Friday, September 16, 2011

Winston Lee Mascarenhas: Dallas

at his  SVA summer residency, 2011

Please share a little about yourself.
Where did you grow up and what were the early influences on your work?

My name is Winston Lee Mascarenhas.  I'm 58 years old.  I mainly grew up in Austin, Texas, then went away to private school for high school and then returned to Austin Texas to attend the University of Texas for my BA in Biology/Chemistry.  I then went to Medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.  After that I did a surgical internship at Ochsner Medical Foundation in New Orleans, LA.  After my internship I practiced Emergency Medicine for 6 months in the Dallas, Texas area prior to starting my specialty residency training in Anesthesiology at Parkland Hospital/Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

 Ascension  20.2
Encaustic/mixed media on canvas on panel
24 in x 48 in,  2010

While in my senior year of high school one of the favorite teachers was the art teacher so I signed up in my senior year for her class as one of my electives.  A month into the school year my advisor encouraged me to quit to take calculus since I was planning on taking pre-med in college.  At the end of the year the teacher had an art show of all the work done and one of my construction pieces that I did in that first month was given the first prize for that category.  I always remembered that. 

Also one of my Uncles that influenced me the most was an avid art collector.  He and my aunt lived in Rio de Janeiro and as I was growing up I always admired their collection of mainly Latin American art.  The walls of their apartment were filled with paintings and a collection of rare sterling silver items.  Even though he had many "Investment" works he always advised me to buy art that I loved and that spoke to me.  These were my early major influences on how I viewed and appreciated art.

Flux 43
Encaustic/collage on panel
10 in x 10 in,  2011

Did you receive any formal art training?  If yes where and what did you major in?
I did not pursue a BFA.  My education was as described above. However, during my adult career as a physician, I started collecting art and was always interested in art openings and going to museums.  I went to museums whereever I traveled.

Flux 44
Encaustic/collage/india ink on panel
10 in x 10 in,  2011

I did have a rather extensive musical education growing up.  I studied piano from the age of 6 till 18 years of age and quit formal education when I started the University.  It is an art form that I've enjoyed to this day.  I listen to music always when working in my studio.  

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?
I became interested in making art in 1993 at the age of 40 during the middle of my medical career.  I started going to the Dallas Art Academy every Monday night for instruction.  I continued there for a couple of years.  I then studied privately with an accomplished artist newly immigrated from Russia,  Sophia Khunteyev.  After several years with her, I then started taking one to two week long work shops every year on some of my vacation time for my continued education.  All along sharing studio spaces with other artists until I had my own studio space in my home in the year of 2000.  From 2000 on my continuing education was every summer at Anderson Art Ranch.  Around 7 years ago (around 2004) I started thinking of myself as also an artist in addition to being a doctor.  Around that time I started thinking of a time when I would retire from medicine and become a full time artist.  It was a slow and gradual process that just recently came to fruition in April of this year.  I thoroughly enjoyed my medical practice and am proud of my contribution for 32 years.  But I'm equally as proud and excited about now being able to give my full attention to my other passion of art and the practice of my art.

A bit more of my art education.  In 2008 I moved to a studio in a building reconverted as studios designed for artists.  I then came under the influence of many accomplished artists. Around November of 2009 I had a studio visit by one of the top contemporary galleries in Dallas,  Craighead Green gallery.  Within a month they took me on as a regular artist on their roster.  My first group show was in April of 2010.  My first solo show was in January of 2011, and my second group show was in April of 2011.  I have been accepted and participated in 3 art residencies:  January of 2010 at Anderson Art Ranch,  February 2011 at Vermont Studio Center, and July 2011 at School of Visual Arts in NY.   I've been selected in several juried shows,  recently this year in the 2011 Texas National Juried Exhibition.

  Ascension 18
Encaustic/collage on panel,  10 in x 10 in,  2010
What is your media?
Primarily, encaustic over the last 4 years.  I first was introduced to encaustic at a workshop by R&F in Santa Fe, NM around 2005, but did not pursue it and develop a studio practice until after my workshop and introduction to Paula Roland in 2007.  I was so influenced by her and her assistant Ruth Gooch that I have primarily worked and developed my artistic voice in encaustic ever since.  It is just recently since my residency at SVA, and my full-time commitment, that I plan on pursuing works in encaustic and also in other media. I should never say never, but it would be hard to ever leave encaustic.  I truly love working in this medium.
What is your current work about? 
In my work I portray two dramatically different visual landscapes.  They are depicted as separate universes though often times clearly linked.  One visual landscape will comprise ambiguous abstract organic plumes of color, shape, and space.  While the other visual landscape expresses my fascination for systematically repeating geometric forms.  They seem different and stand separate but many times they will collide wildly.  My intention always is to create a sense of movement and vibrant energy changes.

