Showing posts with label artist interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artist interview. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Julia Kulish: Artist Interview

 "Summer Sunflower", 
30x40 oil, 

1. How did you come to be an artist?

I was raised in a home with two artists so art was everywhere in my childhood. I have always had a great appreciation for beautiful artwork but it wasn't until I was a parent myself that I began to explore my own creative side.  When my children were small I began drawing and painting as a stress reliever and it has grown into a passion.

"In the Poppy Field",  30x30 oil, 2009

2. What has been your biggest challenge?

Maintaining the balancing act of being a mom to five kids, a help to my husband in our family small business, and find time to do the art that I love (and maybe some laundry every once in a while too!)

"Amanda's Flowers",  30x24 oil, 2008

3. What would your "dream" exhibit space be or project be?
I actually have always thought it would be wonderful to open my own little place where I could display and sell my own work and the work of good artists that inspire me, in a casual coffee house atmosphere where people won't feel like art is only for intellectuals and high society - but everyone to enjoy.  

"Midnight Glory", 48x48 oil, 2010

4. What inspires you?

 I am in awe of Birgit O'Conner, Jeffery Larson, and Daniel James Keys

"Repentance: The Turning", 
30x24 oil,

5. What do you like best about being an artist?

When I look around me I am always amazed by God's creativity - I am so excited to just be able to, in the smallest of ways, portray that beauty.

6. If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it...where can they go?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Julia Kottal: Artist Interview

Underlit Clouds, 2009, 20" x 20",oil on canvas, 
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 
Bertha Cowles Quarton Fund with gift of the artist, 2010.071.

1. How did you come to be an artist? 

I became a serious artist as an adult. My 'growing up' years were consumed with jobs, education and family. I was fortunate to know always I would do something in my life related to the liberal arts, whether it be musical, writing or in visual arts.  I found that was a gift actually to pull in earlier life experiences to my work now as an artist. I've always done volunteer work of some sort with art, designing logos, doing commission work and creating for people, but I think in a playful way I recognized the title of 'artist' when someone asked me to a doodle a logo for a business card, where I had total control of the outcome, and they actually paid me. It was a triumphant moment.  

"Mantle of Plates",  60" x 60", oil on canvas

2. What has been your biggest challenge? 

Without a doubt it's time, or finding enough of it. Not sure why that now that our children are out of the house I seem to have less time. I have notebooks and journals full of drawings and renderings that I can't wait to take the inspiration from and make art!  I find that my other job has it's plus and minuses too. The plus is I'm fortunate to work in a field that is all about the arts, so I'm constantly surrounded by creativity and can pull from that, endless possibilities. The downside, if it really is a downside, is that I find there is so much inspiration involved I can't possibly do all that I want from those moments.   

"My Mexico", 36" x 48", oil on canvas

3. What would your "dream" exhibit space be or project be? 

My dream exhibit would be a space where my artwork is given a lot of negative space around it. Because I'm a large scale painter, many times my work is exhibited close to each other due to limited gallery space.  When I paint I can see the space in my brain where I'd like it to be installed to have maximum impact. I did have an exhibit at Coe College a few years ago and it was very close to this dream when a large 60" square was on a wall in solitariness. Even though I lived with the painting in process, I was a bit overwhelmed to see it bathed with light, in a  silent room, alone on it's own wall and talking back to me (in a weird kind of way) that I was correct in it's composition and size.   

"Grey Road West", 24'"x 36", oil on canvas

4. What inspires you? 

Nature and it's unpredictably excite me. I love a great storm or a wind gust  that makes trees sway and sing. I'm curious and unscrupulously attracted to weather and how it affects the world. Must have been growing up in rural Michigan where we had the full gambit of climate; tornadoes, blizzards, sultry summer, all of it. I am also inspired by the idea of color and it's combinations in nature; natural and unnatural, due to climate, to weather and to events such as floods, earthquakes and storms. Personal journeys of childhood with my family all tie together in ways that compel me to tell the story in paint. Making the hue/color work with the composition in a thoughtful way that translates into a feeling of what I want the viewer to see, or what I want to say is my goal. 

