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May 1, 201702:23 PMCity Beat

Against the Grain

May 1, 2017 - 02:23 PM
Against the Grain

Hannah Dobek

How do you work/your process?

 

Impulsively. Accidentally, then on purpose. Also, backwards.

 

What’s your background?

 

Art wise, i had two very encouraging mentors, they taught me to try everything until it ‘clicks’, but i technically have no academic Art background. Obviously. ha ha.

I lived in Upstate/Western New York for the first 25 years, my family would be described by many as eccentric.

Two musical parents, 3 siblings, and a whole lot of Church.

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

 

A distraction-free space to work, the ability to disconnect from everyday life . A sense of curiosity, self-knowledge and the ability to stop yourself from overworking something. A bottle of Malbec, optional. Good Music to Zen out to.

 

What role does the artist have in society?

 

That is up to them. Most of us aren’t fans of it? The best ones challenge society in a way that it has to respond. It is not enough to simply provoke, in my opinion. You have to connect.

 

That being said, it is an assumption that society plays any large role in the life of an Artist. Some of us ignore it.

 

What has been a seminal experience?

 

Becoming a mother, and all the intense emotion, joy, and confusion that has come with that. The self-questioning it brings. Trying to teach my kids to truly interact with the world. It's so different now than what i remember. Its harder for them.. everything is so pre-packaged…

 

Explain what you do in 100 words:

 

I like to think of it as simply translating emotions into a visual plane. Usually involving materials that are readily available, and i can almost never create in a focused way without very strong, tangible emotions. Its a process of answering my own questions, or at least acknowledging that they cannot be answered, giving them a “face”, then moving on to the next question/idea/Work. Essentially, its therapeutic and also a way of connecting with other humans. But I am not trying to ‘DO’ anything, other than create, really. Its a human urge, we all have it on some level.

 

What art do you most identify with?

 

Surrealism, DaDa, Expressionism + Post-Expressionism, Large Scale Installation Art, Religious Art. The Art of Ancient Cultures.

 

 

What themes do you pursue?

 

Isolation, Loneliness, Irony, Spirituality, Childhood, and The Divine Feminine. Sometimes, Humor.

And, they pursue me, not the other way around.

 

What’s your favorite art work?

 

Impossible to pick… Any Paul Delvaux, Joseph Cornell, Max Ernst, Louise Bourgeois, Helmut Newton, or Kara Walker.

 

 

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

 

The 5 years i spent living in Liverpool, Pa. I realized then how much places affect me, even more than people do. People i can usually shrug off if they don’t sit well with me. Places have a lot of influence. A LOT. Not always positively. If you have a primarily negative interpersonal exchange, and live in a place with a dark vibe? God help you. I loved it there at first, but the longer i lived in that specific plot of land, the undercurrents coursing through tended to mess with my well being. The haunted house didn’t help, either. ha ha. But it kickstarted a survivalist mindset, where Art became more essential that ever, just as a way to cope.

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

 

Secretary, Childcare, Private Housekeeper, Waitress/Hospitality, Online sales of vintage clothing. I’m a Hustler, ha ha..

 

Why art?

 

Rebellion.

 

What is an artistic outlook on life?

 

A sense of awareness. A sense of cynicism, as well as wonderment, questioning, and seeing possibility in everything.

 

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

 

Cool stuff, but how do you keep it from falling apart?”

I hate that, its creepy.”

I want all 4 in the series, I don’t care how much they cost.”

I shouldn’t like this, but i do….”

 

What do you dislike about your work?

 

My lack of education. Its limiting. And visually obvious.

 

What do you like about your work?

 

My persistence, in spite of my lack of education. The emotions i get to channel and utilize. I have gotten adept at using ‘accidents’ as visual/conceptual gateways. I think of myself more as a “channeler”, not exactly a “source” of Creativity. Also, paint smells are glorious.

 

What is your dream project?

 

Working with kids in a cellphone /wifi-free art camp. 2 years off from all daily responsibilities in order to paint. Global Guerrilla Art . Film Director. Having a large budget to execute my ridiculous concepts and still having money left over to disappear afterwards. Making a giant chain link fence around the White House, made from the discarded textiles from Mexican Sweat Shops.

With NO WAY IN or OUT.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

 

Only grow up as much as you have to.

Turn those criticisms into growth fuel. WORK . Ignore the Status Quo. Keep learning.

