things.

Due to it’s uniqueness, I would rather not attempt to classify your art, but how would you describe it?

Guy Laramée (GL): People define me socially as an artist. I make art.

ST: What are you up to at the moment?

GL: Right now I’m doing exactly this : beginning what looks as an “Atlas of No-Mind”.

ST: Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine just how overflowing with indescribable findings this atlas will be!

Your artwork is very full, complex and interdisciplinary in a playful and magical way!  How do you combine music and art?  And what about words and art?  For example, your poem titled Rain has many oil paintings related to the text.  What came first?

Pour Calame (2010) Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm

Pour Calame (2010). Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm


GL:
I don’t combine music and visual art. They were different moments of my life. Maybe I’m more multi-disciplinary than interdisciplinary.

I have a love-hate relationship with words, that’s why I both love and destroy books. I find that words are beautiful, they open up entire worlds, but at the same time they fix things in a way that binds us.

Rain (pluie in French) came as a body of work first. But while I was doing the research and starting the actual paintings, I collected poems and texts to understand my feelings about rain, how rain is profoundly nostalgic, calming and beautiful. To translate these feelings on a more existential level, I wrote the poem.


RAIN

May it rain
May it rain on this troubled world
May this rain erase borders
May it mix colors, forms, and times.
May it rain upon me
May the sound of this rain
Wash myself from myself
May this rain dissolve me
Until I recognize myself in trees, mountains, and people.
May I keep hearing this rain
Through the clamour of ambitions.
May it rain
May it rain upon our confused minds
And (that) through this rain
May we return home.

-Guy Laramée, March 2010


ST:
 It’s a beautiful poem!  It lends itself to giving the reader images in their minds and context for your paintings. How have your studies in anthropology inspired your artwork?  What has been you artistic path?  I can see your interests run deep and wide with the range of mediums and concepts you use.

GL: Anthropology came as a way for me to understand that there exist different worldviews and that in their own world, they are all equally valid. They clash one with another, but all worldviews have some fascinating coherence. Thus my problem was/is : if truth – by definition – is unique, if truth can be equated to Oneness, then how come it manifests itself under so many guises, in so many forms? How can Truth encompass contradictions?

The variety of mediums I used only reflect the incapacity of each medium, of each piece, of each work to say it all. The incompletude (uncompletedness ?) of each art work keeps me on the move.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.


ST:
 The way you manipulate and use books as sculpture is amazing!  How did you start carving books?  Please let us know more about Les Livres-Lumier.  I would love to visit those mountain tops one day!

GL: I cannot really say how I’m doing it because I feel more and more that it is not me who is doing this. When I enter the process (often reluctantly…!) I am possessed by a force that is quite powerful and that “decides” so to speak how things are going to go this time, what tools will be used, etc. Tools and processes change all the time, sometime new tools have to be created. The only thing I know for sure is : since I invent tools, I’m not a monkey, thus I must be human (lol). Even that I don’t really know for sure. I’d rather see the artistic process as a process of Unknowing rather than a learning process.

DRAGON OVER THE CLOUDS. 2014.  Webster dictionary, inks,  pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.  18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches.  (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

Dragon Over the Clouds (2014). Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.
18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches. (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)


ST:
 Your work ranges from 2D to 3D.  Do you feel that some of your 3D works could also work at 2 dimensional pieces?  How do you decide what mediums and platforms to best portray your ideas?

GL: Once I showed an art magazine to a friend who happens to be a photographer. There was a piece in there that was quite ambiguous, like a painting stretched on a sculpture. I asked him ” “What do you think, is this a painting or a sculpture ?” I went for the sculpture. I shouted at him, laughing : “It’s neither ! It’s a photograph !!”

Think about it : 99 % of the art works you saw in your life, you know then only through photographs. Interesting, right ? So in a way you could say that the ‘essence’ of the work can make it into a translation, either photographical or textual; or you could say that for you, the real work is the photograph. If you were to be true to yourself, the work for you is a photo.

So of course my 3D work works very well in 2D, people buy it after seeing it on the internet…!

Guan Yin. Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter). 2011.

Guan Yin (2011). Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter).


ST:
 You’re absolutely right!  The transformations between mediums and documentations of those changes creates a whole new piece of it’s own every time.

When you come up with an idea what is usually your process for working it through?

GL: If I had found a recipe to make my work, I would SELL IT ! There’s no recipe. Like in love. The moment you fix it, it’s gone. That’s the beauty of it, that’s why also I’m always in a state of profound anxiety (half kidding : it is not easy to make insecurity your home…).

ST: Did anybody encourage your creativity when you were a child?

GL: Nobody encouraged me really. My parents gave me the usual painting boxes and tools, but when they saw that it was becoming serious, they did their very best to discourage me. I wish they had succeeded, really, because see in what mess I’m in now : don’t know where the next $$ are going to come from, don’t know what I’m going to do this morning, don’t know how I will ever come out of that terrible state of solitude that I ended up closing myself in, etc etc. Creativity is not a choice and thus it cannot even be fostered. Creativity is an imperative. It is the imperative of life itself. We chose nothing. We follow the current of life or resist it. Even to think that we decide to follow or resist is fallacious. The current of life is all there is.

ST: Guy, what would be some artful advice for our Scribble readers?

GL: Don’t fear solitude. That’s the only advice I can give. When you are alone, don’t try to escape it. Drop your cell phone in a pond. Put your TV to the trash bin. Stop losing your time on computer screens. These things suck your creativity.

Be alone as much as you can. Then the voices of the muses will take care of the rest. They will guide you.

ST: I understand what you mean. We are, in the end, our own best friend even though sometimes it can seem like we are our own enemy!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  You have given us all whole lot to chew on- from concepts to techniques.  Scribblers, for more inspiration please have a look at Guy’s website at http://www.guylaramee.com.

