Artist Interview: Susan Medyn Colorful Fine Art Paintings

I first saw the colorful paintings of Susan Medyn when she emailed me about being on the Whimsicalpaintings.com website. I was instantly taken by her unique paintings brimming with imaginary animals lounging or romping in festive landscapes of pattern and color!

Each painting seems to tell a story about the relationships of the animals to their surroundings. I love how they draw me in and make me look for the details such as the little birds in the trees or faces in the flora.

Below are some questions and answers for you to read more about Susan and her work.

All the images are 12″ x 9″  watercolor on Aquabord and varnished.

Susan Medyn paintingHere There and Everywhere by Susan Medyn

Will you tell us a little bit of background about being an artist and why you create art?
I started painting 37 years ago. I was dating an artist and he spent many late nights working. I found I could not keep myself from playing with the art materials and began making imaginary creatures. I quickly found myself compelled to create, using ink and watercolor as my medium. I initially began making drawings that were meant to be bits of stories of my life but quickly transcended into fantastical landscapes filled with flora and fauna of my own making.

What do you like about working in watercolor?
I love the play of color on the paper, the absorbency, the ability to work nearly anywhere and the look I am creating.

You are using colorful, whimsical imagery filled with fantastical creatures and fauna.When did you begin painting in this style, and what inspires you?
I made my first adult painting around 21 or 22. It was an imaginary creature gradually transforming into other creatures. I still have the first dozen paintings I made.  I sometimes put them out at open studios for comparison. I’m inspired by nearly everything. The old fashioned  bathtub drain toggle always looked like a face to me. Leaves on plants are mini jungles. I particularly love incorporating neolithic figures and images from the greek orientalizing period. Indian patterns and Polish decorative egg patterns all seem to weave their way into my works. I love going to museums. I get lost looking at paintings by the old masters. Rusted metal found objects are magnificent patterns and imagery. I am inspired by book plate covers, pattern books, animals in art, old postcards. I don’t know how, but my work flows from hand to paper and my memory play with designs. Three years ago I made a commitment to paint daily — as though I don’t already have enough paintings. I have made over 800 paintings in my 36 years as an artist.

Susan Medyn painting titled I like it that wayI Like It That Way by Susan Medyn

Can you explain your creative process?
Whether on paper or Aquabord, I always start out making my drawing in with a number 3 pencil. I make a rough outline of a landscape and then fill the page with a few central creatures. From there a story evolves where I add other creatures listening in or chatting one another up. I often try to hide several within the landscape, sort of a peek-a-boo, like when you suddenly realize there is a snail on a piece of kale you have picked, or a bird in a bush you have walked by. I revise my drawing several times. I erase the pencil marks and decide on my color scheme before inking it with a  crow quill pen. I paint the principal creatures and then work from there.

 

“I do like when people find my work curious and funny and visually pleasing.”

 

How do you want someone to feel when he or she views your colorful paintings?
Sometimes I add a story to my painting and find this helps the viewer to understand my work. But mostly I am making images that I am driven to create. I do like when people find my work curious and funny and visually pleasing. That is how I find it. I am disappointed when people ask me if I ever considered illustrating a children’s book.

How important is the title of a painting to you and when and how do you title a piece?
A lot of thinking goes into my titles. I usually go through several names before I settle on one that feels right.

I understand that you do some work as a therapist. Do you have any thoughts on art and healing that you can share?
Yes, I am a therapist and have been seeing individuals and couples for 23 years. I believe art and the process brings a level of understanding to aspects of one’s life. I recently had a bout of cancer and later realized my chat room name was “paintingmywaythru”. Nothing deep there, but it was an almost an unconscious expression of how I was going to use my time to get through treatment. Children especially make art to express their feelings and yet as we begin to grow up it is as though drawing and painting are left behind. I believe laughter, self exploration and self expression are tools to healing.

Egyption Jungle painting by Susan Mendyn

Egyptian Jungle by Susan Medyn

 

You have a section on your website called the Hurricane of ’38 photos. Can you tell us what that is about?
One day I happened into an antique store in Rhode Island that had the craziest things. The owner manner was unnerving. Showing me one thing to another, even showing me a 50’s bar he had for sale in his basement. As usual was drawn to the stacks of paintings and photos. I found a small packet of pictures taken with a Kodak Brownie camera. They showed the aftermath of the Hurricane of 1938 which devastated Rhode Island. I asked how much they were but the owner tried to get me to buy an autographed photo of a former baseball player. I was ready to leave when he named a price. I sent them to The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for them to copy so that they could be in their public record.