Stay hydrated.

 

Professionally, what’s your goal?

 

To work as often as i can, to get better, take risks and to stay weird. Commissions are nice, but hopefully I can help inspire a younger generation. My mentors were both a lot older than me, but I met them at a crucial time. They presented and encouraged Hope . Art has the power to save lives.

 

Kelly McGee

 

How do you work/your process?

 

When I feel moved to create I allow myself to be in the flow and see what comes. I might be feeling a landscape or more of a figure piece, or maybe I just had a dream that I need to paint, but whatever is inspiring me the most I go in that direction. I play music and need to be in a space with windows and good light. I’ll paint anywhere in my house or even outside. My latest Pandora station that has been inspiring me is Donovan radio. Every song seems to hit at the right time in the process. I get a piece of wood from my studio, tape off the borders and begin by doing a charcoal drawing. There are occasions when I will just being painting but I usually begin with a charcoal drawing. I then seal the drawing and the wood with shellac and begin painting. I use a big palette and spread out. I need a lot of space to work. Sometimes I’ll work on the floor other times I’ll use my easel. I usually finish a painting in one sitting.

 

What’s your background?

 

I was always an artist. I was always painting and drawing and still love to use crayons. I had a great art teacher in high school who really made me feel art was something I could do for a living. Art was and continues to be my life. I like to add beauty where there once was none. Even my home is a piece of art. I believe in making spaces magical. We live in these spaces every day we might as well adorn the temple with beauty!

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

 

Beauty, expression, self expression. We all have something unique to offer, to bring forth. To take something within, a thought, a feeling, and bring it forth and make it tangible so others can see is a beautiful thing.

 

What role does the artist have in society?

 

Universal thread.

 

What has been a seminal experience?

 

I have two. In high school, I was driving home from the scholastic art awards with my dad. I had just won a gold key for my art and felt good but my dad was proud. He was so moved by this experience that when we were driving home he actually pulled over, looked me in the eyes and told me that I needed to do what i love in this life. I will never forget the look in his eyes and I promised to do so. Another is the last time I saw my grandfather. He walked around my studio, smiled, and told me “only you can fill this space.” It wasn’t until years later I understood the bigger meaning. We all have a space to fill in this world.

 

Explain what you do in 100 words

 

I bring forth what is within.

 

What art do you most identify with?

 

I LOVE the Barnes Foundation in Philly. Matisse is one of my top favorites. I really love Frida Kahlo's whole vibe. She was her own woman. I admire that.

 

What themes do you pursue?

 

Self- discovery, dreams and what surrounds me.

 

What’s your favorite art work?

 

A portrait I painted of my dad because of the whole experience of him sitting for me.

 

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

 

My grandmother once joked about Tarot and I thought it was so funny I ended up doing a whole series on Tarot.

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

 

Worked at a retirement home, Waitress, Admin. Assistant. House Cleaner, Worked on a Farm. Currently I am also a Reiki Master.

 

Why art?

 

Its not something I want to do, its something I HAVE to do. Its a part of me and I absolutely love everything about it. I hope to paint for the rest of my life.

 

What is an artistic outlook on life?

 

Art is very meditative and I find that thoughts cease when I’m painting. Its good for the spirit! Its also something you can do forever. I like to wear things that make me happy and adorn my temple with beauty.

 

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

 

I had a group of paintings I did for Lent at my church and a woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and said the painting depicting Jesus draped over Mary moved her. She said she could feel the emotion. I’ll never forget that.

 

What do you dislike about the art world?

 

I’ve found that it can be easy to get taken advantage of and a lot of people want a ‘deal.'

 

What do you dislike about your work?

 

There are times when I wish I could do pattern like Matisse or paint facial features like Kahlo but I need to remind myself I paint the way I do for a reason. I need to embrace my ‘flaws.’ Sometimes my colors get too saturated as well. I am definitely my harshest critic.

 

What do you like about your work?

 

I like the freedom. I do what I want. I dont think about selling I just create because I feel called to. I like painting scenes of places i’ve been and painting my self portrait even when it doesn’t look exactly like me. Sometimes its really hard to see yourself and i feel my paintings can depict that.

 

What research do you do?

 

I use my personal experiences as my research.

 

What is your dream project?

