Featured Artist – Derek McGearty – Scrapsapien – Studio A210

We have so many different types of Artists at Western Avenue! Check out metal worker & welder Derek McGearty! You can visit him in Studio A210!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: Originally from Ireland I came to the US in 2000. I work in engineering mostly Hi-Tech manufacturing which drove me to travel quite a bit. I always liked working with my hands and had always been a bit of a tinkerer. About 10 years ago I bought a welder and started making pieces. I have no formal art education.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: It was not art. It was an electronics/kinetics experiment; an alarm system for my bedroom in a Rube Goldberg vein.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: It can be challenging to represent an activity that is already small in an even smaller scale and still manage to convey the meaning. I love to go to my studio put on my work gear, some music and see what happens. It’s a great feeling to create a piece that you have pride in and that you can see improvement in from the last.

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: Typically I am more productive with minimal distraction, but I love interacting with folks. I will usually turn on some classic rock and just go at it; the music sometimes sends a piece in a different direction. Because my parts are based on the human form I tend to pose myself in various action stances so as to understand the positioning I need to represent. I’m sure it looks great, me in my studio, work gear on, respirator on my face, welding mask on my head and welding gloves on my hands, posing like I am riding a motorbike or playing a trumpet.

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A:Subtle details in my pieces like the faces and 90% of the poses are based on me.

painter-1Q: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: No not at all. I used to love to draw and paint. My mother and Grandmother both of whom are/were very creative with brushes and pencils rubbed off on me. I always loved woodwork but my career brought me a different direction. The welder was picked up more as an opportunity to learn something that had always interested me. The art came from living in the Southwest and being inspired by others.

Q:  Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: I had made this hot dog cooker set (R Rated) It was hugely popular and a bit raunchy, I made so many pairs I can’t even count. I wanted to stop making them but materials and rent aren’t free. If you want to support your art you have to work or sell it. Great painters and sculptors all did commission work on subject matter that they most likely had no interest in but, it paid. This allowed them to work on things they were passionate about. Everything you do, if you do it for a long time, will have a certain amount of monotony, throw on some great music or an audio book and plug through it.

Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.
A: Sleeping in, Coffee, hearty breakfast

*You can meet Derek in his Studio A210 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

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Featured Artist – Sukey Blake – DHC Jewelry @Hashtag What Studios – Studio 122

Read and learn about the multi-talented Sukey Blake! Swing into Studio 122 to see all of her fabulous creations!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I was born in Troy NY grew up in the burbs of Philadelphia, spent 30 years living in Illinois, moved to Lowell Ma. in 2009. My educational background is not in art, but in social work and library science. I have always been creative and crafty. I have been beading and making jewelry since 2011, my daughter needed jewelry for a wedding found nothing in the stores, found loose beads that we liked , and thereby my obsession with beading bloomed into DHC (Drive Husband Crazy) Jewelry.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: Restringing my mother’s broken necklaces into new creations, until this question was asked had not thought about having done this as a child. I was about 4 or 5 years old and my older sister and I had a shoe box with all my mothers broken necklaces in it, we would sit on the bed and bead new creations, wish I had some of those beads now.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: I love to bead as I can do it anywhere, with any object that has a hole in it.

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A: My jewelry is unique and whimsical.

blue-crystal-knockerQ: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: No I did not know I was going to make art I always thought of myself as creative, but my mother was an ARTIST and had been asked at an early age why I was not making work similar to hers, guess I just needed to find a medium that she did not work in.

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*You can meet Sukey in her Studio 122 on First Saturday Open Studios and at the Tyngsboro American Legion Post Fall Craft Fair October 10, 2015 9-4 Stop by and say Hello!!

 

 

 

 

Featured Artist – Nooshin Manoochehri – Studio A303

Introducing the lovely Nooshin Manoochehri! You can visit her in Studio A303!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I have worked with clay for over 40 years. I studied industrial design at university of Bridgeport where I learned how to make molds and do production. I furthered my education with an art degree at San Jose State University. With my passion in clay I have been involved in many large events and production. I shared my passion for 14 years with children of all ages in northern California schools. I love to create with clay, this joy always shows in my work.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: A pair of horses heads made in to book ends.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: The softness of my clay, also the bright colors that I use.

Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?
I have to have it all perfect. Will do something that didn’t work over and over till it’s done right.

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: I like working in the middle of the night over looking at the view from my apartment. Love the peace and quiet of the night. If I put music on it will be very soft.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: As far back as I remember myself I wanted to be an artist and make things with my hand. When I was very young, I used to mix dirt with water, turning it in to mud, then make bowls and statues with it.

image3Q: Tell us about some of your goals for the next 6-12 months.