Do you have any advice for emerging artists who are just starting out?
Work as hard as you can. Do what you love. Don’t be afraid to experiment, create everyday, push your limits, take time to reflect and evaluate. Your goals and your abilities may not be in sync for quite awhile but be kind to yourself and keep on working. Listen to advice from other artists, keep what feels right for you and store what doesn’t. Take classes, play, listen to your creative spirit, spend time in museums, think outside the box, learn the language of art.

Fish Finder Painting by Susan Mendyn
Fish Finder by Susan Mendyn

 

What’s your current or next art project?
I am working on 6 paintings right now.  2 are commissions, 1 a small work, and 3 are larger sized dense jungles that I am painting for an upcoming exhibit in Belgium.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
Although I have a day job 3 days a week, I do look forward to a point in my life where I can focus mainly on painting. I love making art. I love gardening, fishing, swimming, traveling, being with my family and 2 cats, enjoying time with friends and looking at the landscape. Reading is my main escape and I can’t go a day without picking up a book.

Thank you Susan for the great interview!

If you would like to see more of Susan’s work, visit her website at http://susanmedyn.com/

On her website, Susan says subscribe to her blog posts by “email for a chance to win a giclée or another goodie monthly.” How fun is that?

Lindy in Sprout On-line Magazine Artist Interview

Sprout on-line magazine

Click here to visit Sprout On-line Magazine.

I’m thrilled to announce an interview and feature article in Sprout, the online magazine that is sure to inspire. It is issue 20 with a theme of “Wild – find your roots.”

The magazine is filled with photos, poetry, essays and stories that will

inspire, uplift your spirit and get you thinking about nature, growth and how you view the world!

 

Sprout On-line magazine

Amanda Fall, the editor and publisher of Sprout, interviewed me with some great questions about my artist’s journey. Some of the questions really got me thinking and I share some of my life experiences and beliefs in this interview. Amanda asked questions like:

Connection to nature is the lifeblood of your work. When and why did your love of the natural world take root?

And

The symbolic imagery in your work references “the miracle of creation,” reflecting the spiritual energy and unity you see in all beings. Would you share more about this point of view?

Plus more!

Sprout On-line Magazine

Each monthly issue explores a different theme. I think you will really enjoy reading it! I know I did. It even got me thinking about writing some poetry. I have a number of poems I’ve written over the years but haven’t done any writing like that in a long time. So now I’m inspired!

Click here to visit Sprout On-line Magazine.

Wild Sprout Magazine

 

I love nature – being in it, being inspired by it, reading about it, painting it and even talking about it. Let “Wild” intoxicate you with its wonders.

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

― Henry David ThoreauWalden: Or, Life in the Woods

 

Artist Interview: Cindy Davis

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an artist interview so I thought it was about time for another. In the past, I’ve interviewed artists Amy Komar, Miriam Badyrka, and Chris Ambrose and now I’d like to introduce Cindy Davis. As you know, I love whimsical, colorful art and that is what Cindy specializes in. I love her new flower series but I’ll let her explain more about that. Below is some of Cindy’s art and her interview. Enjoy!

Cindy-Davis

What is your name and where do you come from?
Cindy Davis, originally from Memphis, Tennessee. Have lived all over the South, but now reside in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

What is the first thing you remember creating artistically?
a small daisy on a piece of notebook paper

ozark-cuteness

What drives you to come up with ideas for your work, what are your sources of inspiration?
Usually I work my ideas out on canvas, and let the design come as it will.  I don’t sketch much, always feel a little guilty about that. Sketching just doesn’t work for me, and it makes my hand cramp up!  My inspiration comes in the studio while painting. I work best if I can relax and let the ideas come out while I play with color.

What are you painting right now?
I am working on a series of paintings called “Possibility Flowers”.  They involve simple, bright shapes. Crazy bright, actually. The idea is to continue to paint them in different ways to see what is “possible”.

mint-a-holic

Where Has your artistic journey taken you so far?
I have shown, sold, and exhibited in some funky places over the years.

