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


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lorraine Glessner: Philadelphia


Lorraine Glessner in her studio

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

Lorraine: I grew up in the seventies where there was pattern and tactility everywhere from shag carpet to shag toilet seats to flocked wallpaper to my mothers dress. My great grandmother was a professional seamstress-she sewed evening and bridal gowns for the rich and famous. My mother was also a seamstress who sewed all of our clothes, all the curtains in the house, the upholstery, etc. I learned to sew at age 4 and got my first sewing machine at 5 and used it to sew doll clothes. We were always making some kind of craft or baking something awesome. 

Desert 2

LH: Where do you live now?
Lorraine: In a suburb just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sixth St. Fake Daisies

LH: Did you receive any formal art training? 
Lorraine: I have a BS in textile design from Philadelphia University, an associate’s degree in computer graphics from Moore College of Art & Design and an MFA in fibers from Temple University, Tyler School of Art.

LH: At what point in your life did you become interested in making art?
Lorraine: I was 15 when I decided that I wanted to become a professional artist. 

LH: Can you describe a bit about your work in general.
Lorraine: My core ideas involve linking the earth and the body through strong visual patterns and similarities. I focus on natural cycles and the notion of imprinting, staining and marking as it relates to birth through to death and decomposition and the effect of this cycle on both the body and the earth’s surfaces.

Painted Lady 2

LH: What is your media?
Lorraine:I combine layers of encaustic medium and paint with fabric and found paper that has been subjected to branding and staining. Recorded marks, in the form of rubbings, drawings, and images taken from surfaces of the city are merged together with the stained materials along with my responses to them in paint.

Glessner's studio

LH: What is your current work about?
Lorraine: The pieces in ‘Down Sixth Street’ series focus on the row homes within the grid of the city, specifically, the concept of home and how the definition of it is relative. I'm struck by the way in which the best people will prevail in even the\ worst circumstances, like the woman who lives next to a boarded up crack house, yet paints her house pink and plants fake flowers! Through often bleak conditions, the desire to illuminate one’s surroundings through the use of decoration, ornament and color is evident in even the most wanting of neighborhoods. 

The ‘Rows’ series focuses specifically on the marks of walls of the urban environment. Walls, and what we choose to display on them, whether interior or exterior, have always played a critical role in shaping the identities of the inhabitants of which they embrace. Most cities don’t eliminate, they only get bigger as they build upon and incorporate existing infrastructure. When a row home has been demolished, one can still see the outlines of staircases and rooms along the existing walls between which it once stood. Traces of the lives lived there are reflected in the wallpaper, paint, mirrors and marks of life still left on those walls. Death is just as clearly evidenced through other marked walls by way of sidewalk memorials and written messages to those who have died there. Decorative patterns, marks and messages traced from these walls are combined with found papers and materials through the use of layers of encaustic paint. Through a continuous process of accrual and removal, concealment and exposure, life, death, hope and the determination for renewal is revealed.

Rows Bank

LH: How do you develop a sense of community with other artists, and how do you support your art colleagues? 
Lorraine: I blog about other artist’s work. looking at, thinking about and writing about others’ work has helped me in my teaching and my own art practice as well as enabled me to keep up on what’s out there and to ‘meet’ a lot of awesome people. 
I also make it a point to acquire one piece of original art every year-either by purchase or trade.

Rows School 2

LH:  Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?
Lorraine: Yes, I get stuck A LOT and do a number of things to get out of it. I force myself to draw and I time myself to finish the drawing. Sometimes I’ll do 5-1 minute drawings or blind contour drawings-something to get my arm moving to warm up to paint. my favorite thing to do is look at images and books, I love google earth and i must admit I’m addicted to it, it’s the best remedy for me for getting unstuck. 

LH: Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice?
Lorraine: Some form of exercise, reading and writing everyday.

Sixth Window

LH:  What are you reading right now?
Lorraine: Well, these are the books currently in the stack by my bed. I read a chapter here and there and then I rotate. Ornament: a Modern Perspective by James Trilling, Maps: Finding Our Place in the World by James Akerman, Vision and Art: the Biology of Seeing by Margaret Livingstone, Symmetry Comes of Age by Dorothy Washburn, The Artists Guide to Public Art by Lynn Basa, the current issue of Art in America.

