Irene Koroluk

Born in: 1965, Melbourne, Australia
Lives in: Taroona, Tasmania
Describe your art in three words: Intricate, layered, tactile
Education: Master of Environmental Studies (University of Tasmania),  Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of Tasmania)
See More Work: https://www.irenekoroluk.com/

Out There - Bleach painting, free motion machine stitching, fabric, batting, thread, shellac ink, 90 x 90 cm

“My artistic practice is rooted in my profound connections with the natural environment. My work seeks to encapsulate and unveil the sense of wonderment, diversity and beauty inherent in wild and remnant habitats. Extremely drawn to fragile and threatened landscapes, I am committed to imparting the value and significance of appreciating and safeguarding the remaining habitats of importance."

What themes does your work involve?
Mostly Australian native landscape diversity, beauty and fragility.
Describe your creative process.
Before commencing any work, I attach canvas or fabric to an underneath layer of bag batting using free motion stitching in a repeated pattern. This repetition allows me to get into the right creative head space. Once complete, my first starting point is always a tree or a plant. From there I add more and more foliage, working from foreground to background. My work is improvisational, with no outlines or sketches. As I often work blind due to scrunching up my work to fit it in between the sewing machine arm and bed, a lot of time is taken balancing and rebalancing the design. I know a work is finished when I stop wanting to add or unpick content.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My work is influenced by the materials and the facilities I have available on hand when I start a piece. Upholstery thread colours, and bag batting I require are not always available, so I need to work within those confines. Content wise, my work is inspired and influenced by my encounters with the natural world, places I explore and travel to. My work is also informed by my environmental background, interest in conservation and plant diversity, and by my place of residence which borders a ravine with towering eucalypts and native species. I make art because I get a real buzz and validation from selling my work, getting into art prizes and being published. It is also about healing and accomplishment. I've also always had an inner compulsion to scribble.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art to me is work that makes me go 'wow'. It often uses techniques or materials I have not come across, or made by someone whose mastery of technique and workmanship is out of the ordinary. It is work that makes me want to ask questions including how on earth did they do that? It is work that I want to marvel at, spend time with, and stirs my soul. Good art to me is often unique with unusual or difficult content. Good art can evoke emotions of discomfort, happiness, and admiration of beauty. Great art is art that you see and never forget, it is art that speaks to you. Louise Bourgeois's spiders, William Rickett’s Aboriginal sculptures, Rew Hanks lino cuts to name a few. It is work on your bucket list that you want to see before you die; and when you see it, it makes you more whole.
What is the role of the artist today?
Being an artist allows me to share my love of the natural world and hopefully inspire people to go out and be enriched by it. It allows me to continually learn and improve, expand my imagination and keep my brain healthy. Art chose me through luck, being able to draw, and being in the right places at the right times. Art in contemporary society should have many roles including: community engagement and inclusion through community-based art; cultural, aesthetic and individual enrichment; and social and political education and activism.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Wen Redmond

Born in:1950'2/NJ
Lives in: Strafford, NH
Describe your art in three words: sensitive experimental photography
Education:BA Mansfield State University
See More Work:  https://www.wenredmond.com/

“My works centers around bringing the outside in. Bringing my sense of delight and appreciation of the natural world to viewers through my art.”

What themes does your work involve?
I continue to investigate the digital world but also imaginative presentations that add to the pioneering exploration of my media and give my work edge. Each work is unique and created individually.
Describe your creative process.
I experiment, looking for new and inventive ways to take my work to the next level, printing on unique or unconventional media, displayed in various ways. Each presentation adds to the pioneering innovations and give my work edge. My techniques can be further investigated in my books- Digital Fiber Art and Other Mixed Media Masterpieces, and my new book, Explorations with Collage! Merging Photographs, Paper & Fiber (https://schifferbooks.com/products/explorations-with-collage?_pos=1&_sid=4f6fd3f09&_ss=r) and an online workshop with Fibre Arts Take Two in August (https://www.fibreartstaketwo.com/courses/wenredmond/?fbclid=IwAR39opvUL8DV3GjYcJbxIIZlWF9xdLxQwYT-yImHR4sg_G15cMvZDIBz_Yo ).
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My works centers around bringing the outside in. Bringing my sense of delight and appreciation of the natural world to viewers through my art. Manipulating photographs and creating digital images is a huge part of my artistic motivation. I experiment, looking for new and inventive ways to take my work to the next level, printing on unique or unconventional media, displayed in various ways. Each presentation adds to the pioneering innovations and give my work edge. Every work generates an artistic tension, followed by the excitement of the actual creation of the work. A dialogue is started, and the work becomes real.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Art comes from awarness. Making my art allows me to tap into levels of perception, becoming more aware, more conscious, & more grateful. I’ve loved photography my entire life. This brings a tender sensitivity to one’s surroundings. An eye. Sometimes, I look with intention, focusing on everything with the possibility of creating a composition. And sometimes it just happens. A quick glance becomes the image for a future work. These moments are my well, my source. I bring that energy into my art making, to communicate the positive. Creation gives me ideas. My passion is to put them into art.
What is the role of the artist today?
As yeast to leaven the culture.

