When did you first realize you were an artist?
I first realized I was an artist probably around the age of 8, although, it was not in painting or drawing. I was actually interested in music and singing. My interest in painting didn’t occur until 2002 after I received my degree as a Microcomputer Specialist. I went back to school and started art classes at Georgia Perimeter College and completed my courses at Georgia State University with a BFA. After being introduced to various artists in my art history classes, my passion for painting, sculpting and just art in general grew. While taking the art classes, I discovered who I was and developed my own style in painting. Today my art demonstrates the many possibilities of chance and the wonderful changes that have transpired in my life.
Could you tell us about your work?
I live each day taking in all the wonders that is a part of my environment, such as people, animals and nature. From this I am inspired to create my own utopia and as an abstract painter, that utopia is in the deconstruction of what appears to be a picturesque world. My favorite medium to use is acrylic paints but I am very inclined to use other materials such as Georgia red clay and Encaustic. When I am working on the idea of a landscape, I carve, scrape and cut into the surface. I build layer upon layer, creating texture upon texture, each one telling a story of what was and what can be and what will be. In my paintings there are grooves, bumps and lumps, such as in life and I allow that truth to appear.
What artists have influenced your work?
There are so many but I am very drawn to like Constantine Brancusi, the Father of Abstract sculpture, Pablo Picasso, his Cubism years, Wassily Kandinsky and how he illustrated the sound and color of music in his work. I admire the works of Jacob Lawrence and his use of vivid colors, the simplicity of shape and form which tells a story of life with many layers. With regard to the use of non-traditional works, Robert Rauschenberg and how he used found objects that told a story about the discarded as he lived in the gap of art and life. Vik Muniz a Brazilian artist with his use of food and garbage and the use of photography in the making of his film-Waste Land. I have a great respect for Faith Ringgold and her use of materials that involve quilting and story telling.
What is your creative inspiration?
Hard to say, as an abstract painter, I mainly paint from within. It may be based on mood or a memory. I often look at pictures I have taken from places I have visited or precious moments and events with family.
What other interests do you have besides creating art?
When I am not painting, I become very crafty because I am always trying to find new ways of how to take recycled materials and create something artsy with it. In essence, I really do enjoy being with my children and husband and just hanging out with them every chance I get.
What advice would you give to a new artist?
Know your audience. You must be proactive to get ahead in this field. Always know who you are and if art is your life the key to being successful is to network, network and network.
Could you give some advice about the business side of being an artist?
Show your work to friends and colleagues; drop a few calling cards at various restaurants that you visit. If you paint something new, post it on social media for all to see, this is a great way to network and build your audience. Keep your art alive, paint something small but special and then just give it away. Sometimes its not always about the money, art is made to inform us but in retrospect it forms us as well.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
I would love to have my own gallery and school to teach anyone and everyone who wants to learn about the arts.
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