I would like to introduce you to Lindy Gruger Hanson, one of my favorite artists, and, heck, one of my favorite people period. Aside from being artist types, we both like hand written letters, gardening, the world outdoors, and our silly dogs. She asked me if I would let her interview me.
Of course, I said yes, but I added the provision that she had to let me interview her.
It was fascinating to learn something new about my friend, and to be able to share her work with you.
Q: Does the time of day influence the work you do? Do you have a routine that you follow? What does your typical day in the studio look like? I am interested because I know you recently left your job to focus on your artwork full time. What has changed for you?
I try to have a routine to my day but it often changes depending on the day and my mood. I like to paint at night the most because I feel productive then but that doesn't really work with Greg's schedule since he works during the day. He works from home too. So I try to do my computer time (networking and marketing) in the morning and then after lunch go to the studio to paint. Sometimes we'll work until 7 at night before one of us will stop and say, shouldn't we fix dinner? Sometimes I go back and work after dinner for a few more hours. I definitely work more hours now then when I worked at my 8 to 5 job but the day goes by faster! Probably because I'm enjoying every minute of it!
I use a printing type technique that I've developed and that leaves some texture on the surface and then I also use string or embroidery thread dipped in paint to create random lines and squiggly marks. I'm also building up layers of paint. I put the painting under water and take some of the paint off in various areas and this creates an interesting surface as I build up the layers. I like to create a feeling of depth in my work. When I am completely done with a painting, I spray it with a gloss acrylic spray which brings out the color and gives it a luminous quality.
Q: When you start working on a new piece, do you have sketches and studies, or do you just begin and trust the painting to tell you what it wants to be?
Sometimes I'll do a study, usually a quick sketch with a black pen or I'll do a small oil pastel but most often I begin with laying down paint and seeing what develops. I might know that I want to put a bird in it or do an abstract but I don't get too detailed in my head about it. I try to let it develop as I go.
Q: Do you work on a single piece at a time or do you have several things in the works at any given time?
I like to work on several pieces. Currently I have twelve small paintings in the works, one medium one and two larger sized pieces. Sometimes I'll get to a certain point on one and put it away for awhile and come back later and start it again with a fresh eye. I have a goal of doing more paintings this year than last year so I'm being very prolific right now.
Q: Which gives you the most satisfaction, working on a piece, the finished piece itself or showing the piece to someone else? Why?
I would say I get the most satisfaction from working on a piece and watching it develop. I love the process and seeing what comes from it. Sometimes it's a surprise and I love surprises. The happy accidents in a piece are always fun.
Q: What role does your subconscious play in your work?
I think my subconscious plays a large role in my process. Most often when I am painting, I try to turn off my thinking mind and let my subconscious take over. It is very relaxing for me, similar to meditation but I'm painting while I do this. It feels like intuition is guiding me.
Q: Why do you show your work? What do you hope others get out of it?Since I was a small child, I've enjoyed making things and then sharing it with others. I am pleased when my work has touched another. I believe art can be healing with it's impact on the viewer. Hopefully it touches people in a good and positive way. I hope my art brings joy to others or peace or stirs an emotion from within.
Q: I know you resist explaining what a painting means, preferring (as I do) to let it mean whatever the viewer brings to the image work for them. What has led you to this decision? Does having a piece be viewed complete the piece in some way?I do think art is subjective and the old saying, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, rings true for me. I don't want to spoil someone's feelings about a piece by interpreting it for them. I would rather a viewer make up their own mind about it. I think my interest in psychology and my background in studying art therapy has led me to this belief. I don't think a piece is any more complete viewed or not viewed by an audience. I think my act of creating it and then knowing in my heart that it is finished, completes the piece.
Q: What do you see in the future for yourself as an artist? Do you see your work heading in any particular direction?I see myself becoming more prolific with my art. Creating more paintings each year than the previous year and I would like to have a wider audience which is one reason I'm on the internet with a blog and using social networking. I would like to reach more people and spread my art into the world in more ways.
Q: Is there anything you want to promote (upcoming shows projects and the like) and what do you have for sale ? I am always happy to put in any sort of blatant plug for my friends!You're so sweet to ask. I am exhibiting my art in Bend, Oregon at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery in the Old Mill District and I have a show up right now at the Gallery at the Lodge at Black Butte Ranch near Sisters, Oregon that runs through February. I also sell my prints, cards and bookmarks at my Etsy Shop online and you can find my original acrylic paintings on my website.
Thank you Mimi for asking unique questions! I've enjoyed doing this interview and sharing about my artist journey.