Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kandy Lozano: Malibu, California

Lynette Haggard Weekly Artist Interview

Lozano in her gallery

Lynette Haggard (LH): Kandy, can you share with my readers a little about yourself?

Kandy Lozano:  I live in Malibu, California with my family. Both my home and studio overlook the Pacific Ocean, which is daily inspiration.  I start off the morning with exercise, either at bootcamp or hiking after I get my 11 year old son off to school. Then I’m usually in the studio. 

I’ve lived in many large cities and gained valuable experience from that. Two and ½ years ago we moved from Portland, Oregon to Malibu. I loved Portland but recognized opportunities for growth and new reflection in my art in California. My family and I love to ride bikes along the boardwalk, spend time at the beach and just enjoy all the great things LA has to offer. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is important to me.

Sunrise view from deck, Malibu

LH: Where did you grow up and what (if any) were the early influences on your work?  

Kandy: I grew up in the Midwest—in a family with 6 kids and lots of animals. We lived on a ranch with horses so riding was a big part of my childhood. 

My parents were very supportive and encouraged my passion to draw and create. My father is an inventor and my motheran incredible seamstress so visualizing something then creating it was in my blood. 

60 x 60"

My dad was a talented artist and could draw really well. I followed in his footsteps. At an early age, I became good at painting realistic portraits. One of my early memories was painting a portrait of my late grandfather, who died when I was very young. My dad stood behind me, while I painted giving me detail of his skin tone and piercing blue eyes until we had it exact. It was my dad’s vivid description along with my quest to get it right, that resulted in a piece of art that moved people. I knew that art was my life. 

As far as an early influence— I would credit my father for spending so much time with me drawing as early as I can remember. We would sit at the kitchen table and often find ourselves drawing horses over and over again.

48 12"x12" pieces, 2010

LH:  Can you describe when you became interested in making art, your career development and education as an artist?
Kandy: I’ve always been an artist passionate about visual expression but my first creative venture was in the fashion world.  I worked with a top international women’s apparel company in Chicago and became 1 of 9 in-house designers.  During this time— I also attended the Chicago Art Institute where my focus was on the Fashion Design industry. 

In the early 90’s, I began my own line of children’s apparel and soon after, opened a boutique in Southern California. I loved the relationship of directly working with the customer. It was years later, after my son was 2 that I started painting again. 

Lozano working on the Point Dume series

In 2001, I got my first studio in an industrial area of Portland, Oregon where I began working with encaustic. True to my character—I obsessed about learning everything I could about the medium. After taking all that was offered at the two art colleges in Portland, I spent years researching and traveling to all technique specific training venues and private study I could find from New York to San Francisco, Seattle to Santa Fe along with being self taught and trial and error. Ten thousand hours later, I have evolved with encaustic. 

Fast forward to present day—I opened a gallery in West Hollywood with a partner where we exhibit our own workMartin & Lozano Gallery. It is located at Robertson and Beverly in the heart of the Design district.

LH: Can you describe your work in general and your media?
Kandy: I’m a contemporary painter working in encaustic. My work has an influence of architecture with an emphasis on space, depth and light. My fascination with surface has lead me to working with wax as my medium- where I build up smooth, thin, multiple layers to create the depth and translucency I want to achieve, at times building up in excess of 30 layers. I use the torch to move my wax around and I also use a scraper with heat applied to smooth the surface - I find it gives me such individual unique markings. 

I typically work large scale, which is challenging in encaustic since the process is very labor intensive but I find it most rewarding. 
It’s important that my work remains fresh so I’m always experimenting with new materials in the studio and constantly evolving.

Lisa, my gallery director recently described my work this way: 
“While Kandy subscribes to a “less is more” approach to her work, the multiple layers of wax in the surface of her work has surprising optical depth and spontaneity, allowing the viewer to see something different each time.  Subtle notes of her work pay homage to inspirations such as Mark Rothko and Richard Prince, however, her body of work has a strong Kandy Lozano signature that profoundly sings West Coast.”

Point Dume #1

72"x42", 2010

LH:  What is your workspace like? 
Kandy: I am fortunate to have a large open air studio – one side has views of the Pacific Ocean and on the other side are large doors that open to outside.  I’m able to roll my tables from inside to out—using the California sunshine as part of my fusing process. 

Solar panels power Lozano's studio

Working in encaustic requires a lot of electricity. My studio is powered with solar. My husband, who is involved with green building practices, has a company that supplies movie sets with mobile solar trailers and we were able to bring one to power my studio.

The first time I was asked to be a presenter at the Annual Encaustic conference—I had a video made of my workspace and process so I have included that.

LH: Describe how you work in your studio. How do you get “in the groove” and what inspires you?
Kandy: Sometimes I just have to clear my head first so getting outside to hike and going to a favorite lookout spot is a great source for inspiration. Also going to museums or seeing great architecture. I love this bookstore in Santa Monica that’s specifically books on architecture, art and design.

60"x60",  2010

LH: Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?
Kandy: Yes—I have definitely been stuck. I typically find that stepping away and taking some time to recharge is my best remedy. 

Fortunately or unfortunately—I work best under pressure. Some of my best work has been produced working against these crazy deadlines.

60"x60",  2010

LH: What are you reading right now?
Kandy: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

LH: Do you have other jobs other than making art right now?
Kandy: No, I paint full time and have the gallery in West Hollywood so that keeps me very busy—plus being a mom.

Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?

Kandy: I would like to see myself in museum shows, opening another gallery, or 2 or 3.... and just keep on painting and loving it- as I do now.

LH: Do you have any upcoming shows that you’d like to mention?
Kandy: Yes!  Aqua Miami -Dec 1-5th 
Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ at the Aqua Hotel, room 106 during Art Basel in Miami. 

Martin & Lozano Gallery- West Hollywood  “Winter Mixer” Dec. 16th, 2010



Nancy Natale said...

Wow, what a great peak into Kandy's work and life! I watched Kandy's video at the encaustic conference a couple of years ago and was just blown away by the wonderful images of her working the wax. Thanks, Lynette and Kandy, for letting us know more about Kandy's inspiration and beginning work as an artist. Kandy, the gallery looks fabulous, and I love the contrast between the two painting details by you and Christopher Martin on on your Winter Mixer card. Best wishes for continued success! See you in Provincetown in June - on the other coast.

Debra Corbett said...

Kandy, I love the meditative quality of your work and am most impressed by the scale. Lynnette, thanks so much for introducing us to all these creative people who we may not have a chance to know about...

CMC said...

Love it... thanks for the interview with Kandy.

LynetteH said...

Thanks for reading, Kandy's studio and landscape are enviable!