My little paintings have hung in coffee shops in small, sleepy southern towns that sell watermelons off the back of trucks and BBQ on the street.

arabian-nights1I displayed at Junior League bazaars that were so southern they served up huge bowls of warm, buttered pecans – as a vegetable.

I have painted at a farmer’s market where a big, fat city councilman in a cheap suit and a gold tooth bought a painting of mine for cash and then proceed to make a speech to the crowd about supporting the little people. And yes, he really did say “little people” while looking at me.

I’ve been lucky to have a few upscale solo shows now and then in nice galleries with wine and cheese.

I repainted one entirely because affluent lady’s Feng Shui consultant didn’t like the name of the first one.  We couldn’t rename it, the consultant insisted that it must be repainted. I said OK, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

I tried to paint someone’s dog once. After much aggravation and a few hissy fits in my studio, I returned to tell her I just couldn’t do it.  She would have to find another to paint the dog, it just wasn’t my thing.  I don’t accept too many commissions anymore. They stress me out.

It’s all fun in it’s own way.  I like people and find them interesting. Exhibiting is always an adventure for me.   I am fortunate I don’t have much of a fear for making a fool of myself artistically.  I really don’t so much about that. It’s too late to pull back now anyway so I might as well keep going.  Paint your heart out, then bear your soul to the world.  That’s the artist’s life.

butterfly-blues1

What’s the view outside (or inside) from where you paint?
Right now I see my neighbor’s back yard.  Studio views throughout the years have included a grain elevator, a pond, south Georgia pine trees, and four white walls.

How do you title your pieces and is a title important to you?
Titles aren’t very important to me.  Usually by the time I finish a piece the title has revealed itself to me, so I slap it right on.

gigglesWhat other artists inspire you?
I have always favored post-impressionists Paul Gauguin and Paul Cezanne.  Lately, I have been into pop artist Romero Britto and of course I have followed Peter Max for years.

Fill in the blank:

Art today is…. more available to the average Joe-Schmo than ever before in the history of mankind.

dont-cry-teal-babies1

Any Art Galleries or shops you are in or take part in? I currently self-represent.

the-burbs

Where to find Cindy’s work:

Website: http://cindydavisart.com/

Shop url: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CindyDavisArt

Blog: http://cindydavisart.com/category/blog/

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/CindyDavisArtist

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CindyDavisArt

Google+: https://plus.google.com/108340896545132368254/posts

And lastly, from a question inspired by artist Amy Komar:

List (9) simple pleasures / delights of your day

morning coffee

walking my dog

the field in front of my house

puttering around town in my orange Honda Fit

sitting on the back porch with my iphone

outlandish wool socks

wild turkeys that roost nearby

thrifting in the Ozarks

using my full set of fresh colorful sharpies

Thank you Cindy for the great interview! It’s always fun to hear about what inspires an artist and to learn a little more about you!

