Q&A

Patterns of Consumption

“What happens when we acknowledge the long-term consequences of our patterns of consumption?” - the artist

Refuse I (Ordures I), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 50 cm x 1m 20 x 1m 20 cm. $5000

Refuse I (Ordures I), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 50 cm x 1m 20 x 1m 20 cm. $5000

Q: What led you to become a sculptor?

A: I grew up as a child of two architects and seeing space as something malleable came naturally to me. I started making sculptures as soon as I had access to considerable amounts of clay. I am drawn to the medium’s ability to evoke the body’s physical presence and am also really interested in using materials to ask questions about what we, as a society, build and what we discard.

Refuse II (Ordures II), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 40 cm x 1m 20 x 1m. $5000

Refuse II (Ordures II), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 40 cm x 1m 20 x 1m. $5000

Q: What inspired the collection you submitted?

A: Refuse I-V is a series of 5 hand-carved works from found Linden wood (cut during the redevelopment of a public park in the Cité des Francs-Moisins in Saint-Denis, France). The idea for the sculptures came about after seeing the raw materials – huge tree trunks – lying on the ground outside my art studio. When I asked the workers in the area whether the trees has been sick, they indicated that they were actually healthy; there was no environmental reason to cut them down!

Refuse III (Ordures III), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 1 m x 1m x 50 cm. $5000

Refuse III (Ordures III), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 1 m x 1m x 50 cm. $5000

Q: Can you describe the materials you used and your creative process?

A: I decided to sculpt forms that were capable of expressing the visceral disgust I felt upon seeing old trees handled in this manner. I worked on the piece in 2015, the year leading up to the Cop21 United Nations Climate Change conference, which took place in Paris. I first made a series of sketches of actual black plastic waste bags, then sculpted small models out of clay that I cast in plaster. I used these as references for the actual sculptures which I carved using a variety of saws and hand tools. For the sculptures, I selected the largest pieces of wood I had available, which were from the midpoints of the bases of the trees. These were areas where the trunk “branched out” with one trunk splitting into two. From these form, I was able to sculpt a series of pairs of plastic bags, in different configurations.

Refuse IV (Ordures IV), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 60 cm x 1m 50 x 70 cm. $5000

Refuse IV (Ordures IV), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 60 cm x 1m 50 x 70 cm. $5000

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Refuse III, as well as the rest of the collection. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Each “couple” of bags in the series comes from one initial piece of wood. The variety of postures can be seen as metaphors for different relationships or different moments in a single relationship, with each bag supporting the other in different ways. The black patina on the sculptures involves used motor oil and each sculpture evokes our use of natural resources on the level of form and subject matter.

Refuse V (Ordures V), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 40 cm x 1m 20 x 1m. $5000

Refuse V (Ordures V), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 40 cm x 1m 20 x 1m. $5000

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your work?

A: I hope the works encourage viewers to reflect on what we produce and why. A banal trash bag is rarely a subject matter that is lavished with so much detailed attention, in art. At the same time, these bags serve a vital function in modern life, keeping garbage out of site and out of mind. What happens when we acknowledge the long-term consequences of our patterns of consumption? What happens when we honor and respect all forms of nature, and not just human life?

Refuse VI (Ordures VI), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 50 cm x 1m 20 x 1m 20 cm. $5000

Refuse VI (Ordures VI), 2016, hand-carved sculpture, found Linden wood and used motor oil patina, 50 cm x 1m 20 x 1m 20 cm. $5000

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: I hope to continue to show my work at home and abroad in galleries and institutional settings. In addition to making sculptures and drawings in the studio, I also make large-scale outdoor sculptures and I enjoy the challenge of producing new work for specific public contexts. In the next few years, I hope to connect with new partners, collaborators, and collectors that are interested in supporting my practice.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

My work begins and ends in the human body. Our remnants (what we cast off and leave behind in the form of waste, trash, memory etc.) ground and connect us to the earth. My work asks where the things in our lives come from and where they go once we’ve used them. By representing and re-animating remains, I explore the potential of materials to ask questions and to evoke larger environmental relationships.

I treat the products of our culture as physical remains of our bodies and explore how we generate objects as physical extensions of ourselves. With man-made forms, materials, and processes, I extend, inhibit, and modify elements of the human body. I reuse, up-cycle, and revalue regular, standardized, and mass-produced materials into something one-of-a-kind and special to invert the associations we make with different types of detritus. My raw materials are manufactured products with a particular use history and product life cycle. Whether bastardized industrially produced goods in the white cube or surreal interventions in public spaces, my work explores the limits of functionality and worth.

I give a human dimension to physical sites by foregrounding their historical/narrative aspects and input human features into sterile goods by cutting, breaking, gluing, and carving them into forms that evoke the human body. These artworks are at once physical things and conceptual spaces. Through the physical labor and limitations of my own body, I questions which bodies are present and missing in political and cultural discourses. I explore the anatomical potential of the female body as a material metaphor for our actions that ask viewers whether our current situation is fixed or not and how change can emerge.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com, or visit HERE for application details.


Never Strictly Representational

“Most of my paintings have representational elements and all of them, but they are never strictly representational.” - the artist

Bwampin Bloemin, 2019, Oil on Linen, 20 X 16 inches, $500

Bwampin Bloemin, 2019, Oil on Linen, 20 X 16 inches, $500

Q: What led you to become an abstract artist?

A: I start my work from an idea, a color or a feeling.  From there I start to make associations.  The image I arrive at is not always abstract.  Most of my paintings have representational elements and all of them, but they are never strictly representational.

Squeezer 1, 2019, Oil on Linen, 16 X 20 inches, $500

Squeezer 1, 2019, Oil on Linen, 16 X 20 inches, $500

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: I have an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin and I got my BA degree from Connecticut Wesleyan.  I have been an artist all my life.  When I was in my late twenties I showed my work more actively than I have recently.

Squeezer 2, 2019, Oil on Linen, 16 X 20 inches, $500

Squeezer 2, 2019, Oil on Linen, 16 X 20 inches, $500

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I get inspired by all sorts of things.  I look at the work of other painters, from all time periods and styles.  I can be obsessed by someone’s paintings for a while.  Anyone from Rachel Ruysch, a 16th century Dutch flower painter, to Bridget Riley to Michael Borremans.  I love all kinds of painting.  I can also be inspired by music.  My painting Bwampin Bloemin which is also included in the work shown here, was inspired by the clavinet beat at the beginning of a 70’s funk song.  Such a great sound, I really wanted to paint something like it.  I have no shortage of ideas for paintings.  I wish I had more time to paint all of them.

Wissen Again, 2019, Oil on Linen, 16 X 20 inches, $500

Wissen Again, 2019, Oil on Linen, 16 X 20 inches, $500

Q: We were very impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Wissen Again. Tell us more about this piece.

A: Wissen Again is one of a group of paintings that has layered images, like when you stack images in Photoshop.  With most of my paintings I am trying to combine things that don’t go together, or that clash.  So, this was one way of going about having different images exist on the same picture plane.  I like the push and pull you can get from the layers, not having it be clear which layer is on top.  I like the idea of using the very old technology of painting to refer to a much newer technology.  Parts of the images in Wissen Again refer to landscape.  There is a tree in the lower right, branches coming down from the top and the beginnings of a flower near the center. 

The titles of my paintings are always important to me.  I’ve used the word “wissen” in the titles of several of my paintings.  I like the sound of it.  It sounds like “wise”, or like it could have some old English meaning.  In fact, “wissen” is actually a Dutch word that means erase, which makes it even more appropriate for this painting.  I like my titles to seem like anachronisms.  Painting in general seems like an anachronism in a way.  There are so many ways to create images now.  Oil painting is very slow and messy.  That slowness is so out of time and makes paintings seem even more valuable to me.

Wissen Bloemin Even, 2019, Oil on Linen, 20 X 16 inches, 2019

Wissen Bloemin Even, 2019, Oil on Linen, 20 X 16 inches, 2019

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your work?

A: I want viewers to enjoy my paintings.   For a long time, I created small pieces because I wanted to invite the viewer in closer.  Over all, my current work is on a larger scale, but I want the viewer to be able to move back and forth and still be able to engage with the work from closer in. 

I often think about beauty and what people consider beautiful and that is very related to what I want viewers to take away.  For me, it’s about vibration of color, use of paint and the pure pleasure of seeing. 

Zwabble, 2019, Watercolor and pastel on paper, 11 X 14 inches, $150

Zwabble, 2019, Watercolor and pastel on paper, 11 X 14 inches, $150

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: I hope to be showing work more broadly than I am now.  I hope that in five years I will be able to only work as an artist.

About the artist:

“I use saturated colors and distorted images to create paintings of a hallucinatory, synthetic natural world.  I want the things I love to go together.  Funkadelic Bridget Riley painting Dutch flowers. Imagine that you take your painting, grab the edges, squish, twist, stretch and compress.  And you’ve got something else.  Or you could do it this way: take your images, stack them up, use your Photoshop eraser to show what’s underneath. The surface is a metaphor.  Both itself and something else.  It’s still the flat rectangle and the space tipping back to all eternity.  That is one of the great things about painting.  That, and the pure pleasure of seeing.  I think a lot about what people like to look at.  I want to give them that.  I want to spread petals at their feet.”

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.margaretmcniel.com. You may also follow the artist on Instagram @margaretmcniel.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com, or visit HERE for application details.

Art and Science

“The whole creative process is an endless research of topics, materials, reading of modern philosophy, scientific literature and thinking about the future in the context of ecology and modern technologies.” - the artists, Lilia Li-Mi-Yan & Katherina Sadovsky

Object 01, panel made of recycled plastic, 1500 x 1000 sm, $3000

Object 01, panel made of recycled plastic, 1500 x 1000 sm, $3000

Q: What led you both to become concept sculptors?

A: We came to contemporary art from photography. [We] both graduated from Rodchenko Art School (Moscow), [in] the course of documentary photography. We were looking and searching a lot and, in different works, turned to different media. Sculpture is only one of the languages for a contemporary artist.