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Keeping it surreal with René Magritte

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.” –René Magritte

René Magritte, Homesickness, 1940

René Magritte, Homesickness, 1940

Surrealism began around the 1920s as a movement that explored expression and the imagination of the subconscious. René Magritte, a painter part of the movement, did just that. Much of the work during this time was very dreamlike and bizarre. Artists such as Magritte truly created some amazing and legendary paintings that breaks boundaries between dream and reality.

Magritte was born on November 21, 1898 in Lessines, Belgium. He began his paintings in 1910 when he was only 12 years old. In 1922, he married Georgette Berger who was also his childhood friend. Four years later he produced his first surreal oil painting called ‘The Lost Jockey’ and held an exhibition to present this work. He soon moved to Paris and became involved in the surrealist group. His work was finally exhibited in 1936 in New York City where he became more popular day by day. His work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was added in 1992 and also at the Museum of Modern Art that was added in 1965.

Magritte not only keeps us fully interested in his work but also in our own. He helps us to think outside the box and brings us into another dimension of art. Try and remember one of the last dreams you’ve had that you can remember quite vividly and sketch it out. Maybe even make a painting about it. You may discover and create something you never imagined. Dreams are a part of our everyday lives whether we remember them or not. Something is always drifting through our subconscious, and if you can get a hold of it, pay attention to it and try to make sense out of it.

René Magritte, The Lovers I, 1928

René Magritte, The Lovers I, 1928

Published by Andi Thea, on June 15th, 2015 at 6:38 am. Filled under: adults,Artists,Featured,Painting,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Kenneth Michael Zeran!

"Abstr Action"  Acrylic Paint on Canvas  48 in x 48 in  121.92 cm x 121.92 cm  1980

“Abstr Action” Acrylic Paint on Canvas, 48 in x 48 in,
121.92 cm x 121.92 cm, 1980

Scribble Town (ST): From one medium to another, Kenneth Michael Zeren is an artist that portrays an array of ideas and concepts. Always surprising and always thought provoking his works make you think of all the possibilities.  Ken says, “I am a creative person whose journey brought me to the realm of Fine Art.” Indeed he is!  Ken, what are you up to these days?

Kenneth Michael Zeran (KMZ): At the moment I am creating a glass work that is an element within a larger ongoing project (14 pieces) involving different mediums.

ST: Wow this sounds like a huge project! Your artwork ranges from painting to printmaking to new media. Is there one that you are more drawn to?  What is one of your favorite styles and why?

KMZ: I am more drawn to original painting because it is distinguished in our replicating digital world. I don’t have a favorite style because I am constantly evolving. Collectors want an artist to be defined- to use the same style. I have always felt that is boring. After you have done something it is done.

"Family Portrait"  Serigraph on American Etching Paper  Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium  21 in x 50 in  53.34 cm x 127 cm  Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial  1976

“Family Portrait”, Serigraph on American Etching Paper, Silkscreen Ink with Gold Medium, 21 in x 50 in,
53.34 cm x 127 cm, Offset Poster Edition Released for Bicentennial, 1976

ST: You’re right! We develop as persons along with our ideas, so working with different mediums seems so natural. How do you figure out which medium to use for your concept?

KMZ: Choice of medium is important because ‘it does the talking’. It is all about concept. If it is cerebral then representational control is the focus. If emotionally driven, then losing control to find it in the process.

ST: Since we are talking so much about evolutions I wonder what has been your artistic path.  What is the first memorable piece of art you have made?

"Twilight Zone Man"  Video Frame  1980

“Twilight Zone Man”, Video Frame, 1980

KMZ: My artistic path started in film production. While it was/is rewarding it is a medium that is quickly consumed. I am more interested in lasting permanence, as in Fine Art.

My first memorable piece of art was creating football uniforms with crayons on thin cardboard and covering with wax paper and using an iron to melt the crayon color.

ST: Even your first memory has you mixing mediums and combining techniques!

You have made portraits of important figures such as Salvador Dali and Andi Warhol.  What role do these artists have in your life?  How do you choose the people you would like to make a portrait of?

KMZ: Having spent time with these artists allowed me to take a ‘reading’. I experienced the natural essence of them. I was able to perceive things that have not been expressed in media accounts. Such experience has played a role in my life- call it authenticity. Knowledge of the core that led to new ways of expressing the human condition. I choose portrait subjects based upon social relevance and the result of an engagement of my own perceptions about what makes the individual function. If it is a commission, I process the subject in a very conceptual manner- looking for the edge. Whoever the subject, my interest is to place them in an unresolved state so the viewer keeps coming back.

"Oh Picasso!", Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm,  1974

“Oh Picasso!”, Homage to Pablo Picasso, Serigraph on Strathmore Bristol Paper, Silkscreen Inks, 30 in x 40 in, 76.2 cm x 101.6 cm, 1974

ST: When you were younger who encouraged you to be creative?  Also, what triggers your imagination?

KMZ: As a child, my brothers (2) and I were beneficiaries of our superlatively talented mother. She cared for and involved us in everything. I have always had an active imagination. Perhaps it was spending an important part of childhood handicapped and relying on imagination.

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?

KMZ: I am always in a mode of interaction with the intent of ‘sparking’ living creatures.

ST: You are a sparker! I would say so too. What is something that you have recently seen that amazed or sparked you?

KMZ: Something I saw recently that was amazing was driving through central California in the middle of the day with the sun blotted out by dust storms severely limiting vision – brought about by drought -a visit to the ‘dust bowl’ of the 1930’s.

