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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Featured Artist – Lisa Hertel (The Cogitation Zone) – Studio 109

Step into the creative mind of Lisa Hertel!

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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 mother–and her mother before her–are amateur artists; my mother used to do the craft show circuit with her jewelry (mostly beading). My daughter is also an artist. As a kid, I was always drawing and making things. At eight, I took my first pottery class, and continued through high school. When I became a mom, I took up pottery again. In addition, I took other art classes, including several drawing courses, both in college and afterwards. When I decided to leave pharmacy, art seemed like a natural choice; it makes me happy. I really enjoyed watercolors, and have always liked clay, so I concentrated on those, but sometimes dabble in other things. I’m always learning!

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

A:  I remember drawing a lot as a kid, favoring the usual subjects, like houses and rainbows. I also played a lot with Plasticine–it ended up a dirty brick red. I was forbidden Legos (though I have a good collection now), so I had to make do with Tinker Toys (real wood!), blocks, and other things. I lusted after my brother’s Erector Set. I still have some of my earliest clay creations, including my first wheel-thrown bowl, my first coil work, and some early slab work.

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Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: I am sometimes hampered by the limits of the materials, but I am more often hampered by my own abilities. That’s why I got a studio at Western Avenue; to both learn from fellow artists and to make me do art. I don’t sell much at Western Avenue–my stuff is a bit too far from the norm–but I do well at science fiction conventions. I would love to make more money and be self-supporting.

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 get more work done when I’m alone, but I get more ideas when others are around. I don’t usually put on music, but I don’t mind it in the background. (I will occasionally put it on when the place is eerily empty.) I’ll occasionally work on several things at once; for example, I can only work on a large pencil for an hour or two at a time, so I will switch off to other things. I get a lot done during Open Studios, and I think people enjoy watching me at my kickwheel.

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A: I love science fiction, fantasy and myth, and it inspires a lot of my work. I’m also an innate doodler–my friend Scott McCloud (author of Understanding Comics) once said I was one of the best doodlers he’d even seen–so I tend to go for all those little details: tree branches, the textures of the rocks, which way the fur grows. I actually envy the people who are more abstract, since my perfectionism is a bit of a madness. I’m also fond of animals–as a little girl, I was horse-crazy, and I’ve had lots of pets over the years–so I tend to draw animals a lot. I don’t anthropomorphize them, but they do seem to come out cute.

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

A: Practice, practice, practice. Also, I am working on getting my own kiln installed, which will be very exciting. My next watercolor project is The Frog Prince–I’m still working on the composition. I would also like to make some things to go into the wood-fired kiln that Yary Livan runs.

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

That there is a community at Western Avenue. Sure, I could do clay in my basement, and watercolors in my kitchen. But by wandering about, chatting with different artists, even just seeing what’s up on the walls, I get so many ideas, and have made so many friends. And we are all supportive of each other.

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

A: I tend to spend my Sunday mornings with the family and the Sunday Globe–reading the comics, doing the crossword and sudoku in the Globe Magazine, reading Parade, and cutting out the coupons (I’m not one of those crazed people, but I do organize and use coupons.) The actual paper may get a glance, but the bulk of it ends up in recycling, or at the studio to wrap things or be used for clay projects. Mostly, I treat my studio as a job, and am in on weekdays. Weekends are for family.

You can meet Lisa and see more of her beautiful work on the First Saturday of each month, in her Studio 109 at Western Ave!

 

Featured Artist – Liz Stewart (Lush Beads) – Studio A205

Meet jeweler Liz Stewart! Find out what makes her so fabulous!

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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’ve been creative since I was a child. I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Worcester where I studied computer science at WPI. I worked in the IT field for 9 years before I was laid off. I’ve been making jewelry since 2000, selling it since 2002, and for 10 years I owned a retail beading supply shop.

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

A: I made those potholders using a loom and nylon loops. I switched to cotton loops because it didn’t shrink as much when you took it off the loom, thus making it a more useful potholder. Even as a child, I was a perfectionist.

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: Currently, I love playing with objects that people don’t expect to find in a piece of jewelry, and creating something lovely to look at. Then when you take a second look, you realize what the objects are and you say, “Wow!” I also love taking a pile of small beads and stitching them together to make a piece of jewelry. Not everyone has the patience to do that (including me sometimes!)

Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: Jewelry is a hugely competitive field in the artisan world, so it is difficult to get into shows and galleries with my work. I’m still finding where my market is with my Industrial line. When it comes to my beadwork, many people are uneducated about the time and skill it takes to weave a piece, so it is difficult to sell my work for what it is worth.

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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?