Bacteria 02, 2018, print on plastic, 70 x 50 sm, $300

Bacteria 02, 2018, print on plastic, 70 x 50 sm, $300

Q: What inspired the collection you submitted?

A: Two years ago, we were at the art-residency on Lake Baikal. With all the beauty and greatness that we were contemplating every day, we also observed piles of plastic garbage, which tourists left behind. We realized that humans use the resources of nature with unthinkable carelessness — abuse and traumatize it!

After the residency, we completed two exhibitions – “Plastic x-ray”, in the Olkhon Forest, and “Marmor”, in the abandoned marble quarry. We gently incorporated our art-works into nature.

Back in Moscow, we could no longer remain indifferent to the problem of plastic waste. We started the activists’ movement – collecting plastic at the territory of museums, art and educational institutions. We called our project “Where is my plastic bag?”.  It consists of three parts: the collection of plastic, its recycling and processing, and creation of sculptures from the processed material.

The work "Bacteria" is the result of testing of material in the conditions of our studio. We were developing the idea of the bacteria modified by scientists that will help to solve the problem of plastic waste by eating it.

Bacteria 03, 2018, print on plastic, 70 x 50 sm, $300

Bacteria 03, 2018, print on plastic, 70 x 50 sm, $300

Q: Can you describe the types of materials you use and your creative process?

A: Today, our materials are recycled items or recycled materials that were first sent to landfill as garbage. Now we are working with different types of plastics, and in the next project, we want to try to work with glass, also recycled.

The whole creative process is an endless research of topics, materials, reading of modern philosophy, scientific literature and thinking about the future in the context of ecology and modern technologies.

Bacteria 10, 2018, print on plastic, 70 x 50 sm, $300

Bacteria 10, 2018, print on plastic, 70 x 50 sm, $300

Q: We were very impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Bacteria 10, as well as the rest of the Bacteria group. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Bacteria are a small visual part of the project about plastic in the modern world. We want create a collaboration with the scientists researching polymers. Bacteria are something like new organisms formed under a layer of plastic that is buried in the soil and in the ocean. It is like evolution, the creation of a new life. We know so little about it.

Object 02, panel made of recycled plastic, 1500 x 1000 sm, $3000

Object 02, panel made of recycled plastic, 1500 x 1000 sm, $3000

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your work?

A: Our project “Where is my bag?” implies [activism] from our side. We all understand that art does not solve the questions, but to raise the question and let reflect on it is in our power. And if each of us will begin to treat the planet with a bit more of responsibility - that will be our contribution.

Object 03, panel made of recycled plastic, 1500 x 1000 sm, $3000

Object 03, panel made of recycled plastic, 1500 x 1000 sm, $3000

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A;: We are going to continue to work at the intersection of art and science, to look for new materials, new statements. After all, there are so many problems in this world, that we won’t be able to stay without work!

Photo source: the artists

Photo source: the artists

About the artists:

Li-Mi-Yan & Sadovsky - a duo of Russian artists Lilia Li-Mi-Yan (1971) and Katherina Sadovsky (1985). They’ve been working together since 2016. Their versatile approach to art practice covers such artistic media as photography, painting, sculpture, photo books, installation, video, sound, interference in to public and natural spaces, social work to collect plastic waste in Moscow.

Li-mi-yan & Sadovsky explore internal human and social topics, which can be called problems. The question of death, of human violence against other human, against nature, against oneself, as if it erases the boundary between reality   – where is actually alive, and where is dead? Artists critically analyze these issues, inconveniently intruding into nature with digital images on polymeric materials, comparing this art gesture with the physical and mental trauma of all mankind.

Artists wonder why the cruel online pictures of victims of wars, terrorist attacks, diseases do not horrify the viewer anymore. The image of suffering follows someone's joyful holiday photo  and almost equivalent to the user of social networks. Thus, any picture splits and loses its original meaning. Li-Mi-Yan & Sadovsky allegedly play with death, reproducing severe injuries with the help of plastic and naive drawings in portraits with ideal faces, psychologically affecting the viewer in their own way of trauma.

To learn more about the artists and view their work, please visit limiyan.com/blog.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com, or visit HERE for application details.

A Deep Exploration

“Why this voice? Because to me it sings out dynamic emotion; deep experimentation; and breaking free of artificial composition.”- the artist

Face to Face, 2018, Acrylics, 30 x 39 inches., $1750

Face to Face, 2018, Acrylics, 30 x 39 inches., $1750

Q: What led you to become an abstract artist?

A: A show came to the Denver Museum of Art entitled “Women of Abstract Expressionism.” I went to see that show twice while it was in Denver, for several hours each time – I drank in the work of these artists and began a deep exploration of abstract painting – especially abstract expressionism. Why this voice? Because to me it sings out dynamic emotion; deep experimentation; and breaking free of artificial composition.

Embrace No. 2, 2018, Acrylics, 56 x 32 inches, $2700

Embrace No. 2, 2018, Acrylics, 56 x 32 inches, $2700

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: I have a lifelong love of deep psychology, research and creativity. I succeeded in academic research at the University of Michigan and then in corporate business in Chicago.  My love of visual expression took me into independent film-making and I wrote screenplays, directed and produced short films that exhibited in juried film festivals in the US, Canada and Australia.

When I came to Santa Fe for a month in May of 2012 and came across Intuitive Painting with Julie Claire – I transitioned from film-making to art and began an intensive exploration of acrylic painting. I took courses in drawing principles and life form drawing. One year I worked my way through a tall stack of abstract art workbooks doing every exercise and practicing each technique offered – some focusing on composition, some on color theory, some on acrylic media and techniques. I also began in-person and online courses and workshops with established painters/teachers including Jill King, Nancy Reyner, Julie Catron, Krista Harris, Charlotte Foust, Anna Patricia Keller, Nancy Hillis and most recently, Lauren Mantecon

Marvel, 2018, Acrylics, 30 x 39 inches., $1750

Marvel, 2018, Acrylics, 30 x 39 inches., $1750

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I’m strongly influenced by PLACE.

In my 20’s, I had a life-changing sojourn in Japan. While there, I experienced the ability of the Japanese people to make space in their minds even in the midst of crowded, noisy surroundings. I’ve worked to cultivate that feeling in myself. Additionally, and more recently, my daily experience of the land, skies and weather patterns in the high desert of Santa Fe – being so expansive and ever-changing – inspire me to be bold and free.

Over the past two years and currently, I’ve been working on multiple pieces relating to my Japan experience, including “Rhythms.” This body of work was inspired by a manuscript from the early 20th century (later published in English in 1965) entitled “Forms in Japan.” The manuscript, compiled by Japanese scholars, identified and classified original Japanese forms that were human made or cultivated - such as tatami mats, present wrappings, house design, rice fields. They documented these forms in order to save them from being lost or diluted due to modernization and strong western influences. The category that grabbed me most was “forms of unity.” The language used to describe these functional forms of union included tangling, binding, knotting, collecting, and stacking among others. These terms described my own experience of human relationships – being (and wanting to be) connected and at the same time being (and not wanting to be) tangled, bound, or part of a stack. Just about every abstract painting of mine tells this story: Stay connected and squeeze through the tangles and knots to find space and room to breathe.

Rhythms, 2018, Acrylics, 24 x 36 inches., $1275

Rhythms, 2018, Acrylics, 24 x 36 inches., $1275

Q: We were very impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Rhythms. Tell us more about this piece.

“Rhythms” is painted on paper that has the texture of canvas. It is mounted on cradled panel with painted sides. The finished piece measures 24” (tall) by 36” (wide).

I began this painting by squeezing a stream of liquid acrylic medium in a pattern of crisscrossing lines. After the medium dried clear and hard, I used a squeegee to drag Payne’s Gray liquid paint across the raised lines, providing a loose structure for the piece. The additional color palette was two secondary colors – transparent greens and purples/violets and their mixture, which were applied variously by brushing, scraping, dripping, splashing, blending and lifting. Some veiling was done using both transparent and opaque whites. Then gazing into the painting, I saw drum-like shapes in the lower area which I decided to bring out by outlining lightly in graphite – and thus the name – “Rhythms.” The cool colors and the purposeful leaving of white/light showing through provides an airy, calm feel.

The Webs We Weave, 2018, Acrylics, 25 x 19 inches, $700

The Webs We Weave, 2018, Acrylics, 25 x 19 inches, $700

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your work?

A: I imagine viewers of my work to be engaged, curious, intelligent, seeking, passionate people and I hope that when they look into my painting, they feel a sense of space and renewal.

Vortex, 2018, Mixed media, 25 x 19 inches, $700

Vortex, 2018, Mixed media, 25 x 19 inches, $700

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: In five years, I imagine myself to have found my most authentic voice and to be deeply exploring and expressing it. I envision having connected with my audience in the US and abroad via galleries, open studios, social media or other venues. I will be selling my work – which will enable me to continue my art journey and I’ll be as passionate about it then as I am now.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Pat Pecorella earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan. She operated an independent film company in Chicago with her films being accepted into juried film festivals across the US, and in Canada and Australia. After relocating to Santa Fe, she transitioned from film-making to art. She currently paints full time in her Santa Fe studio.

As an emerging abstract artist, Pat has exhibited in juried shows in New Mexico, San Francisco and Chicago and is soon to be printed in several juried magazines such as "Studio Visit." She also shows in the Santa Fe and Eldorado Studio Tours.

To view more work by the artist, please visit ppecorella.com. You may also follow the artist’s work via Facebook and Instagram.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com, or visit HERE for application details.

Conception to Structure

“I’m interested in how we negotiate our place in the world and I make objects that explore this.” - the artist

Group of Four, 2018, Steel, 320 x 88 each, $3,100

Group of Four, 2018, Steel, 320 x 88 each, $3,100

Q: What led you to become a metal-smith sculptor?

