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Highlights From The Artist Marketing Blog

By: dean|Date: Nov 25, 2016

An Artist Interview - Julie Gautier-Downes

Reporter Ginny Brennan is at it again!  Read the Interview below from award winning artist Julie Gautier-Downes.   - When did you start creating installations and using photography as your art? – I have always been making things and in 2002 while in New York, I attended the Fame School.  I began painting in oils and at the same time started with my photography. When I was in college, I became serious about photography and stopped painting entirely. For a few years, I worked exclusively in photography until I started doing installations and which incorporate photographs into built environments. That is the process that I am most excited about now because it engages the viewer through other senses (like smell and touch) and it has the potential to transport a viewer somewhere else. – As a kid what did you want to be? – I wanted to be an anthropologist. I loved history and was fascinated in what we can learn about others in what is left behind. This interest in artifacts seems to have led me to be what I am today. – What have been your greatest accomplishments or proudest achievements? – Being able to attend the Rhode Island School of Design for Graduate School is something that I am proud of. They receive hundreds of     applications and only admitted six people into the program. I feel that without going to graduate school, I would still be an artist, but I would not have progressed as quickly or understood myself as an artist as deeply as I do now. - What has been your biggest break? – I was recently awarded a Grant for Artist Projects Award from the Artist Trust. The grant will allow me to purchase materials and equipment that I will be able to use in several new installations. - What inspires your works? – A fire in 2009 of my childhood home and also moving around a lot after my parents split up. In 2008 when I was deciding on college I chose UC Santa Cruz Art Department, during the spring of freshman year my childhood home was destroyed in a fire.  That experience has inspired me to document and recreate domestic environments in my photographs and installations. – Are there practical things you do each day that help you stay “art” focused? – Is there a particular artist you relate to? – Yes I relate to Edward Kienholz, an Idaho-based artist who also did sculptures and created tableaus which existed in between sculpture and installation.  He actually used a Spokane storefront from East Sprague Avenue as an installation, that piece is now at the Missoula Art Museum.  He also spent time working in Berlin, Germany. – What has been the toughest lesson or toughest time you’ve experienced? – When I was in Graduate School I was the only west coast student and had to travel back and forth to photograph the desert landscape for my work.  During the time between my travels I started constructing installations to recreate abandoned homes in my studio to share my experience of being in those spaces with the other students. – What is your attitude on life as it relates to your art? – My creative process is way I process experiences, both good and bad. I try to channel those experiences into something that others can learn from and connect to. – What has been your hardest lesson as an artist? – Figuring out how to be independent and doing the physical aspect of my installations. I don’t like to be reliant on others, but there are limits to my physical strength. Knowing when to ask for help is something I struggle with. - How do you feel when people interpret your artwork different? – I think it’s interesting to hear what they think and what they are experiencing.  I had the opportunity to work with children. At one point, I showed them some of my photographs and a young girl was particularly drawn to a diptych of a chair with a snapshot of a young boy. She said that the boy must have been tied up and hurt in the chair. – Have you had a light-bulb moment that you can share for aspiring artists? – The importance of working hard. Often times others make an assumption that what I do is easy and in reality it takes a lot of hard work. When I get stuck creatively, I try to work through it. If you don’t keep working, you’ll never get unstuck. – I’m constantly putting myself out there celebrating the positive stuff and letting the rejections go. I am blessed to have the support of my family and friends. Also, my cats, they love me no matter what. – Do you try to make a statement with your art? – My work isn’t really about making a statement, but I think about consumerism and our material culture. Today, most of the objects that we use are cheaper to replace than fix or take when we move. I think about how much we throw away or leave behind and what the long term ramifications of that behavior will be when we run out of places to dump our waste. - Where is your art being shown or has it been shown?    