Good thoughts,

Lindy

Whimsical Watercolor Artist Chris Ambrose Art Interview

1. Where are you from?
I reside in Garnet Valley, PA with my husband and two daughters.
2. How long have you been an artist?
I started to enjoy sketching and my original medium, chalk pastels, when
I was around 13.  I mostly created art back then for family members.  I discovered watecolors
many years later and never went back!  I’m primarily self-taught, but have taken classes in the past at a local arts center.
I’ve been freelancing for 8 years now.  I sell my work in galleries, restaurants and online.
3. What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
I decided to stop working my 9 to 5 job to become a stay-at-home mom after my first daughter
was born.  I soon had another daughter, so I didn’t have lots of time to focus on painting.  After my youngest
daughter entered grade school, I couldn’t wait to paint again!  Soon I was taking a few
classes at a local community arts center.  My instructor at the center was so inspirational,
and taught me how to just have “fun” with art.
4.  You have many beach and surf scenes in your paintings.  Tell us about your connection to these visuals?
I noticed one day while visiting a few galleries that there weren’t many vibrant beach/surf paintings displayed.
They were mostly traditional and I thought it would be fun to create something whimsical and outside the box.
I’ve never surfed, but have always admired the surf culture’s laidback attitude, which is why surf scenes
appealed to me.  Also, the beach is my favorite place to be with family and friends!
5.   Why have you chosen watercolor as your medium of choice?
Because it’s challenging but very rewarding.  There’s many techniques for watercolor and I still like
experimenting with them.  I feel that I learn something new each time I paint.
6.  How long did it take you to develop your own style?
Once I decided to paint my whimsical scenes, about a week or so.  I love painting in a whimsical style,
because I feel that I can be much more creative and authentic with my art.  Anything goes and it’s
all about color!
7.  What’s the most challenging part of creating your art?
Knowing when to stop and not overworking a painting.  There’s been a few paintings that ended
up in the trash can that way!  I’m sure a lot of other artists can relate!
8.  What do you want to say with your art?
Enjoy every moment, have fun and think outside the box once in a while.  You never know
what will happen!
9.  How important to you are the titles of your pieces?
Very important.  The viewer has to not only relate to the painting, but to the title as well.  I believe
once the viewer looks at the title, it can totally change their mind about what the painting is all about.
10.  Do you have an idea of what you will paint before starting or does come to you as you start creating?
I do a lot of doodling in my sketchbook and as I think of something I’ll jot it down in a notebook.
Then when I’m ready to paint, I’ll refer to my doodles and notes.  I also get ideas from just observing
the surroundings, especially when I’m at the beach.
11.   What’s your current or next art project?
Learning how to paint with acrylics on canvas.  I’m actually working on my first and will hopefully
complete it soon!
12.  What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
When I started selling in a gallery and restaurant in Sea Isle City, a beach resort town in NJ.
I will never forget that first sale!  My beach art is very much a niche market, so I’m always
researching beachside galleries.
13.  Where do you see Chris Ambrose five years from now?
Having lots of fun with painting and hopefully, more experienced with acrylics!
14.  Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to thank Lindy for the opportunity to display my work on her whimsical
paintings site and for this interview.  She is such a talented artist!

I first saw Chris Ambrose’s fun, colorful beach paintings online and new she would be a perfect fit for my whimsicalpaintings.com website which showcases 20 artists with a whimsical style of painting.

I’m a beach lover and often travel to Baja, also I love whimsy and color, so I was drawn to her lively beach imagery that enchants the playful, free spirit in me. I’m always curious what inspires other artists and how they work so I lined up an artist interview with Chris below. Hope you enjoy it!

Artist Chris Ambrose
Artist Chris Ambrose

1. Where are you from?
I reside in Garnet Valley, PA with my husband and two daughters.

2. How long have you been an artist?
I started to enjoy sketching and my original medium, chalk pastels, when  I was around 13.  I mostly created art back then for family members. I discovered watecolors many years later and never went back! I’m primarily self-taught, but have taken classes in the past at a local arts center. I’ve been freelancing for 8 years now. I sell my work in galleries, restaurants and online.

3. What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
I decided to stop working my 9 to 5 job to become a stay-at-home mom after my first daughter was born. I soon had another daughter, so I didn’t have lots of time to focus on painting. After my youngest daughter entered grade school, I couldn’t wait to paint again!  Soon I was taking a few classes at a local community arts center. My instructor at the center was so inspirational, and taught me how to just have “fun” with art.

Work Hard, Play Hard
Work Hard, Play Hard

4. You have many beach and surf scenes in your paintings.  Tell us about your connection to these visuals?
I noticed one day while visiting a few galleries that there weren’t many vibrant beach/surf paintings displayed. They were mostly traditional and I thought it would be fun to create something whimsical and outside the box. I’ve never surfed, but have always admired the surf culture’s laidback attitude, which is why surf scenes appealed to me. Also, the beach is my favorite place to be with family and friends!

5. Why have you chosen watercolor as your medium of choice?
Because it’s challenging but very rewarding. There’s many techniques for watercolor and I still like experimenting with them. I feel that I learn something new each time I paint.

Waves
Waves

6. How long did it take you to develop your own style?
Once I decided to paint my whimsical scenes, about a week or so. I love painting in a whimsical style, because I feel that I can be much more creative and authentic with my art. Anything goes and it’s all about color!