 What is your workspace like?
I have a wonderful studio about 22 ft x 22 ft square.  I have an installed exhaust system, indirect and direct lighting, and good storage and working areas.  I also have a separate area within the studio for computer and desk work.  

A studio view

Another studio view

Mascarenhas in his studio

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?
I've recently become acquainted with the Dallas Encaustic Center in Richardson and hopefully will be able to interact with that organization.  I'm also a member of Texas Wax.  I belong to all the museums in Dallas and Fort Worth and attend events regularly.

Flux 49
Encaustic/india ink on panel
20 in x 20 in,  2011

How do you develop a sense of community with other artists, and how do you support your art colleagues?
My close bonds are with the artists in the Art Coop that I have my studio in.  We all are supportive of each other's endeavors and attend each other's openings and events.  I'm just now starting to expand my network of art friends.

Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?
Yes.  Many times when a work is not coming along to my visual expectation I set it aside. But somewhere where I can always see it.
Eventually an answer comes and I go back to work on that piece.  When I feel a bit stagnant I still go to the studio.  Whether I actually get paint to canvas or not I'm in the studio visualizing and conceptualizing.  I'm a firm believer in putting in the hours.  Answers will come.   

Do you have particular habits that you think support your art practice?
Discipline.  Going to the studio almost every day I'm in town.  Frequent visits to museums and galleries for inspiration and stimulation.

Do you have other jobs other than making art?
Not at present.  But as previously stated I just recently retired from a long and satisfying career as a physician specializing in Anesthesiology.

Flux 50
Encaustic/collage on panel
10 in x 10 in,  2011

Where would you like to be in 5 years as far as your art making?
I, of course, would like to continue growing and expanding my practice and gaining recognition.  I would like possible representation in other galleries out of Texas.  I will continue to pursue group shows, juried exhibits, and continuing education.  The end results in 3, 4, 5 years will play out as it is supposed to.  The part that means the most to me is the journey.  I love being an artist and having the wonderful blessing of being able to creatively express myself.

Do you have any upcoming shows that you'd like to mention?
I have my next solo show at CraigheadGreen Gallery in Dallas in October 2012.  I will also be in their group show in April of 2012.
You can see more of Winston Lee's work on his website.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

David Kidd: Flowery Branch, Georgia

Artist David Kidd

Please share a little about yourself.

DK: I was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up, my father worked for Texaco and he was transferred often. We moved around, mainly in the southeast, from the time that I was seven. We moved back to the Atlanta area when I was nineteen. It was quite the gypsy lifestyle. Sometimes boxes were never even unpacked. We just left them in a state of readiness for the next move. That was quite a few years ago. I am now married to a wonderful woman that understands and encourages my artistic endeavors. We live just outside of Atlanta. My wife and I still have family here, and consider this area home.

Botanical Image #10
 Acrylic on Panel
 24 x 48

Did you receive any formal art training? If yes, where and what did you major in?

I attended Memphis College of Art in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a great experience. I was exposed to new ideas and work that I would not totally appreciate until years later. However, before completing the program, my dad was transferred yet again. Over the years, I continued to take college courses, but never earned a degree. Most of what I have learned has been by self exploration, along with trial and error. For me, I think that this path has been a good thing. 

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? 

As a child, I was always drawing and making things.  Looking back, I can recognize two events that were pivotal in my development as a serious painter. The first was our move to Charlotte, NC. The move was midway through my junior year of high school and it was more difficult than the other relocations. At that point, I became more introverted and spent considerably more time creating. Painting was becoming my identity. The second 
event that had a major impact on my development as an artist was my dad’s passing in a car accident in 1989. Although, I was grown and living on my own, his untimely death was a memento mori. It forced me to take a hard look at where I was in life. Even though I had always considered myself an artist or painter, I was doing very little to pursue that ambition. My fathers death changed my perspective. I no longer felt as if I had unlimited time to achieve my goals. I was turning 30 around the same time, so there was a lot of self examination going on. I didn’t want to live my life full of regrets and missed opportunities. Shortly thereafter, I started the process of extricating myself from my full time job of 12 years and began my journey as a full time painter. It was not an easy decision to give up my secure lifestyle and pay check to undertake such a risky proposition, but it was time. I remember thinking that this is how it must feel for some birds, the urge to migrate at the approach of  winter. It was quite an irresistible and overwhelming feeling. I feel that I made the right choice. I’m not sure what the outcome would have been, had I decided to play it safe.

What is your media?

My paintings are comprised of acrylic on ¼ inch birch panel supported with 1 x 2 inch clear fir. I prefer the structural integrity of the wooden panels over the give and flex of canvas. The use of wood also allows me the option of gouging and attacking the surface more aggressively. My work involves a lot of layering and often has a pronounced surface texture.

The Pull of Objects
 Acrylic on Panel
 40 x 40

What is your current work about?

At the moment, I seem to be working on two separate themes. One of these involves the use of texture, line and marks that often resemble calligraphy, or writing of some form. I want the paintings to infer  possible lost meanings, or an archaeological significance. The second body of work is centered around botanical references. For the last year I have been utilizing a series of leaf images that I photographed during the fall. These photographs were rather atmospheric and undefined. Having said that, the photographs are really just the starting point. My goal is to have the paintings find their own direction. My work tends to be process driven, and the final result often has little to do with the initial concept. I think that is one of the reasons that I am attracted to abstract work, the outcome is not decided in advance. I like the fact that I am not completely in control. That seems rather contradictory, since it’s so inherently against my nature to just leave things to chance. As far as actual meaning is concerned, I think that remains fluid as well. I think that at times, assigning meaning or a narrative only serves to limit the work. I have a wide range of interests, from history and archaeology to nature and science. These elements always have a way of influencing the work.

 Two of Kidd's leaf photos that he took for reference:

What is your workspace like?

My studio consists of the ground floor of our home. It is basically unfinished and rather raw with nine foot ceilings and concrete floors. It is usually in a state of chaos with paintings stacked around in various stages of completion. I always keep a number of paintings going at the same time. I’ve entertained the thoughts of fixing my workspace up and making it less Spartan, but it seems that when I have the time, I don’t have the money, and when I have the money, I don’t have the time. To help open up the space and bring in additional natural light, we installed a set of French doors. That’s been a nice addition. Hopefully, we will do more improvements over time, but even with the lack of amenities, there’s something to be said for a workspace in which you can feel free to sling paint and not worry about where it ends up. I’ve also taken over the garage to use as a woodworking shop to construct my panels. That’s been a big help, keeping the painting and construction areas separate.

Density of States
 Acrylic on Panel
 36 x 36

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?

No, it would seem that I’ve become quite the homebody. I’ve discovered that it is one of the potential pitfalls of working at home. I tend to be a loner and a poor team player.

How do you develop a sense of community with other artists? How do you support your art colleagues?

I recently took the plunge and joined Facebook. Through that, I’ve reconnected with a number of artist friends and had the pleasure of meeting new ones. I have enjoyed seeing what others are working on, and sharing common experiences.

Botanical Image #12
 Acrylic on Panel
 24 x 48

Do you ever get stuck with your work and how do you remedy this?

Sure, constantly. I’m not afraid to paint over something and start all over. I think that one learns to recognize when it is time to throw in the towel. Not all ideas are meant to become reality, and for some ideas, it’s just not time. They just need to stew a little longer.  

Do you have any particular habits that you think support your art practice?
I am always trying to limit distractions. For me, it is difficult to transition from the outside world back to the studio. I try to maintain an environment that allows me to create, and that requires a certain amount of isolation and solitude. I am always thinking of projects, design, colors, textures, line and shapes. At times, it can be difficult to turn off and just enjoy the moment.

Degrees of Interaction
 Acrylic on Panel
 48 x 36

Do you have other jobs other than making art?
No, not at the moment.

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

I would like to be more intuitive and spontaneous in the creative process. I tend to over think. I always love it when my brain disconnects and I can turn off my self awareness. I want that to happen more often. I would also like to produce a greater number of finished paintings. 

Do you have any upcoming shows that you would like to mention?

September 2011  Thomas Deans Fine Art,  Atlanta, GA  (404) 814-1811

April 2012            River Gallery, Chattanooga, TN            (423) 265-5033

You can see more of David's work on his website.

Thank-you David!