A: Accident really. I grew up in a family of classical musicians and spent all of my time playing the violin and latterly singing. After training professionally as a singer, I soon decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do and spent around ten years working in healthcare – something I’d always been interested in. I really enjoyed it but knew I was also after something else. I took up an evening class in jewellery making when I moved to a job with more manageable hours and in that I heard about silversmithing, which is specifically making objects out of metal and I was hooked before I’d even started. In time this developed into practice as a sculptor.

Six Bowls on a Base, 2017, Sterling Silver and Patinated Copper, 750 x 250 x 250 mm, $8,000

Six Bowls on a Base, 2017, Sterling Silver and Patinated Copper, 750 x 250 x 250 mm, $8,000

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: I did my first short course in around 2009, completed a BA (Hons) in 2013 and a research MA in 2015, the latter two at The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design in east London, UK. In the UK art education has changed enormously in the last 15 years and The Cass was one of the few places that still offered training in silversmithing as opposed to making jewellery. Having said that I was lucky enough to work with some extraordinary tutors who had a huge influence on how I thought about and through metal.

Containers, 2015, Steel and Sterling Silver, 450 x 500 x 300 mm, $4,100

Containers, 2015, Steel and Sterling Silver, 450 x 500 x 300 mm, $4,100

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I’m interested in how we negotiate our place in the world and I make objects that explore this. Put another way, I find the world to be a complex place and I make objects to try and understand it! My practice is an iterative one. I often take snapshots of the everyday world around me. I have found that my eye, through the frame of the camera, is capable of identifying subject matter that interests me artistically before I am capable of articulating it verbally. This means these images represent the embryonic development of creative ideas. I also draw on ideas – or questions, or propositions on how we live in the world - from academic disciplines and these inform my thinking indirectly as much as directly. Primarily thought I work by thinking through making.

Making is first and foremost action. All makers have their own ways of making and approaching their material that are suited to the outcomes they want to achieve. Within my own practice, there is a difference between 'making as construction' and making as thinking, where ideas, instincts, thoughts and emotions converse with material and form.  In this method, a piece emerges from the exploration of a notion where I use different methods and different materials to interrogate my ideas, my thoughts and myself. This process becomes an iterative conversation with material and form, rather than an instruction to it.

In Making, Tim Ingold calls this 'thinking through making' (Ingold, 2013), or allowing knowledge to grow from our experience of and engagement with the things around us, using the physical to entice our subconscious to speak out. In thinking through making, the key for me is action: doing something with a material, not thinking about it too deeply but working instinctively and reacting to things as they unfold. This, more than anything else is what results in creative raw material that can be reflected on and learnt from at a later date. Reflection is an essential step in making, but for me it is something that happens separately from doing. 

Two Bowls, 2015, Sterling Silver, 180 x 160 x 40 each, $8,250

Two Bowls, 2015, Sterling Silver, 180 x 160 x 40 each, $8,250

Q: We were very impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Two Bowls. Tell us more about this piece.

A: This piece was commissioned for an exhibition call Silver Speaks: Idea to Object which was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London between 2016 and 2017. They subsequently purchased another one of my pieces for their permanent collection in 2017.

Two Bowls explores the bowl form and particularly notions of inside and outside. One bowl is hollow, but appears solid and the other piece hollow - appearing to be lit from the inside. The overall piece is formed both by the relationship of the lines and thresholds within each bowl and in the relationship of lines and thresholds between the pieces. The piece is wholly sculptural but draws on the notions of familiarity and comfort that the bowl in its traditional form evokes.

Bowls are archetypal objects – they are some of the few objects that have not changed in form through the history of humankind and are some of the first objects we encounter as children. They have a rich history and symbolism which makes them an ideal form with which to question how we relate to objects.  This piece was made as I was researching notions of inside and outside, how we use these conceptions to structure how we live in the world and the spaces that lie in-between them.

Tall Vessels, 2016, Patinated Gilding Metal and Sterling Silver, 200 x 500 x 1000 mm, $18,800

Tall Vessels, 2016, Patinated Gilding Metal and Sterling Silver, 200 x 500 x 1000 mm, $18,800

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your work?

A: I think this is a really interesting question. I have a strong sense of what I think is in a piece when I make it but I also feel strongly that the viewer will see what they want to see in my work.

Ambiguity is important in my work: there needs to be enough familiarity in a piece for people to be able to relate to it but enough ambiguity to engage people’s curiosity and their imagination. A mentor once asked me if I wanted my work to give answers or to ask questions – it’s definitely the latter.

Fundamentally I have no control over what people see in my work – and no need for them to see the same thing. I find it fascinating when I’m doing exhibitions how often people say ‘it looks like….’ - and the range of very different things they come up with!

Interlocking Pair, 2017, Sterling Silver and Mild Steel, 280 x 250 x 100 mm, $7,500

Interlocking Pair, 2017, Sterling Silver and Mild Steel, 280 x 250 x 100 mm, $7,500

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: Writing is a significant part of my practice. I use it as a tool for capturing some of my experiences of the world, for research in a more formal sense and for communicating some of the ideas behind my work. In 2018, I completed my first publication Material Perspectives with support from Arts Council England, designed by Emily Benton. The book explores different ideas that recur through my work including Thresholds, Objects, Vessels, Lines and the act of making itself. I’m just beginning a new project which will run for the next couple of years.

On the making front, I see myself making larger pieces and more installations and hopefully showing more work internationally – including in the US. Scale is important to me but in metal in particular, at a certain point you move from making pieces yourself to working with fabricators as the pieces just get too big – that’s something I need to figure out as the act of making is so important to me.

Juliette Bigley Portrait low res 9.jpeg

About the artist:

I am an artist-metalsmith who uses base and precious metals to explore objects, their characters and our relationships to them, especially the ways in which we use objects to structure and explore the world in which we live. Focussing particularly on lines and thresholds, my work has relationships – between people, between people and objects and between objects themselves – at its heart.

Based in London, my initial career focussed on classical singing, followed by a number of years in healthcare management undertaking service design for a range of providers. I chanced on my love of metal by accident when a quieter job provided the opportunity to undertake an evening class - and I soon exchanged designing services for making objects. At The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design I trained as a silversmith under influential makers including Simone ten Hompel and David Clarke, gaining both BA (Hons, First Class) and a research MA (Distinction). My research interests include our relationship to the objects with which we surround ourselves, and the ways in which we use objects to negotiate our emotional and physical place in the world.

I have exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally (Ireland, USA, Switzerland, Dubai and Germany) including Design Miami, ArtGeneve, Tresor Contemporary Craft and Collect as well as exhibitions curated by Zaha Hadid and former Director or the Serpentine Galleries Julia Peyton-Jones. I was selected by the Design Council as one of their Ones to Watch: a group of designers selected for having the potential to contribute to the future of Britain as a design nation. As well as winning several other awards, I have been featured in, amongst others, CRAFTS Magazine, Craft and Design Magazine, the Evening Standard and the FT's How to Spend It. I have work in the V&A permanent collection and the Irish State Collection,have received funding from the Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Programme and is am Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

I am represented by Taste Contemporary Craft (Geneva) and Studio Fusion (London).

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.juliettebigley.com.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com for application details.

The Voice of Silence

“I wanted to take something that only I could take [..]” - the artist

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father II, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father II, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Q: What led you to become a photographer?

A; When I was a college student, I saw Diane Arbus's "Untitled" and was struck by lightning. Then, I bought Nikon's FM2 and started taking pictures of everyday landscapes, seniors of band, etc. However, it took no time to get to know that my photo is one of a number of similar pictures. I wanted to take something that only I could take, and I aimed for a photographer in earnest.

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father V, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father V, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: I majored in aesthetics and art historiography at Keio University in Tokyo. From that time I was interested in photography, but after graduating from college I learned skills professionally. I worked in a liquor store and pursued photography in the evenings at Tokyo College of Photography in Yokohama.

“How long have you been an artist?” There are three answers to this question. First, in the sense that all humans are artists, I was already an artist since I was born. Next, in the sense that the work makes him an artist, I think that I am now becoming an artist. Finally, in the sense that an artist is a person who makes a living by the work, I have not become an artist yet.

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father VI, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father VI, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Q. Where do you derive your over all inspiration from?

A: In the sense that " something breathes life into the work", I will not be inspired from something to make a work. My aim is to just face the subject, and scoop up "presence" that constantly going to disappear. I have to throw away creative moods, ideas, internal refining, and even myself. Although, I do not know if the attempt is successful in my work.

However, there are so many artists I have been influenced. Jan Grover, Shiryu Morita, Robert Motherwell, Mokkei, Francis Ponge, Lee UFan, Jean Arp, Tohaku Hasegawa, Mark Rothko, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Ryman, Basho Matsuo, Henri Matisse, and many many more.

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father I, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father I, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Q. We were very impressed with your collection, Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father. Tell us the purpose behind this collection and what meaning it has for you personally.

A; What I intend in this work is to present antithesis to general view of death & life, mourning & salvation. For example in Japan, it is thought that a spirit continues to live as a part of descendants or great nature after death, and can be connected with living people. The remains will be the medium to contact with the dead. And people will seek salvation in that bond and will restore everydayness while healing sorrow.

However, I think that true mourning is realizing the disconnection with the dead, and enduring the extreme of sorrow. It is paradoxical, but the absence of salvation is the only salvation. Salvation appears in desperate and inconsolable surroundings, and beauty and sublime are living in a cold reality like holding an ice. Therefore, I want to not give meaning and interpretation to death, but keep holding it as absolutely meaningless. I keep bending ear to these remains. In order to carry this world after my father passed away. The work is only way for me to listen to the voice of silence.

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father III, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father III, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Q. What do you hope for viewers to take away from this collection specifically?

A: I hope that the viewers can find something new in my works and notice its depth. And it is my great pleasure that they feel beauty and sublime in there.

