Artist Q&A

Noblewoman

“I was amazed of how beautiful and young noblewoman my mother looked like.” - the artist

Noblewoman 1, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks, thread, 24 x 12 inches, 500$

Noblewoman 1, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks, thread, 24 x 12 inches, 500$

Q: We were impressed by your style of photography with many textures. What led you to develop this technique?

A: I have always been very attracted by texture. I have used a lot of painting and collage in my previous work, and also made my own paper and let the pulp dried on the canvas, in order to create interesting texture to work on. I like to provoke the desire to touch the work, even though it is not allowed in galleries and museums, for understandable reason. When we look at a textured work, not only do we see it, but it also interacts with our sense of touch. Both senses are awakened.

Noblewoman 14, 2019, Photograph printed on museum grade cold-pressed paper (cotton and cellulose), 340 gsm, using archival quality pigmented inks. Limited edition, 1

Noblewoman 14, 2019, Photograph printed on museum grade cold-pressed paper (cotton and cellulose), 340 gsm, using archival quality pigmented inks. Limited edition, 1

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

A: At the death of my mother, my siblings and I went through a box of 1940’s photographs, and I was amazed of how beautiful and young noblewoman my mother looked like. So, I put aside some pictures of her and decided that I would eventually make an art project out of it.

Noblewoman 2, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks, thread, 12 x 18 inches, 500$

Noblewoman 2, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks, thread, 12 x 18 inches, 500$

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

A: The photographs described above, were digitally manipulated, they were collaged and merged with other photographs of mine or with pictures of some of my paintings. The final photomontages were printed on different textured or non-textured Fine Art paper. To some of them, thread or wool stitching were added, and holes were punched.

Noblewoman 11, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks. Limited edition, 24 x 12 inches, 400$

Noblewoman 11, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks. Limited edition, 24 x 12 inches, 400$

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Noblewoman 11, as well as the rest of the collection. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Noblewoman 11, is a 1949 photograph of my mother, merged with a photograph of mine of a stormy sky in Kamouraska, Quebec, with modification and enhancement of the colors. The final result is a 24’’ x 12’’, printed photo on a professional metallic silver photo paper.

I considered that some of the pieces of this series did not need any more work then the digital collage, like Noblewoman 11. For others, I brought the printed digital photos with me in an art residency In Iceland, where I added texture and color with thread and wool.

Noblewoman 3, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks, thread, 18 x 12 inches, 500$

Noblewoman 3, 2019, Photograph on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks, thread, 18 x 12 inches, 500$

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

A: Poetry and soul. I want my artwork to serve as a tool that enhance how we experience a room. Feel good, not just look good. It is about transforming somebody’s atmosphere and ambiance. It is said that 87% of our lives are inside buildings, so I would like my work to imbue people with a sense of well-being, empowerment and gentle joyfulness in these buildings. Making the ordinary extraordinary.

Noblewoman 10, 2019, Photograph printed on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks. Limited edition, 18 x 12 inches, 400$

Noblewoman 10, 2019, Photograph printed on cold-pressed paper, 340 gsm, archival inks. Limited edition, 18 x 12 inches, 400$

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

A: Hopefully to keep on offering more and more value to people. My art business is about helping people in their day-to-day life, by enriching their environment, and adding to their sum of happiness. The more I grow, the more I can be helpful with the process of creation.

I aspire to make more businesses with decorators, hotels and public spaces. I also would like to cooperate to fund-raising campaign, for the progress of social causes.

About the artist:

Anne-Julie Hynes graduated from Concordia University of Montreal, Canada in 1991. Working with different mediums such as acrylic, collage, textile art, sculpture and photography, her work has been shown in different publications. She has been active in over fifty (50) exhibitions in Canada, China, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Tahiti, and also has been chosen to participate in different research and creation art residencies around the world.

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.annejuliehynes.com, as well as follow the artist on Instagram @annejuliehynes.

 


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.

Tableaux

“The series' build process feels almost theatrical; it's like designing a set where some undefined action is about to unfold.” - the artist

Blue Moon Waning, 2016, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

Blue Moon Waning, 2016, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

Q: We were impressed by your style of pairing a themed photograph with a hand--built diorama. What led you to develop this pairing?

A: My diorama-based work began with an interest in built environments (I have some training in architectural drafting, for example), so I think that, initially, Tableaux was about the idea of place. The series' build process feels almost theatrical; it's like designing a set where some undefined action is about to unfold. Including hints at possible character involvement just felt like a natural progression. I try to keep the work open-ended, though. I enjoy writing my own plot, but I find other people's stories every bit as fascinating as my own.

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

A: I wish I had a precise answer to this question, but, honestly, influences seem to flood in from a million different sources. Simultaneously. Sometimes a material or process leads to another idea; sometimes, I build off a specific memory or experience. There are perpetual influences in books, movies, television, pop-culture, and etcetera. If inspiration is a muse, it's often a messy one. It's a stream of consciousness thing, I guess. Quite frankly, I don't know how effectively I can define how I attempt to paddle through it.

Tableaux Noir: Le Kiosque, 2017, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

Tableaux Noir: Le Kiosque, 2017, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

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

A: One of the most challenging aspects of my practice is narrowing down my to-do list. I tend to over-plan; I've got sketches and notes everywhere. Most of these preliminary designs are extremely specific; fortunately, dioramas allow for incredible versatility. If I'm envisioning a nineteenth-century Parisian newspaper kiosk, I can't very easily grab a camera and walk right up to one. I might be able to hint at that experience with a small-scale build, however.

When I assemble a diorama, my materials list is long and varied; cardboard, foam board, plastics, fibers, sandpaper, polymer clay, beads, wood, paints, adhesives, joint compound, concrete patio pavers - in the case of a neon sign I might photograph an image on a phone screen (if a process or material yields the best results, I'm not too proud to cheat a bit). I tend to save and reuse packaging materials. It's incredibly flattering when someone tells you that you've made something from nothing. I take a perverse kind of pride in fashioning tiny wainscoting from a cereal box.

Tableaux Automatique: Walkout, 2017, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

Tableaux Automatique: Walkout, 2017, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Pink Lemonade Semigloss, 2018. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Pink Lemonade Semigloss differs from most other Tableaux pieces in that its concept began with a character and moved toward the environment. As unimpressive as it sounds, it's accurate to say that aluminum can hair rollers strongly influenced the direction of the entire project. I mean; how often do you get the opportunity to include an element as unique and complex as that? To create the portrait, I taped some pink posterboard to a closet door. The large-scale faux wood paneling is my worktable turned on end (overlaid with a close-up photograph of my miniature paneling). I had envisioned the whole scene fairly early on in the process, but an attempt at unifying the miniature with all of the portrait's existing elements definitely influenced my result.

Pink Lemonade Semigloss, 2018, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

Pink Lemonade Semigloss, 2018, Hand built Diorama and Digital Photography, Size Varies, Price Upon Request

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

A: I think many people would like to be remembered for bettering the world in some monumentally significant way. Unfortunately, obtaining that level of artistic influence is a very tall order. Nevertheless, I continue to find motivation in attempting to produce work that is (hopefully) relatable. It's sincerely appreciated when someone infers exactly what I was thinking or feeling when I created art object x.  In many ways, however, I find it much more gratifying to be told that a particular piece has reminded an individual of something important to them. I'm elated when it feels like someone has connected to the work in a personal way.

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

A: I hesitate to call my art experience a career; it's more of an unmappable, impractical obsession. I'm relatively certain that I will never be delighted with anything that I create or any outlandish goal that I somehow manage to obtain. Nevertheless, an endless list of ideas and an attempt at improving technique keeps me going; that and some truly incredible opportunities that I am eternally grateful for (like this article, for example). It's kind of like they say about sharks. I can't help it. There's something in my DNA that demands I keep swimming for as long as I possibly can.

About the artist:

Robert Matejcek obtained his BA in Art from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. Robert's work, a combination of traditional and new media, has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Originally from North Dakota, Robert currently resides with his wife and their guinea pigs in Rocky Ford, Colorado.

To view more work by the artist, please visit robertmatejcek.com, as well as www.facebook.com/robert.matejcek.


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.


New Layers of Growth

“I explore at how we find beauty, value and purpose in things that are old or discarded.” - the artist

Calypso 2 (2018) mixed media sculpture, 5 x 5 x 13 cm, £95 (also available as an art photo poster in A2 & A3)

Calypso 2 (2018) mixed media sculpture, 5 x 5 x 13 cm, £95 (also available as an art photo poster in A2 & A3)

Q: What led you to become a sculpture artist?