7. What’s the most challenging part of creating your art?
Knowing when to stop and not overworking a painting. There’s been a few paintings that ended up in the trash can that way!  I’m sure a lot of other artists can relate!

8. What do you want to say with your art?
Enjoy every moment, have fun and think outside the box once in a while.  You never know what will happen!

9. How important to you are the titles of your pieces?
Very important.  The viewer has to not only relate to the painting, but to the title as well. I believe once the viewer looks at the title, it can totally change their mind about what the painting is all about.

10. Do you have an idea of what you will paint before starting or does come to you as you start creating?
I do a lot of doodling in my sketchbook and as I think of something I’ll jot it down in a notebook. Then when I’m ready to paint, I’ll refer to my doodles and notes. I also get ideas from just observing the surroundings, especially when I’m at the beach.

Summertime-Fun
Summertime Fun

11. What’s your current or next art project?
Learning how to paint with acrylics on canvas. I’m actually working on my first and will hopefully complete it soon!

12. What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
When I started selling in a gallery and restaurant in Sea Isle City, a beach resort town in NJ. I will never forget that first sale!  My beach art is very much a niche market, so I’m always researching beachside galleries.

Beach-Fun
Beach Fun

13. Where do you see Chris Ambrose five years from now?
Having lots of fun with painting and hopefully, more experienced with acrylics!

14. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to thank Lindy for the opportunity to display my work on her whimsical paintings site and for this interview.  She is such a talented artist!

Chris’s website: www.chrisambroseart.com

Greeting Cards by Chris:  http://artist.greetingcarduniverse.com/cardsbychris

Shop for Chris Ambrose Art products: http://www.zazzle.com/lovecolor

Thanks Chris for a great artist interview and for your beautiful, fun art!

~ Lindy

Artist Interview at Whopple.com

I love reading about other artists and learning about their process and what makes them create the things they do. What inspires an artist to create and why they choose their medium are some of the things I’m interested in.

I also like doing artist interviews when someone asks me for one.

Recently I was interviewed by Anne Marie at whopple.com

Anne Marie has devoted her website to featuring artist interviews. She says” Whopple is the place to highlight artists, their art, their inspiration, and their lives.” She is volunteering her time to help promote artists and I’m honored to be included on her website.

Click on the link  below to go to the interview. I’m listed under the Whimsical Art Category.

whopplefeature2

Artist Interview with Lindy Gruger Hanson
Whopple.com – Artist Interviews
>

And don’t forget to explore whopple.com and read the other interviews. There are many categories of art that you can choose from on the right side of the website.

Enjoy!

Artist Interview: Miriam Badyrka

palimpsetIMIRIAM BADYRKA

abundance

I met Miriam Badyrka at the Talisman Gallery where I was showing my work in Portland, Oregon in 2000. We were both members of the gallery. Miriam, who I call Mimi (hope you don’t mind me saying that Mimi), creates really beautiful patterned paintings. There are colorful organic shapes and swirls and patterns that draw the viewer in but I will let her explain her work and process in the interview below.

When I moved to Bend in 2003, Mimi and I became penpals. I love the exchange of real live letters and I’m so happy to have a friend who enjoys that as well. We share a love of gardening and the outdoors, taking long walks, making stuff and sharing colorful art with the world.

I hope you will enjoy Miriam’s art interview.

badyrkabike
Miriam painting a bicycle.

When did your artistic journey begin?

I think it began when I was born, and will continue until I die.

In considering this question, I realized that I don’t think it is a journey at all. I am not going anywhere, if that makes any sense. I am neither following a path or making one. I would compare it to an excavation. There is something there under all that stuff, I don’t know exactly what it is, but I keep on digging in hopes of a find.

My art uncovers the good I have in me. It is the best part of myself made visible.

detail

detail

Select 3 words to describe your artistic style.

This is a really difficult question. I have spent more time thinking about this than any other. My first impulse was to say things like cheerful or frivolous, but one of my resolutions for this year has been to really think critically about what I am doing artistically. Recently, I heard a poet’s talk about how he reads a poem (fascinating BTW) and so I am trying to approach my work in a different way.

Contained. I am really interested in structure. I like grids and geometrics and solid black lines. Things to stay within, and things to break out of.