ST: You just described a very beautiful vision. I imagine the sky to be very shiny and sparkling from the flying sand.

Your painting are generally very abstract?  What are they about?

"Turning Point", 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

“Turning Point”, 48 in x 60 in, Mixed Media on Canvas

KMZ: My paintings are physical and masculine with heroic pursuit. It’s a two way process. It’s communication. I make a move and the paint informs. It’s about the paint. (Impressionism was all about the paint itself).  Losing control to gain control. It is high wire and on a edge and you can lose it in an instant- it is intense.

ST: I feel that your paintings are so different from your recent “Turning Point”.  What prompted you to make this painting?

KMZ: “Turning Point” is about the subject of sports and, as such, requires ‘familiarity’. Sport is all about uniformity. My longtime friend LeRoy Neiman coined the ‘look’ of sports painting and I kept this is mind when creating “Turning Point” so the masses could relate. I did the painting because it is of a major subject in Seattle culture and history. The role of Fine Art is to permanently capture such moments. Of course, I live in the Seattle area.

ST: Your painting does capture that excitement and ecstatic energy that comes from winning!  I’m starting to get the feeling that you are a football fan because your first memorable artist moment was creating football uniforms. Any last golden pieces of advice for us Scribblers?

KMZ: My advice to ‘Scribbler Nation’ is trust yourself with the unique natural gifts only you have. Use them with the power of innocence. Use yourself!

ST: From ‘Scribbler Nation’ we give you a big Thank You, Ken! That’s beautiful advice! Scribblers, have a look at Ken’s website for more inspiration, http://www.kennethmichaelzeran.com.

"Dali!"  Serigraph on Arches Paper  Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium  22 in x 22 in  55.88 cm x 55.88 cm  1974 (Re-released in 2010)

“Dali!”, Serigraph on Arches Paper, Silkscreen Inks and Gold Metal Medium, 22 in x 22 in, 55.88 cm x 55.88 cm, 1974 (Re-released in 2010)

Scribble Artist Interview with Curious Ruby!

IMG_20141006_155528Scribble Town (ST): Curious Ruby is full of color, adventure, and good energy!  These qualities pour out from her watercolor paintings.  When I first contacted Ruby she was traveling and now I can understand more how motion is carried into her images.  I’m so excited to learn more about you, Ruby!

Curious Ruby (CR): Hi! I’m Ruby. I love to travel and explore new places, and I love the outdoors! I have been to 14 different countries in the last 10 years! Being in nature helps me relax! I love camping and hiking, of course I love drawing, yummy food and being with my friends and family.

ST:
Where are you located and what are you up to these days?

CR: I live in Brisbane in Australia, but right now I am traveling around Iceland (it is beautiful) I had never seen snow so this was exciting for me! Next I am off the Norway and Sweden (yay!) So you can see that I love to travel!

ST: How has your Kickstarter campaign been going? I really like the video you made and would like to share it will everybody.  Please let us know what your project and goal is so that we can support you!

CR: It is my first campaign, so I am learning a lot! I might not reach my goal this time, but that’s not entirely important, its a great learning experience. My project is primarily to get my designs onto fabric. I chose silk scarves for this campaign after a trip to Japan. I saw how they used beautiful fabric to wrap gifts in, so it was both functional, re-usable, wearable and beautiful. I thought having designs on silk gave people the option to wear the art, or hang it in a space. Or even wrap gifts in! My goal is to get enough support to print these designs on high grade silk, which is not cheap here in Australia. Also I want to use some of the campaign to improve my website and online store curiousruby.com

ST: You have a great attitude! How will you choose which ones to make into a scarf? They are all so beautiful!

CR: I chose my four geisha girl designs, inspired again by Japan (of course!) I fell in love with these designs as soon as I drew them, and saved them for something special. I have never made these available for prints or sale. I realised also that my pattern designs are popular, so have given some the option for patterned scarves.

ST: Your watercolor and ink paintings are so dreamlike! How do you come up with your designs? What’s your process for developing these ideas?

IMG_20141012_154445

CR: Honestly it starts with drawing. I just put pencil to paper and see what comes out! I am still developing and changing as an artist, but ever since a kid I have drawn girls, they just have changed a little over the years! After that then I play with watercolour and see how it turns out! The fun thing about watercolour is that for me its luck of the draw…sometimes it behaves how you want it and other times it does it’s own thing!

My favourite thing to do is use the sakura ink (from the markers) and then fill in the colour. I don’t use a fixit or masking medium, so its a little game I play to see if I can stay in the lines. Sometimes I’m like “who cares about the lines let’s go crazy!” It sounds silly but it keeps me entertained for hours!

ST: You mentioned you have had a 7 year break from drawing. What were you doing? What brought you back to drawing?

CR: I was being all serious and thought having a hobby was a waste of time. I tend to be someone who can’t sit still, always having to do something, so as I was traveling and adapting to new cultures, I became so absorbed in them I didn’t have time to do any drawing. That changed after a long trip on a boat in Laos. Four days of no internet, TV, mobile phone reception or knowing a single soul on board reignited my love of drawing. Since then there was no looking back. Hobbies are good kids….they help you relax!

ink and watercolor drawing by Curious Ruby - girl dreamingST: Was there somebody that encouraged you to become an artist? What is your first memory of being creative?

CR: I have drawn and painted ever since I could remember. But my first memory is in Grade 9 high school art class. Our art teacher was super supportive, and we would ooohh and ahhhh over the work the seniors would make. Our art teacher looked at me and said, one day you will be doing work 100 times better than this. He’s been my hero ever since!

ST: What tools are in your toolbox for creativity?

CR: Easy: paper, Sakura Microns, Winsor &Newton watercolours.

ST: What is your favorite color at the moment? Why?