A: It’s been a long journey via the scenic route. I have always liked making things. I originally trained in Theatre Design. As well as the theoretical design side, the course covered many practical skills in model making, costume and prop construction in a variety of materials. Following college I worked freelance as a designer, scenic painter and prop maker in theatre, film and tv. After 4 years as Head of Design for Manchester Youth Theatre, I moved more and more into community arts but not just community theatre. I became co-creative director of street theatre company, Aqueous Humour, designing both professional and community projects with a particular focus on masks making and puppets.

Theatre design is about helping the audience to understand the message of the performance through visual clues and in community arts, I help people to express their voice and message creatively. It was though my community arts practice, that I reconnected with my love of textiles and fibre art and a desire to develop personal artwork. This took me back to college and I graduated in MA Textile Practice from Manchester School of Art in 2018. Over the MA I explored combining my interest in textiles with my prop making skills to create three dimensional textile sculpture. When I left school, I didn’t have a message of my own but now I do.

Green Sprawl (2019), Textiles, 28 x 28 x 3 cm, £425

Green Sprawl (2019), Textiles, 28 x 28 x 3 cm, £425

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

 A: Through the creation of three-dimensional textiles, I explore at how we find beauty, value and purpose in things that are old or discarded. I investigate ageing and how things change appearance and shape over time, not just eroding or decaying but new layers of growth, giving interesting juxtapositions of structure and colour.

I have a longstanding obsession with the tones & textures of the seashore having moved from Manchester to Pittenweem, a village on the coast of Fife, at the age of 8. I love beachcombing and return from holidays back at my Mum’s with shells & rocks, twisted dried seaweed & old nylon rope from the fishing boats. My holiday photos have more pictures of rocks & seaweed than of my family. I particularly love layers and juxtapositions of structure and colour: I love the sedimentary rocks shaped by millennia of life by the sea, dappled with lichen, coated with patches of seaweed and colonies of limpets & barnacles; I love barnacles and how they cluster on other shells & discarded manmade objects; I love the flashes of orange & turquoise as old fishing rope & nets peak through the sand having been washed up & buried.

Two Green Bottles, 2019, mixed media sculpture, 21 x 9 x 3 and 21 x 9 x 4 cm - £125 each

Two Green Bottles, 2019, mixed media sculpture, 21 x 9 x 3 and 21 x 9 x 4 cm - £125 each

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

A: I am rather obsessed with waste both as inspiration and the materials I use. I use old clothes and scrap materials within my work for economic & ecological sustainability, choosing fabrics that hold some significance or connection to the work.

In the “Beached” series, I have used old suiting as my base, symbolising how it is our disposable urban lifestyles that are impacting on our coasts. I was drawn to the racks of grey in the charity shop like layers of rock. When our jeans become tatty, we find them a new purpose like gardening but office wear is just discarded. I choose woven fabrics, wool blends if I am lucky, with more than one tone as this reacts well in the embellisher, exaggerating the texture. I combine these with other old clothes, blending a variety of different colours and weights to achieve my target texture. I also dye old cottons with garden and kitchen waste to add to my palette. I use both machine and hand embroidery to add detail to the surface.

I stitch the textiles inside the litter prior to casting. As I use actual litter rather than making moulds, each piece is unique. I try to leave logos and symbols revealed as these are then captured by the concrete, leaving reminders of the origin of that waste to connect the viewer to piece more deeply.

The casts are natural in size but I also stage photographs of them. Using large scale photographs printed on advertising board, I like to play with material, scale and presentation to give this waste a greater physical and psychological presence that mirrors the seriousness of the ecological catastrophe we are creating with them. A coke bottle becomes an impossibly solid, gravity defying Zeppelin and a Calypso juice box looms up like a post-Apocalyptic tower block with no doors or windows - revealing the disconnect between the allure of the objects and the harm they cause.

Message in a Bottle, 2019, mixed media sculpture, 21 x 9 x 3, £125

Message in a Bottle, 2019, mixed media sculpture, 21 x 9 x 3, £125

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Message in a Bottle, as well as the rest of the collection you submitted. Tell us more about this piece/series.

The “Beached” series highlights the issue of plastic pollution. As well referring to the coast, the term “Beached” refers to that which is washed up, discarded or left behind. It invites us to consider the packaging that we use and discard on a daily basis; objects such as drinks bottles, styrofoam cups and food wrappers that are so lightweight and seem so insignificant that we barely notice them. Casting concrete in actual litter transforms them into solid pieces with weight in line with the importance of this environmental issue.

The incorporation of detailed embroidery touches upon the way our waste becomes subsumed into the natural world around us. However, the pretty, colourful lichens, seaweed and molluscs fail to obliterate the hulking, grey, concrete bottles that peer out from beneath them. The damage we are causing to planet earth and ourselves may be hidden but it is there nevertheless and needs our immediate attention. Once plastic has made the journey to the coast sometimes, without looking closely, it can be difficult to distinguish the manmade from the natural but this does not diminish the damage it is causing as coastal wildlife are dying with stomachs filled with plastic as they mistake it for food.

Soft Green Wall (2019) Textiles, 20 x 20 x 2 cm, £225

Soft Green Wall (2019) Textiles, 20 x 20 x 2 cm, £225

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

I want to encourage the viewer to stop and look closer; to consider the beauty, value and purpose in the old and discarded through my photography and three-dimensional textiles. Hopefully “Beached” might get people to understand the permanence of these disposable everyday items and start to make different choices in their daily lives: simple things like reusable cups and water bottles or even just putting them in the recycling rather than the bin or the ground.

Sometimes I photograph the litter where I find it. I chose to return some resulting work to their point of origin and re-photograph to highlight the value of those things that could have been recycled and the permanence of those that cannot. As these are public places, sometimes people question me when I return to stage the ‘after’ photographs and it has been good to take a moment to engage in conversations regarding the litter: who left it and why, the effects on our planet but also just our community.

 

Coffee Break (2018) mixed media sculpture

Coffee Break (2018) mixed media sculpture

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

A: In the past 5 years, the focus of my art career has changed dramatically. Through building a home studio and doing an MA, I have made the move from performance design into visual arts. Over the next 5 years, I hope to increase my profile as an artist and that more people will approach me to exhibit or to buy my work rather than just responding to call outs. I was proud to be selected to join Prism Contemporary Textiles Collective and would like to join other collectives to link with other artists in a supportive network as well as the exhibition opportunities this brings. Although I love my home studio, I do often feel isolated and out of the loop, so as my children move into high school and my work is not constrained by the school run, I hope to become part of a professional studio once more. The community side of my art career is still very important to me and I hope as my profile grows, that this will bring greater opportunities for community projects and public works exploring social, environmental and heritage issues.

 

Photo credit: the artist

Photo credit: the artist

About the artist:

Nerissa Cargill Thompson encourages the viewer to stop and look closer; to consider the beauty, value and purpose in the old and discarded through photography and three-dimensional textiles. Her work investigates how things change appearance & shape over time, not just eroding or decaying but also new layers of growth, giving interesting juxtapositions of structure and colour. She uses old clothes and scrap materials within her work for economic & ecological sustainability, choosing fabrics that hold some significance or connection to the work.

The artist invites us to consider the packaging that we use and discard on a daily basis; objects such as drinks bottles that are so lightweight and seem so insignificant that we barely notice them. Casting concrete in actual litter to give this waste a greater physical and psychological presence that mirrors the seriousness of the ecological catastrophe we are creating with them

Cargill Thompson’s incorporation of detailed embroidery touches upon the way our waste becomes subsumed into the natural world around us. However, the pretty, colourful lichens, seaweed and molluscs fail to obliterate the hulking, grey, concrete bottles that peer out from beneath them. The damage we are causing to planet earth and ourselves may be hidden but it is there nevertheless and needs our immediate attention.

Designer, maker and facilitator with over 20 years experience of professional and community practice. Originally trained in Theatre Design but through her community arts practice, her interest in fibre art grew and a desire to develop personal artwork. Recent graduate in MA Textile Practice from Manchester School of Art. She is a member of Prism Contemporary Textiles Collective.

Solo exhibitions: Beached (Art in Windows, Liverpool), TIME, Arc Centre (Stockport) with accompanying textile workshops. Recent group exhibitions: Fragility - Prism Collective (Hoxton Arches, London), Micro (AIR Gallery, Altrincham), Take Flight (MA exhibition Manchester School of Art), Thoughtful Planet 2 (Thought Foundation, Birtley), London Road Project (Plant NOMA, Manchester), Loss/Inheritance (Manchester Craft & Design Centre), Thresholds: The Adjacent Possible (Tapestry, Liverpool), Blowing a Gail (Old Town House, Warrington).

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.nerissact.co.uk. You may also follow the artist on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nerissact, as well as Instagram @nerissact.


