Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Elena De La Ville: Sarasota

Artist De La Ville with Totems

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

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Caracas, where I grew up as a child, was a city known for it’s public art, artists, and museums. That experience has stayed with me my whole life and inspired my appreciation of art. My heroes then were Calder, Gego, Vasarely and Matisse. Later on it was Rothko, Agnes Martin, Klee, Helen Frankenthaler and Anselm Kiefer. My colleagues also inspire me.

I started traveling from very early on, came to the states (Oklahoma) in my teens, left for London in the early 70’s to study at Chelsea School of Art and Design. I traveled all through Europe at that time and in the early 80’s came to Boston on a full scholarship to study photography. After graduation, I worked as a color printer at Spectrum Color Labs on Summer St. in Boston and then became a photographer for the Secretary of State in Massachusetts. That was about the time when I decided that if I was going to make it as an artist I needed to dedicate myself full-time to that. So I moved to Martha’s Vineyard and made my mark. After 10 or so years, I felt the need for the warmth and color of the tropics and traveled south not knowing where I was going to end. That ended up being Sarasota.

Zebra Butterflies close up

Butterfly Installation
Provincetown Inn (Int'l Encaustic Conference)

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

I have studied with many teachers and artists that have inspired me since I was young; I formally studied Textile Design in London in the 70’s and photography at the Art Institute in Boston in the 80’s.

Bee Habitat

What is your current work about?

As a photographer and painter, I am always looking for ways to add dimension to my work, I photograph nudes, earth, and rusted steel. I combine them by using layers of wax, paint, printed images and other alternative processes. Central to my work is the concern of how the human body merges its inner essence to the physical world around us. We are interconnected in a way that we cannot totally explain but that guides us. In the Torso series I deal with the change and transformation that occur in our bodies as we age.

Torso Trees, 16 x 16

I have also been more and more interested in installations, I produced a small one: Bee Habitat, several years ago that was juried into the Kobalt Gallery show in Provincetown, and that has gone through several transformations since then. It is currently showing at the Clothesline Gallery in Sarasota, it has expanded in size and components and now occupies a bigger space. I produced a whole room installation at the 6th International Encaustic Conference I added epiphytes and spanish moss, while swamp sounds filled the room.

Torso II, 22 x 22"

I am currently working on a proposal with a choreographer and dancer for an
installation/performance for the Ringling Museum of Art. This will involve dance, movement, sound and light.

From Within

For the last months, I have been experimenting with old cyanotype techniques and incorporating large negatives with wax, indigo and rust. Not yet ready for showing.

(click on photo to enlarge)

The office area of De La Ville's studio

De La Ville in her workspace

What is your workspace like?

I live and work in an old carriage house by the bay in Sarasota, FL, I have a small gallery and a darkroom in the bottom floor, with living space in the bottom floor, with living space and painting studio on the second floor. I get to see the shimmering water through out the day, and luscious tropical shrubbery all around; it is a comfortable space where I spend most of my time, when I am not teaching. I live only a few blocks away from Ringling College.

Torso Feathers 24 x 24"

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 have been part of the Ringling College community for the past 15 years. It has provided me with a stimulating atmosphere, with training, equipment and the ability to hear talks and meet interesting and by well-known visiting artists. I am also part of the exhibition committee at the Art Center Sarasota where we just finishing the planning of shows for the 2014 season.

I am part of a wonderful and supportive group of artists that I have met through the International Encaustic Conference, I have attended almost every single conference, I was part of the Saturday panel in 2010 and I look forward to this every year. I will be giving a talk on: Preparing Your Images with Photoshop on Sat June 1st at 3 pm and will also be teaching a Post Conference workshop at Castle Hill on June 4th, on Photo Encaustic, 10 to 4 pm.

Do you have other jobs other than making art? If so, please give us some details.

I work in my studio, and I teach. I have been a self-supporting artist for some 30 years. I could not do it any other way.

Thank you, Elena! You can view more of her work here:
and read her blog here:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Christine Kyle: Lexington, Massachusetts

Maybe 1
I've been miniaturized to fit 
"in" a 24" x 14" x 2.5" inches
encaustic on Baltic Birch plywood piece 

Please share a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what (if any) were any early influences on your work? Where do you live now?

I grew up moving around in the New England area, now live in Lexington, and am moving to Cambridge, MA. As a child, art and craft supplies were readily available outside and at home. We never had coloring books because my mother didn’t like the idea of coloring inside someone else’s lines. We always made our own Halloween costumes and were encouraged to play with found props. My elementary school best friend’s mother was an artist and I still have an oil painting I did at their house when I was ten. I went to a Waldorf School my last 2 years of high school where art classes were plentiful and creativity revered. I didn’t feel especially talented but enjoyed drawing, painting, weaving and pottery.

Maybe 3
Encaustic Baltic Birch plywood 14" x 24" x 2.5"

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

I wanted to major in Studio Art in college but felt it was impractical so I majored in Sociology (practical?).  I took as many art classes as a non-major could take then decided to double major, adding Art. After about 10 years in the world of work, I went back to school for 2 years to study graphic design. I’ve taken too many workshops and classes in art to list here. At the ripe age of 54 I finished an MFA at The Art Institute of Boston. It wasn’t until then that I called myself an artist although I’ve been an artist my whole life.

Shell Grid
Encaustic and egg shells on ceramic

What is your current work about?

I am fascinated by the way we make order. We recently moved (and are moving again!) and I feel it is a huge piece of performance art, figuring out what should be given away and what should go in what box. We all strive for consistency in order to gain an understanding of what is around us. We make up taxonomies, patterns and judgments to feel in control and safe. I don’t believe in complete understanding or control or truth, only the seeking and trying to trust in doubt.

Kyle's studio in Waltham, Mass.

What is your workspace like?

For about 8 years, I had a great, little studio in the back yard of our home in Lexington, MA. I’m just getting settled into a studio in Waltham, MA. It was the storage room for my husband’s woodworking shop. The room has been cleared, lighting, ventilation and heat have been installed and I’ve made some order of my things. I’m working on a couple of large pieces that I set up before moving. I had laid down layers of wax, darker to lighter. Now I’m scraping wax, the deeper I scrape, the darker the value. I’m looking forward to settling in there. Right now, I’m performing in our basement and around the house in Lexington in anticipation of hauling our stuff to our new home in Cambridge.

Encaustic, egg shells and Velum
 on Baltic Birch plywood 30" x 23" x 3"

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

I have a few different art communities and some friends who are artists. I’m a member of the Cambridge Art Association, MassWax, the Art Institute of Boston alumni, Lexington Council for the Arts and have attended many International Encaustic conferences. I have met with other artists for critiques but would love to be part of a cohesive but diverse art crit group that meets regularly.

Rectangular Bang (2 views)
Encaustic and egg shells on ceramic 8" x 13.25" x 2"

Do you have other jobs other than making art? 
If so, please give us some details.

I have many loose ends to gather as my other job. I’m a mother, a wife, a citizen and fellow human. I pay bills, do the errands, provide healthy meals, keep order in the house, volunteer and live a rich and diverse life. Much of this feeds my art.

Weeny Creation
Encaustic and egg shells on ceramic 4" x 5.5" x 2.5"

You can see more of Christine's work on her website:
Thank you, Christine!