Wen's work has traveled the US, UK, Europe, Japan, and Australia, and is part of the permanent collections of Marbaum, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, CA, Maria V. Howard Arts Center, Rocky Mount, NC, Visions, CA, New England Quilt Museum, and private collections.
She has been featured in numerous magazines and books including her own published books, Digital Fiber Art and Mixed Media Masterpiece and new book with Schiffer Publishing - Explorations with Collage- Merging Photographs, Paper and Fiber.
She currently splits her time between North Carolina and New Hampshire.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Noémie L. Côté

Born in: 1980, Canada
Lives in: Ottawa, Canada
Describe your art in three words: Happy textured landscapes
Education: Undergraduate in Ceramics at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
See More Work: https://noemielcote.com/

"Looking at my work you are at once hit by the sugar-pop of colour that reimagines the landscapes I bring to life on canvas. It’s hard not to be swept along in the bounce of my thick textured paint strokes and moved by the sheer joy that emanates from the rich oil colours. I specialize in vibrant landscapes that captures the essence of a scene, and leaves the observer uplifted."

What themes does your work involve?
I paint landscapes to capture the essence of being in nature—those moments when the sun shimmers off the water, the warmth of a sunset, or the wind gently rocking the trees
Describe your creative process.
I immerse myself in nature as much as possible, capturing moments through photography. Recalling the emotions, I sketch, ink, and paint using thick, buttery oils. The pre-mixed oil paints remain un-muddled, applied with bold strokes resembling butter icing. I paint without layering, preserving the texture and tiny ridges left by the brush. Strokes are applied side by side, leaving space for the underpaint to shine through, imparting a sense of underlying light to the artwork. The vibrant colours are refreshing and never appear overworked or overly detailed, encouraging viewers to engage their imagination rather than expecting a realistic reproduction. I often work in small series, exploring a location or scene across various canvas sizes and colour variations.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
The biggest influence on my work is nature. Having lived on different continents and traveled extensively, I've come to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each region. Nature evokes an immense feeling of peace and inner joy that I aim to capture in my paintings. My artistic style has been influenced by the Canadian Group of Seven and Impressionist founders such as Claude Monet. I create art because of a strong inner need to express myself creatively. Art is my self-expression, and without it, I feel incomplete. It's my way of sharing joy and uplifting others.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Today's art acts as a catalyst for change, with artists creatively expressing themselves and serving various purposes, such as reflecting societal values, contributing to cultural preservation, providing entertainment, and adding beauty to spaces. Personally, as a young child, creating art served as a form of communication and therapy. Art opens your mind and can elevate your spirit.
What is the role of the artist today?
One of the most important roles of the artist is to tell stories, documenting the events and memories of today in a lasting and meaningful way through art. I see an artist’s greatest purpose as being able to inspire others, passing the torch to the next generations the way my mentors passed it on to me.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Hiromi Watanabe

Poet and painter, Hiromi Watanabe creates work that is about healing and fantasy. Recently, in 2023, Hiromi has discovered joy in sketching the performances and daily live broadcasts of musicians she has met through exhibiting her paintings at live houses.