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.

Color First

“I love mixing colors and creating new color palettes.” - the artist

Encore, 2019, acrylic, marker, pencil and hand-painted paper on canvas, 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches

Encore, 2019, acrylic, marker, pencil and hand-painted paper on canvas, 12 x 12 x 1.5 inches

Q: What led you to become a mixed media artist?

A: In my “pre-canvas” studies, I use various media such as pencil, ink, watercolor and marker — even paper fragments of old studies. This is how I began experimenting with hand-painted paper elements in my acrylic paintings. Still, I’d say I’m a painter who uses several mediums in some of my acrylic paintings.

Moment of Flight, 2019, acrylic, 20 x 16 x 1.5 inches, $450

Moment of Flight, 2019, acrylic, 20 x 16 x 1.5 inches, $450

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

A: Color first. I love mixing colors and creating new color palettes. My paintings then become explorations of color and texture, line and space. Sources of inspiration for my color studies are photo images — aerial landscapes, urban structures, geographic earth patterns, nature.

Double Red Crossings, 2018, acrylic and mixed media, 24 x 24 inches, $495

Double Red Crossings, 2018, acrylic and mixed media, 24 x 24 inches, $495

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

A: My primary medium is acrylic paint, inks and mediums. I also use graphite and color pencils and markers to create areas of structure and visual interest. I paint on canvas and 300 lb. watercolor paper. I always start with a specific color palette that I use in preliminary studies before moving to canvas (or paper). First strokes are usually acrylic washes then mark making and back to painting — but that can vary! Final steps involve glazes to add dimension and depth, and varnish coats.

Storm Light, 2018, acrylic and mixed media, 24 x 20 inches, $445

Storm Light, 2018, acrylic and mixed media, 24 x 20 inches, $445

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Storm Light. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: I first created a warm color palette of violet, red and chartreuse plus a touch of cool yellow; the black ink marks provide contrast and points of interest. A detailed use of texture evolved from the beginning with the acrylic paste to the canvas, then various paint layers, script-like marks and the final paper elements. With its strong horizontal line, it makes me think I’m looking through window blinds, seeing a small bit of sunlight under darkening clouds (hence the title!). But that’s my reflection — viewers should explore their own interpretations!

Estuary Fog, 2019, acrylic, 36 x 24 x 1.5 inches, $800

Estuary Fog, 2019, acrylic, 36 x 24 x 1.5 inches, $800

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

A: You know, abstract art is about relating to color and composition. I hope viewers can enjoy this fusion of color, shapes, lines and texture, find their own meaning or connection, and see that abstract art can be visually intriguing, absorbing and attractive.

Field Notes, 2018, acrylic and mixed media, 30 x 24 inches, $545

Field Notes, 2018, acrylic and mixed media, 30 x 24 inches, $545

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

A: Still evolving and creating interesting, affordable art that captivates and intrigues people.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Abstract painter Cynthia Coldren explores contemporary concepts such as order and chaos, structure and ambiguity using acrylic paints, inks and mediums on canvas and paper. She studied fine art as an undergraduate student before completing her BAS in communications and management. While her early work embraced photorealism, she transitioned to an abstract style over the years, evolving a stronger thematic focus.

Cynthia lives in the Richardson, Texas. She has received recognition and awards in recent art exhibitions, gallery shows and juried competitions both online and in North Texas. She is a member of the Texas Artist Coalition (TAC), the Visual Arts Guild of Frisco (VAGF), the Richardson Civic Art Society (RCAS) and the International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA).

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.cynthiacoldrenfineart.com. You may also follow the artist on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cynthiacoldrenfineart, as well as Instagram @cynthiacoldrenfineart.


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.

Energy of The Sea

“…the challenge of capturing the movement and energy of the sea has remained with me.” - the artist

Water Falling Triptych, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 57 cm x 54 cm, $175 $125 + postage

Water Falling Triptych, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 57 cm x 54 cm, $175 $125 + postage

Q: Andrea, we were impressed by your style of painting onto wood sculpture. What led you to develop this technique?

A: To answer this question I have to go back to the amazing classical training I had as a student at Edinburgh College of Art. Our training in visual grammar and visual language in order to be able to communicate what we had to say was extraordinary. We were given a foundation in observational drawing, colour and form which were based on a long tradition of aesthetic understanding particular to the Scots. I specialised in sculpture and painting. Several decades later I have found a way to combine the two.

I got my first sculpture commission for Princes Street, Edinburgh from my final year exhibition and shortly after was taken on by a Cork Street Gallery in London. My career as a fine artist had got off to a great start and I continued to paint and sculpt for many years before being invited to devise original concepts for children's books. I went on to write and illustrate over 100 children's books, games and jigsaw puzzles. 23 international awards later I longed to get back to my roots in fine art.

The challenge of how to begin was daunting. You can't go back and produce another painting in the last series you had made a couple of decades earlier and so faced with the question how do you start from nowhere haunted me for some time. Then I began to visualise three dimensional paintings hanging in space. The more I mused the clearer the concept became. This was my new spring board. I started by making a small hanging piece 'Hommage to a Swimming Pool' which was constructed of two pieces of MDF slotted together. From this I developed the free-standing paintings - a double-sided painting on a base. I was fascinated by the effect of seeing the painting in perspective from different view points in space. I don't regard them as sculpture as the forms are deliberately designed as a shaped painting. Having developed the free-standing paintings, then exhibited them. The only work I had to go on the walls were traditional rectangular drawings and paintings. I realised there was an argument between the two forms so then went on to develop the 2 dimensional shaped wall paintings.

Cave Talk, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 46.5 cm x 23.5 cm

Cave Talk, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 46.5 cm x 23.5 cm

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

A: On leaving college I was fortunate to go to a lecture by Ansel Adams who was visiting Edinburgh. It was an evening which changed my whole approach to drawing. This I had not anticipated! Adams' explanation of the tonal scale from deep rich darks, through mysterious greys arriving at paler than pale whites which he developed in the dark room was inspirational. I left the lecture thinking 'dam it' he is doing with a camera what I want to do with a pencil! At the same time Gwen John, a British painter who worked with Rodin was another painter who fascinated me. She developed a numbered tonal scale and planned her ever so subtle tonal paintings, mathematically, in accordance with her numbered scale. I realised then that I needed to explore how to get the maximum tonal scale and riches from the basic material of graphite implements available at the time.

As students we had a few different pencils with a reasonable range of tones. At this point I bought the complete range of pencils available from 2H to 6B. I also discovered graphite powder, cardboard smudging tools and importantly the role erasers have as drawing implements as opposed to eradicators. Erasers come in many forms and materials. Each have their own distinct qualities in mark making. The other consideration is the material and surface you draw on. As students we were encourage to try out different papers to draw on; smooth, rough, thin, thick, newspaper, tissue paper, tracing paper, parcel paper, wall paper and so on.

I then went on to win a solo exhibition in London. Having always been passionate about drawing I realised I had a problem to solve. How could I produce drawings which fitted in with the family of shapes I had developed for my painting. I had at this point already made shaped drawings but within the white rectangular piece of paper. I had to get rid of the rectangle as I already knew right angles were out of place. It was then I decided to experiment with drawing on primed MDF. I had not anticipated how exciting this would be as the textures you could make on the primed surface were so very different to textures you can make on paper. The first drawing was made on a smoothly primed surface. The next one was done on thickly primed wood. I had found my answer!

Ellesmere Island Iceberg, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 32 cm x 80 cm $125 + postage

Ellesmere Island Iceberg, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 32 cm x 80 cm $125 + postage

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

Both the art colleges I trained at were located by the sea so my passion for working from nature dates back to the days when we were sent out every week to draw the coast. It was one thing drawing something static like the cliffs and rocks but the challenge of capturing the movement and energy of the sea has remained with me. A couple of years ago I spotted an opportunity to apply for a solo exhibition for which you required to put a detailed proposal forward based on your chosen theme. I asked myself why was I so passionate about water. It dated much further back than student days. From the age of around ten, when the words like global disasters and environmental humanities and pollution were not in common use or in the news, I worried that man did not appreciate the value of clean water. My father did medical research in India and Africa and returned telling me about the relationship of health and dirty water and the reality that people in these countries would never have clean water as we in the West have so would continue to die from water based diseases. He instilled in my an appreciation of the importance of water to the survival of life on earth. I was also a keen underwater swimmer so had a strong physical bond with water as well. These together with my visual fascination with the wide range of forms water can take have given me a deep connection with water, No! I am not born under Aquarius!

Falling Water Triptych, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 57 cm x 54 cm, $ 175 32 cm x 80 cm $125 + postage

Falling Water Triptych, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 57 cm x 54 cm, $ 175 32 cm x 80 cm $125 + postage

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Falling Water Triptych, 2018, as well as the rest of the collection you submitted obviously. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Although my work is detailed I am not simply a representational artist. My mission explores the emotional symbolism of my subject matter. My focus is on interpreting nature, not simply rendering it photographically but trying to embody symbolic and spiritual meaning of my chosen subject. Jung saw the sea as the seat of the unconscious. Working from a specific location provides me with a framework to link me to my inner world. Without this the artistic journey would be a superficial dance with a brush.

I devoted a section of my H2O exhibition to Falling Water. My husband and I have a studio in Bergerac in the Dordogne. There are amazing waterfalls up in the French mountains were we spend hours simply trying to capture the energy, the movement and also the noise of water interacting with rocks.  As students we were taught to observe and respond but I now sit, watch and listen a long while before making any marks. This gets me in tune with the essence of my subject matter. The visual language of simplified forms has come from my attempts to eliminate the superfluous detail. My process is now meditative rather than responsive.

French Waterfall, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 30.5 cm x 50 cm, $125 + postage

French Waterfall, 2018, Graphite on MDF, 30.5 cm x 50 cm, $125 + postage

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

A: As an artist we cannot control what people get from our creations but art is a language of communication so I hope that people can tune into my passion and wonder for nature and in doing so be inspired to look at it for themselves with new eyes. If I can inspire them to treasure our environment and value our planet that would be wonderful. I also hope it will give them a bridge to get in touch with their own inner spirit. If your work has roots within your own psyche then people can tune into this, not to understand you but hopefully to understand themselves a little better.

Gimel Les Cascades IV, 2018,Graphite on MDF, 123 cm x 56 cm x 23.5 cm

Gimel Les Cascades IV, 2018,Graphite on MDF, 123 cm x 56 cm x 23.5 cm

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

A: This is certainly the hardest question of all! It is also the most important one to answer as having clear targets drives one forward in a positive way.

There are three aspects to being a professional artist. The first is the creative journey you are on, the second is having the opportunity to communicate with one's audience  and lastly commercial success.

'It is important as an artist to allow space for the unexpected and the accidental.' These are the words of the best tutor, Jimmy Cummings, who taught me in my first year at Edinburgh. My discovery of drawing on primed MDF is a good example. At the same time it is important to embrace making images in a fresh way and have a vision of where the path you are on might be heading. Many artists when their work becomes ' commercially successful' then stay focused on producing more of the same having found an audience willing to purchase their work. Jimmy warned against the rut of repetition. I know there is much more to explore in making images work in space. There is opportunity to introduce the element of illusion which I suspect will take my work in a more abstract style. It takes courage to really explore our inner worlds which is the engine to artistic development. I would like to write a book on colour as this is one of the most magical ingredients to painting. The first homework Jimmy Cummings set us was to paint an image without having blue in your palette but which convinced him there was blue in the painting. Working out how to induce the colour blue sparked an exploration in colour which I have never lost. I am now exploring making paintings with multiple palettes and working out how to orchestrate a relationship between them so they work as a whole. In terms of subject matter I want to focus on the relationship of water and land. My aim is to get another solo exhibition as producing a body of work with a defined theme to explore is the most rewarding way of working.

Considering my position on the professional stage, I am currently preparing to join more online galleries. By their nature they reach a much broader and wider audience than a non-virtual gallery can. I have also been taken on by a couple of hotel art agents and want to pursue this as I want to produce more large scale pieces. To produce a piece for a hospital foyer would be more meaning full for me than displaying a piece in a major public art gallery. I would also like to generate enough income to have my pieces made in metal and enamel so they can be displayed outside and maintain their vibrant colour.

Commercial success is not my priority but I am a good business woman so have a drive for financial gain but what I really want is for my work to have meaning for my audience be it in a domestic or public setting.  It is an added bonus to selling a piece for it to have a 'good home'. I recently sold a couple of paintings to a London barrister whose daughter is seriously ill. She bought paintings 'Deep Pool' and 'Blue Cave' hoping they will bring her daughter a sense of calm. That the meditative quality I had tried to imbue the 'Deep Pool with might help heal a child has to be the best home a painting can find. Another piece has been purchased by a gentleman to inspire him at work. I hope in five years time to have produced more pieces that have this level of appreciation.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Andrea Shearing creates 2d and 3D free standing shaped drawings. They are made of MDF which is primed with acrylic paint and made with a wide range of graphite implements as well as graphite powder. She uses a variety of rubbers to lift and draws into graphite and also card board implements to smooth and rubs soft tones together. The work is based on real locations with a focus on nature.

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.andreashearing.com, as well as follow the artist on Instagram @andreashearing.


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.

Security Blanket

“… [I] found that finding the fabric [I needed] tended to influence the images I created.” - the artist

I Refuse to See the Patterns, 2018, Digital Photographic Print, 19 x 13 inches, $50

I Refuse to See the Patterns, 2018, Digital Photographic Print, 19 x 13 inches, $50

Q: What led you to become a textile / photography artist?

A: I have always had a love for photography, but honestly I left it behind for a long time. Most often, I use photography to develop a specific idea very quickly and precisely. Coming back to photography in grad school was a new challenge, but it forced me to get creative and use a medium I had been experimenting with for a long time: fibers. Growing up I had always loved to watch my mom use her retro sewing machine from the 70’s and she taught me how to hand stitch so I could feel involved. I even went to 4H camp and learned practical applications for sewing there. Until recently I was actually afraid of sewing machines, the thought of running my finger through it, and did everything by hand. I taught myself tricks to stitch through paper and found I liked the outcome and wanted to use it more often, thus the idea of merging photo prints and textiles together. While I identify as a mixed media artist, because different media are better for different concepts, my exploration into textiles and photography has been enlightening.

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

A: What inspires my subject matter is usually my personal experiences and whatever feelings I am grappling with. Living with generalized anxiety disorder, with a hint of depression, makes art an outlet to express my trouble and allows me to escape reality for a bit. I draw great inspiration from my peers and professors as well as artists such as Priya Kambli, Francesca Woodman, and Molly McCall. I love to read and actually have my undergraduate degree in Literary Studies, so my goal with art is to create a narrative or feeling that is similar to the ones I experience while reading my favorite authors such as Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, and Octavia Butler. I think life can be magical and see it as an ongoing art piece, so my art is really an extension of myself and my life.

Don’t Touch The Fresh Stitches, 2018, Mixed media, 11 x 8 inches, $150

Don’t Touch The Fresh Stitches, 2018, Mixed media, 11 x 8 inches, $150

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

A: For “Security Blanket” I utilized used textiles and thread that I was able to find at “Scrap,” our local art supplies resale shop, and found that finding the fabric tended to influence  the images I created. For example, finding a square of beautiful cross-stitching, I decided I wanted to have an image that featured a majority of the square, which led to the piece “I Will Keep Ignoring the Pattern.” Re-purposing what might have otherwise been trash, especially since textiles are one of the largest sources of waste, is not only better for the environment but also inspires my creative practice. Overall, I would describe my process as full of trial and error, emphasis on error, but fortunately being in graduate school lets me get advice and insight from my peers and professors. I think having someone who will tell you when something is working and when it is not is crucial, but also remembering that not everything you make needs to be appreciated by anyone but you. Sometimes it’s okay to make now and judge later.

I'm Sinking Down the Drain, 2018, Digital print, 13 x 19 inches, $50

I'm Sinking Down the Drain, 2018, Digital print, 13 x 19 inches, $50

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled ‘I'm Sinking Down the Drain', as well as the rest of the collection you submitted obviously. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: This series was completed within my first semester of graduate school and honestly was quite the struggle. I needed a way to face the experiences I had the prior year and investigated the concept of “manipulating images” as I had felt manipulated by others in my life. All the images are self portraits taken in places I feel comfortable and safe, but the alteration of the images within these spaces is a reflection of the pervasive nature of being manipulated. I use bright, colorful patterns as a way to attract the viewer to issues that are normally ignored. Additionally, this series is very much about recovering from self harm by cutting into images of myself with an exacto blade, revealing the fabric stitched behind. I think we can all relate to wishing we could hide underneath the blankets and pretend the monsters of life aren’t really there.

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

A: I want my viewers can gain new appreciation for what is usually considered “craft” and can begin to view it as a fine art media. The weird divide between fine art and craft is interesting because both take enormous skill and effort but they are viewed as being “high-brow” and “low-brow.” By incorporating traditional craft into my work, I aim  to close the divide between different types of making.

In addition to an appreciation for traditional arts, I hope that through my titles and body language within the portraiture that the viewer experiences a feeling of unease. While the colors and patterns are meant to attract the viewer, my ultimate goal is that by looking closer they also pick up on a sense of uneasiness or discomfort.

I'd Rather Not See You Right Now, 2018, Digital Photographic Print, 13 x 19 inches, $50

I'd Rather Not See You Right Now, 2018, Digital Photographic Print, 13 x 19 inches, $50

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

A: In five years I will, hopefully, be utilizing my MFA in painting from TWU to teach at the university level or in a museum setting. I have always wanted to teach art, and after interning at both the DMA and Kimbell, I realized that I enjoyed working with teens and older students. I am inspired by all the wonderful professors and teachers I have had throughout my academic career and hope I can have a similar impression on my students. Additionally, I am motivated by all my inadequate professors because it compels me to ensure students don’t have similar experiences in my classroom. I will, of course, still be creating and making art and I dream to have a functional home studio that is more than just the cluttered desk I currently work on. While the art world is tricky, I believe a new era of artists are emerging that are more accepting to all creatives and I aspire to be a part of a new generation that is less focused on exclusivity and more so on accessibility.

To learn more and view additional art by the artist, please visit agalluzziart.com. You may also follow the artist on Instagram @annagalluzzi.


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.

Catharsis

“It has been an exciting adventure for me to explore, invent and discover new possibilities and forms of expression.” - the artist

Catharsis No. 20B, 2018, Mixed Media on Paper, 12 x 18, $750

Catharsis No. 20B, 2018, Mixed Media on Paper, 12 x 18, $750

Q: What led you to become a collage artist?

A: While recovering from surgery to reattach my retina and no sight in my right eye, I considered how to embrace my art and turn this disability into a positive. I experimented with whatever materials I could find. This lack of full sight continued to affect the content of my art and my mind started to work in a different way. I was liberated from viewing a specific subject and drew on the distorted images and fused coloration I perceived. I call this body of work my "One Eye Series.”

My eye has since improved thanks to quick action and wonderful doctors. It did take several years and this series gave me something to look forward to and create work I had never done before.

It was truly liberating, very different from the large figurative canvases I had done in the past.  Since developing this style I don’t hesitate to experiment with different paints, materials, anything I find interesting.

It has been an exciting adventure for me to explore, invent and discover new possibilities and forms of expression. Mixed media and collage is one aspect of my work that came from this negative but incredible experience of my artistic development.

 

One Eye Series No. 3B, 2009, Mixed Media on Paper, 12 x 18, $675

One Eye Series No. 3B, 2009, Mixed Media on Paper, 12 x 18, $675

Q: What inspires your portrait-type subject matter?

A: Before the issues with my eye sight, I worked for many years in a more realistic style with live models. My knowledge of the human figure freed me to explore my inner-self. My inspiration now comes from within.

My interest in the human form developed into an exploration of thoughts and feelings we all have. I constantly search my inner self and ideas just take form. My work can’t always be explained. It is in great part intuition.

Often I start with a more realistic image and as the process continues, I paint, use lots of layers, layers, texture, and incorporate additional forms and materials that inspire me.  The initial image can continue to change depending on where my mind goes during the process. It may become something entirely different. My choice of materials for a specific portrait is extremely intuitive.

Progeny No. 1, 2016, Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24, $850

Progeny No. 1, 2016, Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24, $850

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

A: For me, it’s all about the creative process and where it takes me. I may work with the unfamiliar and as the artwork evolves, express the impressions, feelings, and sentiments evoked without any intent. Sometimes I’m inspired by an older piece that I have a wonderful time ripping and cutting up portions to incorporate in current work. In addition to more traditional materials like acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, oil pastels and pencil, I’ve discovered gauze, plaster, burlap, shelf liner and other found objects that I find exciting to use in my art.

It’s exciting to find new materials that help me create the unexpected. I want the viewer to touch my work. Feel the layers, texture, look at it closely and enjoy the experience and part of the process. I’m that person at a museum who has to hold back from touching the artwork and putting my nose directly on it. Not that I don’t try to.

Catharsis No. 15B, 2018, Mixed Media on Paper, 12 x 18, $750

Catharsis No. 15B, 2018, Mixed Media on Paper, 12 x 18, $750

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled  Catharsis No. 15B, 2018, as well as the rest of the collection you submitted obviously. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: My “Catharsis Series” tells a story about pain, joy, suffering, and mood changes that everyone experiences in life. To be able to let go and motivate. For me this entire body of work has been an emotional cleansing. My most personal artwork to date.

The human face and it’s expressions can be very revealing. Sometimes the image takes on a more intense version and changes during the process. It can be a fierce start that purges itself and becomes a more subtle, less aggressive piece.

My art has been my lifeline on more than one occasion. It is my cathartic outlet for life’s journey.

One Eye Series Ladies No. 1, 2016, Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24, $750

One Eye Series Ladies No. 1, 2016, Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24, $750

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

A: I didn’t title the art in this series. This work is deeply personal so I would like the viewer to have their own interpretation of what they see. I want to inspire some sort of emotional reaction from the viewer. Appeal to someone that doesn’t necessarily have an extensive knowledge of art.  Perhaps experience a cathartic reaction for themselves. Personally, a piece of art is successful if it creates an intense reaction from the viewer.

Catharsis No. 7, 2017, Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24, $1,150

Catharsis No. 7, 2017, Mixed Media on Paper, 18 x 24, $1,150

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

A: I don’t necessarily look ahead as much as stay in the present to continue my artistic journey. I love creating art and that is when I am happiest. Art is the best therapy. Of course I want to receive more recognition and exposure of my work while continuing to make art. I want to be known as an artist who inspires the viewer to react to my work, sometimes relating it to their own experiences.

Photo credit: the artist

Photo credit: the artist

About the artist:

Roni Murillo is a creative visual artist based in New York with an extensive background in graphic design, illustration, and fine art. Her work is featured in many galleries and private collections throughout the United States, Asia and Central and South America. Her art foundation of watercolor, acrylic, charcoal and ink are also reflected in her current digital projects.

Ms. Murillo received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Further artistic training continued at the Art Student’s League and Parsons School of Design in New York City. She has been commissioned to do pieces for home, office and theater.

Her business background includes that of being a Manager for a Graphic Design Studio and the Director of Research & Development for a large toy, stationary and leisure products company. She has also served in the capacity of Creative Director for Package Design and New Product Development.

Roni Murillo’s art is very personal and emotional, filled with color, energy, and movement. It often transforms from its original intent during the creative process.

While recovering from an injury to her eye and with restricted vision, Roni considered how to turn this disability into a positive. She drew on the distorted images and fused coloration she perceived and used it to her advantage. Some of her most imaginative and innovative work emerged. She calls this body of work the "One Eye Series."

Roni continues to explore and experiment with various media, styles, textures, and new themes.

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.ronimurillo.com, or follow her on social media at www.facebook.com/roni.felsenthalmurillo and @artofronimurillo.


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 New World

“A new world had presented itself where the possibilities were (and still are) endless.” - the artist

Bank Sucker, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 x 2 inches, $850

Bank Sucker, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 x 2 inches, $850

Q: What led you to become a realism artist?

A: Although I have always enjoyed figurative work and realism, it has had been a journey finding what works best for me. Growing up with a mother as an oil painter, I had always enjoyed art-making, but only began to take myself seriously towards the end of high school- but I really struggled with technique. I could imagine exactly what I wanted to draw, but my hands couldn’t make it quite yet. After lots of practice and failed attempts, one day it just clicked. I was hooked when I discovered I had the capability to make anything practically out of thin air. When I got to college at Texas State University, I started my first year as a minor in Studio Art, as I was not entirely convinced of this path. But during that year, I started making acrylic commissions and I loved it. I decided to change my major to Studio Art and kind of blindly picked painting as my concentration. I had never used oils before in my life, and let me tell ya, my first paintings were nothing spectacular. But I had this feeling that once I could figure out the medium, I would be in love. A few paintings and critiques later, it happened. I became obsessed. I knew painting was what I was meant to do and saw a whole future ahead of me. A new world had presented itself where the possibilities were (and still are) endless. I played around with a bunch of different subject matter, some strictly still life and some figure-only. Finally, I figured out my style and made a series of paintings for my senior thesis that were both figurative and atmospheric, playing along the lines of realism and expressionism. I find it difficult to define my style, because I don’t strive for an exact realism and I like to exaggerate the local colors to leave the narrative up for more interpretation.

 

Abloom, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 33.5 x 2 inches, $1000

Abloom, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 33.5 x 2 inches, $1000

Q: What inspires your subject matter?

A: My subject matter is inspired by the human experience, nostalgia, and the interactions with our environments. I love depicting glimpses of time that are now in the past. I don’t think we can fully analyze our experiences when we’re in the moment. It takes years to reflect and to fully understand their meaning, which is why I like to paint older photographs. I like to leave my paintings up for interpretation though- because meanings are ever changing depending on who we are at certain phases of our life. My most recent series is a reflection of my own past, which I think was necessary as a start to this subject matter, but I am looking forward to memorializing other people’s experiences; every human has a unique story that I believe is worth sharing.

I was Bursting at the Seams, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30 x 2 inches, $900

I was Bursting at the Seams, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 30 x 2 inches, $900

Q: Can you describe your creative process?

A: I always start my process by looking back at photographs. When I first started making paintings I was doing this subconsciously when I was struggling for a subject matter. But then I started taking note of my behavior and trusted my own instincts and accepted that I am a very nostalgic person that reflects and analyzes a lot on the past. I think this kind of reflection can become negative very easily, and I want my paintings to bring joy to myself and others, so I am very deliberative in my selection process. I am a bit of a hoarder of images, anything I find compositionally interesting I save in an album on my phone, and then when I’m ready for a new painting I go through those and narrow them down slowly. Usually the photograph I end up with is one that triggers something emotional out of me, whether it’s a memory or the relationship to the person in the photograph. My most favorite part of the process is when I’m actually painting and staring at this photograph for countless hours, I start to understand the meaning to my subject matter even deeper than I originally conceived, and I learn so many things about myself. I begin to create a relationship with the painting, and soon it becomes a part of myself.

Everyone Wears the Pants in this Family, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 35 x 2 inches, $1000

Everyone Wears the Pants in this Family, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 35 x 2 inches, $1000

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Everyone Wears the Pants in this Family, as well as the rest of the collection you submitted obviously. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Everyone Wears the Pants in this Family, Skittles for Bird, and En Route are a part of a 12-piece series recently completed for my senior thesis show at Texas State University. All 12 paintings are from old photographs found at my childhood home. Everyone Wears the Pants in this Family depicts my parents, siblings, and myself (circa 2001) and was the most challenging and rewarding painting to complete; taking 3 months to finish for my thesis show “Year of the Pig” in May 2019. Each painting in the series gives a fraction of a narrative by depicting little glimpses of time.

En Route is one that particularly tugs on my heartstrings; the painting is based on a photograph my mother took while her and my dad were living in Crete, Greece in the 80’s, as my dad was stationed there for 2 years with the Air Force. They already had my oldest brother, and my sister was born while they were abroad. The painting depicts my brother playing on his tricycle just before they moved back to the States. My mom told me they had to ship everything back home- and the tricycle was the only toy they kept for him that week- and that he would have to leave it in Crete when they moved back. When my mother told me this story I just knew I had to paint it. The tricycle spoke a thousand words. There was joy, and there was also a lot of pain. It was a temporary moment that was beautiful in its time and could never be given back.

En Route, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 36 x 2 inches, $900

En Route, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 36 x 2 inches, $900

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

A: I hope my viewers look at my paintings and feel something from their past. I am no stranger to the fact that people have really difficult upbringings, and I in no way had the “perfect” one. We all have baggage, but I also believe we all have beautiful moments in one way or another. I hope my paintings bring a feeling of peace where one can escape present reality and just take a few moments to reflect on their journey that made them the person they are today. As an artist, I want to offer more than just beauty to this world, but an experience, and a time to reflect.

Skittles for Bird, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 29 x 2 inches, $850

Skittles for Bird, 2019, Oil on Canvas, 40 x 29 x 2 inches, $850

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

A: I view my art career in five years to be an evolution of who I am today. I want to constantly take pictures of my life and to record every moment possible. I think I will continue making reflective paintings of my life, but I also see myself depicting stories from those I meet along the way. I hope in the next 5 years to have several shows under my belt and to continue navigating this ever-changing art world. The biggest lesson I have learned so far is that a career as an artist is a marathon, not a sprint.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Maggie Lyon was born (1997) in Fort Worth, TX and moved to San Marcos, TX in 2015 to earn a BFA from Texas State University. With a concentration in painting, and a minor in Fashion Merchandising, she graduated in May 2019. Maggie has exhibited her work multiple times in the Texas State Galleries and most recently exhibited her work in Year of the Pig in May 2019.

My oil paintings capture an abstracted reality of my childhood and adolescence while evoking the sense of nostalgia through the viewer’s individual perspective. Balancing between obscurity and detailed reality, this visualization is created by selecting old pictures from my childhood home and then mixing a palette that is an exaggerated saturation of the photograph’s local color. I fade some objects in and out of the background and keep other specific areas of the painting very realistic to depict the emotional discourse of memories; feeling clear, yet blurry at the same time, achieving an art that is both emotional and triggering to one’s nostalgia of youth.

To learn more or view additional work by the artist, please visit maggie-lyon.com. You may also follow the artist on Facebook at www.facebook.com/maggielyonart, as well as Instagram @maggielyonart.

 


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.

Patterns and Processes

“There are interesting patterns that show up both in nature and in human engineering. I like to mix those.” - the artist

Still Does for Some Reason, 2018, Digital, 19 x 19 in, NFS

Still Does for Some Reason, 2018, Digital, 19 x 19 in, NFS

Q: What led you to become a digital artist?

A: I studied computer science and worked professionally as a programmer, so I wanted to integrate that into my artwork in some way. Eventually, I asked myself the question "what if I wrote a program that created a painting?". I had a rocky start trying this out, but it was promising enough that I knew I had to continue down that path. There were so many new things to learn compared to the skills I had been using for drawing and painting, but I found the switch extremely rewarding.

Repetition I, 2018, giclee on paper, 12 x 16 inches, $390

Repetition I, 2018, giclee on paper, 12 x 16 inches, $390

Q: What is your main inspiration for the work?

A; My inspiration comes from many different places, but I'm primarily inspired by patterns and processes. There are interesting patterns that show up both in nature and in human engineering. I like to mix those. A combination of chaos and structure is the sweet spot, in my opinion, so any processes that uses both catches my attention.

In nature, I spend a lot of time looking at vegetation, clouds, water, and rocks. On the man-made side, I might notice anything from textures or patterns in how a piece of metal has been worn down, to the organization of streets within a city.

And So I Said Hello, 2018, giclee on acrylic box, 12 x 12 inches, $490

And So I Said Hello, 2018, giclee on acrylic box, 12 x 12 inches, $490

Q: Digital art has been widely accepted as a more main stream art genre in recent years. Can you describe how you started in digital art and your creative process?

A: I create my artwork by designing custom algorithms and writing a new program from scratch that will use that algorithm to generate a series of images. I don't use Photoshop or anything like that, this is accomplished with programming alone. My process is exploratory. I begin with a rough concept of something to experiment with. I write a simple program, run it, and see how the output is looking. From there, I expand and refine this by repeatedly changing and re-running the program, often hundreds of time. The finished work is almost always very different from anything I imagined at the start of the process.

Rotated Gradient D, 2018, Digital, 15 x 15 inches, $190

Rotated Gradient D, 2018, Digital, 15 x 15 inches, $190

Q: We were impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Rotated Gradient D, 2018. Tell us more about this piece/series.

A: Thanks! This work comes from a series I created that was focused on a particular algorithm. The design is centered on repeatedly splitting triangles in half, getting smaller until a minimum size is reached. The interesting challenge is how to do this in an organic way, utilizing randomness to avoid the monotony of a simple grid. Every little detail and decision inside the algorithm utilizes randomness in some way, from the shape of the large structures to the fine details. Every run on the program produces a different output. I curated this output to four final images, and Rotated Gradient D was the fourth of these.

Sun to the East, 2019, Archival print on wood panel, 24 x 36 inches, $890

Sun to the East, 2019, Archival print on wood panel, 24 x 36 inches, $890

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

A: I hope that it broadens their idea of what "programming" artwork looks like. I also hope that it gives non-programmers a visual, abstract taste of how computers and programming work. The influence of computer architecture design on my work is very obvious, and shapes it in many inescapable ways that the viewer might pick up on.

Interference, 2018, giclee on paper, 19 x 19 inches, SOLD

Interference, 2018, giclee on paper, 19 x 19 inches, SOLD

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

A: I hope that the number of hours I spend in the studio, creating artwork, only increases. The art world is capricious. My focus on working is the only thing that I can control.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

My work focuses on the creation of generative processes. For each new work, I design a custom algorithm capable of generating a sequence of unique, but aesthetically related images. The algorithms I craft borrow patterns observed from the natural world, repurposing and remixing them to explore the sensations they evoke.

The interplay of randomness and structure is particularly intriguing to me. The natural world is filled with the collision of these two forces, and the results are worth examining in detail. Generative artwork is particularly well suited for this examination. While algorithms are obviously well suited for studying patterns and organization, computers are also a surprisingly excellent source of randomness. My best work strikes a careful balance between these elements, resulting in a program that is a loose set of guidelines rather than an explicit description of an image.

To view more work by the artist, please visit tylerxhobbs.com, and follow the artist on Instagram @tylerxhobbs.


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.

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.


What’s Going On Upstairs

“The [work] had given people permission to open up about how they felt about their bodies…” - the artist

Room for Improvement (detail), 2018, toy bed, cotton, silk threads, 7 cm x 4.5 cm x 4 cm. NFS

Room for Improvement (detail), 2018, toy bed, cotton, silk threads, 7 cm x 4.5 cm x 4 cm. NFS

Q: What led you to become a fiber / textile artist?

A: I worked as a crafts person for fifteen years designing and hand stitching miniature dolls house samplers for adult collectors. It was a successful business and I had an American agent who sold my work all over the USA, in Japan and Europe. I traded my work in the UK. It was a lovely time and fitted in very well with my life as a mother of two young daughters. I traveled to Chicago and New York at the invitation of my agent to attend prestigious dolls house exhibitions. As my daughters began to grow up I felt the need to learn new things and attended a college to obtain a City & Guilds certificate in Creative Embroidery. Whilst there, a tutor encouraged me to apply for a university degree course in the Applied Arts. It was a wonderful experience which opened my mind to new ideas, and I had a chance to explore different media, but I always returned to textiles/fiber. In 2007 I completed my degree, released the ties from my business to become a qualified artist specializing in textiles. I had always wanted to be an artist from a young age so it was wonderful to finally fulfill my dream.

Under Pressure, 2018, cotton, silk threads, 34 cm x 10 cm. NFS

Under Pressure, 2018, cotton, silk threads, 34 cm x 10 cm. NFS

Q: What inspired the collection you submitted?

A: From 2010 I had been creating works about women and dieting and in 2014 exhibited all of the pieces as part of a full-size kitchen art installation. It was a major task as I had to draw up a plan as if I was designing a real kitchen with cupboards, a washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc. A carpenter made all of the units and I covered them with silkscreen printed fabric, embellished with hand stitching. There was a kitchen table and when the visitors came to view the work they surprised me by sitting down at the table, which was set out as an art piece, and proceeded to talk about their lives. The installation had given people permission to open up about how they felt about their bodies, about failed diets and about family members who had suffered with eating disorders. A short time after the exhibition closed a young woman contacted me to let me know that she had seen the kitchen. She told me that she had had anorexia nervosa from the age of 11. She said that seeing the work had made her want to get better. We kept in contact and I wanted to tell her story. She very bravely offered me her diaries about her illness and this was the starting point of my research into eating disorders.

You See Food, I See Numbers, 2016, medicine capsules, cotton, silk threads, 15 cm x 24 cm. NFS

You See Food, I See Numbers, 2016, medicine capsules, cotton, silk threads, 15 cm x 24 cm. NFS

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

A: The main material that I use is cotton, and I use fine silk threads to hand sew text and motifs. There is usually an addition of other ready made materials, such as key-rings, dolls house furniture, and even weighing scales, which are adapted to emphasize my concept.

My creative process always begins with an inspiring idea. It is the springboard to opening up a fresh sketchbook in which to record my thoughts. Research is the most important part of my work and I will order relevant books online. Reading is always inspiring and will expand any ideas that I already have. I attend conferences and talks, as well as visiting museums and art galleries. Now that social media is so accessible, I utilize it to find out people’s views. I have also been contacted by individuals who have a story to tell. I like to include the lived experiences and thoughts of others to create an authentic artwork.

Life Line, 2018, cotton, silk threads, 175 cm x 52 cm. NFS

Life Line, 2018, cotton, silk threads, 175 cm x 52 cm. NFS

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

A: Thank you. ‘Life Line’ was created to be displayed inside a bedroom art installation titled ‘What’s Going On Upstairs’ (2018). I created the drip bag using a pattern from a medical IV bag. The piece hung from a drip stand and the attached tube ran from the bag to a handmade quilt which lay on a bed. It became a metaphor for the recovery of a patient with an eating disorder. All of the hand stitched text on the drip bag came from a teenager’s account of her illness, and in particular her struggle with an ‘anorexia fairy’ who sat on her shoulder. She was mentally controlled by it, and would follow its instructions on what not to eat and how much exercise she should do. When the artwork went on display, the first person to read the words on ‘Life Line’ was crying uncontrollably. She said that she had recognized herself in that piece.

‘What’s Going On Upstairs’ was created to be half way between an adolescent’s bedroom and a hospital room. It dealt with scale, as a person with an eating disorder will often think that their body is much bigger than it actually is. There was a dolls house titled ‘The Secret Life of an Eating Disorder’ which was displayed on a chest-of-drawers. It appeared really innocent until the viewer looked at the detail. Each room related to something about eating disorders, and the bedroom in particular, was laid out in a similar way to the full-size installation. There were miniature objects such as pink slippers, a blood pressure cuff, weighing scales, even a tiny stethoscope in the dolls house, and these were replicated as full size in the room. It gave a feeling of unreality, and begged the question: ‘Am I standing inside the dolls house or am I in the installation?’

Identity Crisis, 2017, cotton, silk threads, plastic catch, 6 cm x 2 cm. NFS

Identity Crisis, 2017, cotton, silk threads, plastic catch, 6 cm x 2 cm. NFS

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

A: When I make an artwork I do not think about what the viewers will take away from it. I am thinking about how I am going to construct the piece, how it is going to be displayed and most importantly, does it work successfully? Because of this, it is always a great revelation how the work is interpreted by the public. When ‘What’s Going On Upstairs’ was exhibited I was overwhelmed by the reaction to it. The room became a safe place for people to express their emotions. There were many tears (I shed some myself), many hugs, and many accounts relating to eating disorders. Viewers talked about problems that they were having with their own illness, or those of their family members, or friends. People really connected to the work and it was a hugely emotional show, especially so because the exhibition took place in a knitting and stitching show and not in a healthcare environment.

Do My Bones Look Big In This, 2018, puppet, cotton, silk threads, 36 cm x 12 cm. NFS

Do My Bones Look Big In This, 2018, puppet, cotton, silk threads, 36 cm x 12 cm. NFS

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

A: I am constantly questioning my art career as I do not want it to become static. I want it to be continuously moving forwards. I would like to work more with institutions, collaborating with academics in other fields. Within five years it would be great to be combining my own research with those from universities and from health organisations to create more insightful artworks.

Photo source: the artist

Photo source: the artist

About the artist:

Caren Garfen specializes in textiles and painstaking hand stitching creating carefully considered pieces with profound messages.

Caren's interest is in gender politics and women’s issues in the twenty-first century. She works around specific themes, such as women and work/life balance or women and dieting/the body. Her wryly humorous and sharply observed hand sewn messages are the result of extensive research and intuitive observation. Inspiration is derived from social media, fiction and non-fiction literature and from personal stories.

Caren has established an international reputation for her accessible yet challenging issue-based art. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK and Europe, as well as in Japan, USA, and Canada.


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 Record of Conscious Thought

“Using paint alone as a medium was very disenchanting.” - the artist

Interdimensional Landscape I, 2017, Collage on wooden board, 8 x 10 inches, $350

Interdimensional Landscape I, 2017, Collage on wooden board, 8 x 10 inches, $350

Q: What led you to become a mixed media / assemblage artist?

A: I took a collage class in my junior year in college. Soon after, it became my favorite medium to work with and now it is my prime focus. Though initially a painting major, I did not paint much (and still don't). Using paint alone as a medium was very disenchanting. At the time, I had interest in learning as many mediums as possible. Collage was very freeing from the rules of traditional art making and structured art classes.

Untitled, 2018, Collage on paper, 5 x 7 inches, $175

Untitled, 2018, Collage on paper, 5 x 7 inches, $175

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

A: I took graphic communications at my vocational high school before I studied fine arts at a community college. Afterwards, I transferred to Montserrat College of Art my sophomore year where I recently received my Bachelors. Art has always been an interest of mine ever since I picked up my first crayon. I have always been introverted, so it is how I felt most comfortable expressing myself.

Untitled, 2017, Collage on paper, 10 x 12 inches, $200

Untitled, 2017, Collage on paper, 10 x 12 inches, $200

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I derive a lot of my inspiration from multiple things. Mostly from self awareness, altered states of consciousness, the divine feminine, polarities, and channeling the dark side of human nature: that being, fears, the social masks we wear, multiple personas, as well as mental health. Though my work is really personal, I also explore external conflicts such as sexual liberation, body politics, power structures, and cultural identity. Though some of these concepts might not be too evident in my work at the moment, it is what I have been interested in lately and wish to integrate more into my work.