CR:  Winsor green. It is so bright and cheery and vibrant.

ST: Any last tips on creativity?

CR: I’ve read dozens of blogs and articles in relation to this question and I agree with almost everything they say: practice practice practice. Make mistakes. Practice. Try new things/ styles – even if you don’t like it…just try. Practice. Have FUN. Enjoy it. Did I mention practice?

ST: Thank you, Ruby for sharing so much with us!  I can see that Iceland has been an inspiration for you with the painting below. She has Aurora Borealis hair and is wearing an Icelandic sweater.  Now your painting has inspired us to explore with art and adventure!

Scribblers, click here to see how you can support Ruby’s Wearable Watercolour Paint Project!

aurora Borealis Iceland sweater ink and watercolor drawing by Curious Ruby

Scribble Artist Interview with the creators of Illustration Challenge!

Illustrate a cafe by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate a cafe by Kirsti Maula

Scribble Town (ST): Illustrationchallenge.com is a site for everybody to share their unique creative responses to fun and interesting challenges. For example, the current challenge is illustrate your mythical creature!  I wonder what you’ll come up with ;).

So, who are the genius creators of Illustrationchallenge.com?  They are Kirsti Maula and Mikko Sinvervo and we’re lucky to have them with us in Scribble Town. Please let us know a bit about yourselves.

Kirsti Maula: I’m a freelancer graphic designer and illustrator. I do print design, for example book covers, layouts, posters and brochures. My design work can be seen at www.lufudesign.com. With time I have found out that my favourite work includes always illustration. some way or another. I like to have a job where I can also find myself playing with playdough, sewing machine, or cutting shapes out of paper. The best work are always the ones I had most fun making.

Mikko Sinervo:  I’m an architect and my day job is in hospital design. However, my true passion lies in my artwork which is rather varied from small sculptures and miniatures to drawings and paintings. I also occasionally teach painting or architecture. My wife and I also wrote and illustrated a couple of children’s storybooks, which we’d be happy to share with you later.

Illustrate a boat Mikko Sinervo

Illustrate a boat Mikko Sinervo

ST: You two are very creative in more than one ways.  It makes sense that Illustration Challenge comes from two people who like a good challenge!  Where are you located and what are you up to these days?

Kirsti: I come from Finland, got married to a German and now we live in Berlin. Freelancing and internet makes me flexible so I don’t have to care about country borders. At the moment I’m one month away from giving birth to my first child, so that will be my biggest creative project so far!

Mikko: I’m currently based in Finland but through my Thai wife I also spend some time in Thailand. Now both of us have commitments in Finland so that’s where we’ll stay for now. Hopefully we’ll get a change to go and live in Thailand in the near future. That would allow me to pursue my artistic career as well. My next big artsy challenge is to build a diorama for the annual Dinosaur Toy Blog contest. (I’m a huge fan of dinosaurs.)

Illustrate Autumn by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate autumn by Kirsti Maula

ST: Congratulations on the the little one coming your way, Kirsti!  Mikko, you must keep us posted on your dinosaur diorama.  You yourselves are involved with other competitions and now tell us what is Illustration Challenge and how can we get in the loop?  Is it for everybody?  How do you find your participants or how do they find you?

Kirsti: Illustrationchallenge.com is a platform for whoever wants to draw more! It is free, easy and without any obligations, we just wish to keep the creativity flowing! I have posted links to some forums that have connection to illustration and we have found followers from twitter and facebook. Participants come from all around the world, and they all have their own approach to the challenges. That’s what makes it fun!

ST: Illustrationchallenge.com is all about being inspired by creativity and giving somebody a reason to create. What inspired you to make a platform for this?

Kirsti: To be very honest it was born out of being a little lazy. I love drawing, and had a dream of becoming an illustrator. But I never seemed to have the time to take my pencils out. As a designer I work well under deadlines and I thought that I should take the same approach to illustration. At first I thought of setting up a blog, but ended up making it an open platform for everyone. I just thought it would be much more fun to see what other people came up with the challenges!

Illustrate Bad Hair Day by Mikko Sinvervo

Illustrate bad hair day by Mikko Sinvervo

ST: Sometimes we all need a little push and why not encourage each other with creativity questions?! There’s a deadline soon coming up.  Can’t wait to see all the illustrations related to Life on Mars!  What prompted you to think about this topic?

Mikko: Well – my wife, Fon, is to thank for this challenge. She helped me come up with some ideas for the challenge and Life on Mars seemed rather inviting a topic. It’s not only a great song but an intriguing question – with billions of stars out there we surely are not the only ones, are we?

ST: I’m prone to believe that there are universes waiting to be discovered, but I wonder what other Scribblers think. Check out the creative responses to Life on Mars here.  What is your personal connection to illustration?  Before working as a team, what did you two do individually?  I’d love to know about your path.

Illustrate A Secret Seapon by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate a secret weapon by Kirsti Maula

Kirsti: I have illustrated for book covers and such for a long while but a year or two ago I realized it was getting more serious than that. Illustrationchallenge.com started as a side project, as I wanted to have free hands to play with ideas and search for my style. For a long time I had a problem finding my individual voice and I got a little frustrated with the thought of having to have a “style”. With illustrationchallenge.com I just decided  to try to be versatile and try out as many styles as possible. The most important thing was that I decided that I won’t be critical of the outcome, I would just create something, whatever it was, every week. At certain point some ways of illustrating felt more “me” and I started to explore them. I still don’t feel I have to have a certain style but rather do something that feels like my own thing. Illustrationchallenge.com has been a great way to discover myself and to create portfolio pieces.

Mikko: As I have two kids and a career as an architect, I thought this challenge was great for me because it forced me to draw. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make the time for it.