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father IV, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Uro No Ena - The Remains of My Father IV, Photography silver gelatin print, 19 x 23 inches, $2606

Q. How do you view your art career in five years?

A: Japanese aesthetist Juzo Ueda said this: "What leads artist's life is the artistic conscience of him. It is to listen to the call from deep bottom that he has not seen yet." Five years later, I hope that I have reached a deeper level than now.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Makotu Nakagawa was born in 1977 in Kitaibaraki City, Japan. He graduated from Keio University, Tokyo Japan in 2001, and then the Tokyo College of Photography, Yokohama, Japan in 2005. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Makotu has exhibited his work in numerous juried collections’s, in which he received Honorable Mention, Special Recognition and Finalist. To learn more, please visit www.makotu.net.


If you are an artist or author and are interested in applying for a chance to be featured in Envision Arts Magazine, please email envisionartshow@gmail.com for application details.

Reaching Into Space

“Metal is something I thought I could depend on. But, when I saw molten bronze to be as viscus as water, I realized that it is very much alive …” - the artist

Thompson_M_Chiharu_Bronze_5x8x6.jpg

Q: What led you to become a bronze sculptor?

A: I have always had a creative bend, but when I went into college I wasn't sure what I "wanted to be when I grew up" so to speak. I'll never forget a conversation I had with my father at the time. He gave me a piece of advice that has really stuck with me: "take courses that are interesting to you, and keep on signing up for the ones you like. That will show you where to go". So I did just that. The obsession started with two dimensional design and painting. Then I took a basic sculpture course and that really opened my eyes to a whole new world of creation. In painting, you are essentially representing the three dimensional world in two dimensions. With sculpture, you are reaching out into space and pulling a form out of it. That aspect of god-like creation was fascinating and powerful. So, I kept on taking sculpture courses.

Bronze casting was a course only offered during the summer. I was trying to get some of the more difficult courses I needed to graduate out of the way in summer school one year. I thought that I might as well take something fun while I was there, so I signed up for a bronze casting class. 

I enjoyed the whole process, but it wasn't until I saw the molten bronze that things clicked for me. All of my life I had considered metal to be a cold, yet reliable material. A great example of this is that we build almost all of our building and bridge infrastructures out of steel. Metal is something I thought I could depend on. But, when I saw molten bronze to be as viscus as water, I realized that it is very much alive and that just a little bit of heat could undo all of that reliability. 

In short, it changed the way I thought about the elements and the world. Nothing else in my artistic career has ever done that for me, and I was hooked. 

Thompson_M_Hatsuko_Bronze_10x14x8.jpg

Q: Can you describe your process from conception to finished piece?

A: Usually my process starts with an idea or feeling. It can either be an abstract emotion and I then search for a form that can represent it. Or it starts with a form that captivates me, and I then search for the reason that it moved me. In that case, I usually find a feeling or emotion underneath that initial visual response. 

From there, if the idea is very concrete I will usually just dive into working in clay. If the idea, form, or emotion is still a bit elusive then I will draw a few sketches to get a better hold of what it is that I am trying to create. 

Either way, I begin creating the piece by building an armature (essentially a skeletal structure that will support the clay) and then working the clay to completion. 

During the clay phase, usually there are some considerable changes that occur from initial concept to what actually gets created. There is always a conversation between myself and the clay. Through the process, I am constantly asking why I am creating the piece, what's the reason behind it. At the same time, I have to listen to what the sculpture wants to become. At a certain point, I have to step out of the way and let the clay guide me. The whole thing is a conversation between my hands, the clay, and spirit, muse, or whatever you want to call it.

Once the clay is created, I will send the piece to a mold maker who creates a mold, usually a combination of rubber and plaster, from which all of the editions are cast in wax. From there, I send the piece to a foundry (a facility that casts bronze) and they enter what is called the "lost wax process". It is a one step mold process that takes the piece from wax to bronze. Once the piece is completed in bronze I will come in to patina, or put the final coloring, on the bronze.

Thompson_M_WhisperingSpirit_Bronze_14x14x4.jpg

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I find that the times I am out in the wilderness are the times that I am most in tune with my own true nature. There is a sense of peace and calm I experience there. Maybe because it is the lack of people, technology, etc. but I like to think that there are spirits in the plants. If you listen closely enough you can hear them whisper the wisdom of the ages, reminding whoever will listen of who we really are. 

These whispering’s are where I draw my inspiration. I use the life forms I encounter in the mountains and forests I live in as a vehicle to explore various aspects of personality, human experience, and the dichotomy between mortality and immortality.

Thompson_M_Kazumi_Bronze_6x6x8.jpg

Q: Is there some underlying message you like to portray via your art?

A: At it's core, my work is a meditation on the ephemeral. It is the way I process the juxtaposition between the temporality of life with the deeper aspects of self and spirit. 

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A; I hope that viewers walk away from my art with the sense of calm and clarity that I experience outside in nature. If my work can either help people connect to their own inner landscape and spirit, that would be the highest honor. At the very least, I hope that the sculptures inspire people to recognize the beauty found on earth, and maybe even move them to become stewards of this planet that we call home. 

Thompson_M_TheGathering_60x75x7.jpg

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: In five years, I hope to be showing large, multi-part installations in museums and corporate buildings, along-side galleries. That being said, as long as I am creating in a way that is true and meaningful, that is what is most important. 

Photo source: www.margaretthompsonsculpture.com

Photo source: www.margaretthompsonsculpture.com

About the artist:

Margaret Thompson got her start in the arts while in high school when she began designing jewelry for Carlyn Galerie in Dallas, Texas. 

Through adolescence and into adulthood, Margaret was drawn to a variety of creative arts including musical theater, cuisine, jewelry design, drawing, painting, graphic design, and eventually metal-smithing and sculpting. 

In 2013 Margaret earned her Fine Arts degree from Skidmore College with a concentration in sculpture and metals. There, she began her training in two dimensional design, but quickly found herself drawn to three dimensional work. “It is one thing to paint space, but another to reach into space and shape something with my own hands. Once I had done that, there was no turning back.”

Margaret quickly became fascinated by the process of creating work in metal. “Working with metal for the first time completely changed my perception of the world. Here is this thing that is considered so strong and reliable; and with just a little bit of heat, it bends under my finger. Then with a lot more heat it becomes as liquid as water. That process of heating, and shaping in order to purify an idea and wrestle it to life speaks to me profoundly.”

Margaret now lives in Boulder Colorado, drawing much of her inspiration from the mountains. "I experience incredible wonder in nature. Especially in the mountains and forests. So I strive to create work that speaks to what I am enchanted by, in hopes that it allows the viewer to experience a little of that magic for themselves."

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.margaretthompsonsculpture.com. Also please follow the artist on Facebook as well as Instagram.


Want to share your work with Envision Magazine? Feel free to submit your visual art and/or literary works for a chance to be featured. Click here to apply online.

Various Forms of Beauty

“I guess you could say that my goal is to express the emotional feelings of wonder and admiration of the world’s natural elements, events and occurrences and to have the viewer experience a different way of seeing.” - the artist

Bloom, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 48 x 60 inches

Bloom, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 48 x 60 inches

Q: What led you to become an artist?

A: I have always been curiously interested in the various forms of nature’s beauty, and how it can be found in every aspect of life.  As a young girl you would find me outdoors and going on explorations looking for rocks or other interesting things.  My grandmother, and accomplished artist, introduced me to oil painting at the age of 10 and I began studying in earnest.  I was considered a bit of a “nerd” by many and, in hindsight, I guess I was…I was the only member of the “Rock Club” in 5th grade…a Science Club studying minerals, rocks and gems…it was awesome!

I was also lucky to have a wonderful high school art teacher who mentored me and taught me about other mediums.  I went on to receive my BFA from Hartford Art School at The University of Hartford where I spent her time focusing on large scale sculptures and bold shapes and design.

Thalassic Series, Study I, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 48 x 48 inches

Thalassic Series, Study I, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 48 x 48 inches

Q: You work with poured medium and resin, as well as mixed media. Tell us how you became proficient in these mediums?

A; My training and studies were concentrated in oil and acrylic mediums and, until recently, I almost exclusively used acrylic pigments.  I had seen some resin work and became fascinated with the concept but was surprised by the overall lack of artistry that was involved.  On a whim, I purchased a couple of gallons to see what it was all about and have, pretty much, spent the last 3 years challenging myself to find beautiful and different ways to use it.  My work in the medium is constantly evolving as I experiment with a lot of different pigments, micas, paints, and stones in the resin.  And, I also now have quite the collection of power tools.  Every piece I create involves a variety of blow torches, heat guns, sanders, saws, rotary tools and, my favorite, my dremel.

Frozen River, Mini series, 2018. Acrylic, pigment, resin crushed glass, mirror and agate on canvas, 6 x 6 inches, set of four (SOLD)

Frozen River, Mini series, 2018. Acrylic, pigment, resin crushed glass, mirror and agate on canvas, 6 x 6 inches, set of four (SOLD)

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: To this day, all of my artwork continues to be inspired by nature.  My admiration of minerals, stones, landmass and the sea has only grown stronger and, while many don’t see this in my abstract interpretations, it is always there. My art is multi-dimensional and is based on one or more of these elements while also attempting to capture some aspect of light, darkness, warmth, and convey my the feelings this evokes in me.

Title unknown, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 5 x 60 inches, set of three.

Title unknown, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 5 x 60 inches, set of three.

Q: You've developed quite a following for your stick sets. And it's quite a different and unusual size at 5" x 60". Tell us the reasoning behind this size selection and why you believe it is so popular?

A: These Sticks!!  It is funny how they came to be.  A collector of my art was challenged by a round wall in her foyer.  After many conversations about what art could be placed on a round wall in her home, we agreed that mirrors, “tall, skinny mirrors”, were the solution.  That somehow morphed into” tall, skinny art” and I made a commissioned set for her.  “Paint Sticks” is kind of a tongue-in-cheek name for them as they are really quite beautiful slices of fine art.  They have garnered a lot of interest and I am now spending quite a bit of time doing custom “Sticks” for clients and have introduced  “Twigs”.  I am not constricted to the 5” x 60” size as I am now working with a local artisan who is fabricating all of my structure which is handcrafted from kiln dried birch and pine and constructed in a way that will never warp or be compromised .  What is great about these is that they can be used in tall, narrow, rounded or otherwise awkward spaces,  They can be grouped together to create a beautiful montage, the uses are endless.  I mostly meet with clients at their homes, measure and then do them in the sizes that work best for their spaces.  Also, Frisco Fine Arts, is carrying an extensive collection of them. 