LH: Do you have other jobs other than making art?
Lorraine: I’m an assistant professor teaching in the fiber department at Temple University, Tyler School of Art. I also teach private workshops once a month, lecture and teach workshops elsewhere as well. In addition, I’m in the process of opening an Etsy store where I will sell mini encaustic paintings, my special recipe encaustic medium and other hand made items. I write for two blogs and I’ve also just started writing a book which combines markmaking processes and techniques with encaustic and fiber. 

LH: Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?
Lorraine: I have a list of goals that involve all aspects of my life, but because art is inextricably enmeshed with my life, a lot of what’s on my list involves art. These are life goals, I can’t put time limits on these things-too much pressure! Some things I would like to do: write a successful book, complete 5 residencies (at least 2 abroad), win a substantial grant, hike as close as I can to an active volcano, visit and spend at least a month in Australia, Hawaii, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Africa (not necessarily in that order), teach creative workshops abroad, win a public art commission, contribute to my community more by volunteering either in an art related or non-art related way, be represented by a gallery or have a substantial show in my hometown of Philadelphia, Pa., be represented by a gallery or have a substantial show in NYC and/or LA, operate a successful small business.

LH: Do you have any upcoming shows that you'd like to mention?
Lorraine: I frequently update show and workshop information on the right sidebar on my blog and on the ‘events’ page on my web site.

My blog: lorraineglessner.blogspot.com, my web site: www.lorraineglessner.net

Thank you Lorraine!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rodney Thompson: Redding California

 Lynette Haggard's Weekly Artist Interview

Thompson in his studio

Lynette Haggard (LH): Can you share with my readers a little about yourself?
Rodney: I retired from a career as a medical doctor about 1 ½ years ago.  Early on, in medical school, I realized I didn’t want to live the typical fast paced life of a physician, and that I needed time for creativity. At one point I considered quitting medicine and studying fine woodworking, but then discovered urgent care where I could work day shifts as a physician, and have time at home to pursue creativity. Over time, I managed to work fewer days per week at the clinic and spent more time as an artist.

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

Rodney: As I was growing up my family moved a lot, averaging about 4 years in one place. We mostly lived all over California. I adapted well to the change and I believe it instilled in me openness to possibility and options in life. I also always did well in school and I developed a confidence in myself and a willingness to challenge myself with new opportunities. I believe this has influenced my interest in unusual materials in my art as well as themes that express openness and a sense of vast space which represents choice and possibility to me.

Basin and Range #40
encaustic, paper, oil, 6”x6”

LH: Where do you live now?
Rodney: I live in Redding, in rural northern California. I have a home with my wife, Kathy, and two salukis (dogs) on 3 acres in an oak and pine woods.  Early on I converted a 2 car garage into a woodworking shop and in 1994 I built a large art studio. Redding is a medium sized city and is 3 hours from Sacramento and 4 hours from the Bay area. It is very peaceful and quiet and Kathy and I have cultivated a home retreat conducive to a simple and contemplative life.

Bamboo garden gate


Studio assistants: Koa and Maka

LH: Did you receive any formal art training?
Rodney: As I was growing up I was encouraged in science and math and expected to pursue music. I was involved in a lot of music, but the closest I got to art was drafting classes. I recall walking past art classrooms, smelling the turpentine and seeing paint drips on the floor and wishing I could take art classes. I was always making things, however, and had an undeniable need to create.
It wasn’t until I moved to Redding in 1981 that I allowed myself to pursue “fine art”. I have been mostly self taught, but have taken some formal classes at Shasta College in Redding and I did a printmaking workshop at Crown Point Press in San Francisco and an R&F Paints workshop to learn encaustic.

Meditation Bowl #26
encaustic, charcoal, pastel, 36”x36”

LH: At what point in your life did you become interested in making art and was there a certain point when you decided you were primarily an artist?
Rodney: In retrospect, I have made art all my life, but perhaps the more important question is when I truly considered myself an artist. Some classes at the community college opened my mind to the vast possibilities that my creativity could pursue and I knew that making art would be something that I had to do. Deciding to build my studio was the defining act when I allowed myself to acknowledge that I was an artist and I deserved the investment of a sanctuary where I could develop my passion.

Meditation Bowl #12
4 color etching, 26”x21”

LH: Can you describe bit about your work, in general?

Rodney: I am fascinated by objects and materials that call to me. These are things of daily living that are overlooked, disregarded and discarded in which I find inherent beauty. In taking things out of their usual context and reconfiguring them in new ways I present examples of the simple beauty that is present all around us.