Illustrate a Jungle by Mikko Sinvervo

Illustrate a jungle by Mikko Sinvervo

ST: What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

Kirsti: I loved to play in my own imaginary world. I think sometimes to the point where other kids found me a little weird. I remember often having an imaginary horse galloping by my side wherever I went. If we traveled by car I imagined my horse galloping next to the car window.

Mikko: Dinosaurs! Me and my best friend used to build miniature worlds around dinosaurs, and we also built towns and cities inhabited by imaginary characters.

ST: If you could be a shape what would you be?  I’m guessing maybe Mikko will pick something dinosaurish 😉

Kirsti: I would like to be shaped like a barbababa. The pink one.

Mikko: I would be a yellow triangle. Don’t ask me why.

Illustrate a vegetarian monster by Kirsti Maula

Illustrate a vegetarian monster by Kirsti Maula

ST: You two are full of surprises! Any last tips on creativity?

Kirsti: Be brave! Don’t be too critical of you drawings. Explore, try different things, don’t be too serious and do what makes you happy. Most of all, keep on doing it!!

Mikko: Just have fun. I think that is the most crucial thing.

ST: Thank you Kirsti and Mikko for sharing with us!  Ok, Scribblers, now let’s get cracking on our next picture for http://www.illustrationchallenge.com!

Check out the books Mikko and his wife, Fon, have made at
http://issuu.com/mjsinervo/docs/2011_croco/1
http://issuu.com/mjsinervo/docs/2012_12_22_hazel_hires/1

Fon and Mikko made these books as Christmas gifts for their family and friends. Thanks for sharing them with us too!

Henri Matisse moves me with colors

Henri Matisse, The Snail, 1953.  This is an example of Henri Matisse's cutout technique.

Henri Matisse, The Snail, 1953. This is an example of Henri Matisse’s cutout technique.

Color and shapes play together in Henri Matisse’s artworks.  Matisse comes from a merchant family in the northern part of France.  He studied law and passed the bar in 1888, which led him to his job as a law clerk.  When Henri got sick with appendicitis in 1889, his mother brought some art supplies to company him as he recovered.  She encouraged him to experiment and try new art techniques.  This opened a window for a new passion and lifestyle.  From that moment onwards, Henri was an artist!

In 1897, Matisse met painter John Peter Russell.  Russell introduced him to impressionism and to the work of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.  Eyes widened and intrigue grew as he received inspiration from Paul Cézanne, J.M.W. Turner and Georges Seurat’s pointillism.

Matisse’s artistic explorations has earned him titles as painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer.  His reputation came from being one of the founding fathers of Fauvism, one of the first avant-garde movements in 20th-century art.  Matisse’s decoupage or cutout pieces abstracted the essence of objects in a way never seen at that time.

Henri Matisse, Landscape at Collioure, 1905. Here is one of Matisse's Fauvist paintings.

Henri Matisse, Landscape at Collioure, 1905. Here is one of Matisse’s Fauvist paintings.

Let’s see how you color Scribble Town’s coloring sheet of Matisse’s The Dancer coloring sheet.  Print and enjoy!

Henri Matisse, The Dance, Scribble Art Coloring Page. Print then color!

Henri Matisse, Dance, Scribble Art Coloring Page

Published by Andi Thea, on July 11th, 2014 at 10:01 am. Filled under: adults,Arts & Crafts,classroom,kids,Painting,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Scribble Picks Judy Simonian!

Extreme Ikebana by Judy Simonian

Extreme Ikebana by Judy Simonian

Judy Simonian is a painter based in New York City and originally from the West coast.  Scribble Town asked Judy what moves her, how did she get started, and who is the person that creates these beautiful paintings?  Her thoughtful responses run deeper than the surface and with that the stories she shares give the paintings more meaning.  Thank you, Judy!

I was born in Los Angeles, CA were I attended California State University, Northridge and soon after that began exhibiting my artwork in LA and around the country.

As far back as I can remember I have loved to draw everything, but mostly people, and that included mermaids when I was in elementary school.

My family, friends and teachers were very encouraging early on. I loved trying to get a likeness and learned how to really “see”  from my mother who spent hours drawing my siblings and me. She was very talented. She also made me very curious about the east coast because she grew up   in Connecticut until her family moved west to Hollywood when she was 16.  The way she described the extreme weather conditions they had to deal with like freezing cold snow and dreadfully humid summers made me want the to see if I could endure that kind of daily challenge.

Two Red Chairs by Judy Simonian

Two Red Chairs by Judy Simonian

The fact that New York city was a mecca for artists of all types made me want to move here. I knew I could learn a lot more in this environment. So many great museums and wonderful architectural gems are here and you can see them all without having to drive a car. I visited the city several time and showed my paintings here before finally making the move in 1985 with my boyfriend, Milano Kaz.

Milano was a tremendous influence on how I paint to this day. He was always generous in his encouragement and willingness to show me how to improve my paintings and how to use acrylic paint. Another influential artist along the way was Charles Garabedian but many historical figures also loom large such as Alice Neel, Emile Nolde, Matisse, Manet, Goya, Bonnard and many more.

My preference for water media rather than oil paint has to do with my impatience with the long drying time required with oil paint. The medium I choose often is based on the size I’m working in and weather I’m working outside on location or in a studio. Smaller paintings are usually done with ink, gouache or acrylic while larger paintings in my studio are acrylic on canvas.

Yellow Bubble Fish by Judy Simonian

Yellow Bubble Fish by Judy Simonian

Lately I’ve been excited about painting fish that appear and disappear in water. They move quickly and can be represented simply as a blur of several colors painted with one brush stroke. Together they create a rhythmic dance that I enjoy paintings. Another newer subject includes still life objects that again I like to paint as if they were moving or changing form before our eyes.