A Rose Tree's Story - Watercolor 333 x 242 mm NFS

Hiromi Watanabe creates work that is about healing and fantasy. From Tokyo, Japan, Hiromi is a contemporary artist and graduate of the KWANSEI GAKUIN University. She has received the 6th Star Birth Grand Prix for "Hiro Yamagata Process" and was a Finalist in the 2021 CFA Contest for Exhibition at Spectrum Art Fair, Brooklyn with World Wide Art.  In 2021, Hiromi also received a Finalist Award at the 47th International Artavita online Art Contest. She has shown work internationally, including fourteen solo shows and four shows overseas. 

Also a published poet, Hiromi is the author of the poetry collection "Songs spelled out in feelings for that person" including the poem "Thank you for being born," available at ePhoenix.co.  In 2022, her art book titled "Watercolor Croquis Draw with Free Colors," was published by NextPublishing Authors Press. 

A recurring theme in her paintings is the "smile," which, for her, represents painful experiences of the past.  The artist has suffered from Myasthenia Gravis (MG) and has faced death. It also has to do with the bitter memories of school days when she was not allowed to express her feelings. It was a very painful experience and she seems to have been desperate to live in the future. 

After treatment and rehabilitation, Hiromi has been able to think positively and create art that provides healing: "If it helps someone who has a hard time like me."

In 2023, Hiromi illustrated a third picture book, "A Rose Tree's Story" (written by Makomo Eyama, published by Nicomo). In addition to publishing three picture books with illustrations, Hiromi is involved in a total of 15 books featuring illustrations and poems.

live stream sketch_ Syoma Furugohri & Taisuke Kanda - Watercolor 297 x 210 mm $1000
live stream sketch_ Saika Yoshida - Watercolor 297 x 210 mm $1000
live stream sketch_ Saika Yoshida & Syoma Furugohri - Watercolor 297 x 210 mm $1000
Welcome home - Watercolor 267 x 201 mm $200
Angel - Digital media 2269 x 2000 px
The END of Love - Ranunculus - You are full of charm - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Beloved - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Watercolor Croquis - JAZZ MAN 2 - Watercolor 380 x 270 mm
Bodhisttva - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Elegy of Love - Watercolor 333 x 242 mm
Peaceful Prayer Angel - Watercolor 267 x 193 mm
Joy of Live - Watercolor 410 x 318 mm
Forgiveness - Watercolor 728 x 515 mm
Bodhisttva 2 - Watercolor 728 x 515 mm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


 

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Marissa Madonna

Born in: 1990, United States
Lives in: Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Describe your art in three words: Representational, Detailed, Sentimental
Education: BFA in Illustration from Hartford Art School
See More Work:  www.marissamadonna.com

Ballerina in Blue - Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Hot Press Watercolor Board, 15 x 12 in.

"My artwork is inspired by visual storytelling and capturing my subject’s likeness. A mixed media approach combines the freedom of laying bold washes with the tight control of drawing. As the piece is built up in many thin layers, I can carefully explore all the details. Quilting these details together as a visual story is where I find my greatest artistic passion."

What themes does your work involve?
Themes in my work are story and sentiment. My work brings together inspirations from all throughout my life – from my childhood memories to the relationships and roads travelled into adulthood. Each part has brought growth that I love to capture in art.
Describe your creative process.
I begin each project by gathering reference materials, most often photographing live models. While there may be an idea in mind beforehand, sometimes working with the model will inspire an idea for a painting. One of my favorite parts of the process is composing my ideas into a preliminary sketch. The sketch is then transferred onto the final artwork surface – either hot press watercolor board or toned paper. A mixed media approach combines acrylic ink with colored pencil, and finally opaque white acrylic for highlights. The piece is built up in many thin layers, focusing on each detail while also seeing the picture as a whole to create balance in the composition. I think of the value structure and each element of the painting as instruments of an orchestra playing together in concert.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am constantly inspired by the people in my life and the experiences along the way. My inspiration is an eclectic collection of memories and stories – sometimes even expanding upon real life in my artwork. My greatest artistic influences of all are my mentors from Hartford Art School. The techniques used in my work were handed down from them directly, and over time expanded upon in my own way. Always embracing my foundation in traditional drawing and painting techniques, I have been dedicated to carrying on the legacy of my mentors. They helped me grow not only as an artist, but as a person. I am truly grateful for their incredible support and influence in my life.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I think that good art tells a story in some way, evoking significant meaning for the viewer (or artist!) When these elements come together in a visually beautiful way is what truly makes art great to me. I believe every artist has their own unique voice and that there is something beautiful to be found in every piece of art. Each viewer brings their own experiences and influences with them when looking at art, making each viewing experience unique. In this sense, I believe that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
What is the role of the artist today?
One of the most important roles of the artist is to tell stories, documenting the events and memories of today in a lasting and meaningful way through art. I see an artist’s greatest purpose as being able to inspire others, passing the torch to the next generations the way my mentors passed it on to me.
Timeless Collection - Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Hot Press Watercolor Board, 11.75 x 11 in.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Michael Potts / MYQ