A: Now that I’m all settled in to my space. I like to be able to share some of my technique with the people in the east coast. I also have all these new designs in my head that I like to be able to create with clay.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about the arts community?

A: How every one has their own individuality.

*You can meet Nooshin in her Studio A303 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

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Featured Artist – Ron Weed – akaWeed Studios – Studio 205

We have so many different types of Artists at Western Avenue! Check out Airbrush Artist & Pinstriper Ron Weed!! You can visit him in Studio 205!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: My Name is Ron … I started being creative and drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon… I was born here in Lowell and spent most of my life here. Going to Old Orchard Beach, Maine every summer is where I was first exposed to airbrush at 7 or 8 years old. I grew up watching painting shows on television and learning to oil paint from that. I sold paintings as a kid, but when I finally got to high school that’s when I really got interested in airbrush and illustration. I took commercial art, though I taught myself just about everything by reading as many books on subjects as I could. My first job was at a sign shop in Tewksbury where I worked for a couple of months, but I was not quick or experienced enough at the time so I was let go; that’s when my dad had an apartment over his shop for rent. So he asked his landlord if I could rent it. It changed the course of my life. I started in my own business, making signs and airbrushing different projects. Everything was hand painted back then. I’ve been doing my own thing ever since.Learning, making mistakes and growing in my field. I stumbled on a western ave artist named Bill Bradbury. He told me about western ave. I never knew this place existed. I literally worked across the street for several years not knowing about the great community of artist that reside in the big building across the parking lot. From the day I was toured through the building I knew I wanted to be a part of the artist community. And here I am two years later… if it weren’t for the chance meeting Bill I may have never know about western ave artists. Now I’m enjoying being a part of this great community of people who just happen to be artists. It’s great.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: I used to draw cartoon characters I had watched on tv. My parents thought I had traced them…lol.. later was oil painting like I would watch on television. . Those were my first experiences in making stuff by hand… boy did it segway into something different.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: I like making something that people like and enjoy looking at and making things that are meaningful to my customers. The technical and creative side of being a good draftsman. Doing something well. To satisfy my own need to learn and create. Now that I’m exposed to all this great art at Western Ave I am going to experiment with new stuff. I love learning about art… I feel like a kid again… this place has put the fun back into art and learning for me.

Q:  What is your biggest obstacle with your art?
Being in a business of commercialized artwork, it makes it more like a job sometimes… deadlines are my biggest obstacles. It sometimes doesn’t lend to creating the best piece  possible which is why I’m going to start making artwork for just me, like I used to when I was a kid, before I started my own business. I found that I would never do anything unless I got paid to do it.. sounds like some artists dreams , but it can take the fun out of it sometimes.

Q:  Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: I like it all. I now love the fact that there are other artists around me all the time. I used to be alone on all of my jobs the majority of the time and loved when I was asked to do work with other people in my industry. The only time I would socialize is when I was out selling my artistic services. Now I prefer having people around who are artists; it makes things more fun in my opinion. And other times I just need to shut the door and work..

Q: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: I wanted to be a painter, then as I got more exposed to airbrushing kind of went in that direction. Once I started lettering I knew I would like to do that also. I actually hated lettering at first. It wasn’t airbrushing so I wanted no part of it, but the first time I was told I needed to make a sign with a brush for the lettering instead of a marker I was hooked. I also always wanted to paint on race cars because I was exposed to this stuff from an early age. All the cool race cars at the drag strip when I went with my uncle, I knew I wanted to do something with cars and that’s what married my two interests together. .

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Q: Tell us about some of your goals for the next 6-12 months.

My new goal is to make my own art, just for me, and expand my current business in different directions. . Opening up new places to sell what I currently do,  travel and do my work not letting my past inhibitions prevent me like they have previously. Experience new art forms and see where it takes me. I feel like a person who just got into college for the first time. While I’m here I am leaning new things about art that I was never exposed to or even knew existed. It’s awesome.. plain and simple.

*You can meet Ron in his Studio 205 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

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Featured Artist – Priscilla Levesque – Studio 204

Meet Priscilla Levesque! Her still lifes and landscapes in Caesin are just beautiful!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I grew up in Ashburnham and then received my BFA at UMass Amherst.
Also, when I lived on Cape Cod, I took classes and workshops with artists
including Claude Croney, Robert Roark, Selina Trieff, Paul George and
Rosalie Nadeau. I recently moved to Lowell and this year I took a drawing
course with Maris Platais at the Concord Art Association.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: I have loved art for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories
is drawing and coloring on the backs of old weather maps. My father was a
meteorologist long before computers came along. He had printed maps on
which he plotted weather systems. I don’t remember if there was one every
day or every week, but I know they piled up, so he let me draw and color on
the backs. I felt that my drawings deserved better paper because even at
age three or four, I planned on creating masterpieces.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: Finishing something that I like.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: For most of my career, I painted watercolors. A few years ago I started using
casein, which is a opaque water based paint with a milk product as a binding agent.
I like it because it dries so fast and I can paint light colors over dark. It is quite
a good medium for the pointillist technique which I use.

Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: Go for it!

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*You can meet Priscilla in her Studio 204 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

Her show, ”The Light in Small Towns” will be on view at the Whistler House
Museum in Lowell from June 24th through July 25th. Please come to the reception on
Saturday, June 27th from 2 – 4 pm.

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Featured Artist – Barb Guilmet – Muddy Girls Studios- Studio 228

Learn all about Barb Guilmet! One half of the incomparable Muddy Girls!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I think I’ve always been an artist, at least thats what friends tell me. I loved art class as a kid, my 1st pottery class was in high school and then again my last semester of college and that is where I really fell in love with clay. It has been an on and off relationship over the years. You really need time to devote to your art and especially clay because it is so time sensitive in it’s process. I have been at Western Ave Studios and The Loading Dock Gallery since June 2008. Before that I owned a “Paint your own Pottery studio” for 5 years where people could come in and make a masterpiece with a little instruction. I’ve attended many workshops,classes and conventions in the years between graduating college (I was not an art major) and now. I feel like I might finally be at a point in my life where I can devote the time required by the medium.

Q:  What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: It was around Halloween, I was in grade school and took a show box and made a kind of shadow box out of it that was a cemetery. So it was 3 dimensional. I remember it because I wanted to give it to a friend that was sick and my folks said I couldn’t.

Q:  What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: Glazing and firing. We (Samantha & I) make some of our own glazes. We are really still in the early stages of learning, it can be a life long pursuit. We read a lot about glazing and have taken a very intensive workshop with a well known glaze chemists and often make our glazes, but we struggle with the ups and downs of it.

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Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: Everyday is different. Just working with clay itself, one day you throw it or hand build, the next day trim it, dry slowly over time, bisque fire, glaze your bisque, and glaze fire. Samantha and I together or alone like to work with music on. When we work together, we solve problems together, collaborate and have as much fun as possible! Working alone is good too, but I often miss my studio mate when she is not there.

One of the best things about having a studio at Western Ave. is there are always people in the building (other artists) and that is a huge positive, you never have to be isolated if you don’t want to be. Some people work with their doors closed, others ajar and some wide open (that’s me). You never know when someone walking by might want to buy something. There is always other artists to bounce ideas off of and ask questions. I love the community at Western Ave.

 

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Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: Make as much work as you can, take as many classes and workshops as you can, don’t be afraid to ask questions, advice or for help. Find an organization or a group formal or informal that involves your medium to belong to. We find it so helpful to talk with other potters.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the arts community?

A: How helpful and kind people are. There is always something going on.

Q: Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: I would say we sell a lot of mugs and bowls, and I love making them.

Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.
Sunday morning is typically more of a family or home time than a studio time. My husband and I often go to breakfast and then to the studio.

*You can meet Barb in her Studio 228 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

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Featured Artist – Cheryl Polcaro – Studio 323

The most fantastical Cheryl Polcaro is our Featured Artist! Take a peek into her world!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I grew up in a small town in rural Connecticut. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t completely immersed in art. One of my earliest memories was intently sketching Saturday morning cartoons in front of the TV when I was little. I started taking private art lessons at age 11 and I was working mostly with soft pastels at that time. I continued pursuing art through high school with as many classes as were offered and then attended Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. I graduated in 1999 with my BFA.

Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: I love getting lost in my messy process. From the birth of an idea to finding the perfect image or images to work with. Piecing together the image and the entire photo transfer process. Then finally painting into the image and transforming the piece entirely. It is such an amazing gift to be able to bring an image in my head to life for others to see.

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Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: I love to work in my studio and it depends where I am in my process as far as whether I like to chat with others in the studio or work alone. Transferring my images onto canvas can be time consuming and I am often waiting for my transfer to dry so at that time I am often chatting with my studio friends or playing with my dogs (or studio assistants if you prefer). Once my transfer is dried and I begin to paint my canvas I definitely get into a zone and I need to work alone. I do have music on in the background which can range from Broadway to rock depending on my mood.