Meteor Shower Stick Set, 2018. Acrylic, pigment, resin crushed glass, mirror and agate on birch, 5 x 60 inches, set of three.

Meteor Shower Stick Set, 2018. Acrylic, pigment, resin crushed glass, mirror and agate on birch, 5 x 60 inches, set of three.

Q: Is there some underlying message you like to portray via your art? What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A: There is no underlying message, per se, that I am trying to communicate with my art.  It is something that gives me a sense of peace and joy.  I guess you could say that my goal is to express the emotional feelings of wonder and admiration of the world’s natural elements, events and occurrences and to have the viewer experience a different way of seeing.  Maybe to pass along a bit of joy to them as well.

Spring I, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 48 x 48 inches

Spring I, 2018. Acrylic, pigment and resin, 48 x 48 inches

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: Five years ago, I was still caring for my family and ending a totally different career and only painting in my spare time for myself.  I would never have imagined that I would be fortunate enough to begin a new career this late in life and have it be my lifelong passion.  So, 5 years from now?  Hard to say and I really don’t want to jinx myself.  So long as I’m still able to create, I will be a very content artist and person!

Photo credit: Deborah Hartigan Viestenz

Photo credit: Deborah Hartigan Viestenz

About the artist:

Much is revealed about Deborah Hartigan Viestenz through her artwork. Known for her large scale multi-media abstract paintings seeking to translate nature into feelings, Deborah is based in the United States and began her creative journey and love of the outdoors at an early age.

“We see these every day. Birds, grass, trees, lakes, oceans, stone. We are touched by these every day. Water on our hands and bodies. Sunlight warming our skin. Rocks and grass beneath our feet. Darkness making us seek light. We hear these every day. Birds speaking to each other. Wind rustling the leaves. The cacophony of storms and thunder. My goal is to express the emotional feelings of wonder and admiration of these natural elements, events and occurrences—to have the viewer experience a different way of seeing.“

Always fascinated with the often overlooked beauty of nature, and encouraged by her grandmother, an accomplished painter, Deborah began her studies in oil painting at the age of ten. Given her admiration of minerals, stones, landmass and the sea, these elements became the subject matter of her work. After attending Boston College, Deborah received her BFA from Hartford Art School at The University of Hartford where she spent her time focusing on large scale outdoor sculptures along with painting and design. She has spent her adult life achieving a successful and creative family/work/life balance and enjoying the gradual maturation and seasoning of her work. Presently based in Dallas, TX, Deborah has resided in New York, London, and Paris and continues to find inspiration in her travels.

Her art is exhibited/available at several galleries in Dallas, or on her website at www.dhvartworks.com. As you explore her works, share in the spirit of her imagination, generosity, and genuine love of life.


Want to share your work with Envision Magazine? Feel free to submit your visual art and/or literary works for a chance to be featured. Click here to apply online.

A New Journey

“I capture whatever is capturing me!” - the artist

Q: What led you to become a photographer?

A: I became a photographer accidentally. I never planned and intend to be, it came to me naturally. I was a photo lover from the early years of my life. I used to spend hours going through the family albums when I was a little girl. Story behind each picture fascinated me at that young age and made me wonder how different people and their feelings were captured in such a small frame. I used to play with my father’s camera and try to get a clear vision with no luck. One of my older cousins who was taking pictures with her own camera gave me a quick explanation on how to use the camera. At that young age I thought she is a magician. I got my first professional camera as a wedding gift at the age of 29. First couple of years I was using my camera on Auto Mode only, to picture my travels for my blog. My real journey with photography started the moment when I switched my SLR camera to manual mode and rest is a history to tell.

Loneliness, 2014. Photography, 16 x 13 inches

Loneliness, 2014. Photography, 16 x 13 inches

Q: Where have you studied and/or exhibited your work?

A: Let me tell you this first, I am a mathematical engineer with no art background. There was the time of my life, I was questioning my engineering education and career. I realize that it is not the path that I wanted to continue because I have no deep connection to identify myself as an engineer. I was in need to create myself again at the age of 35, We might call it mid-age crisis. At that time, I had to go back my hometown, Istanbul for two years. First, I attended a creative writing course, I like it a lot at the beginning but my enthusiasm has gone in less than a month.

One day, me and my close friend, we were having lunch together, she told me she bought herself a camera and she likes to learn how to use it! She encouraged me to go to a photography course with her.  My course registration day was more like,” let me go with my friend, we will have fun together”. After the third lesson I was fascinated by the history of photography and the possibilities that you can create with your camera while my friend was like, “three lesson is enough I will return automatic mode” She quit. I stayed and complete the course. It was the foundation course for digital photography to learn how to take photos in manual mode. At the end of the course, we had photo shooting day. We met at a very historical part of Istanbul and spent all day to practice what we learned during the lessons. I fall in love with photography at that day! It may be the streets with lots of character, may be the all students’ passion to catch the right frame with the perfect exposure, whatever the energy, I fall in love and I decided to enroll for the second round of the course to create my own photo journal. My assignment was about photographing the vendors on the street, listening their life stories. I was so happy with my camera on my hand, questions in my head! I was free to ask any vendors, any question! More I listen and photographed people more I was in love what I was doing! As a curious person I found my excuse to approach the people on the street and ask their life story. It was a great feeling! But still, I have no intention to become a photographer! At that time, I photographed each and every member of my family, my distant cousins, my neighbor’s dog, even my son’s little turtle living in a small bowl can be the subject of my photo.

After two years I spent in Istanbul, I had to come back to Dallas, in 2013. I continue photography lesson in Dallas. I attended different classes and workshops about artistic and technical aspects of photography. In the past 5 years, I had the opportunity to experiment different style and subjects in photography before I settled on Fine Art Photography such as Architectural, family and corporate photography, wedding & special occasions so on. I was also photographing artwork of an artist, she needs them for her submissions to various exhibitions. While she was coming to my house, she saw my fine art photos hanging on my house’s wall and she asked me to submit them for exhibitions. She asked me each and every time she saw me, she texted me, she emailed me till she made sure I submitted my photos. I was like “okay let me do it for her!”   With my first submission I was honored the best photo prize. It was a photo exhibition by Visual Art Guild of Frisco which was displayed at Frisco Discovery Centre. The jury gave me lots of feedback about my photos, and she told me I am touching the millennium problem, loneliness. That photo, that little girl was reflecting my exact feeling in my life, I am feeling so alone in the middle of crowd. I am not a good fit most of the time. After I got the best photo prize with my visual reflection of feelings, I felt like I can touch more peoples’ life with my photos. It was the moment I felt like a visual artist first time, more than an amateur photographer.

Water, 2018. Photography, 15 x 8 inches

Water, 2018. Photography, 15 x 8 inches

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: Traveling is inspiring me a lot.  I lose my connection with time & place when I am on a new journey discovering and capturing my next moment in life while I am already captured by my surroundings.

I love outdoors, people & nature and I love documenting different side of them through photography. Capturing shadows or placing people in unexpected scales or backgrounds in the nature inspires me to tell the story about how small we are up against the world surrounding each and every one of us.

Chairs, 2015. Photography, 16 x 13 inches

Chairs, 2015. Photography, 16 x 13 inches

Q: We noticed a recurring theme of light and shadows, which create a sense of movement and mood within your work. Can you elaborate on this?

A: I have been drawn to shadows since I was a little girl. They seemed to behave so mischievously and always mysteriously more interesting than the subject itself. I have a wild urge to capture the moment when I see a shadow. Shadows act like the visual underline of the subject matter in photography and helps to emphasize the importance of the captured moment in time.

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A: Be honest with you, I never think to give a massage to my viewers till I won the best photo prize. Even I never thought I would have some viewers! Taking photo is my meditation. It is my worship! I do it for myself to feel connected!  I capture whatever is capturing me! I see the deeper beauty in every form of life beyond the obvious .. whether seeing the movement in a form of a shadow or recognizing the fact that how little we are against the nature surrounding us when we really think of it. My hope is, if my viewer feel what I feel thew realize that they are not alone! I want my viewers to feel the connection through my art. We are all connected with the whole, we just need reminders. Art is the best reminder. If it is my art, it is my hope for my viewers being able to feel the connection!

Man, 2018. Photography, 15 x 8 inches

Man, 2018. Photography, 15 x 8 inches

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: My formal education is far from art and photography. I am a dysfunctional engineer with an artsy eye. Although I am divinely inspired, I have a personality to create everything from scratch and reasoning is my main ingredient for my own recipe. Keeping my amateur soul alive, I just want to experience art in more depth through more education for next five years. I liked to attend more art exhibitions nationwide & worldwide in the next 5 years. With my unique way of looking and capturing art in life, hope to be able to differentiate myself on the eye of art lovers in general and see my art work displayed in as many locations as possible. Personally, sharing my vision of life with others brings me the joy and priceless happiness.

About the artist:

I am Pelin and my journey with photography started the moment I switched my SLR camera to Manual Mode. Catching the most meaningful moment between an infinite array of possibilities is my primary passion right now, next to travelling, chocolate, trekking with my boys, meeting new people and reading everything and anything. Originally from Istanbul, I lived and worked in London and Brussels. Then I fell in love and my love brought me to United States in 2005 where I still live with frequent visits to my lovely hometown. When I take a picture, my primary goal is to catch the genuine smile and emotion while showing the loveliness, charm, strength and warmth of people.


Want to share your work with Envision Magazine? Feel free to submit your visual art and/or literary works for a chance to be featured. Click here to apply online.

The Human Experience

“My inspiration comes from my life, my experiences with motherhood, and family... the human experience really.” - the artist

Muddy Puddles, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Muddy Puddles, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Q: What led you to become a photographer?