Born in: 1977, USA
Lives in: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Describe your art in three words: Spiritual, Reflective, Mind-expanding
Education: BA - English, Minor in Chemistry - Bucknell University
See More Work:  https://myq-art.com | IG:MRP_Visionaries

Reflection -
Archival Epson Digital Photography Print - $500 - 11x14 image on 13x19 paper

"In my underwater work I seek moments of sublime peace (that fine line where the conscious and subconscious meet) and the creative chaotic (where energy is released that fine line is broken and the potential becomes kinetic). I see the water as a metaphor for a dream medium and I try to meet my subjects on that boundary and hope that we are able to take the viewer from tranquil peace."

What themes does your work involve?
My work the last few years has focused on rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings using water and bright light sources to express these themes.
Describe your creative process.
Most of my work is discovered in that I rarely plan it out ahead of time. There have been a few successful pieces that I conceived and created, but most are in the moment and found in the making.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I love high contrast black and white with water and bright light that is either peaceful or contains an element or flavor of the abstract. However I think being able to work with people I like is the best part of it and I want to create with those people because then the image means more to me, and if I love it there's a greater chance the viewer will feel that.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
There's the rub. There are different ways to answer that. You could say any piece that gets made is good because someone took the time and energy to create it. We could say that art needs that je ne sais quoi element that elevates it to meaning. Maybe it just needs to connect to someone, and I suppose we could say that the more people it connects to the "better" it is, but mass also breeds mediocrity. Ultimately it should speak to the human condition and a truth about our being and existence.
What is the role of the artist today?
I think art should first be for art's sake, but if an artist is able to see outside of the box of daily life and question "why are we doing what we're doing?" then the role is to provoke the question and perhaps offer a possible solution.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Bryce August LeFort

Born in: 1984, Philadelphia,PA, USA
Lives in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Describe your art in three words: Fluid Intentional Respectful
Education: University of Pennsylvania – BA
International Yacht Restoration School
California College of the Arts – MFA
See More Work:  www.theaugustmade.com

Let's Meet Back Here - Laminated Poplar ; 5' x 8' x 5' ; $11800

"My work is an intersection of organic design and craftsmanship. My sculpture originates from the traditional, yet contemporary, art form of boatbuilding. It evolves from the developing of techniques and processes, to create pieces that are immersed with fluidity and movement. With a tireless pursuit of excellence, my work is immersive and inspirational as both art and craft."

What themes does your work involve?
In my work, I hope the process and production stand equal in content as their result. I create pieces built on the techniques and craftsmanship of generations of makers that honors their history. The time and dedication allow me to reflect what I see and want to see in the world around me. In my art, I capture fluid movement and passage of time in the moment.
Describe your creative process.
Each of my works is arrived at differently. Some pieces are fully conceived, and it becomes a process of how to create the work. Other pieces are born from a material or technique that I think needs to be explored further to realize the possibilities. Almost all my work is a combination of the two creative processes. My practice is a journey that is constantly evolving as I work.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Everything influences my art. How objects around us are made, the materials, shapes, color, and our interactions with each. Nature and specifically the ocean I feel a deep connection. The fluid movement of water and my background as a boatbuilder resonate throughout my practice. I hope my work can inspire others to look for the potential in materials and process, not to replace what exists but to evolve and expand.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
The best part of art is it can be great in different ways to everyone. For me being able to make art is a gift, that I try to pass along to the viewer. Great art draws in the viewer, it can shift our perspective of what is possible, it can completely capture a feeling or a moment, it can transport us to a place we have never been, or we are eager to return. Great art is made with respect for the materials, process, and the viewer.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe an artist is responsible for listening as well as communicating. While the individual artist can only create from their own perspective, it is experienced by many. An artist can look beyond oneself to give the viewer the opportunity to participate with the work. An artist is a vessel for creation, that does not conclude upon completion, it continues with the viewer in their thoughts and memories. It is an honor.
Paper Rings - Laminated Douglas Fir and Copper Foil ; 36" x 32" x 16" ; $1750
The Way I Am (2022) - Laminated Douglas Fir ; 7' x 5' x 5' ; $12500
Ain't No Mountain High Enough, 2022 - Laminated Douglas Fir ; 48" x 54" x 28" ; $4200
Call My Name, 2023 - Laminated Mahogany ; 68" x 38" x 10"