Some of my favorite artists, not in any particular order and ranging in various mediums are Robert Rauschenberg, Max Ernst, Ana Mendieta, Hans Bellmer, Wangechi Mutu, Claude Cahun, Steven Stapleton, John O`Reilly, Man Ray, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Valie Export, Herman Kitsch, Tatsumi Hijikata. Some artists who I admire that I discovered through social media are Katrien De Blauwer, Brittany Markert, Nedda Afsari, Miss Meatface, Denis Forkas, Krist Mort. I could go on.

Distorted Room, 2018, Collage on paper, 11 x 14 inches, $120

Distorted Room, 2018, Collage on paper, 11 x 14 inches, $120

Q: Where do you gain your mixed media materials from?

A: The materials I use in my collages and assemblages are mostly disposed paper or objects that I find on the ground when I walk my dogs. I love going to thrift shops and antique stores to pick up small knick-knacks. I find value in these forgotten objects and I like to integrate their history into my work. Not only can they be aesthetically pleasing but the objects also work as personal symbols. My black and white collages are cut out from various photography books, where I take apart figures and landscapes to distort them and turn them into something new. Working with these given forms not only gives me direction but I feel like I can relate to the work I am manipulating better.

Untitled, 2018, Collage & wax on vintage album, 8.5 x 10.5 inches, $135

Untitled, 2018, Collage & wax on vintage album, 8.5 x 10.5 inches, $135

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

A: When people come across my work, I want it to be a visual stimulant that guides them to looking into themselves. Self awareness, in my opinion, is not only about finding inner peace and joy or any of that nonsense, but also exploring parts of yourself that you are afraid to confront. I just want people to relate and feel something on a deeper level.

Interdimensional Landscape II, 2017, Collage on wooden board, 5 x 7 inches, $300

Interdimensional Landscape II, 2017, Collage on wooden board, 5 x 7 inches, $300

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

A: In five years, I see myself living in a setting with an art scene that actually invests more in contemporary artists. I do not expect art to be my main source of income, though that would be nice. I want to be more involved and collaborate with other artists to create work that has an impact on viewers.

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About the artist:

I am a multimedia artist with a main focus on collaging, more specifically black and white photo montaging and assemblages. My collages work as a formal and psychological exercise to present a record of conscious thought and action. I take found photographs out of discarded photography books and cut up representational forms into indistinguishable abstractions, while incorporating found objects and rearranging them into something new. By using a given/found image or form, I am taking materials with a history of its own and applying that to my own personal experience. In analyzing and modifying a fleeting impression, I constantly put myself into unfamiliar places whilst being aware of what I discover.


This process allows me to understand my decision making. It is a metaphorical alchemy of tapping into the unconscious mind: transcendence through breaking apart and reconstructing what I think I know and turning it into something new. The fragmented glimpses visible in my collages, appearing much like inter-dimensional landscapes or obscured cinematic figures look to channel the polarities between the mind and body.


The process of my work refers the struggle between self-knowledge, self-deception and acknowledges that we are in a constant state of recreating ourselves, which is reflected in how I keep my work in a flux. My work explores mental and physical pain and the pleasure of indulgence, desire and apathy; the relationship between subject and object; the harmony of the creator`s control; and chaos or creation.


Though my work may be personal, I do reflect on external issues at times such as using parts of the figure as a tool to explore body politics, transgression, censorship, power structures, and cultural identity.


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Multi-layered, Complex

“I do not dominate the material, but rather cooperate with it and include its specific characteristics in the designing process.” - the artist

Cold Blue II Brooch, 2017. Collection „vielschichtig“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Cold Blue II Brooch, 2017. Collection „vielschichtig“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Q: What led you to become a jewelry designer?

A: Originally, I started my apprenticeship in metal design with the goal of becoming a restorer. However, during my training, I quickly realized that I have more fun in creating something new, rather than preserving something old. Therefore, I continued by studying at the Munich Academy for Design and Crafts, where I actually started my experiments with plastic bags and foils.

Thus, these experiments formed the basis for my final assignment and the first pieces of jewelry developed. In retrospective I really cannot tell, what drew me towards jewelry - it was no conscious decision for or against jewelry or other topics. At some point, it was just clear to me that I wanted to design and create jewelry. I guess it was the multitude of possibilities of design that I found in jewelry, but also of course the results of my experiments.

Monochrome I Brooch, 2018. Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Monochrome I Brooch, 2018. Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

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

A: I was already aged 35 when I began my apprenticeship in metal design with graduate metal designer Berndt Schweizer. In 2016 I graduated as designer of crafts at the Munich Academy for Design and Crafts.

Meanwhile, my works have been presented in various galleries in Europe, e.g. in the Galerie Ra in Amsterdam, the Galerie VundV in Vienna or in the Alternatives Gallery in Rome. My brooch "cold blue II" is part of the permanent collection of the AGC in the Cominelli Foundation. Other important exhibitions in 2018 were the Shanghai Triple Parade, Autor in Bucharest and Just Plastics in Karlsruhe.

Untitled I Brooch, 2018. Collection „überdreht“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Untitled I Brooch, 2018. Collection „überdreht“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?

A: I am fascinated by the material poly ethylene in the form of bags and foils. For more than two years now, I have been intensively experimenting with it and I am still discovering new ways and possibilities of processing it. Because of that I can create new shapes, patterns and effects all the time. I suppose, it is exactly this pleasure of discovering some new aspect that is inspiring me.

Dark Red Brooch, 2018. Collection „vielschichtig“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Dark Red Brooch, 2018. Collection „vielschichtig“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Q: Your work is created using foils and plastic shopping bags. Can you elaborate on your technique and explain your process for us?

A: I am using traditional techniques that I have adapted to the characters of the material. The constant experimenting also allows me to further develop these techniques. It is essential that I do not force these techniques on the material, but rather cooperate with the material and let it lead me by its proper qualities.

For example, when for the collection "vielschichtig", the first steps of processing consist of folding and pressing - just like in Mokume Gane or Damscene -  color-themed foils. The finished stacks will then be cut and arranged in a strictly geometrical way. And yet, in the next processing steps, the material is allowed to free itself out of the boundaries I have set before which leads to the creation of the strong, free shapes and patterns.

For my collection "überdreht", I take the material to its limits of stability - there is an extreme tension which the piece of jewelry reflects as if you could even feel it. In case I take this too far, the piece is destroyed for good because I neglected the material's point of breaking.

Monochrome III Brooch, 2018. Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Monochrome III Brooch, 2018. Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Q: Is there an underlying message with regards to the materials you choose to use for your designs?

A: We are surrounded by packaging foils and plastic bags on a daily basis without seeing anything beautiful in them. But by processing this seemingly worthless waste, I want to bestow a new value on the material.

To me, this is one of the most important aspects of my work.

Untitled III Brooch, 2018. Collection „überdreht“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Untitled III Brooch, 2018. Collection „überdreht“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

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

A: First of all, I would like that viewers like my work - also without knowing the background story. As it is my aim to conceal the basic material in the finished objects further explanation is necessary. I wish that through this my jewelry will kick-off discussions: about my jewelry, waste and seemingly worthless things that received new value.

Untitled II Brooch, 2018. Collection „überdreht“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

Untitled II Brooch, 2018. Collection „überdreht“, Plastic bags, foil, silver and stainless steel. Photo credit: Tobias Fuhrmann

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

A: The best thing would be, that in five years' time I will not be able to work with plastic bags any more, because there aren't any left. As this will, unfortunately, probably not be the case, I wish that I feel the same fascination for my work as I do now. Oh, and making a living with it would also be very nice...

About the artist:

At the age of 35, I started my apprenticeship in metalworking design and afterwards went on to the Academy of Design and Crafts in Munich, from where I graduated with honors in 2016. Directly after my graduation, I began designing and manufacturing jewelry out of plastic bags and foils. Already during my training at the Academy in Munich, I was highly enthusiastic about this seemingly worthless, inconspicuous material. Despite the fact that we are accompanied by the material in our daily life, we only rarely observe it as being beautiful. It is my aim to create pieces of jewelry that do not betray any traces of their origins. In order to achieve this, I do not dominate the material, but rather cooperate with it and include its specific characteristics in the designing process. I.e. the material is allowed to free itself from the initially imposed limits resulting from my geometrical arrangement, which creates free and strong patterns. Every unique piece reflects the numerous and complex structures to which this collection owns its name: vielschichtig (Engl.: multi-layered, complex).


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.