A: I come from a long line of photographers. My grandmother was an artist in every sense. When I was a young child, she photographed my siblings and I and developed her own film. Two of my aunts are photographers as well, so the influence has always been there. My grandmother gave me my first 35mm Canon Rebel for Christmas when I was in the 9th grade. From there I grew my skill level and camera collection and started dabbling in photojournalism and processing film as a member of my high school's newspaper staff. I really credit my familial ties to photography with where I am today. My world was always full of photographs and I really love to be surrounded by them. What better way than making them myself?

Swing, swing, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Swing, swing, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Q: Where have you studied and/or exhibited your work?

A: I studied and have exhibited at [University of North Texas]. I have not finished my degree because I took some time off to be at home with my young children. 

Missy, 2018. Photography, 11 x 17 inches

Missy, 2018. Photography, 11 x 17 inches

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration for your fine art photography?

A: I love to photograph people. My inspiration comes from my life, my experiences with motherhood, and family... the human experience really. I also find inspiration in family photo albums, not just my own. Having photographs of the people I love is important to me. I feel like it's something that is important to a lot of people, and you can see it in the photos they choose or chose to take. 

Frank and Imogen, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Frank and Imogen, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Q: We were very impressed with your piece, Frank and Imogen, the winner of Best In Show for our exhibition, Focus. Is there a specific meaning behind this work?

A: Frank and Imogen is a portrait of my son (Frank) and one of our dogs (Imogen). This photograph feels like a perfect representation of my son's life at that age. There's a joy and abandonment, a wildness that comes across, even in its simplicity. There's a forgotten sock on the clothesline, an old broken chair, and an overgrown patch of bamboo that frame my wild-haired boy and sweet pup. Its so much of what motherhood is to me- an absolutely chaotic mess, but somehow perfect in its orchestration. I used a Rolleiflex TLR camera with 120mm film for this, which tends to produce these rich, velvety tones. 

Mike, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Mike, 2016. Photography, 12 x 12 inches

Q: You mentioned that you shoot with several different cameras, including digital and analog, and that your submitted collection was shot with a medium format Holga lomography camera with 120mm film, and a Rolleiflex TLR film camera. Can you explain your development process?

A: For [the submitted collection], I had a closet that I blocked the light out of with layers of black trash bags and bed sheets. I would sit on the floor and close the door, ensuring that there were no light leaks, then I would take the film out of the camera bodies and load it onto the reels and secure them inside the development tanks. Then I'd climb up off of the floor, go to the kitchen and follow the chemical steps to develop the film, and hang them to dry over the sink. It's science, but it feels like magic when the film turns out. There's a bit of a game of chance, especially with lomography cameras. They have little defects here and there to make it more of an experimental process. I like to use expired film in them to see what I get. It's always a victory when it works out. I think that's why I prefer to work in film, what makes it so fun. Shooting with the TLR cameras is a different experience entirely. You look down into the top of the camera as opposed to through a view finder, and thus shoot from a lower vantage point. I find this makes the photographs more composition-ally interesting.

Fort, 2018. Photography, 11 x 17 inches

Fort, 2018. Photography, 11 x 17 inches

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your fine art photography?

A: I hope they find a piece of themselves. 

Starr and Ruby, 2018. Photography, 24 x 8 inches

Starr and Ruby, 2018. Photography, 24 x 8 inches

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: I hope to continue developing my style, to continue making tons of work, and submitting to exhibitions. Maybe I can make it into a few more.

About the artist:

I am a photographer. I shoot with several different cameras, digital and analog. [The submitted collection] were shot with a medium forma Holga lomography camera with 120mm film, and a Rolleiflex TLR film camera. I am an artist, wife, and mother of two. I've lived in Texas my entire life, and I find great joy in developing my own film in my kitchen sink. Our living situation is unconventional, which I believe greatly influences my work. We moved in with my in-laws so that my husband could pursue a new career path, and they have five adopted kids. My work, informed by the chaos of our lives, focuses on the themes of the day to day, and motherhood, with a touch of whimsy.


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Sense of Self

“Light versus shadow are integral components in my work.” - the artist

Just a Moment #5, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 24 x 16 inches

Just a Moment #5, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 24 x 16 inches

Q: What led you to become a charcoal artist?

A: It began with my choosing charcoal as my preliminary medium, the medium I would use to create initial response drawings to the subjects I was exploring. The expressive nature of the medium, as well as its versatility, persuaded me to begin using it as my primary tool. I work with compressed charcoal sticks on frosted mylar. In combination, the two enable me to create an incredible array of values, from the deepest black, to an untouched white. On occasion, I use an eraser to remove charcoal from the surface. At other times, the charcoal is applied then left untouched.

Working with charcoal, enables me to work intuitively. The drawings I create using charcoal, range from soft and atmospheric, to high contrast and dramatic. Subject matter determines my style of response.

Conversations With Home #1, 2016. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Conversations With Home #1, 2016. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Q: Where have you studied and/or exhibited your work?

A: I have been fortunate to study art through three different art Universities: The Alberta College of Art and Design University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, The University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Wales. I undertook, and received my PhD through the latter university, an undertaking that took close to nine years, most of which was conducted at a distance.

I have exhibited my work in Calgary, Vancouver, Canada and in Aberystwyth.

Conversations With Home #2, 2016. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Conversations With Home #2, 2016. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: Two recurrent themes run throughout my work: sense of place, and sense of self. In many ways, my art is documenting my journey, my physical journey; places I have visited and lived, the architecture and the landscape, and my inner journey; aspects of my self and my history. Often they work hand in hand, my visual explorations of a place, triggering a memory, or reaction, which in turn, guides my work down a completely, unexpected pathway. Sometimes, particularly when I work with landscapes, my work encourages me to resurface, to take time to breathe.

Home #10, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Home #10, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Q: We noticed a reoccurring theme of light vs. shadows, as well as a strong use of negative space within your work. Can you elaborate on this?

A: When I studied art history during my BFA, I was drawn to the works of artists such as Michelangelo Caravaggio, Jacques-Louis David, and Rembrandt van Rijn. I was captivated by their dramatic presentation of subject, their use of chiaroscuro, the strong contrast between lights and dark to accentuate form.  My MFA thesis researched into shadow, light and darkness. Light versus shadow are integral components in my work.

Home #3, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

Home #3, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 36 x 36 inches

In my first drawing class for my BFA, I was introduced to negative space. I had only ever been taught to define objects using line, and this focus on negative space opened up an entirely new way of seeing. Suddenly, in a way that made sense, objects and background began operating as one. Negative space is the aspect of a drawing I define first, before any other thing.

Just a Moment #7, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 24 x 16 inches

Just a Moment #7, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 24 x 16 inches

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A: Just as certain places initiate a connection, and or, emotive reaction in me, my hope, is that my work will initiate a reaction in the viewer: perhaps igniting their own connections, triggering personal memories, activating emotions, pleasant or otherwise.

The Path Forward #3, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 24 x 24 inches

The Path Forward #3, 2018. Charcoal on frosted mylar, 24 x 24 inches

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: For nine years, the PhD immersed me within a world of research. I emerged, confident in my ability to create, talk, and write about my work, but very much removed from the world of exhibiting. In five years time, I see my art career as one in which I am creating and exhibiting new works, but at the same time, writing and researching in conjunction. I am at my most effective when everything is working together as one.


About the artist:

Susan Fraser-Hughes grew up in Perth, Western Australia. She moved to Calgary, Canada in 1996, and then Vancouver in 2011. She holds a BFA, an MFA, and most recently, a PhD from Aberystwyth University in Wales.

Source: susanfraserhughes.com

To view more work by the artist or learn more about her work, please visit www.susanfraserhughes.com.


Want to share your work with Envision Magazine? Feel free to submit your visual art and/or literary works for a chance to be featured. Click here to apply online.

mysterious culture

“I am very interested in mysterious culture.” - excerpt from the artist

Landscape I, ink and paper.

Landscape I, ink and paper.

Q: What led you to become an artist?

A: I became an artist because I was influenced by my father. He is a photographer and painter. He planted an art seed in my heart since I was a kid.

Landscape II, ink and paper.

Landscape II, ink and paper.

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: When I was in primary school, I started to study sketch and calligraphy in my spare time. I started to study Chinese traditional painting in middle school, and then graphic design in University. I established my art studio in Song Zhuang Artist Village in 1998, then moved to 798 Art District in 2004. I have been an artist around 20 years.

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I am very interested in mysterious culture. I have studied and researched Stonehenge and crop circles for many years. I tried to translate and interpret the mysterious graphics all over the world. That formed my own ideology. My inspiration comes from those thoughts.

Landscape III, ink and paper.

Landscape III, ink and paper.

Q: I see that you create in several genre's, to include calligraphy and film. What has led you to become so multi-faceted?

A: My art comes from traditional Chinese art education, including the classic landscapes, flowers, birds, and characters. But my paintings are not in the traditional way, my paintings combine different elements, such as light and shadow, sketch and abstract.

In China, calligraphy is same as Kongfu; both of them need to take long time to practice. All of my paintings have calligraphy elements - it is the foundation of my paintings.

My father is a photographer; when I was very young, I had the opportunity to learn how to take photos. In 1990s, I had my own digital camera, I took video and images. Those works also impact my paintings. For making a documentary, I learned how to observe my subject.

Landscape IV, ink and paper.

Landscape IV, ink and paper.

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A: In recent years, I felt my art works has moved closer to the viewers. Because it gradually has human’s story and emotion. I do hope the viewers could feel that.

Landscape V, ink and paper.

Landscape V, ink and paper.

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: In 2012, I made a very hard decision. I stopped all exhibitions and selling my paintings. From 2013-2017, I focused on practicing calligraphy. That was a tough process, but I found something new. At same time, I also did quite lot experimental on my painting;, that makes my arts in different kind styles.  All creations are based on my calligraphy. It’s worth it to do this in 5 years.

To view more work from the artist, follow on Instagram @laodanrj.


Want to share your work with Envision Magazine! Feel free to submit your visual art works for a chance to be featured! Click here to apply online! Also accepting literary submissions.