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By: dean|Date: Oct 31, 2016

An Artist Interview - JoAnne Henault

 Our roving reporter Ginny Brennan is at it again!  This time she sits down with JoAnne Henault – Spokane Artist               – Can you share a little about yourself and what you do. – I’m a retired elementary teacher and I worked for Spokane Public School District 81.  I have been retired since 2005.  I reside in South Spokane.  I was also born in Spokane and raised in Idaho.  I moved back to Spokane after I was married.  In my early forties, I began taking watercolor art classes in North Idaho.  I began seriously painting after my retirement. – What is your preferred medium and why is that? – I have painted in watercolor, acrylic and oil.  I also have created in pencil, pen and ink.  I spend most of my time going back and forth between watercolor and acrylic.               Sunflowers - Acrylics – What were your early paintings about? – I paint mostly landscapes and skies with lots and lots of practice.  I haven’t thrown away any of my early art. – What themes do you incorporate into your artwork? – I love to paint landscapes and lots of animals.  I have painted several friends pets, and I have done several commissions.  I have even painted an elephant from a photo for a friend who had gone on an African safari.               Owl - Watercolor – Can you remember one of the first things you drew or painted.  What makes it memorable? – The first watercolor I did was a farm scene in sepia tone.  It’s memorable because I completed it and it was worthy of being framed.  It is still hanging in my home.  My first acrylic was when I was learning how to paint flowers and I was pleased because I didn’t think I could do it. –  What was the best advice you have received? – Not to be afraid and keep trying. – Do you have a favorite artist?  If so, what draws you to that person’s work? -  I love the Impressionists.  They were brave enough to go where no man or woman had been.  My first love was Monet and I will be able to see where he created his art in my travels on my next trip to Europe in October.  Monet’s art makes one feel as if you are right there. - Is there any local artist you admire famous or not?  If yes, what draws you to that person’s work? – I love Spokane artist, Sue Rohrback’s work.  Sue has been a great teacher, friend and mentor. – Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work? – I’m excited to now be using a lot of my own photographs as references.  I love creating art from places I have visited. – What is your favorite piece of work that you have created? – They’re all my favorites, as I’m working on them.  I develop a love-hate relationship with each of them. – What are you working on at the moment? – At the moment I am working on a couple of different things, one is a watercolor on Wallis Lake in Glacier and I’m also working on a piece with water lilies.  There is something romantic about water lilies that draws me in.           Lake McDonald - Watercolor – Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art?  How did it turn out? – Every time I try something new it’s out of my comfort zone.  I learn so much and get new tips from everything I try. – Professionally, what is your goal? – I just want to continue expanding my artistic abilities.  I’m always seeking out new ideas. – What are you doing when you are not creating?  What other hobbies do you have? – I travel to see my “Lucy” my granddaughter and soon there will be a grandson.  I grow dahlias and a few vegetables in my garden.  I like to do crossword puzzles and play bridge and pinochle with friends. - What, in your own opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece? – If I have created a masterpiece, the hardest step is not knowing when to stop going back and working on it.  I’m still looking for the masterpiece. – Where else can we find your art? . – Where else do you sell your work? - I sell mainly at local shows throughout the year and through RRAFA’s group art venues in and around Spokane restaurants and public places.     Local Art Show – Do you have any tips or inspiring words for other? – I always say if I can do art anybody can.  Just give yourself the time, quiet your mind and concentrate. - What is your favorite color, your favorite animal, your favorite season and favorite book? – Pink is my favorite color and my favorite animal is a cat.  My favorite season is summer.  As for a favorite book, I like current best sellers and book club selections.  

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By: dean|Date: Aug 22, 2016

An Artist Interview - Katie Frey

  Who are you and what do you do? What is your preferred medium and why? Can you remember one of the first things you drew/sculptured/painted, etc. What makes it memorable? - I painted Jimi Hendrix in my High School painting class, and the teacher told me I could not finish the painting at school because he was inappropriate subject matter. Any artist you admire famous or not. Do you have a favorite artist?  If yes, what draws you to that person’s work? - Recently, I have been inspired by Carol Nelson’s work. I love the texture of her “geological abstracts”, and the brilliant colors she uses in her landscapes. I would consider her a modern impressionist. Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work? - I work from photographs and outdoor sketches, but also glean ideas from pinterest, and base a lot of paintings off works by Van Gogh, Chagall, and other famous (and not so famous) artists. My paintings never look anything like the original inspiration, but just staring at a brilliant piece of art can spark an idea that takes me in a totally different direction. What is your favorite piece of work that you have created? (Include photo or link) What are you working on at the moment? - My current project is a series of hilarious animal portraits. They are not at all realistic, but rather cute and likely to be hung up in a nursery or child’s room. I have done several cats, owls, birds, and a giraffe. Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? How did it turn out? - Up until a few years ago I was really uncomfortable painting landscapes. I simply hadn’t figured out how to paint landscapes in a way I actually enjoyed. Which turned out to be with loads of texture! Now I love landscapes. I include rocks and shells, torn fabric, lace, and paper, as well as layers and layers of thick texture mediums. Yum! What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life? - I just want to keep growing as an artist; improving and building on my style and technique. I also hope to continue teaching art classes and workshops here in Spokane. I love my art students! What are you doing when you are not creating?  What other hobbies do you have?  Or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork? - My second love is writing, and I get the occasional children’s story published. I studied English and Art in college, but I’ve been much more successful with my art than I have my writing. Perhaps the day will come when I can combine my two loves. - What, in your own opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece? - I wouldn’t know. I sincerely doubt I have ever created a masterpiece. - Do you have any favorite blogs you can share? . Where do you sell your work? - Currently my art can be found at Artemisia, the gift shop below the Women’s club. I show all over Spokane at events like Art on the Ave and First Friday as well as coffee shops and restaurants. Where else can we find you?  Do you have an online website, or portfolio or a blog where we can view your work? . I am also on Etsy: .    

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