"Dark in Northeast Iowa" ,  24" x 36", oil on canvas

5. What do you like best about being an artist? 

I think by saying your an artist, opens up a lot of freedom in how people perceive you. I can be as free and expressive as I want with a minimum  of raised eyebrows.  I remember throwing on an old pair of jeans with  holes in them and an odd sweatshirt for lack of nothing else clean to wear,  and being greeted by an acquaintance of, "looks like you've been painting today", this was a free pass. I love that my quirkiness can be somewhat validated or forgiven by the claim of 'artist'.  Being  a  creative thinker, bringing that and showing confidence to think independently is a by product of being an artist to me,  I covet that ability to have learned and have the opportunity to pass it on in my work and in my life. I find that expressing my view through art is fulfilling. I'm still learning to take risks  and I regard that as a gift.   

"Probably Arizona", 24" x36", oil on canvas

6. If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it...where can they go? 

Currently I have work at Campbell Steele Galleries in Marion, Iowa Artist Gallery and the Chait Gallery in Iowa City, the Quad Cities Art Center in Rock Island, Ill.,  and the Scene Gallery at the National Harbor, Maryland.  I have a website which challenges that lack of time thing to keep updated at If you around town, you will see my work in the Allaint Tower Mr.Beans lobby, Kirkwood, Coe College and with the CRMA permanent collections. Work that I'm especially proud of working on with students of the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, (I am the current Art Director) are on exhibit at the Alliant Tower public space in Cedar Rapids.  

"Red River Gorge", 24" x 36", oil on canvas

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thomas Jackson: artist interview

American Cipher 48, color photograph, 2010, 26.5” X 20” image size

How did you come to be an artist?

My older brother, Bob was always good at art. He was three grades ahead of me in school. When I was in grade school each new teacher who had also taught Bob would ask me: “Are you good at art like your brother?” My teachers would always ask me to participate in special art projects. Being good at art was something that was expected of me early on, and given opportunities, it ended up being something that I could do better than most or all of the other students in class. When it came time for college, it was natural for me to pursue art. I’ve been fortunate that this study has led to positions teaching art on the college level, as an illustrator, as a designer and creative director, and as a full-time artist. By the way, my brother Bob is a successful folk ceramicist.

 American Slice 15, color photograph, 2008, 29 ¼” X 20” image size

What has been your biggest Challenge?

In 2006 I was offered a major solo show at the Figge Art Museum by Michelle Robinson, who was Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at that time. It was a “trust me” offer. Only about 30% of the work that I would need to fill the entire fourth floor gallery space existed when she made the offer. I had about a year to create the remaining 70% of the work and make sure that it was museum quality. It was a very rewarding experience working with Michelle from concept to completion of this work, and the resulting show in 2007 was very well received by the public and the press.
            On an ongoing basis my biggest challenge is to focus my body of work. I have wide interests and work in painting, drawing, photography, and occasionally do a three dimensional piece. My natural inclination is to explore in many areas. I spend a lot of time thinking about how my work can be both diverse and yet cohesive.

American Slice 17, color photograph, 2008, 26 ½” X 20” image size

What would your “dream” exhibit space be or project be?

I say dream BIG. If my dreams came true I would have a solo show at Gagosian Gallery in the Chelsea Gallery district of NYC.

Child’s Play 15, ink brush drawing, 2009, 30” X 22” paper size

What inspires you?

Life inspires me. My recent work is based on photographs taken as I travel across America and live in Iowa. I’m constantly excited by found objects, scenes, places, people, textures, etc. The trick is to be ready for life’s surprises.
Seeing great artwork from any time in the history of man inspires me. Lately I’ve been looking at Rembrandt and Goya etchings.

Child’s Play 39, ink brush drawing, 2010, 30” X 22” paper size

What do you like best about being an artist?