The Grotesque and the Beautiful

“Alex deploys deep philosophical symbolism in dynamic imagery, combining the grotesque and the beautiful.” - excerpt from the artist

The Grotesque and the Beautiful is an in-depth look into symbolism and connection between thought and art; an interview between artist Alexander Unger and Matthew Mautarelli.

Coptics Final, 2018. Digital Art.

Coptics Final, 2018. Digital Art.

Q: Some of these questions about process might be very basic and banal, are these digital at first?

A: I draw here at my desk. The process has evolved in itself. For some of the earlier pieces I transposed my earlier sketches to tracing paper then to ink. Then I started to do it all in one go, by pencil overlaid with ink, then scanning into the computer. Sometimes increase the weight of the line. All the color itself is done on the computer, so there’s that technology piece of it. For some of them, I’ve made my own clip-art. I have some symbols, or I would call them perhaps totems, like flowers, bones, the icosahedron or truncated Dali Tesseract that I use in the geometric pieces. I reproduce those, change or transform them to fit the composition and create kind of an ensemble. So a lot of it is digital, but it all has to come from something organic. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating, though this is the technology we have today, and I work with what I have. And organic can mean a lot of things, whether that’s concept that isn’t based on technology or computational thinking. Even with the purely geometric pieces, that feel a bit like little ditties, there still is a good deal of decision work to produce something that is composition-ally and visually stimulating, how you use the colors and the axes. Although there is a good proportion of imagery that is not hand done, I do look in the future, given time and funds, to do things in a more painterly way. At the same time, I like to work quickly, to think quickly, and sometimes my patience wanes to a rush to finish. So for the time being, I’m fine being an illustrator for the purpose of printed work, although my ultimate goal, as I develop my skills further is to bring this to paint or paint-markers, and create sometime entirely by hand. To that effect, I always want to start with something organic, whether that’s a larger or smaller hand-illustrated piece of the composition, or an entirely hand-drawn work. I basically do what suits the day and what suits a certain expediency for expression, but as with all artists, I think, trying different mediums is very important and in my process from going back to my cache of illustrations, refining them, bringing color to them, ultimately, I look to continue to develop both the style and the skills by which I can express what I’m trying to say.

Eros and Thanatos, 2018. Digital Art.

Eros and Thanatos, 2018. Digital Art.

Q: With your philosophical influences, there is a dividing line or a tension between rationalistic or formalist and the organic-ist or vital-ist, and that obviously comes across in your visual work through organic multiplicities and the grid stuff, and I was curious because it seems like they are generally confined to one or the other, whether that be graphic design of grid-work…Why and when do you juxtapose the grid stuff and the illustrated stuff, though there are those where you juxtapose the two at once.

A: I do some that are purely computer generated, like the Rhizome Funk Series, and I later augmented that to become Rhizome Ikebana because I wanted to things sprouting out of the geometries, like crab-grass might as Deleuze uses the metaphor, like the root structure and the arboreal growth.

Q: So the grid structure is conceived as rhizomatic itself then?

Yes, Rhizomatic [Deleuze and Guattari] and Evental [Alain Badiou]. Like in “Evental Structures”, the event would be when you have that bifurcation of the inner square, and also reminiscent of the mark of the void, the 0 with a slash through it, where the form then speaks to an idea of multiplicity because those dimensions within the suture [line splitting the inner square] could take on multiple axes. It’s up to the viewer’s creativity to say what that is, how the rest of the work is structured per the axes that the viewer finds. If you look at the original Rhizome piece, it seems like there will always be an Event within that, something that stitches the piece together and effectively vibes with how we see the rest of the dimensions. So it almost seems like whether we see that engendered by the territory, or other parts of the plane, per the use of color or how we see a plane being consistent, or whether that originates within the subject of the Event, almost doesn’t matter, it’s kind of a chicken and egg question. And we could beg the question, where would the crab-grass be, if it wasn’t for a seed, something generic. So the event, whether that happens politically, scientifically, artistically, or psychologically is there, but it has to link up with a wider social phenomena too. I see both Deleuze and Bdiou talking about similar things, they have similar politics, they might just be arguing about how to say it, taking antagonistic views on what’s more essential.

Good Trip, Bad Trip, 2018. Digital Art.

Good Trip, Bad Trip, 2018. Digital Art.

Q: Do you see the divisions here as being negative or positive? Are you building something starting with a whole drawn out and then dividing within it? Or are you procedurally constructing something out of something smaller?

A: I start with something more molecular. When those Rhizomes connect, in whatever form that takes, that’s when we see, perhaps, something more dynamic. Sometimes though, there are Events that stand apart from one another, or belong in different localities, sometimes the Event is produced by an encounter. In “Evental Structures” I mistakenly added a seventh color, but it kind of makes sense. Me formally, we might have to use six colors, but that doesn’t take into account a change of frequency, whether we’re talking about light or music. So there’s an introduction of a sense of time to that piece apart from how our perspective shifts in how we see the axes defining the planes.

Evental Structures, 2018. Digital Art

Evental Structures, 2018. Digital Art

Q: You talk about different perspectives and certainly in the geometric work. When it comes to the organic work, perspective is absent, everything is crushed together, there is a surplus of life, more ears and arms and more than anyone would need, but there’s not structure. How do you explain that?

A: Initially, I wanted to think that the cut into the bodies also represented a voided nature of who we are, a source of creativity somewhere within, but the more I thought about it, the more I developed both styles, I began to think that each is an expression of the other. As I was beginning with the last question. So although the bodies have in them that same nature, the void, that connection to being, they are still assemblages, like how the purely rhizomatic pieces work. Kind of inverting the idea of bodies without organs that Badiou talks about mathematically, and gearing the rhizome to speak to Deleuze’s unstructured, anti-math, geometrically.

Rhizome Ikebana 3, 2018. Digital Art.

Rhizome Ikebana 3, 2018. Digital Art.

Q: What about your topical pieces?

A: There are things that are explicitly political or cultural, and there are other things that are more autobiographical that connects to an emotion, but it doesn’t tell a story, but they’re more like fragments or random thoughts. In that sense it’s kind of therapeutic in a way. Some of it is more improvisational, some of it is more an assemblage of figures, some of is for the sake of design too. Sometimes I’m just drawing too.

Q: Let’s talk about a few examples of your work. Are there a couple of pieces that you’d like to exemplify as topical?

A: Sure. There are […] that come to mind. Sisterhood is one of my old/recent favorites. I illustrated it some years ago and put it in color later, then increased the weight of the line to bring it current. I try to address the emotive qualities of what might traditionally be feminine and also a communing aspect of talking or sharing with one another. There are two women bearing their hearts to each other expressing the sisterly relation. A man with a face is at the bottom right hand corner reaching into an ear, representing how we tool with our views of gender traits and values. There is another face in the lower left hand corner devouring an androgynous figure, representing kind of an edifice of cultural norms around gender and sex, how we are subsumed under that rubric of values. Above that there is a man and a woman looking sad, and connected through other facial features, kind of an intimacy. The large face on the top right is more like a deity almost a different expression, breathing a cloud with rain drops, mirroring the sadness that overshadows the piece and the larger eye has two tear-ducts that speaks to the melancholic theme as well. Although the piece’s colors are inspired by Indian schemes that I took from some of my wife’s sarris, I wanted to give it a different feminine vibe in that regard.

Sisterhood, Digital Art.

Sisterhood, Digital Art.

Q: You said that improvisation is a part of your process but not the entirety of your process? I was curious to ask because some of the pieces have no titles and it’s difficult to decipher their content.

A: There are themes. Sometimes I have a vision of what I’d like it to be, but your mind’s eye changes, and the piece takes on a life of its own. Not really pre-composed, but I don’t want to call it just improvisation, because I think they have a positive content, whether that’s emotionally, conceptually, or topically driven. But I try to make them cohesive in their content and I think that lends to good compositions. Sometimes I’m thinking of something that happened that day, or a memory of people who have been in my life, or a topic that I overheard being discussed and then my mind might wonder almost free-associating. So it’s kind of like a stream of consciousness sometimes, and sometimes that’s part of the more composed or topical pieces as well.

After the Rain Adjusted, 2018. Digital Art.

After the Rain Adjusted, 2018. Digital Art.

Q: What about artistic references?

A: I pull from all over. I mentioned street art. But a couple of my favorites are also Yves Tanguy, in how he shapes and composes those stone-like figures, and Joan Miro’s suspension of ethereal objects. In Good Trip, Bad Trip I try to combine them, with the nose touching the ground, looking like a stone, and most of the composition being suspended in air in some gravity defying way. Also Keith Herring in the use of hearts and the emotive offering and connection. Michel Basquiat in a way with the line work, but also R Crumb in the line work too. I had a friend in High School, who also really inspired me, Becky Furey, who is a great artist. She painted a mural at a local café and included resemblances of all her friends, I was up there. Her use of line was similar, though more flat, more American Folk influenced. Tried to differentiate myself form her when I picked up the pen, using thin lines, though over time they thickened, and I gave them a bit of a curve to make the pieces look sculptural. My signature too comes from an older childhood friend who was also very talented at illustration, Kyle Meiers. I augmented it to fit other details. So throughout the work, its autobiographical, by way of relationships, memories, people who’ve inspired me, the music I listen to, the history all of that comes from. In a way it’s about preserving memories, while also trying to talk about things that matter to me in politics and philosophy.

Q: What’s next?

A: Well most recently, I’ve been doing this Rhizome Ikebana, where I have more limited rhizome compositions with flowers growing out of them, and the bones. I’d like to add more symbolic items, fish and birds, for instance, to give a different spiritual meaning to the work, or at least include something else. I’ve also been doing the “Panel” series, where I’m going back to tighter compositions that I’d like to build out for better composition in larger more intricate works.

To view more work from the artist, please visit www.auhausart.com. You can also follow the artist on Instagram @au_haus and on Facebook.


About Interviewer: Matthew Mautarelli

Matthew Mautarelli holds an M.A from the Columbia University Committee on Global Thought and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Political Science at the City University of New York.


