I was recently interviewed by La Boutique, l’Art et la Mode about my art and living as an artist in San Francisco.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a self-taught mixed media artist living in San Francisco. I began painting in the summer of 2010, after studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, and subsequently falling in love with the Viennese Secessionists. I was specifically drawn to how Egon Scheile, Gustav Klimt, and Koloman Moser vulnerably exposed their experience of beauty, pain and love in their works
What inspires your art?
I draw inspiration from nature, sexuality, fashion, as well as contemporary, historical and mythological portrayals of women. For example, many of my paintings are responses to portrayals of women in opera (Tatyana Larina in Eugene Onegin) mythology (the Sirens and the Bacchantes), literature (Sabina in The Unbearable Lightness of Being), and fairy tales (Snow Queen).
These paintings are emotional self-portraits, cathartic externalizations that help me move through experiences, one canvas at a time. In essence, each composition is a communion between the sacred, traumatic, restless and beautiful facets of life.
Whats your favorite medium to work with?
I paint predominately with acrylics. I incorporate various objects, such as fish net, fabric, cardboard, beads, twine, paper, feathers, chopsticks, cheesecloth, and wine corks, into my work in order to texturize and embellish my pieces.
Tell us a little about your creative process.
Intuitive and experimental. As an untrained visual artist, I have no concept of what I can and cannot do, and as such, I feel free to let my intuition guide me. I choose my color palette as a way of “self-harmonizing.” In other words, it’s not an intellectual choice; it’s an energetic one based on what resonates (what feels right). I strive to surrender control in the art process, as much as possible, in order to allow pieces to evolve organically. So, I never plan out a piece in it’s entirety before I begin.
What it looks like:
I always paint in my pajamas, listening to music, with earl grey tea nearby (and cookies). Sometimes, I’m dancing
Do you have any formal training as an artist?
I have no formal training in visual art. I actually received a B.A. in music (classical voice).
Who is your favorite artist?
- Sculptor Anna-Wili Highfield
- Milliner Ashley Lloyd
- Photographer Alexandra Valenti
- Designer Iris Van Herpen
- Painter Conor Harrington
- Installation Artist Janet Laurence
What is the most challenging obstacle as an artist?
I work full-time at a marketing agency, which means I have limited time and energy to paint during the week. Also, I’m more inclined to use my time outside of work to pursue creative projects, and so, I rarely dedicate the necessary time to find platforms to showcase my work.
How do you feel technological advancements in the art world have helped/hindered your processes of creation?
Technology, namely social media & art/artist websites, has made contemporary art more accessible. That accessibility nurtures my ever-growing understanding of what’s artistically possible. As far as direct usage of technology in my process, I will create painting-specific Pinterest boards for inspiration. For example, for “Taking Up Arms,” an exploration of the militarization of women’s fashion in 2010-2012, I created this board.
What do you do when you’re not making amazing pieces?
Hiking, dancing, attending an opera or ballet, drinking coffee, or walking the city.
What is your favorite piece of art and why? (of my work??)
“Dusk’s Silent Memory,” mixed media on canvas. She embodies the complexity of femaleness. She is open yet guarded, daring yet vulnerable, impassioned yet inhibited, raw yet refined. There’s immense beauty in these contradictions. Her penetrating glare counters her body position. She is hungry for something within reach, though not quite ready to grasp it.
Where are you favorite places to shop?
- The Sword & the Rose – incense
- West Coast Craft Fair (at Fort Mason)– jewelry
- Reliquary – window-shopping
- Flax Art & Design – handmade texturized paper
- Azalea – the occasional “going out” top
What are you top 5 favorite spots in San Francisco?
- For Walking: Mount Sutro, & The Presidio
- For Dancing: Rickshaw Stop & El Rio
- For Brunch(ing): Mission Beach Café
- For a Night Out: War Memorial Opera House
- For High Tea: Samovar
Lastly, what are you currently working on that we should be on the lookout for?
My next piece will be a departure from the highly personal portraits that have shaped my work this past year. I’m flirting with the idea of painting “Cinderella.” I saw Rossini’s La Cenerentola last fall (SF Opera), Prokofiev’s Cinderella last spring (SF Ballet), and recently the film adaptation of Into the Woods. I’m interested in exploring the Cinderella trope through its many incarnations: Rhodopis, Yeh-Shen, Cendrillon and Aschenputtel, to name a few.
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