Layered. There are layers of ink, layers of paint, layers of color, a substrate of some kind underneath, stitching. Layers of meaning added over time, meaning added by me, meaning added by historic contex, meaning that is brought to the work by viewers.

Time. Time passed. Time spent. Time taken. Time well used. Time wasted.

earlysummer

What drives you to come up with ideas for your work, what are your sources of inspiration?

Doodling is the basis of everything that I do. I think doodling is the drawing version of dreaming.

I spend part of every day doodling. I make sure something else is going on and pick up a pen. Doodling is different than drawing. Drawing is when you decide to draw something, like a dog. You sit there intending to draw a dog, and the expectation is that you will arrive at something that represents a dog when you are through. Doodles happen while you are paying attention to something else.

But I do look at lots of things. Patterns, tribal and primitive art, decorative arts, fiber arts, and anything pre-Brunelleschi and the “invention” of perspective in Rennaisance painting interest me most. I like shape, not form. I am not interested in recreating a 3D world on a 2D plane.

And, although it is a completely cliche thing to say, there is a never ending source of beauty in the world around us, all we have to do is look for it.

Fertility

What do you want to say through your art?

I am not at all certain that I really do have anything at all to say through my art. The act of working, of making, of producing is what is important to me. The finished piece is proof that I did something while I was here, almost like graffiti. My work marks time taken and time spent, patience, persistence and repetition

I don’t want to do anything original, I think originality as a concept is overrated. I want to be connected to all the people that have ever made marks.

There is a visual language inherent in the shapes and patterns of traditional ornament. These beautiful shapes and patterns have been given many meanings according to culture, place and time. Every user has brought a new layer of meanings to these shapes and patterns. I also believe that every viewer brings a bit of himself as well.

podthree

What is your art process like?

When I begin a new body of work (paintings), I take my giant pile of doodles and spread them all over and stare at them, and then after awhile, I know what I am doing. That sounds so stupid! But, it really is what happens. I stare at a canvas and I know what I need to do with it.

I generally map out a grid and go from there. I pour a design first. I used to make a goo out of Elmer’s glue and acrylic medium, but then they invented Clear Tar Gel which has the same properties.  Sometimes I build up a surface texture in an area with acrylic mediums. I add paint in layers until I know it is time to stop. Then, I will usually pick out or add elements by embroidery.

I have been on a painting hiatus at the moment, and have been concentrating on the embroidered part of books and needles which has a different objective.They are just started, and they just happen. Like a doodle, I have no plans and no preconceptions of what I will end up with.

horseheaven


Describe what “Art Success” looks like to you.

I think success is a moving target. If you ask me a couple of months from now, I will probably give a different answer. I do have things I want to accomplish though.

My goals for this year are:

To figure out how all the things (books, embroideries, paintings) I am doing fit together, or if they are separate entities.

To paint more this year than last, because it is a joyous activity and I am happiest when I do it.

To improve my embroidery skills, because I think that is a direction I am moving heavily towards artistically. I see it playing a greater role in what I am doing artistically.

To actively pursue shows to get my work back in view.

To get myself out of my studio and back into the art community.

To revive my newsletter and clean up my mailing list.

And Then

Are you showing anywhere now or in the near future?

No, and I am embarrassed about that fact. It has been a money issue more than anything else.

embroideryWhat’s your current or next art project?

I have several things going at the moment. Everything is  experimental though.

One is my on going books & needles project (http://doodles.typepad.com/
thedoodler/books-needles-project) which came to me in a dream.

I  am experimenting with combining printing and embroidery, but it is still in very early stages.

I am also embroidering holes. Technically it is cutwork, but since it is randomized, I call them holes. I am not sure where I am going with this either.

However, I am starting a new series of paintings as soon as my canvas order comes in. I can’t wait!

Doodle2010You have a wonderful blog, titled the Doodler. Do you enjoy Blogging, if so, what are some of the benefits you’ve found from the activity?

I guess I do. I had my doubts when I started the Doodler (http://doodles.typepad.com/thedoodler/) I would stick with it. I thought it would be one of those things I would do for a bit and then abandon. So no one is more surprised than I am to find out that I have been blogging since Jan 2007.