I like to hear people tell me how my art affects them. They tell me how it makes them feel, what it makes them think about, what they think my art is about. I like to make people think.

 Child’s Play 42, ink brush drawing, 2010, 30” X 22” paper size

If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it… where can they go?

If a person wants to see a large amount of the artwork I’ve done, they can see a lot of it on my web site at  If a person wants to purchase my art, they should contact one of the galleries that represents me: Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago , or Moberg Gallery in Des Moines .

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Honorary Iowan: Leovi

1. How did you come to Be an artist?

I think it was by chance. 
As a child I wanted to be a footballer and collected the trading cards of players.  I knew all their names and statistics.
After I had learned them all,  I invented a new game. The game was to look at the border around the edge and try to guess the name of the player according to the tones of the sky in the photo. There were over 400 cards in my collection (at the time the photography was analog).  I found that not even one of the skies was the same. I spent days trying to guess the names  by just looking at a piece of heaven. I think subconsciously that learning how to see the difference in the color helped me a lot.


As a teenager I loved playing with a flashlight, projecting light onto the ceiling.  I would cover the light beam partially with my fingers and create light, shadow and movement.   At the same time I was listening to music and trying to create music-related images.  With Sierra symphonic or progressive rock ie: Pink Floid, Yes, Camel, Genesis, ... the rate of movement and form was more leisurely. If I listened to hard rock ie: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelind, Ramones ... The speed of the images increased. 
With this experience,  I created abstract images that were very suggestive.   They woke up my imagination.  Since I didn't know English,  I created images and stories not related to the subject of songs.   This didn't happen when I used Spanish songs.  I felt  closed and it did not work .

Later, I started adding layers of painting and drawing.  I would gradually increase the intensity of an area (I was listening to the music of Alan Parsons, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream .. ..) Listening to music helped me feel the change of color tones according to the intensity of light. For me this was just fun. But at one point I wanted to make representational work. I tried painting, but I wasn't trained in ​​painting and it was a disaster.

Eventually after purchasing a SLR camera I discovered that my imagery was based on light and the only way of painting with light was through photography.  

Simultaneously, I had a passion for the painting of Van Gogh and his freedom  working with color.  Thus, I began my adventure with art and the documentation of my early works in 1987.

My art studies are minimal. I haven't been in many competitions or contests, since the they ask for a curriculum vitae.

What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge?

The biggest challenge was in the beginning was technical. It took a while for me to find the right type of film and lighting for my needs.  At the time we had only analog and my resources were very limited.
I could not afford to have a laboratory, so I got used to creating the image before shooting. None of my pictures were retouched or manipulated after shooting. I learned to enjoy creating the scene before shooting, and I think that influenced my creativity and my photography.  I  have a way of working and an approach to the art sessions. Each time I take the camera is a challenge.

3. What Would your "dream" Be exhibit space or project be?

My dream is to have my style recognized when it is viewed by others.  In the same way as ,  when you view a picture by Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, or Matisse.... It is Leovi. It really is a difficult and ambitious dream. But just a dream ... I have and want a personal style.

4. What inspires you?

Light inspires me.  The light in a restaurant, at a friends house walking in the street ...
This makes it easy for me to make photographs. It is also easy for me to disconnect and go someplace else in my mind.

What do you like best about Being an artist?

The privilege of seeing and feeling things.
Capturing a moment in time. I see more beauty than is represented. I think that happens to everyone. But capturing that moment is very exciting and unique. The inspiration comes first, and then the question of how to represent them, often I am not successful. Ultimately, I try to capture a moment in time.