I teach a few classes at the Cooper Union that include portrait drawing, painting, color theory and also drawing on location. My advice to all students is to draw or paint as much as possible because the more you practice the quicker you will improve. Soon you will have the courage to draw anything with confidence.  It is a pleasure to watch this progress.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my life as an artist with you.

To see more of Judy’s work, please go to her website, http://www.judithsimonian.com.

Published by Andi Thea, on April 21st, 2014 at 2:21 am. Filled under: adults,Featured,Painting,Scribble Picks,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Laia Riera Sanjaume!

Picture of Laia Riera Sanjaume painting

Photograph of Laia Riera Sanjaume painting

ST: The bursts of colors in Laia Riera Sanjaume’s artwork matches her warm and open personality.  She’s an explorer of all sorts and you can see that in the various talents she has and from the many places she has lived.  From painting to textiles to being an art workshop leader, Laia shares her joy for art with the world!

Laia Riera Sanjaume (LRS): Hi Scribble Town! I’m Laia Riera Sanjaume, I live in Helsinki, Finland. Originally I am from Barcelona, which is very close to the Mediterranean Sea.  Ever since I was a small child I loved drawing stories.  I consider myself very lucky because my parents always encouraged me to develop my creative skills and they have been very supportive.  They are both linguistics and writers so you can imagine as a kid, it was fantastic to read as many books as I wanted to from their library and get inspired!  When I am not drawing I paint on canvas, or simply I make sketches for prints.  I also enjoy reading, doing Yoga and just chatting with friends around food.

ST: You move between Barcelona and Helsinki. What brought you from place to place and how have the different environments affected your artwork?

LRS: Some time ago, while in Barcelona, I met Jere and we fell in love.  He is from Finland and we decided to work together as independent designers.  Finland inspires me through Nature especially with silence from the woods that I am not used to.  It reminds me of the summers when I went traveling with my parents.  It’s an open door to new dimensions.

13 shamans by Laia Riera Sanjaume

13 shamans by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Yes, Barcelona is “home”.  Although, funnily, I realized it only after having lived in Winchester, Antwerp, Madrid and now in Helsinki.
Actually, each of these cities have been a bit of a home for me.  Home is our comfort zone.  Therefore, we tend to get relaxed and less observant to what surrounds us and to ourselves.  In order to draw, to imagine new scenarios, it’s necessary a good dose of investigating.

In my case this can be through reading,  traveling, being a foreigner in a new land…getting excited when meeting friends, being fascinated by the colours of the sky, trees, and hearing for the first time another language other than your very own.  Whenever I move away from my country I feel like I am suddenly awake.  And at the same time, whenever I return I see my city through renovated “lenses”.  It is very motivating, indeed!

At the present, I like to see Helsinki as a temporary place where I get to know myself better and where I explore new tools to express my inner world.  For instance, as a result of this, I changed from watercolor to oil painting, a technique I haven’t been using for years.  Right now I am working on a series of prints for the clothes Jere is designing and we will make together.

Hands in Hands by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Hands in Hands by Laia Riera Sanjaume

ST: It’s true, each environment brings out something special in us.  It seems like your Finnish winter is welcoming you to get more acquainted with more of your inner self.  Even in the darkness of winter, your paintings are so vibrant and imaginative!  What medium do you paint in?  How did you discover this medium that suits your imagery so well?

LRS: Thanks a lot!  Yes, in fact, the oil painting enables to create vibrant colours , bring texture to emotions and the expressions of the faces.  Usually, I am a bit chaotic when using the medium.  When I work on paper I treat it with tea and coffee because it gives it a yellowish and warm base colour.  I guess I discover mediums when trying to capture the right emotion when I start drawing  and I am working my best to register it accurately.  Actually, it happens through the work itself.  Work brings inspiration and more discoveries.  For instance, in my studies in Fine Arts in Barcelona University, or as Fashion student of the Fine Arts Academy of Antwerp I did research a lot!

Let me orget about today by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Let me orget about today by Laia Riera Sanjaume

On the other hand, every single day is a new beginning so you can always get surprised by a new twist in your own working process.

My favourites are Écolines, a never ending number of inks, water colours, oil painting, golden lacquers, glitter, bitumen judaicum paint…just to mention a few.  During my short stay in Winchester School of Art, I mainly did etching. Since then I use the hard point tools just to scratch the paint off, or just to add details.  Finally, to mention Collage or Mood Board as ways to get build up a new project.

ST: You are a true explorer!  You experiment and are inquisitive with mediums and textures.  Now I’m so curious about your ideas.  How do you come up with the themes for your series?

LRS: Normally, I start because of a feeling that later on will evolve into a story. A short story if you want, or an open story.  Sometimes it takes a month before I finalize a painting with which I am more or less satisfied. Sometimes it takes me only one day.  It can also be that I feel so happy when I finally come up with the exact idea of the painting that I need to paint it not to forget it. Other times, it can be as well, that by drawing I shake away negative moods that will bring on new topics to explore.

Painting by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Painting by Laia Riera Sanjaume

When I was a little girl I had a lot of imagination. In fact, my teachers throughout the years almost assumed I’d be a writer. My first years of life were a bit uneasy for my mother, because of a sad event.  Since then, the act of drawing is perhaps like going to an invisible shelter where I instantly get immersed.  I can be there for hours and hours and hours.  Drawing is a very powerful tool for me.  In truth, there are many times that first I write down the stories and slowly I begin to “see them” in colours, shapes, and volume.