I have learned from blogging how deep my doodle obsession is, and how fascinating I find the entire process. It is from writing about doodles that I came to realize that doodling is the drawing version of dreaming, an easily activated link to my subconscious.

Since I am writing to be read by others, blogging makes me think things through more thoroughly than I would otherwise. I am not an introspective person by nature, so it is really helpful. I have found this interview really helpful as well, it has made me aware of how unfocused I have been of late. Thank you. Lindy, for making me think things through.

Anything else you want people to know about you?

That I am lucky that Lindy Gruger Hanson is my friend! I think you should all rush out and buy everything that she produces. Then, you should go to the Doodler (http://doodles.typepad.com) and read the interview that I did with her. I think we have both learned surprising things about each other.

palimpset11

Artist Interview: Amy Komar

wing-series

Ya know how there are some people who you just relate to? You hear something they say or read something they wrote and you just feel a certain kinship with them? That’s how I felt when I first read Amy’s blog.

Amy Komar is a Fairbanks, Alaska artist who I met last year online. Don’t ask me how I found her blog. But I did, I found myself there and spending a lot of time reading. I absolutely loved reading it.  AND I loved looking at all the cool paintings on her website! I was very inspired! You can see more of her original acrylic paintings at http://www.amykomar.com if you just can’t wait to see more!

I was very lucky to be able to trade an art print with her. I chose Dillan’s Moon which for me, having a love of the moon, was inspiring and magical. It is a beautiful print with gorgeous blues and it has a luminous quality and dots on the branches look like frosty magic.

To me, all of her paintings radiate magic. I am charmed by them! Read the interview and what inspires this talented lady below.

Amy Komar
Amy Komar

1. What is creativity to you?

Creativity, to me, is a delicious space to be in. It is quiet and still. It is the act of stepping outside myself and acknowledging something bigger moving through me. It is following inspired thought and being free of inner critics. It is when I feel most authentic.

private-commission

2. Why do you make art?

Throughout my life some unseen force has consistently nudged me to create. It drives me. A line keeps popping into my head to answer this question with. I read it when I was much younger and cannot properly cite where I found it. Here goes anyways – “ I make art because any other life would be a lie.”

3. What drives you to come up with ideas for your work, what are your sources of inspiration?

The daily! I believe that as artists we are always working…always seeing with artist eyes. It could be a bending birch tree seen when I am walking my dogs, a play of moonlight on roof tops, colors seen in the produce isle of a grocery store, a well written poem, the smallest details in nature…inspiration is endless.

4. When you’re preparing to do a painting, what is your process like? Do you start with a sketch, a layout, or do you just see what happens?

Quite often I just begin. I start by wetting the surface and washing in thin layers of paint. I turn the inner critic off and trust that the paint will guide me. My best work is when I look down, hours later, surprised and delighted by the shapes and colors on the board. I know then, that I have gotten out of my own way and allowed something larger to work through me. It is intuitive and based in alignment.

wedding-day_detail

5. Do you feel like your painting is integrated with the rest of your life?

Yes. I am always seeing with my artist eyes. When I get that far off look, it is usually because colors, shapes, textures and details are flashing through my brain!

6. Describe what “Art Success” looks like to you.

When someone I have never met sends me an email or stops me at a gallery show and tells me how they were moved by one of my paintings. When a new blog is posted, a grant is applied for and wet paint is on a once white board!

wedding-day_detail-2

7. What’s your current or next art project?

I am sort of doing a juggling act right now! I am putting the finishing touches on an exhibit I created for True World Gallery in California. The show opens at the beginning of March. I am also revving up to return my focus to a project that began 9/09 called Alchemy of Connection. It is where people send me a list of ( 9 ) of their daily joys and I use their list as the inspiration for a painting. It is a series that explores the connectedness of all things.

8. Are you showing anywhere now or in the near future?

I always have work up at The Alaska House Art Gallery here in Fairbanks. In March, my exhibit opens at True World Gallery.