6. If a Person Wants to see more of your work or purchase it ... Where Can They Go?

My work is currently not for sale. 
In the beginning, I visited many galleries, dealers, institutions and all doors were closed. At that time the internet wasn't at the level it is now. I found that to have exhibitions, I spent what little savings I didn't sell anything. In this phase of my life,  I'm more relaxed in that regard. I have a job that allows me to support my family and the cost of digital photography is cheaper than analog. Now what interests me is to show my work. I have no dealer, nor intend to go looking for galleries that exploited me to pay their rent. If someone is interested in my work my email appears in my blog profile. But in principle I am more interested in showing my work than to generate money from it. It would be fantastic, If I could spend all my time making art. I think that would be the biggest advantage of making money.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Debora Stewart: Artist Interview

Radiant Vista
pastel on paper
Debora Stewart

1. How did you come to be an artist?

My interest in art came at a young age.  By the time I reached high
school it was my art classes that helped me survive adolescence.  My
dream of being an artist did not fit into my parents idea of what I
should do with my life but they did eventually allow me to attend
college but only to take art classes while studying to become a
secretary!  This did not last long and I dropped the secretarial
studies.  I attended the University of Iowa after attending two years
of college in my hometown.  I had lofty dreams but became discouraged
and was a casualty of the times and my own vulnerabilities.  Thus, my
dreams of being an artist went by the "wayside" for a long time.  I
went on to employment in human services and education and obtained my
masters in counseling.  My art had always been something I did when I
had time.  I also have always found a way to merge my art into my work
with people and especially adolescents.  I very much enjoy working
with adolescents as a counselor and an art educator.  Through the
years I have worked with many different media and really was fairly
proficient at figure drawing and oil painting.  I would say that I
have finally found my "voice" as an artist the last five to seven
years.  I decided to devote myself to drawing as that had always been
my first love.  This lead me back to experimenting with pastels once
again.  And now I would say that the Internet has changed my life in
many ways.  It has opened up the world to me and allowed me to see the
work of other artists, become aware of opportunities I did not know
were out there and to receive feedback and encouragement for my work.
Four years ago I attended an intuitive drawing workshop for a week in
Minneapolis at the Split Rock Arts Center.  This really helped give me
a jump in momentum.  I discovered that the creative energy I felt when
I was much younger was still there and it gave me the confidence to
say to myself "I am an artist."  It also helped me to gain confidence
in my own intuition and to take risks.  It really was just what I
needed at the time.   >>

2. What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been self doubt and fear of taking risks.
This is what I am trying to get over during this "second half" of my
life.  I tell myself often "feel the fear and do it anyway".  And then
on a day to day basis it is the juggling of my full time employment
with my life as an artist.  I know that I am reaching the point where
I'm going to need to make a decision on that.  But, I"m not sure how
that is going to come about yet.

Landscape with Orange
pastel on paper
Debora Stewart

3. What would your "dream" exhibit space be or project be?

My "dream" exhibit has been to have a show in a gallery in the western
part of the U.S.  Santa Fe is the ultimate dream for me.  And part of
my dream is becoming reality as I have been invited to show my work at
a prominent Denver gallery for a pastel invitational exhibit.  I will
be showing my work along with about fourteen other pastel artists in
September at Abend Gallery.  How this came about was really "out of
the blue".  I was contacted by an artist who lives in Santa Fe after
she saw my website.  She was in the process of recommending artists
for this exhibit.  So, I will be shipping five of my pastels, flying
to Denver and attending the opening.  It is still unbelievable.

pastel on paper
Debora Stewart

4. What inspires you?

I am inspired by the natural world.  I am inspired by light, color,
shadows and gestural line.  I am inspired when I take walks by the
Mississippi and all the changes that I see throughout the seasons.  I
was very inspired by my trip to Santa Fe last summer and found that
the landscape really had an impact on me in a very emotional way.

pastel on paper
Debora Stewart

5. What do you like best about being an artist?

Being an artist to me is all about freedom.  It is also closely tied
to my own spirituality.  I love that creativity gets me in touch with
another way of knowing - a deeper self.

Sacred Land
pastel on paper
Debora Stewart

6. If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it...where can
they go?  My work can be viewed on my website at or on my blog at  My work is also currently on display at Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City and at Cornerhouse Gallery in Cedar Rapids.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Artist Interview: Satomi Kawai

This pin can be gotten with a $10.00 donation
limited edition of 120
 for further details contact Satomi at 

How did you come to be an artist?