I couldn’t say what it comes first as, haha.  Indeed, I am fascinated by the power of emotions and how these change our bodies and minds. How, as well, we change thanks to the effect of communicating to the ones we share our life, our present, the earth , ultimately. These are the essential themes I care about mostly.

Years ago I started focusing on memory, identity and transition. Since then folk culture, beliefs, myths ,storytelling are also my main themes of research. I love borrowing books on these topics from the public libraries to build up an atmosphere. Then, when the atmosphere is ready the working hours just flow.  As well, I am very interested in women dress and how did the fashion history changed because of the historic events and how these affected womanhood.

All of them witches by Laia Riera Sanjaume

All of them witches by Laia Riera Sanjaume

ST: Congratulations on joining Armuseli’s “made by artists” group! When you make your scarves for Armuseli do you keep in mind the size and shape?

LRS: Yes, I do have to be very careful with the size and the shape of the scarves.  Since the print adapts to the shape of the scarf.  And it had been a challenge for me, a very positive one! I did struggle a little to fit the original painting into the required size.  Itxaso Torrontegui is a textile designer and a graphic artist. I admire her colourful prints.  One day, my friend asked me to collaborate for her new project.We worked together in Madrid as designers for a clothes company.  We met as colleagues at work and we are now very good friends.  Armuseli “made by artists” is Itxaso’s initiative which brings together art, textile and fashion designers.  The result is a variety of small and unique collections of silks printed scarves. I am so happy to belong to Armuseli.

In this case, each artist has assigned a theme to be inspired by. It helps a lot, specially if there is a deadline. The print had to be inspired in Winter flowers and Frida Kahlo figure. Personally, I love Frida Kahlo art, so it was a lot easier to get started! Moreover, I had been truly inspired by the winterish forests from Finland. Actually, I took the chance to research a lot  the tradition in graphic printing and textile design in Finland.  Soon Armuseli will launch the website so you can give it a look; and the scarves are already on sale. It is wonderful to see your painting in a scarf in the streets.

After Hour by Laia Riera Sanjaume

After Hour by Laia Riera Sanjaume

ST: Oh how exciting that we’ll get to wear your beautiful designs!  Another congratulations on your recent exhibition in Spain!  What is this series of work about?  Hope I can see them in real life one day.

LRS: Thanks! The paintings that are exhibited in the art gallery Espai [b] of Barcelona are a series I did prior leaving Barcelona including some painting from a new series I started in Finland.

The gallery Espai [b] has been showing my works since 2011 and I am very happy to be chosen as one of their artists.  This group show revolves around the small format edition concept. For instance, the previous show was focusing on the idea of the face and the portrait.

Faces by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Faces by Laia Riera Sanjaume

In my works, faces are one of my strongest points, and as I said women’s dresses from different ages throughout history. I did a series on this topic for the gallery.

ST: In some ways it seems like you are a social historian in the way that you document people in context to time.  It’s really fascinating!

You are a textile artist, fashion designer, painter and illustrator.  Wow!  How do these industries support each other in your artwork.  Is there one field that you feel more comfortable in?  Adventures all around!

LRS: Haha, wow, said like this…The best thing, for me, in this is precisely that drawing and painting are the common denominator of these fields.  In addition, they can merge perfectly well and blend into each other. There is a very little separation from these disciplines, to my eyes honestly.  The fact that an illustration can be on paper, and can be converted to a beautiful print on a dress, jacket… it just gives me only more freedom as a creative.

When I design prints I rely on the imagery which fuels my painting, illustrations, and vice versa. So, it’s like just different chapters of the same novel.  The adventures had been and are very enriching.  I have been a former product designer for a clothes and accessories brand in Madrid.  There I used my skills to sketch and develop embroideries, prints and garments. It was my first real job after my long studies.  It was lots of fun!

When traveling to India or Hong Kong for field work, I always had with me a very small sketchbook and a mini water-colour box.  My bosses and co-workers taught me how to be myself as a creative at the same time I was a designer inside of a team.  On the other hand, I also had the opportunity to teach graphic techniques to young students. And I feel very grateful to transmit to them this knowledge and share with them.

Header by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Header by Laia Riera Sanjaume

When I worked for Inditex as a graphic  designer I drew on paper or on the computer all day long.  Although, I would say that the permanent adventure is to work as an independent freelance artist. It’s an incredible one and I hope it will be until I am very old.  And to be able to collaborate for projects like Dear You / Kära Du, Armuseli and so on.

Nevertheless, I am fortunate I could apply my knowledge and real vocation in a so called “office” job.  To answer to your question, the field I feel more at ease, is painting. Wait a second, drawing. Uhm I can´t simply divide these two!  🙂

ST: Indeed, drawing and painting for you are inseparable.  Your vibrant nature seems like it could be easily excited in the best possible way.  Is there a place you find yourself feeling especially inspired to create?  If you’re feeling stuck, what do you do to get yourself in the mood to create?

LRS: One of the best places for me is the living room table, instead of the one in the studio…ahem. I know it sounds strange, but it is where I quite usually start to sketch or write ideas.  You’ll find me there because it is a very lively place with strong energy from many different people that have lived in the house or passed by there. I like to feel surrounded by the sounds of people.

After a cup of coffee I automatically put the radio on the background, or long tracks of Jazz music, or anything from Ane Brun, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Patti Smith, The Knife and many others; depending on the mood.  Then I move to the studio room and I prepare the big table to paint with all my tools.  I like to create a big mess first.  Although in the end I need to see nothing else than the table and the paper or the canvas.  Definitely with a never ending list of music!