I decided that after my show in California I am going to take a year long break from showing in galleries. I want to focus more on my website, blog and other personal creative ventures that are brewing!

wedding-day

9. What words of wisdom would you share with people pioneering a path to live an authentic life following their passion?

Get clear about what your best life looks like. Hold that vision in your minds eye. Spend time each day expanding and nuturing your vision. Don’t listen to naysayers. Believe and trust that everything is unfolding in perfect timing. Keep moving forward. Do something everyday – big or small – that reflects back to you how you are following your heart/passion.

summer-birch

10. Anything else you want people to know about you?

I collect good words/quotes. I currently have three rotating notebooks that I use to write down all of my ideas. I believe in synchronicity. I love it when I catch repeating numbers during the day (ex: 2:22 on the clock, 444 on a license plate). I love to cook and bake and am a connoisseur of ‘cozy.’ I like to live life like I am on vacation. I don’t watch TV. I once won a contest and was given the title “ Miss Congeniality.” I have driven the Alaska Highway 3 times. I like it when people ask good questions. I think reading in bed is decadent.

Thank you Lindy for interviewing me! You ask good questions…

You can find me here –

Website: www.amykomar.com

Blog: www.artistinthearctic.blogspot.com

Etsy: www.artistinthearctic.etsy.com

Artist Interview and Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I love Lemon Blueberry Muffins but I’ll get to that in a moment. First I want to tell you about my Artist Interview. I was asked by Amy Komar, an Alaska artist who I met online, if I would do an Artist Interview for on her blog. I said Yes, I’d love to. It would be fun! We decided to trade interviews (I will be featuring Amy on my blog with her artist interview in the next couple weeks…so check back).

I first learned about Amy from discovering her blog titled Artist in the Arctic. I’ve been interested in Alaska for quite some time as I have relatives who live there and one of my best friends is living in Palmer, Alaska. I was enchanted by Amy’s writing from the start which I find to be very poetic. She talks about living authentically and I think she has keen insight…I found myself charmed and wanting to read more. AND her wonderful art is a source of much inspiration to me. I love looking at her paintings with their gorgeous color, pattern and line. I was lucky enough to do an art trade with her. I received one of her beautiful giclees (which I will talk about more when I post her artist interview)!

You can check out the artist interview she did of me on her blog at http://artistinthearctic.blogspot.com/

One of the things she asked me at the end of the artist interview, was to list (9 ) simple pleasures / delights from my day. Ahh, this to me was a special treat and only a kindred spirit would ask such a question!

I love the idea of stopping and taking notice….of being still and treasuring the Now. It is one of the reason’s why I do my An Artist’s Day Notes on my Blog…to stop and take notice and be present! So I stopped and thought about it….What were the simple delights from my day?

And I ask you reader, What are the simple pleasures from your day? Stop a moment and think about it. Tell me your list in the comments.

Below is my list from the artist interview:

1. watching the snow fall softly outside

2. seeing our two border collies play together and having so much fun in the now!

3. smelling fresh baked lemon blueberry muffins

4. getting a letter in the mail from an old friend

5. finding exactly what I need at the store amongst all the people scrambling with their holiday  shopping

6. planning a coffee date with a friend

7. loving the look of light blue paint next to red

8. a big hug and a smile from my sweetie

9. feeling the house warm up after building a fire in the wood stove

Which brings me to the lemon blueberry muffins I listed in #3. I love this recipe! Sweet, yet tangy. Yummy, warm from the oven! Drizzled with butter and lemon juice, it’s a warm treat on a cold winter day!

My good friend Heidi (another kindred spirit) gave me the recipe a long time ago. I’ve known Heidi since we did our college internship together at the Seattle Art Museum back in 1981. Heidi loves to bake and she passed this recipe on to me which I will share with you below.

Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe
Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup  Sugar (plus 1 T. sugar – save for later)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Cup Lemon Yogurt
1/4 Cup salted butter or marg., melted and cooled
1 egg lightly beaten
1-2 tsp. grated lemon peel (I use 2 tsp)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Cups fresh or thawed and drained frozen blueberries

Grease 12 muffins cups
In a large bowl combine flour, 2/3 C. sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl combine yogurt, butter, egg, lemon peel and vanilla until blended.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add yogurt mixture. Stir just to combine,
stir in blueberries.

Spoon into muffin cups, sprinkle with remaining 1 T. of sugar.
Bake 20-25 min. or until cake tester comes out clean.

Cool on rack 5 min., then remove and cool completely, store in air tight
container at room temp. These freeze well. Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy!
And if you make this recipe, let me know how you like it.