I enjoyed drawing, painting and printing when I was a girl.  I wanted a means of expression when I was very young, but I did not intend to become an artist.    Later when I was in my twenties, I practiced Japanese traditional art forms, such as tea-ceremony, flower arrangement, and calligraphy.  Still, I did not intend to become a professional artist.    Twelve years ago, I came to the United States and got married.  I was looking for a method of communication.   I wanted to express myself through visual art rather than by words.  I started to take courses at the University of Iowa and I discovered my fascination with making objects.  In 2006, I got MFA degree in Jewelry and Metal Arts and have been a practicing studio artist since.

 Moment: Spreading
                Large:  W 5.9” x H 10” x D 1.2” 
                Small: W5.3” x H 6.1” x D 1.2”
steel wool and wool; needle felted, sterling silver; 
blackened, and cotton organza, and cotton thread
                February 2010

How has been your biggest challenge?

Keeping my energy level up is always challenging.  I don't enjoy repeating the same kind of work. Sometimes I want a completely new challenge.  I focused on 3D work when I was a student, but three years ago I started making 2D work to get a bigger perspective.  Now I make drawings, prints, objects, and wearable objects.  2D work has become a process for the 3D work, and visa versa.  Now, I am juggling between the two.   
  Growing Together I
 Top part W 8” x H 10” x D 0.25” Total height: 16.5”
 Steel; etched, blackened, and 
pigment applied, sterling silver; blackened,
 cotton Organza, and cotton thread 
 February 2011

What would your “dream” exhibit space be or project be?

I make my wearable objects as an extension of the body. I want the person who wears my objects, to have that feeling. Now, I am working on a piece that is 3D in nature but 2D in appearance. It is printed material that will be installed with three dimensional objects on the wall.   Ever since I started printmaking, I have wanted to do this project.

 What inspires you?

My grandmother, who raised me since I was a baby, has been my fundamental source of  inspiration.   She taught me to be aware of being a woman.  This is a core theme in both my 2D and 3D work.  She also taught me domestic handcrafts, such as sewing and needle felting, which has become my personal methodology.  Based on my personal feminine experience, I have been investigating the universal human condition of biological, cultural, emotional, and relationship layers.   These mingle and intermingle together to a certain degree, and appear in my work.   

 Growing Together II
  Top part: W 7” x H 7” x D 0.2” Total height: 15.5”
Steel; etched, blackened, and pigment applied, sterling silver; 
blackened, cotton Organza, and cotton thread 
                February 2011
What do you like best about being an artist

What I like best is to use my five senses and to spend my time to creating my work. This is the most luxurious thing in my life.  Each process helps me to visualize my thoughts.  I feel a strong necessity to examine the human condition as a woman.  With my artwork, I am able to share universal moments with others, especially with women.  I was recently asked to participate in an event by Asian women rights organization with my artwork.   This kind of social engagement is a privilege of being an artist.

Sharing Moment (from serial “hair” mono-printing)
W 22” x H 30”
 photo lithography on Kozo paper

                December 2010

If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it where can they go?

To see more of my work please visit my personal website;  My work is available at two galleries; Gallery Loupe, Montclair, NJ, and Gallery Alternatives, Rome, Italy.   

 I will be exhibiting my work at:

 “Speaking Up through Art” 
an event for SUARA (Voices) 
Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2011 
by Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa, 
Iowa City Public Library Room A
Tuesday, April 19, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.   

The Fountain Lobby
Project Art
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics  
April 22 to July 17.

The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects
London, United Kingdom 
May 6 to 9.

Sharing Moment (from serial “hair” mono-printing)
                                 W 22” x H 30”
                                 photo lithography on Kozo paper
                                 January 2011
In addition:

I will be selling pin-brooches as a fundraiser for Japanese Earthquake/ Tsunami relief.