T&C #13
encaustic, teabag paper, coffee filters, 37”x29”

Rodney: The Japanese concepts of Wabi-Sabi are very dear to me and my art. Though hard to fully define, and at the risk of over simplifying, Wabi relates to things that are fresh, new, and simple. Sabi has to do with the beauty evoked by age, the result of natural processes over time. Thematically my work often suggests infinite spaces and unrestricted possibility. My work tends to the minimal in form and often evokes a sense of quiet simplicity and calm.

Small Earth
encaustic, earth, 6”x6”

LH: What is your media?

Rodney: Currently I am enamored with encaustic for my ability to imbed objects and marks on multiple layer of translucent wax. It allows me to utilize the materials that interest me and the layering creates a sense of depth and space unparalleled by other mediums. Some of the materials I have used are teabag paper, coffee filters, coffee grounds, electronic parts, chop sticks, hake brushes, rust and earth. 

Breastplate #4
encaustic, capacitors, chopsticks,
teabag paper, coffee filter, 18”x18”


LH: What is your current work about?
Rodney:I recently started a series of work using raw colored earth that I collect. I am finding ways to embed the filtered earth in layers of encaustic wax, creating a feeling of suspension and motion, as well as exploring concepts of transition and dissolution. I have been delighted with the brilliant colors available from raw earth and love the simplicity of materials; bees wax, tree sap (damar resin) and dirt. 

New Earth #5
encaustic, earth, 36”x28”

LH: What is your workspace like?
Rodney: My studio is a free standing building with one large room, about 1200 sq. ft. It is very modular with large tables that are movable on casters and plenty of storage and wall space. The size has allowed me the opportunity to share the space with other artists as well as being large enough for teaching classes.  The space allows me to really spread out with a big project or have several different things going on in different areas. We do our panel glue ups on a granite table and have another table covered with cutting mats for making shipping boxes. There is a sitting area with a desk and a computer, and a couch for naps or lounging dogs.

studio interior

LH: Are you involved with any arts groups or communities? If yes, what do you gain from that affiliation and what do you contribute to it?
Rodney: I am a member of the International Encaustic artists (IEA) and the Encaustic Art Institute (EAI). These groups provide me with the opportunity to interact and connect with a large group of wonderful artists. The chance to spend time with other artists and share creative excitement and ideas is invaluable.

Thompson's studio

LH: How do you develop a sense of community with other artists, and how do you support your art colleagues?

Rodney: Locally I have some artist friends that come to my studio for what we call “Art Day”. These are days devoted to working on our art in the company of fellow artists. We share ideas and discuss the trials and tribulations of being artists and making art. Emotionally it is food for the soul and the contact with others having similar experiences with art and life is often therapeutic. We also have incredible pot luck lunches!

" Art Day" in Rodney's studio!

LH: Describe how you work in your studio. How do you get "in a groove" and what inspires you? Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?

Rodney: It varies. When my art is going well or when I am starting some new work I am very excited to get to the studio to work. At other times when my art is not cooperating with my vision for it I tend to procrastinate and avoid the studio. I have come to accept that in the process of developing new ideas and materials it just takes spending the time with the work. In exploring unknown territory I often get lost, but it is discovering the new way home that precipitates insight and creative revelation and is the source of my excitement and passion. I have always been a good learner but making art does not fit the learning methods that I was trained in. Other disciplines simply require memorizing ideas and concepts and then applying them. Making art challenges me to face the unknown and forge ahead, experiencing a wide range of emotions from utter despair to ecstatic elation. Nothing else I have ever done has offered that range of emotional experience that making art does.

New Earth #7
encaustic, earth, 12”x12”

LH: Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice?

Rodney: I have a meditative practice that helps me be in the present moment when I am doing my art. I often engage in rather tedious and repetitive processes and treating these as meditations, both mentally and physically, through an awareness of my breathing and slow, balanced tai-chi like movements, I can maintain the patience to accomplish wonderful results.

LH: Do you have other jobs other than making art?
Rodney: Kathy and I have a business making custom art panels. We make cradled and other specialty panels for artists all over the country. It gives us both pleasure to make these simple objects as beautiful and precise as possible, offering artists the joy of working on well crafted and aesthetically pleasing supports. Rather than being a large anonymous company we love getting to know the artists and their art, and we work intimately with the customer to help them achieve their vision. It is very gratifying to know that someone’s art will live on the panels we create.