Laia Riera Sanjaume's working table

Laia Riera Sanjaume’s working table

Nowadays I am designing together with my partner our first clothes collection and parallel to this I am painting new series. In order to combine these two tasks, I separate the table by imaginary lines. Then I also like to pin all the images I had been collecting, from postcards, to sweets wrapping papers, to a simple found object like a fabric tape…I pin them into a board. If not I tape them on the wall itself. Every now and then  I separate myself from the current painting. It is important to take distances. I look upon this map of images on the wall and I try to match them with my mental map. As I said before, the right atmosphere to create is crucial!
When I get stuck I go for walking, running or seeing friends. It usually works wonders.

ST: Sounds like you know how to take advantage of space and appreciate all the corners of your home.  Creativity needs air to grow!  Just wondering what are the 5 most important things in your life right now?

LRS:
1) Love
2) Family
3) To achieve goals, from the tiny ones to the huge ones.
4)  Happiness
5) To continue learning

ST: Thank you Laia for sharing with us!  Your stories, feelings, and beautiful depiction of faces give me a lot of inspiration!  Scribblers, please have a look at Laia’s website http://laiaillustration.com and keep up with her adventures on her blog http://lairisars.blogspot.fi.

The fox, myself II by Laia Riera Sanjaume

The fox, myself II by Laia Riera Sanjaume

Scribble Artist Interview with María Schön!

Scribble Town (ST): Our experiences shape who we are. The colors and movement in María Schön’s paintings seem to be a result of a curiosity for adventure and understanding relationships of all kinds. We are excited to learn more about you, María!

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

María Schön (MS): Ever since I was a little kid, I liked to paint imaginary landscapes that depicted beautiful sunsets, mountains, trees, flowers, clouds and the ocean. I loved rendering these landscapes with vivid colors and textures.

Drawing and painting was not only a comforting and happy way to spend my time, but it was also a language that I used to communicate something beautiful to others. Language and speaking with others was not easy for me. When I was five years old, my parents moved our family from the United States to live in the beautiful country of Venezuela. I remember my first day of school in Venezuela. — it was first grade, and I was shy and did not know a word of Spanish. But I knew how to say something about myself through my drawings and paintings. I remember my teacher and classmates all standing around me as I sat at my desk drawing a picture from memory of me and my family building a snow man in the snow. They were amazed by my art. At the age of 10 my parents moved me, my brother and sister back to the United States.

ST: You found your own language and communicated it so well!

Chichiriviche by María Schön

Chichiriviche by María Schön

Congratulations on your current exhibition! Please let us know where it is and what the exhibition is about. Seeing your paintings in real life would be wonderful.

MS: At the age of 14, my school art teacher was so impressed with my paintings that she contacted a local art gallery and they decided to exhibit my paintings along side accomplished adult artist.This experience made me realize that I had a talent and had something that was special and worth developing further. As I grew, I continued to draw and paint as a way to communicate and to share my ideas with others. The more I worked at my drawing and painting, the better and more accomplished my art work became.

This past November, I had a one woman art exhibit at an art gallery in my town called Monika Olko. This month, four of my paintings and drawings from my “Landscape and Memories” series and “Tropical Elements” Series, are currently on exhibit with artSolar Gallery in East Hampton, New York.

Cuyagua by María Schön

Cuyagua by María Schön

ST: Your art school teacher saw something in you and really nurtured it. How special it is to have somebody in our life like that.

How did you come up with your choice of shapes and colors for your Landscape and Memories painting series? And for your drawing series of Tropical Elements, I wonder which tropics.  Perhaps from Venezuela?  Any other info about your themes would be nice to hear.

MS: My paintings are inspired by childhood memories of the colors, shapes and textures of the beautiful landscapes of Venezuela. I use my imagination and memory to invent each new painting.

ST: Your childhood sounds pretty magical, as do your paintings seem to match. Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create? Or what gets you inspired?

MS: I love music. It transports me to a place where ideas and feelings flow — where colors become shapes, and shapes become colors — like a dance.

Naiguata by María Schön

Naiguata by María Schön

I also love to visit art galleries and museums, to see and be inspired by the art work of order artists. If their art works inspire me, you can say that their art has communicated something special that makes me want to create something in response. Art is a form of language — a kind of never ending conversation.

ST: The playfulness is so apparent in your works!  I get the sense that color theory is a very strong and important part of your art. What is your process for color and shape combination?

MS: My paintings begin with many pencil drawings to help me develop ideas for images and compositions that I like. Using an art projector, I then project, enlarge and line draw these images onto my painting canvas. From this enlarged projected drawing, I begin to fill in large areas with colors of paint. Each area in the painting will need many different layers of colored paint to render a shape.

Tamanaco by María Schön

Tamanaco by María Schön

ST: You have studied film.  Do you still make movies?  In some ways I feel set direction or a stage when I look at your paintings.  They are so strong that they give a presence for how the scene should continue.  How does your painting and film career support each other?

MS: My experience with film has taught me how to tell a visual story not just through one painting, but through a group of paintings, one next to another — like the pages of a story book that are turned — from one page to the next — to tell a story.

ST: Yes, I see the narrative even within each picture frame. Who are some artists or filmmakers that you like?  What draws you to them?

MS: I have always been deeply inspired the the art works of Henri Matisse, Edward Hopper and Richard Diebenkorn! All three artist — and especially Henri Matissse — used vibrant color and playful shapes to create beautiful and amazing paintings!

I like the way that Edward Hopper used color and dark and light shadows to communicate how light falls on an object. Richard Diebenkorn was a California artist that painted paintings about the beach and the many colors of the sea. I like the way he used color, shape and texture to communicate the idea of water. His paintings always communicate something that inspires me to respond with my own story in my paintings.

ST: Thank you María for being with us! Keep on doing what you do because it is making us all appreciate even more the light and color around us! You allow us to see in a different way.

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

Paintings by María Schön from her Landscape and Memories series

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