mercoledì 20 agosto 2008

Interview with Erin Althea

q)What is your name?

a)Erin Althea

q) Where do you live and work?

a)Los Angeles, California

q)What is your creative process like?

a)I usually start with one main idea (or maybe just a color or weird shape) and when that is down, I make the next move. The pieces are pretty much never completely premeditated, though. I guess I'm very process-oriented right now.

q)What is your favorite medium?

a)It's a toss up between acrylic ink and oil paint. FW Acrylic Ink (Daler Rowney makes it) is really versatile. It can be watered down and mixed in bowls or used full strength. You can of course use it on paper, but you can also use it on a gessoed surface. The inks can be very transparent or they can be mixed with white and become more opaque. I'm really interested in opacity versus transparency. That is probably why I'm in love with oil paint, as well. I like to glaze with oil over a surface where I've used either acrylic ink or paint (to get a beautiful and smooth transparency). Usually a matte or gloss acrylic medium will seal the inked area enough where you can use oil over it as a glaze. fun times.

q)What is your current favorite subject?

a)General confusion

q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)It completely depends on the piece...I've worked for months on a piece before (y' know, putting it down and picking it up, working on it little bits at a time, looking at it, putting it away). But sometimes the piece goes super fast and I only spend a couple of days on it. Those are exciting and fresh pieces for me! I think when I work on paper I am way more apt to commit to an image and it goes by pretty quickly. It's when I feel like working in lots of layers (usually on a wood panel with acrylic and oil paint) and feel the freedom (of the mediums) to take away, (sand things out or paint over things), I get really seduced by the process and it could seriously go on forever. But eventually it must be resolved and then it becomes something that can haunt my dreams and force me to figure out how to make it work. I love not giving up on a piece. Sometimes it takes awhile to figure it out, though.

q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

a)I'm in a group show in Brooklyn, NY that opens next month ( that I'm super excited about.

q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)Marlene Dumas, Peter Doig (I just saw his show in London! so amazing.), Mamma Andersson, Brian Calvin, Amy Cutler, Laylah Ali, Marcel Dzama, Neo Rauch, Luc Tuymans, John Currin, The Clayton Brothers, and various contemporary illustrators.

q)Can we buy your art anywhere?

a)Of course! Email me to inquire about any pieces you see on my site that you are interested in.

q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t??

a)I'm 6 months pregnant with twin girls. Holy Shit.

q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

a)Love yourself, love the work of your hands, and don't look down upon other people (especially other artists). Practically speaking...if you can't express what is in your the proper training (school, or whatever). Maybe a certain artist needs intricate training in perspective drawing and academic painting whereas another artist would be totally hindered by that sort of training and just needs help in sorting out their masses of confused and jumbled ideas.

q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)I start new pieces and put aside the tough ones until I can deal with them. I always work on more than one piece at a time because the process rarely doesn't get frustrating at some point.

q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?


q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a)I went to a great school: Art Center College of Design (in Pasadena, California). At the time, it was a smart balance of traditional craft (draftsmanship) and creative process.

q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?

a)Not really. I like lots and lots of different materials for all that those different materials can do. And I don't think that an artist should be restricted by their tools or materials. I used to think of myself as a "painter", but then I realized how restricting that title was to me. Whether it is a computer (I actually don't work digitally at all, but maybe someday I'll embrace it, who knows?) or a paint brush, these are just means to an end.

q)Who are your influences?

a)It isn't always very easy for one to see their own influences. I was lucky enough to have Rob Clayton (Clayton Bros.) as a teacher for a short time and I hear his voice in my head quite a lot. He had a lot of influence on me as an artist, but I don't necessarily feel as though his work is an influence. Maybe it is? I don't know.

q)What inspires you to create?

a)It's really fun and exciting to me and I get really crazy and depressed if I don't.

q)…your contacts…


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