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Heather Allison

Born in: 1982, United States
Lives in: Santa Cruz, California, United States
Describe your art in three words: Dramatic, Contemplative, Emotional
Education: M.F.A. Fine Art Photography, Academy of Art, projected graduation Spring 2023
B.F.A. Art History, Academy of Art
A.A. Photojournalism, Brooks Institute of Photography
Master degree Diploma
See More Work:  http://www.heatherallisonphotography.com

Copia - Photography, 32"x22", $2000

"Preoccupied with mortality most of my life, the unexpected loss of my father inspired my fine art work with focused on grief, memory, and death. I embrace the long-standing tradition of vanitas tableaux in an effort to acknowledge death and the beauty of living."

What themes does your work involve?
My work embodies concepts of grief, mortality, mourning, and death. While this may sound morbid, it is instead about inspiring life through an acknowledgment of our mortality. Grief is complex and never really goes away, but it does change with you as you change. I document my own experience of grief in my still life work and look to connect with the dead and living. I play with color theory to evoke emotion and use light to communicate feeling.
Describe your creative process.
My process begins with an inspiration or concept for an image. I then go about collecting all the props needed to realize the vision. I use antique objects, period correct when I able, I use fresh flowers and sometimes bone to fill my compositions. I spend a lot of time at antique shops searching for the perfect item for a work and tracking things down through antique dealers. I also work closely with my local florist to ensure I am able to find the flowers I want to include. Additionally, a few years ago, I started growing flowers in my own garden so there is always something blooming to photograph. I can spend anywhere from four to twelve hours on a composition, moving the objects and making adjustments so everything is just right before I click the shutter.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I find influences everywhere, and often in unexpected places. That said, the focus of my work shifted following the death of my father. I found myself lost in grief and felt so alone. I became obsessed with the mourning and death rituals of all cultures and how these have changed over time to become what they are today. I began to indulge this fixation through my still life work. I am extremely inspired and informed by the 17th century Dutch Masters, their lighting, the light of Caravaggio, and art history in general. I make art to connect with others, my experience, and the world around me.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
This is such a loaded question! For me, connection and emotion is what makes art great. While the Northern Renaissance painters will always have a huge place in my heart, I love experiencing art across all mediums. Some of my most emotional experiences have been with abstract expressionist works. What makes a piece of art great for me is that deep communication that can happen between artist and viewer. If something makes me smile, makes me cry, makes me feel what the artist who created the work was feeling, if it reminds me of something in my own experience, if I carry that work with me after seeing it, it is a great piece of art.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist today is complex, but also simple. I chose art because it is a way for me to create beauty, to celebrate all aspects of life, and to explore the human experience. I think art should be accessible to all and should be a conduit for open communication and expression. I hope that art and the artist are able to inspire uncomfortable conversation, provide refuge, understanding, and joy. In my work, I aim to create a safe space for anyone and everyone to connect and find themselves and their experiences in the imagery.
Brevis - Photography, 18" x 22", $1200
Hām - Photography, 18" x 23", $860
Cyclus - Photography, 19" x 24", $900
Hāēlan - Photography, 19" x 24", $900
Lifian - Photography, 22" x 14", $60
Fallen - Photography, 23" x 18", $860
Sāwan - Photography, 22" x 14", $600
Vanus - Photography, 24" x 19", $960
Memorie - Photography, 22" x 14", $600

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


KamiBey

Born in: 1997, Turkey
Lives in: Istanbul, Turkey
Describe your art in three words: Memories, Spritual, Expression
Education: Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Bachelor's degree
See More Work:  IG@kami_bey

Awakening of Ishtar - Oil on canvas 162 x 113 cm $12,000

"My name is Berk Günay, and I'm a visual artist based in Istanbul. I received my Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. I've been drawn to creating my own world for as long as I can remember, and for me, art has always been the most suitable space to express my imagination and myself. It's a world where I can create my own reality beyond the reality I exist in."