 

I dont have kids yet, but i think it would be really amazing to collaborate on a piece with them.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

 

Do what you love and lead a good life,” my dad

 

Professionally, what’s your goal?

 

To earn an honest living doing what I love.

 

Candy Delaney

 

How do you work/your process?

 

I have a love of paint peeling, crumbling, abandoned spaces. I am the model & photographer in my work. My goal is to capture the composition and story of the image in camera. I consider myself a self-portrait conceptual photographer. After identifying a location, I start to conceptualize a story I want to tell. I begin collecting the wardrobe and props. I visualize several ideas to make happen on site. Once I am on location I begin shooting, capturing my pre-conceived work first. Then I let the property speak to me. I shoot other possible storylines that present themselves. I finish by taking shots that document the soon to be forgotten abandonment.

 

What’s your background?

 

I am a middle school teacher of science by profession for 20+ years. I began immersing my students into passion projects and decided I needed to model what following your passion looks like. After being accepted as a NASA Citizen Journalist for the Antares Rocket Launch, I purchased my first Nikon DSLR camera. I soon realized that I knew nothing other than shooting in auto and began teaching myself. YouTube, Camera Clubs, 365 projects, Joining Social Media Photo Groups became my classroom. Being a savvy technology pioneer, I documented my journey to share with my students and quickly built a following of people interested in my photo abandoned artistry. My journey merged my love of fashion and art with the beauty of decay. As a teenager, I did some modeling and never liked turning over full artistic vision to someone else. Photography has allowed me actualize creative energy that has sat waiting to be tapped all of my life. My passion led me to create an amazing body of work that I am very proud of. Since that time, I have won numerous awards, show at Metropolis Collective with amazing artists, exhibited in many juried shows, and opened solo gallery exhibits of my work. I have been hired for senior portraits, maternity and wedding shoots. I am currently involved with a film project as a behind the scenes photographer.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

 

The best piece of advice that I hold on to is to follow your passion. Do what you are passionate about. You will find yourself immersed in creating. You will lose track of time and will create amazing work. This will happen because you have done everything to make it your best because you cannot stop the artistry spilling from your soul. Not everyone will give you accolades. Some will like it. Some will not. In the end, if you love it and have given your best the ART is the journey and the legacy.

 

Tina Berrier

 

How do you work/your process?

 

I did nonrepresentational work for several years before settling on my current process, however all my paintings still start out abstractly. Often there isn’t an idea, just a theme. When there is a specific idea it has ruminated in my brain for several days or weeks. I may then loosely sketch it out.

 

What’s your background?

 

Passionate artist with a day job! I am a self-taught mixed media artist. Though I dislike that phrase. I have been creating since I can remember yet also not afraid to look to those with more time into their art to teach me. Though not formally trained, I take classes and workshops and I feel I am able to glean what speaks to me the most.

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

 

Persistence.

 

What role does the artist have in society?

 

I feel an artist has to first explore themselves. Once they do, their role in society is to show others they are not alone.

 

What has been a seminal experience?

 

Growing up in a small railroad town I always felt different. I thought about things others didn’t seem to think about. When my parents divorced I was 12. That is sort of the age of magical thinking combined with puberty. Then I really felt different! I decided to roll with it. I got involved with Theater and more with art. I see every pursuit I have as a creative exercise, be it cooking, gardening or making art.

 

Explain what you do in 100 words

 

I create art that comes from my inner story. My art is also an expression of color and form and what I feel is the underlying molecular resonance of everything.

 

What art do you most identify with?

 

Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism.

 

What themes do you pursue?

 

Life and death, of course. The beauty of decay and impermanence. The idea that western culture seems to fear the natural progression of all living things. Comparative religion and looking to form and pattern across cultures.

 

What’s your favorite art work?

 

Anything by Frida Kahlo. However when I saw ‘Symphony in White No. 1., The White Girl’ by James McNeil Whistler in person at the National Gallery I was awestruck. It’s not even considered one of the greats, but I felt some sort of connection to her.

 

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

 

I separated from my husband at the same time I helping to care for my father who had congestive heart failure. A lot of emotion went into the paintings I was creating at the time. It was when I really called myself an artist.

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

 

I have worked for an insurance company all of my adult life. I have been an underwriter and a programmer and a data analyst. I am paradoxically (some think) very good with numbers.

 

Why art?

 

I cannot live without it. My sanity depends on it.

 

What is an artistic outlook on life?

 

An artistic outlook is one that keeps seeing the meaning in everything. That believes creativity belongs to everyone. That art is necessary.

 

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

 

I had a woman buy a large piece from me for her new apartment. It was colorful and had birds. She was getting ready to move to another state to be with her husband, they had been living apart for a while due to jobs. About 2 years later she came back and bought a much darker, different piece. She then shared with me how it spoke to her that she and her husband were separating and she needed to have this piece of art. I had painted it during a very dark time in my life. She said she felt my emotion in the piece.

 

What do you dislike about the art world?

 

I believe the general public needs to be more educated about art. To understand its importance and to know that original art in their home is inspiring every day they walk by it. Of course everyone could use more education on the masters too!

 

What do you dislike about your work?

 

I dislike the results when I try to paint on smaller canvas. I try to stay within a size range that I feel could be more marketable in this area, however my skills and style work better on larger pieces.

 

What do you like about your work?

 

I like my use of color and pattern.

 

What research do you do?

 

I began my exploration of acrylics but researching the properties of the paint and I am continually trying new ways to use the mediums. When I am working on a series or thematic pieces I often research various myths and religions and cultures and also the patterns used in various cultures.

 

What is your dream project?

 

Any project I work on is my dream. I am so lucky to be able to gain a little recognition locally for what I do.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

 

Your art is your art. No one else can do you.

 

Professionally, what’s your goal?

 

I love to teach. I get wonderful feedback from students and I continue to learn and grow through them. In the mixed media world there are various art retreats. I would like to travel and teach at those one day.

 

Rebecca Adey

 

How do you work/your process?


I create both hand-crafted plush animals in addition to paper-cut portraits.  In many ways, the process is similar for my work; beginning with hand drawn templates to the precise attention to detail I take in cutting the paper or felt and fabric, to sewing and stuffing or pasting layer upon layer.  I use bold flat color and decorative line or cotton fabric to characterize much of my work as well as unique "sleepy" eyes that define my plush animals.  All of my work is inspired by my love for vintage aesthetics, pop culture of the 1950s and 60s, and the artistic toy movement; Kid Robot.

My plush, otherwise known as Modsew Designs begin with paper patterns that I design. Each animal I create stems from previous ones, in addition to using numerous photos of each animal as reference.  From
there, I cut the felt and fabric, sew the "body" parts together using a machine and then stuffing them by hand, in addition to adding the final stitched details.

For the paper-cut portraits, I work from a photo reference redrawing a basic sketch of the image by hand.  Upon completion of the rough sketch, I use tracing paper overtop of my original drawing to plan out where the layers of flat color will be placed to create my paper-cuts. It is a lengthy process, but the more detailed my template, the easier the paper-cutting process will be.  Once the drawing is complete, the paper-cutting and pasting process can begin.


Explain what you do in 100 words.


I create work that includes both two-dimensional portraits and hand-crafted and designed plush animals that take inspirations from the past, pop art and culture of 50s and 60s and the artistic toy
movement.  With this said, my work is an expression of all that I love with the goal of making a connection to my viewer, whether it be a child, an adult, a man or woman.  Just as pop art demanded the attention of the viewer, I strive to create work that demands this same type of attention through the use of bold, flat color, and decorate line, or through the expressive, "sleepy"-eyed, mouthless look that characterize my plush.

What themes do you pursue?


I want to bring back ideas of the past into my work whether it be the individual I may create a portrait of, the color scheme(s) I choose to use, or the "look" that many remember seeing in vintage toys.  I create art that usually has a bit of a "wow" factor to it visually without needing to express a deeper meaning.  I do not address specific themes but prefer to re-create a reflection of the past that has a "Mod"ern twist to it.  All that I bring to my work are things that I love, therefore my work is also an expression of who I wish to portray to the world.


Why art?


Art has become a part of my life since I was a child.  My family fully supported anything I wished to pursue.  I had full access to all the art materials I needed since my mother was a nursery school teacher
and extremely creative herself.  In addition, my mother used to sew all our clothing, as did my grandmother.  There was never a lack of sewing materials, scraps of fabric or access to my mothers sewing machine or the interest my mother had in "teaching" me to sew.  My nana (who passed away when I was only 6) was incredibly influential, as well.  Her basement was full of ceramics, paints, and also a full supply of sewing materials.  She gave me many "how to draw" books as a child that I still remember to this day.  My older brother was always drawing and incredibly talented, therefore this only fueled my need and desire to create even more.  It has just been something I have always done.  It defined me early on and continued to do so throughout my life. Even when I stepped away from the "creation" of art during college, I was still studying it and then it resurfaced during my adult years allowing me to embrace the work that I produce today.  Art is just me.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?


I probably have more memorable responses to my plush rather than my two-dimensional portraits, mostly for the universal impact they have. Children through to adults as well as men and women alike enjoy my
plush.  I have seen so many smiles, children jumping up and down, as well as an individual women explaining that she had a collection of ModSews already in progress! These comments keep me going and inspire me to continue to create.


Professionally, what is your goal?


I want to continue to create when I am inspired to do so and not when I may be told to do so.  I learned long ago that for me to be the best artist I can be, it must be on my own time and the type of work I want to do.  Working in the admissions department at PCA&D allows me to be with like-minded artistic individuals who also pursue their personal artistic passions on the side.  I am where I want to be with my art.

 

Angela Rubinic

 

How do you work/your process?

I normally start with one deteremined component (a color scheme, a series of marks) but the rest builds during the reactionary process to the piece.

 

What’s your background?

Art Teacher: Cumberland Valley High School

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

The ability to put your work out there. Some may like it, some may not, some might even not “get it.”

 

What role does the artist have in society?

They guide, influence and even persuade how others think through the use of visual information

 

Explain what you do in 100 words

REACT

 

What art do you most identify with?

Abstract expressionism

 

What themes do you pursue?

Numbers that represent concepts (I created a piece based on the number 13…my lucky number)

Use of circles or round elements

 

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

My current yogic studies create lots of inspiration, along with things I see while hiking

 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

Art teacher, floral design, sold shoes

 

Why art?

Because math is too confusing!

 

What is an artistic outlook on life?

Being aware, absorbing visual information. Being present in life.

 

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Some once said that my work had religious undertones…defininetly not the case!

 

What do you dislike about the art world?

Gossip amongst artists.

 

What do you dislike about your work?

I don’t like when pieces look too similar to one another…I want each to have their own personality.

 

What do you like about your work?

Use of texture, I like when a painting tells me that it “is finished.”

 

What research do you do?

Color schemes inspired from pictures, magazines collages, or even fashion.

 

What is your dream project?

To create a painting as large as a specified wall.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Don’t get inside your head.

 

Professionally, what’s your goal?

To continue to grow and develop.

 

Reina 76 Artist

 

How do you work/your process?

 

 

My name is Reina 76 Artist. I am an Abstract Artist who works with Acrylic on canvas.I allow a canvas to “rest” for approximately 2 weeks until I begin creating the artwork

 

 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

 

 

It is important to never allow societal pressures control your artistic vision.

 

 

What role does the artist have in society?

 

 

The ability to be bold, outrageous and outspoken is something an artist was born to do! An Artist connects emotions with day to day situations. Our empathic nature allows many to believe in a more creative approach.  

 

 

What art do you most identify with?

 

 

I identify most with conceptual and contemporary art.

 

 

What themes do you pursue?

 

 

I pursue topics that challenge the structure of politics, religion and globalization.

 

 

What’s your favorite art work?

 

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Crown, 1983

Neo-Expressionism

 

 

 

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

 

When I am approached by a person who describes my work with passion and conviction. It still amazes me every time. A potential buyer admitted to being under the influence of an hallucinate. I directed him to an art piece I created called #SHEPERSISTED. The expression on his face was amazing. I thought to myself, “Yes, someone really sees the message beyond the paint.”   

 

 

What do you like about your work?

 

 

My art is truly for the very interesting and creative types. I am eclectic and eccentric and so are my collectors! I am never uninspired or bored!

 

 

What research do you do?

 

 

I attend art workshops in New York, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that focus on how to communicate and incorporate my vision on canvas.

 

 

What is your dream project?

 

 

To create an art piece for MoMA (The Modern Museum of Modern Art) that focuses on the challenges of Mental Illness in the Art community.

 

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

 

 

Joe Duncan, Creator of “@Before5am” stating to “Get comfortable being Uncomfortable”! This Journey requires pure Heart and Grit.  

 


 

 

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