Want to apply to Envision Magazine! Feel free to submit your work for a chance to be featured! Click here to apply online! Accepting both visual art and literary art submissions.

Various Elements

“People have always said that my pieces feel alive which is exactly how I experience them.” - the artist

Embrace, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Embrace, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Q: What led you to become an abstract artist?

A: I spent so many years in art classes drawing true to life that when I came back to my art as an outlet close to 10 years ago I really wanted to not be confined and to discover new things with materials I had never worked with. My father was a chemist and I think I developed a curiosity for mixing things and experimenting. It fascinates me! I remember wanting to paint like blown glass…I wanted to see if I could come close to that and so I went to the art store and just started throwing anything liquid I could find in the basket! I’m attaching one of the resin works that was commissioned from that series back in 2009-ish. I guess I am obsessed with the not knowing and trying to command the uncontrollable and still find the balance in each piece…an abstract flow just fits me

Otherworldly, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Otherworldly, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: Truthfully I have been an artist since I was a child. When I was young I was always moved into the “gifted” art class or sometimes the “gifted” table in my art classes. I remember my high school art teacher had me at the gifted table but she didn’t really like me much…I think I was the black sheep of the gifted. LOL! I was awarded a scholarship to the ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO for college but in my family art was not considered a reasonable job it was considered more of a hobby so I went to EKU instead and minored in art and majored in psychology. I thought about Art therapy and tried Graphic design as well but I just didn’t want to stay between the lines. After moving to Los Angeles for acting-which I did for many years- I studied drawing and encaustics at OTIS intermittently. I am finally now at 48 dedicating myself to my art and it feels like I am finally coming home to myself.

Journey Inward, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Journey Inward, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: Oh inspiration comes from so many things…nature, other artists, a song, a book or a poem! At the moment, I am OBSESSED with Paul Jenkins!!!!  But here is the truth. I am now just 5 months in remission from stage 3 ovarian cancer and it wasn’t until I got sick that I gave myself permission to stop working and just concentrate on healing. And part of my healing was really listening to my soul and coming back to my art and painting again. I am convinced it has been medicine for me. Paintings just kept pouring out of me in between my chemotherapy treatments. I couldn’t stop. And I still cannot. It took that wake up call for me to listen to what truly inspires me. Nature…life…it’s all art to me and I am so grateful every day I get to spend in my studio. I could cry right now just talking about it.

Divine Complexity, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Divine Complexity, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Q: Describe your creative progress for our readers.

A: Do you mean process or progress? Both are good!:)  

Q: Yikes! I meant process, but go ahead and answer in your own way.

A: Painting for me –when I am having a good day is like meditation and communion. I start with a feeling…which leads me to the colors. Right now I am using pigmented alcohol inks and a heat gun. I just commit myself to the dichotomy of commanding a flow and also to letting go. I want the pieces to have their own identity but they also need to work as a balanced piece of work not just happy accidents…it’s got to be somewhere in the middle of command and a flow. I hope that makes sense! Paintings talk to me…many many times I don’t listen well enough but that makes the ones I do hear just magical…and we work together. I hope that doesn’t sound too mystical.  In terms of progress, I started in resin back in 2008 and then moved into encaustic painting with beeswax, damar resin and a blow torch which I LOVE! When I got sick I needed something a little less labor intensive so I discovered the pigmented inks and I fell in love with that. I am just now completing a 30 day mini painting series which has completely changed me as an artist…and Next I will be working larger again and I’m thinking of incorporating acrylics and my encaustics with the inks.

She Dreams In Blue, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

She Dreams In Blue, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A: I like to paint beautiful things and by beautiful I don’t necessarily mean “pretty”. Some of my pieces are dark and I find that beautiful as well. I fall in love with my pieces and I guess that is what I hope people who look at my work take away…a bit of beauty…a moment of communion and a moment of feeling good or moved in some way. There is nothing better than having someone come to look at one of my pieces and then REALLY looking and leaning in to see more of the details and the moments beneath the first layers. Nothing better than that!

The Journey Deep, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

The Journey Deep, 2018. 5 x 7 inches

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: Well, I just put in a bid for a storefront space in LA to be my new studio and gallery space so my dream is for that to come into fruition. It’s a space I see myself painting large again in and having shows not only for myself but for other artists I love. In five years, I want to continue collaborating with amazing people on commissions for their homes or businesses and to be inspiring other artists to take the chance on their dreams. And when my art managers and the consultants come to visit my studio, I hope to be covered in paint and laughing with joy.


Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Stacy is an abstract painter most interested in deviating from structure and experimenting with mediums she has never used. 

Raised in Louisville Ky. Stacy has been drawing and painting since she was a child. Trained as a fine artist working mostly in pencil, watercolor, charcoal and oils she earned a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago right out of high school but chose instead to follow a more accepted "job" and minor in art at EKU while pursuing a degree in Psychology hoping to become an art therapist. When that didn't seem to fit, she then tried her hand at graphic design...always looking for a way to fit herself into some mold that would allow her to paint and make money. This path veered when she fell into acting and eventually moved out to Venice California to pursue an acting career. 

After many years in CA working in television and film Stacy felt the longing for her art. She took a few classes at OTIS and then serendipitously had a painters art studio fall into her lap. From the moment she started painting again-thinking this was just for her- she had opportunities knock. After a few group shows Stacy's studio was featured on the VENICE ART WALK for 3 years selling many pieces and landing an art consultant who sells her work out of Scottsdale Arizona. Her work is displayed in the homes of many private clients here in LA and she has private commissioned paintings in restaurants in Scottsdale Arizona, Tampa Florida, Austin TX and San Diego CA. 

For her, entering her studio is a time of letting go: of expectations, of structure, of rules, and of her own ideas about what's possible and what's not...in life and art. 

To view more from the artist, follow her on Instagram @stacysolodkin.


Want to share your work with Envision Magazine! Feel free to submit your visual art or literary works for a chance to be featured! Click here to apply online!

A Future Version of Earth

“I found that removing the pressure of trying represent a subject enabled me to focus on composition, line, textures, and movement.” - the artist

Gates . Mixed media, 10 x 14 inches.

Gates. Mixed media, 10 x 14 inches.

Q: What led you to become an abstract artist?

A: I first fell in love with art through drawing, but as I got older my bent towards perfection would get the best of me when painting. If I couldn’t get something “perfect” I didn’t see the point in doing in at all. This is a very unhealthy mindset as an artist, so I decided to abandon subjective work and invest time experimenting with materials, colors, and process. I found that removing the pressure of trying represent a subject enabled me to focus on composition, line, textures, and movement. I fell in love with how an abstract piece can make you feel, imagine, wonder, and ask questions.


Dwell . Mixed media, 36 x 36 inches.

Dwell. Mixed media, 36 x 36 inches.

Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?

A: I was an art kid all throughout my childhood, and went on to get my BFA in Studio Art from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.


It Is Done . Mixed media, 21 x 40 inches.

It Is Done. Mixed media, 21 x 40 inches.

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I’m inspired by nature, specifically future versions of our world (whether it’s Earth or Mars) and how we may react to it. Color and textures also inspire me--I love trying new methods of mixing paint directly on the canvas and combining different mediums to create new textures and effects. Since I’m also trying to capture emotion in my work, I use my own experiences with strong emotions (good and bad) to create those feelings through color and texture. I typically make up a story about each piece as it’s coming together, and use that to guide the intended emotional output.


Death Shall Be No More . Mixed media, 36 x 36 inches.

Death Shall Be No More. Mixed media, 36 x 36 inches.

Q: We were very impressed with your piece, Death Shall Be No More. Is there a specific meaning behind this work?

A: The story I made up for this piece is that in a future version of Earth, colors of the world have changed into vibrant colors. Life and growth is so prolific that plants spawn within other plants, and trees light up with electric lightning.


No Light of Lamp or Sun . Mixed media, 36 x 40 inches.

No Light of Lamp or Sun. Mixed media, 36 x 40 inches.

Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your art?

A: I hope viewers will want to ask questions about what our world will be like in 100 years. Will we be living on Earth still? Will we spend our entire days in a virtual world instead? Will there be abundant life covering the Earth, or will it all be gone? I also hope my work through its saturated color and imagined worlds will bring joy and wonder to viewers.


Transitioning . Mixed media,10 x 14 inches.

Transitioning. Mixed media,10 x 14 inches.

Q: How do you view your art career in five years?

A: In five years, I’d love to be showing my work all over the United States and internationally. I want to sell more work directly to collectors. I view my collectors as patrons and supporters, and I want to be able to build and maintain those relationships. Over the next five years, I’m going to be evolving my work to incorporate both figures and abstract techniques. I’d also like to develop ways to incorporate science and technology, two things I’ve always been fascinated with. I can also see myself transitioning into more sculptural work.

To view more of the artist’s work, please visit www.bybreesmith.com. You may also follow the artist on Instagram @bree_smith_art as well as Facebook.


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The Art of Ginger Cochran

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Magnify, 2018. 36 x 36 inches, mixed media on canvas.

Magnify, 2018. 36 x 36 inches, mixed media on canvas.

Ginger Cochran is a contemporary, mixed media abstract artist living in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and two sons. 

Fervor, 2018.

Fervor, 2018.

Her inspiration is derived from both music and nature. Ginger develops custom color palettes and explores different textures and colors to create whimsical and romantic pieces. She places striking applications of pastel, marker or other medium and pops of color to demonstrate dramatic movement. Each work effectively draws the viewer in to create their own story through design.

See You Soon, 2018.

See You Soon, 2018.

Exemplified throughout her work is the recurring theme of movement, color and textures delivered by mixed media, as well as an effective use of negative space, line work and pattern.

Ginger has displayed her work nationally in Dallas, Houston, New York City, as well as Las Vegas. She has also worked closely with fellow artists on collaborations and as director/curator for various shows and competitions throughout the country.

Softly Spoken, 2018.

Softly Spoken, 2018.

To learn more about the artist and view her work, visit her website at www.gingercochranart.com. You may also follow her art on Instagram @gingercochranart.