 

Q:  Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: I had absolutely no idea I was going to end up with the style of art I work with today. I went through every media you can imagine throughout art school from graphite to oils and beyond. I never strayed very far into abstraction. I wanted to develop a strong foundation in realism initially and develop my own style from there. I discovered photo transfer as part of a class called “Art and the Photograph” as a Junior at Montserrat and I was hooked. I still use many different methods of photo transfer but in the last five years or so have landed on the method I use now which involves layers of acrylic medium on photocopies from an old copier that still uses powdered toner rather than ink.

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Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: Designate a space to work in, even if you only have a small apartment. Having a separate space to be creative and work is essential.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about the arts community?

A: This is impossible to summarize! I suppose it comes down to being among like minded people. People who stray from the 9-5 routine and are very unique and often a bit “odd”. Not only do I not feel isolated as an artist, but I am constantly inspired by the artists around me. They make me want to be my best. When I came to Western Avenue Studios 4 years ago, I knew nothing about getting by in the world of Fine Art. Now with the support of other artists in the building who shared their professional experience with me, I have had the honor of showing my work in the most competitive juried art exhibits not only in Massachusetts but nationwide. I also have a website where I sell original work, limited edition archival Giclee prints, and note cards. I am so very grateful to be part of the arts community in Massachusetts and WAS.

*You can meet Cheryl in her Studio 323 on First Saturday Open Studios.
*Check out more of here work and items for sale on her website: http://cherylpolcaro.com/

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Featured Artist – Denise Rainis – Studio 404

The multi-talented Denise Rainis is our Featured Artist! Learn more about her and her work below:

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: I am so lucky! After over three happy decades as a High School French teacher turned Middle School Principal, I now have the freedom to throw myself into the world of art. Although I have no formal training, I have enjoyed taking workshops from local artists, many of whom continue to offer valuable support. As a sophomore at Wayland High School, I remember the classes when my French teacher showed slides of the chateaux of the Loire Valley and paintings by the French impressionists…and I was hooked. I majored in French and Russian with a minor in Spanish and after many years of teaching French, I am now enjoying painting and teaching art to adults and kids in my studio and in the greater Lowell area.

Q: What do you love most about your art?

A:  I named my studio “Denise Rainis Fine and Fun Art” because although I am serious about my work, I am much more interested in having fun and enjoying what I am doing. I am devoted to improving my painting, but am not interested in focusing on one medium and I also enjoy taking time to develop other ideas. As a flea market aficionado, I have acquired quite a collection of vintage jewelry pieces and am amused by the challenge of recombining the pieces to create new wearable and frame-able art. I love my art…but I don’t take myself too seriously.

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Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: I love painting with others, but I am far more productive when I am alone, especially late at night. Some good blues (and sometimes heavy metal), and NOT having to get up early in the morning are good motivators. Over the last three summers, I have had the privilege of spending a week or two in DownEast Maine with 7 other artists. During the day, I was off on my own, alone (and I do mean alone…so much unpopulated natural beauty north of Acadia) on a beach, a trail, a cliff or a jetty with my pastel set, a chair, and a backpack. The crashing waves, shore birds, and breezes made great music and freedom to create. How can you be uptight in such glorious circumstances!

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A:  I have always been drawn to nature, the mountains and seashore, rustic beauty, and all things antique and vintage. Most of my paintings feature the great outdoors in all seasons (I’m pretty sure I was or will be a tree in another life) and I love to paint on natural surfaces such as birchbark and smooth stones. Recently, I have started a jewelry line made of birchbark. and I cannot help myself from constantly collecting rocks, many of which I adorn with vintage jewelry pieces.

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Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: One of the many great advantages of the Western Ave Community (beyond the daily inspiration and support from so many artist colleagues) is the opportunity to meet aspiring artists during open studios. So many art admirers have dabbled in the past but don’t know how to continue. My advice is always: Find a small space where you can leave your materials, find a small chunk of time here and there and try working for 10 minutes (which usually turns into an hour or more) and keep reminding yourself that the most you have to lose is a canvas/paper and some paint!

*You can meet Denise in her Studio 404 on First Saturday Open Studios.
*Her work is also currently at Wild Salamander Gallery, Hollis, NH “Bloom” Through May 19th.
*Check her website for special classes and workshops: http://deniserainis.com/workshops-and-classes/

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Featured Artist – Samantha Tucker (Muddy Girls) – Studio 405 (moving to Studio 228)

Muddy Girl Samantha Tucker is our Featured Artist! Learn more about her and her work below:

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A:  I am from Concord NH, recently relocated to Lowell. I have studied with Lowell’s Master Cambodian Potter Yary Livan, Glaze specialist/author John Britt, NC, and my studio mate Barbara Guilmet. I have been working in ceramics since 2008.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: I threw some bowls, and I loved the feeling of the wet clay in my hands. I was hooked and soon joined Barb in her studio.

Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: I love how I can transform the clay into almost anything. I am only limited by the size of the kiln.

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Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: One obstacle is time, I would love to be able to be in the studio every day, the entire process of creating ceramics is time consuming, building, drying, trimming, more drying, firing, glazing and firing again.

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: When I am all alone in the studio and on the floor, I love to blast my music, but working side by side with Barb has to the best. We feed off each other, we can work in silence, or talk, laugh and collaborate.

Q:  How does your personality translate into your art?

A: I think I’m very lo key, not a perfectionist and I don’t expect perfection from the clay. I like it when my pieces come out of the kiln just a little funky and truly hand made.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: No, I was a mom, working 2 part time jobs. It wasn’t until my kids were older and more independent that I started hanging with Barb and I fell in love with what she was doing.

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Q: What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: Just go for it!

Q: Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: We (Muddy Girls Studio) do sell a lot of mugs, bowls and what we call our “Petit Platter”. The platter can also be hung as wall art. I like making pieces that are dual purpose, beautiful, sculptural and functional. I don’t mind making mugs but Barb is better at pulling the handles so we collaborate or make handless mugs.

Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.

A: Gosh, in bed! I don’t usually get to the studio, I’ve been working in NH in the afternoon.

*You can meet Samantha in her new Studio 228 on First Saturday Open Studios.
*Muddy Girls Studio has a show at LDG with Laura Doran and Kevin Connelly
Down to Earth : With Clay, Paper & Wood, reception on May 2nd 5-6pm
Show dates. April 29-May 31
*Samantha also has pieces in the show Celebrating Cambodian Ceramics
From the Studio of Yary Livan and Lowell Schools at
The LTC Gallery
246 Market St, Lowell, NH
Gallery hrs M-Th 10am- 9:30pm
Fri 10-6, Sat 10am- 12pm

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Featured Artist – Peter Kalabokis (Peck Kalabokis Studio) – Studio A417

Meet Mixed Media/Digital Artist Peter Kalabokis!

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: An Illustrator since 1989, my clients have included Adirondack Life Magazine, Byte Magazine, Sun Expert Magazine, East West Journal, The Rising Sun Café, and the English rock band “HOUSE OF X” (former members of UFO and The Michael Schenker Group )
Over the years I primarily have been an editorial illustrator using watercolors and mixed media for my illustrations. My current work stems from that same formula of mixed media as a primer in which a digital image is the final result. I enjoy mixing the styles from my fine art education at Montserrat College (Beverly, MA) with my work experiences as a desktop publisher dealing with digital imagery.
Currently I have been working with Logo Design, Album Art, and works for private collectors.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: I was self taught in my art all the way up to my senior year in High School (where by the end of the year I was awarded the “Most Improved” award by my art instructor at Chelmsford High) I was always drawing when I was a kid and the first things that I remember doing was copying anything I saw. Magazines, game board covers, etc. Which gave the “feel” of using a pencil as well as the sense of line and shape.

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Q:  What do you love most about your art?

A: I love that, in the process, it takes a course of it’s own and becomes something different than what I first set out to do. I enjoy how the piece evolves while I’m working and teaches me something new.

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A: I prefer to work alone while listening to music.

Q:  Did you always know you wanted to make the art you make today? Did you start out in a different medium in the early days?

A: I was influenced by Degas while in college. I was always creating with pastels. Then came N.C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Matt Mahurin as influences. By my senior year I was able to bring all those influences into my own style through a mixed media of pen and ink, water color, and colored pencil. Today I use Photoshop as a replacement for watercolor in my process.

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Q:  What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?

A: People will always give you unwanted advice, critiques, etc. “Filter” what’s being said to you and keep what you feel will make you a better artist. There will always be someone better or worse than you so don’t compare. You want to have your own “voice” when you create a piece so don’t think of your work as better or worse than someone else’s. One flower is not “better” than an other flower. They’re all beautiful in their own way.

Q: Tell us about some of your goals for the next 6-12 months.

A: My goal for the next 6-12 months is to carve some time in my schedule to create a series of new work.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the arts community?

Camaraderie. We all have mundane “day jobs” that aren’t related to what we do as artists so we have that understanding and support to encourage each other.

Q: Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: I’m no longer in the phase where I want to create something that’s a “seller”. Straight out of college I wanted that because I wanted to be a full time illustrator but now that I’m in my late 40’s I just want to create work on my own terms and let the rest be what it will be.

Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.

A: Having the family together.

You can meet Peter and see more of his fantastic work on the First Saturday of each month, in his Studio A417 at Western Ave!

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