As a beading instructor, I have gotten used to working with other people around and I really enjoy it. If I am working on a new design or a new piece and need to concentrate, I work better alone. I like to listen to music or have the TV on in the background when I am doing production work.

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

My Morse Code jewelry is a big seller for me, because it is interesting and fun to do. I do get bored making the same bracelet over and over again, but I get over it pretty quickly. 🙂

Q: Describe your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning.
Asleep, to be woken up by the smell of frying bacon and toasting bagels.

You can meet Liz and see more of her beautiful work on the First Saturday of each month, in her Studio A205 at Western Ave! She also offers private lessons!

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Featured Artist – Bruce Wood (The Glass Ingot) – Studio 427

You’ve seen Bruce Wood’s creations all over Western Ave, now find out what’s in his head!

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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 Groveland MA. After High School I attended Arizona Western College on a wrestling scholarship. While at AWC I witnessed someone firing Raku pottery. That was it…. I was going to be a potter. I transferred to Northern Arizona University and majored in ceramics. I achieved a Master of Arts in Art Education and moved back to New England to pursue a teaching career.

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

A: As a kid I was always building something. Tree houses, go carts, forts etc. I remember sitting for hours with an Etch-a-Sketch making designs and drawings.

Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

The biggest challenge I have is finding time to get involved in my constructions. I am usually working on several projects at once and sometimes lose track as to where one project ends and another one begins. I am also continually on the prowl for new “found objects” to use in my work.

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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?

When I work, I am all over the place. Jumping from one project to another. Feeding off the creative energy, I come up with new ideas and start new designs right in the middle of working on the current project. Sometimes frustration sets in because I have so many artworks going on at once and nothing seems to be getting finished. Then as I push through, things begin to click and one creation after another fall into place and I have several completed artworks.

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

I enjoy the thought process and I am comfortable being with myself. I will sometimes turn my projects over to my subconscious to figure out design or construction problems. When the process makes me smile, I know I am on the right track.

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?

I majored in ceramics in college, but I took every art class the University offered. I have taught photography and mural painting. I have made jewelry and done both glass blowing and lampwork glass. I have done silk-screenings and made digital art. I never envisioned myself doing the art I do today (Found Object Sculpture). It is a whole new form of sculpture that I have been doing for a couple of years now.

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

I love the interaction with the other artists. Sharing ideas, encouragement and inspiration is paramount. My art has grown exponentially since I have been at Western Avenue Studios. I also like sharing art and art education with the public on Open Studio days. I try to evoke multiple thoughts and emotions in the viewer as the nuances in the work are discovered.

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

I think my best seller is my Amigoids. The small animal creatures made mostly from computer mice. I like hiding objects right in front of people and the customers enjoy the juxtaposition of the components.
I really enjoy making the bigger sculptures. However they take much more time and energy than the small objects.

Q:  What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an artist?
The advice I would give to a new artist is to make a lot of art. The more art you make the more opportunity you have to learn and improve. Always try to reach for the next skill level. And enjoy the process. I believe the creative process happens when whatever you are working on begins directing you toward your next step and when the evolution of the process is guided by the artwork itself.

You can visit Bruce in his Studio #427 on the First Saturday of each month at Western Avenue Open Studios!

Featured Artist – E. Scott Phillips (Totally Wired) – Studio 213

Featured Artist E Scott Phillips of Totally Wired is an amazing Wire Sculptor! You can find Scott at Western Ave in Studio 213. Get to know a little bit about Scott here:

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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A: I love that my creations are as endless as my mind. The wire bends and conforms as needed. It can be shaped to create trees, flowers, animals or jewelry. When the piece is completed I love how it picks up the light and the reflection adds depth and movement to the pieces.

Q: What is your biggest obstacle with your art?

A: Mental block is the easiest pain to deal with however years of wire sculpting has lead to other pains. All of my creations are hand made and the constant twisting and manipulation of wire, aside from cuts and scratches, has lead to carpel tunnel and tennis elbow. I love my art and I love creating it and I won’t let a little pain hold me back.

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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 like to work alone as many times I close my eyes and picture animals or birds or trees and what they would look like made of wire. It’s calming and meditative. Once I have the idea, in my head , I crank up the music and sing along.

Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A: Well I am a little twisted… And that pretty much is my art 😉

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

A: My favorite thing about our community is the comradery. I have made so many good friends. No matter what the medium we all have something in common, our art. I do not think I can walk into a restaurant in town with out seeing an artist friend. This is what I love most about this city; the art community.

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

A: My favorite way to spend a Sunday morning is with a mimosa, some music and a spool of wire.

scottphillips3You can visit Scott and see his beautiful creations in his Studio #213 at Western Avenue Studios.