We had a huge tragic disaster in March 11.  It has been more than heartbreaking to see the images of what has been happening in my motherland.  As a member of the Japanese group in Iowa City, I am asking for people to be generous and purchase one of my pins.    

The small pin-brooch (seen above),  is 1” diameter.  It is red to symbolize the Japanese flag. The Kanji character, which is the word for "hope, is meant to show appreciation for your help.  
Please contact me to make a donation @ or visit her on facebook.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Michael Kienzle: Artist Interview

Battle of the Bulge, acrylic on canvas, 24x48 inches, 2010
Today's artist comes as a recommendation from Deb Zisko (see former post).  I have not had the chance to meet Michael but...we share the distinction that both our "consumable products" share the same counter in a local bookstore (Prairie Lights).  Isn't that funny how as artists, our work can have something in common with another artist.  It is sort of the Kevin Bacon effect.....  So,  I would like to present Michael Kienzle.

1. How did you come to be an artist? 

 I was standing in line at Blick's a few years ago to buy a frame for a photograph I had made.  I noticed that painting starter kits were on sale.  I bought one and started painting and enjoyed it so I kept going.

Goldfish (after Matisse), acrylic on canvas, 30x30 inches, 2010

2. What has been your biggest challenge?

You mean other than no prior experience or training?  I started too late and never have enough time to paint as much as I would like.

Flag of an Imaginary Homeland, acrylic on canvas, 24x36 inches, 2010

3. What would your "dream" exhibit space be or project be?

 I enjoy doing shows with friends in my small gallery space next to my studio.  I usually do one gallery party in the spring and fall.  I try to sell some work so I can pay the caterer.

Standing Nude Vaguely Remembered, acrylic on canvas, 20x20 inches

4. What inspires you?

I mostly paint from imagination, and usually my ideas start as a word or phrase, even a line from a poem.  After that, I'm mostly about color.

5. What do you like best about being an artist?

It gives my right brain something to do.  And I enjoy being around other artists.

Red Square, acrylic on canvas, 30x30 inches, 2010

6. If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it...where can they go?

   I have work exhibited at Hudson River Gallery in Iowa City.  My art website is

Monday, November 15, 2010

Karlee Mannix: Artist Interview

Deeply Rooted
Acrylic on canvas panel

1. How did you come to be an artist?
I have always been an artist. It is something I have always known. My mother likes to tell a story about me when I was just three-years-old: I was drawing with my older brother and when my mother came over to examine our separate pictures she noticed that my older brother had scribbled all over his page and then she glanced at mine. My picture had a cat looking out of a window, you could see across the street with cars and children playing. Mind you, I was only 3 so it wasn't perfect, but she was blown away that my piece had perspective and recognizable objects. Needless to say she was happy to have herself a little artist.

Last Days of Darkness
Watercolor, Acrylic, Colored Pencil.
Sept. 2010

2. What has been your biggest challenge?
Motivation. Sometimes I have a bad habit of getting into artistic ruts. I usually Snap out of them, but they are the worst when I am in the middle of one.
3. What would your "dream" exhibit space be or project be?
Not sure about a "dream" exhibit, but I can think of a dream project. I hope that someday I can open a gallery in downtown Iowa City that is centered around children. You know, display kids artwork in a professional manner. I think this would be good for the community, the children, parents and teachers.

Waiting for the Day
Watercolor, Acrylic, Colored Pencil.
Sept 2010

4. What inspires you?
Trees, nature in general. Surreal dreams that I've had. Feminity. Animals and vivid colors.

5. What do you like best about being an artist?
The ability to see something in my head and be able to express it on canvas. It's powerful and rewarding.
Smell of Rain
Watercolor, Acrylic, Colored Pencil.
Sept 2010

6. If a person wants to see more of your work or purchase it...where can they go?
I am employed at the wonderful Chait Galleries Downtown in Iowa City, so I have a few pieces there. I also have a Facebook for my art and a DeviantArt account online.