Rodney routing cradled panels

LH: Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?
Rodney: I expect that my art will continue to mature and develop in new ways, solidifying while expanding my vision. While I am in many shows each year I do not have gallery representation and I would welcome that opportunity.

To see more of Rodney's work visit:  www.rodneythompson.com
His custom art panel site:http://www.rodneythompson.com/panels/panel_info.html

Thank you, Rodney!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jeanne Williamson: Natick, Massachusetts

Lynette Haggard Weekly Artist Interview

Jeanne Williamson at work

Lynette Haggard (LH): Can you share with my readers a little about yourself?
Jeanne: Making things has always been an important part of my life. I learned to sew at the age of twelve, and started making and/or adapting my clothes and home goods since then.

In addition to sewing, I like decorating. Besides painting the walls of my house various bright and cheerful colors, I have also filled my home with art, so it’s a colorful and comfortable place to live. And, I also collect things. My collections include eyewash cups, PEZ dispensers, variations of the letter J, and bottle openers, which are all on display in my home. If I had more room in my small house, I’d collect even more things.

Walls from Fences

LH: Where did you grow up and what (if any) were there any early influences on your work?
Jeanne: I lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until I was ten, and then my family moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts, where I lived until I went to college back in Philadelphia.

LH: Where do you live now?
Jeanne: I live in Natick, Massachusetts, which is 18 miles west of Boston.

LH: Did you receive any formal art training? If yes where and what did you major in?
Jeanne: I have a BFA in Fibers from Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts), and also a MSAEd in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art.

LH: At what point in your life did you become interested in making art?
Jeanne: I remember liking to make things when I was as young as five years old. 

LH: Was there a certain point when you decided you were primarily an artist?
Jeanne: Since I was in grade school, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else than being an artist.

LH: Can you describe bit about your work in general?
Jeanne: I am very interested in working with monoprints of orange construction fences, and how they relate to nature, architecture, and to other construction fence patterns. 

Weathered Fences 1

LH: What is your media?
Jeanne: I describe my work as mixed media, because my artwork is a combination of printmaking, painting, collage, and sometimes stitching. 

LH: What is your current work about?  
Jeanne: At the present time, I am working on boards, or with fabric that has been stitched and stiffened, so it appears more like paper or plastic.

LH: What is your workspace like? 
Jeanne: After working in my in-home studio for 25 years, I recently moved in to a studio in the center of the town I live in. The studio is very small, 177 square feet, but it's a good transition space. It has both good natural and artificial light (especially compared to my in-home studio), and it's two miles from my house, so I can drive or walk.

In my in-home studio, I had less than 4’ of useable wall space to hang in-progress work on so I could see it. In my new studio, I have 8’, which has been wonderful when working on larger work or on a series. I also have a lot of wall space to hang finished work. At home, I had to box and put away work because there was no place to display it.

LH: Describe how you work in your studio. How do you get "in a groove" and what inspires you? 
Jeanne: I admit that I don’t read a lot of books, and that I tend to read magazines and newspapers. Over the summer I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I’m trying to decide if I want to start reading Room by Emma Donohue, or Chuck Close | Life by Christopher Finch next. Both are of great interest. I also want to read Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Many friends have recommended it.

Williamson's studio

LH: Do you have other jobs other than making art?
Jeanne: Yes, I do freelance web design.

LH: If so, please give us some details.
Jeanne: I create websites for artists, authors, and small businesses. I really enjoy it because, just like making my own artwork, there’s a lot of creativity in it, and I enjoy problem solving and working with other people, to make sure they have an affordable website they are proud of.

Over the years, I have always had jobs that were art related in one way or another. I’ve worked as an art teacher for children and adults with different physical and emotional disabilities, doing type design, computer graphics, and I’ve also written a book about using recycled materials and unusual materials when creating quilted journals.

Slivers of Fences

LH: Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?
Jeanne: My goals are to keep pushing my work to a higher level, to exhibit my work in more one and two-person shows (hopefully including in at least one museum), and to build some relationships with some art consultants and galleries.
And while I’m not in any rush to do this, I would like a larger studio space some day.

LH: Do you have any upcoming shows that you'd like to mention?
Jeanne: I will have a piece in Icons + Altars 
at the
New Art Center in Newtonville, MA, from November 12 - December 12, 2010.

I will also be in a two-person show called Stretch at Tennessee State University in early 2011.

You can learn more about Jeanne on her website is http://www.jeannewilliamson.com, or her blog is http://jeannewilliamson.blogspot.com

Thank you Jeanne!