What themes does your work involve?
My use of distorted memories in my art reflects the changes in my perception of time and space. My figures serve as manifestations of my emotions and feelings, conveyed through the flow of paint and color in my work. Through my art, I aim to explore the deeper meaning behind our emotions and feelings, and how they can be expressed and interpreted through the language of art.
Describe your creative process.
My creative process involves a lot of experimentation with new techniques and mediums. I like to challenge myself and push the boundaries of my art. I typically start with a general idea or concept, and then let the painting take its own path. I try to let go of control and allow the painting to evolve naturally.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My work is influenced by my memories, emotions, and feelings. I am inspired by nature, other artists, and the human condition. I make art because it allows me to express myself in a way that words cannot.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art is subjective and can be interpreted in many ways. For me, great art is something that resonates with the viewer and evokes an emotional response. It can be technically impressive, but it's the emotional impact that makes a piece truly great.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe the role of the artist is to create something that has the power to move people and make them feel something. Art has the ability to transcend language and cultural barriers, and can bring people together in a shared experience. As an artist, I hope to create work that inspires others and helps them connect with their own emotions and experiences.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Olivia Jane Art

Born in: 1991, USA
Lives in: New Mexico, USA
Describe your art in three words: Contemporary, Surrealism, Femme-Centered
Education: BA Fine Art 2015
See More Work:  https://www.oliviajaneart.com/art-gallery

Nectar - Oil on panel 20 x 20 in. $4,000

Olivia Jane spent her formative years living between Europe, South East Asia and the USA, offering a unique experience of home. Life as a global nomad was influential from a multitude of perspectives and beliefs; ultimately Olivia is weaving her own unfolding story. In 2015, she earned her BFA from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Olivia Jane is a full-time artist, teacher and student.

What themes does your work involve?
Femme-centered, empowerment, archetypal, mystical, surreal, transformation. These are the first words that come to mind. I've always been interested in anthropology, painting has been a modality for me to explore and weave themes of our human story in a visual way. I dive into mysticism, story telling, and reclamation of feminine power.
Describe your creative process.
I often work in series, although when I step back, I see that all my work so far is culminating to fill these archetypal themes that I encounter throughout my process. Sometimes I have a specific vision in mind and will ask friends to pose for me, sometimes these photoshoots result in a surprising new vision that I end up exploring in the painting. Sometimes, the meanings behind these pieces unfold towards the end of creation or even once the public has interacted with the piece. Sometimes my intentions behind the pieces are very clear from the start and I want a specific impact for the audience. So it is really a range, but trusting that the persisting imagery wants to come through for the collective or for your own healing process.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
After school, I quit making art for a few years, but after traveling abroad to South East Asia, I was so inspired by all the art and experiences I had that I knew upon returning that I needed to make art again. I haven't looked back since. A lot happened on that trip, so the drive to create was a thirst for processing both the magic and the grief of the world, to alchemize my own trauma of coming into womanhood, and coming close enough to death that I was confronted from an early age "what do you want to do with this precious life?" All of this made me want to create art, and you can see death motifs throughout much of my work. I'm speaking to this beautiful juxtaposition that as we live we are dying, and we can celebrate this mortality rather than fear it, and in doing so, we honor life.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I am always most impressed with art when I cannot figure out how it is made. Either the process is so intriguing or the technique is so layered that I am in awe. Then the subject matter and story behind the artist and the piece can give it further greatness. For me however, as a creative person, the technique and overall aesthetic of the pieces are the most impressive aspects.
What is the role of the artist today?
I believe the role of the artist today is: to inspire, to push boundaries, to invite others into new and unknown worlds. We are at a critical time for humans on this planet. Artists can imagine and create new worlds within their work, and thus expand the minds of the collective, and expand what is possible for the whole. It's a great honor and responsibility. I do not shy away from death motifs, eco grief, and relationships between body and land in my work because I find these topics so prevalent at this time. It will be interesting to see what happens as AI unfolds into our realities but I believe that hand made fine art will always be valuable. I believe that murals and street art and community around art will always be impactful. So I am excited for what lies ahead.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist