Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Have Been Interviewed

Suki has interviewed me! It is an exciting opportunity to be interviewed if you would like (see below). Suki sent me 5 questions and below you will find my answers. Remember to read all the way to the end to see how you can also be interviewed.

1) You have moved a lot and lived in many different places. How has this affected your artistic self? You know, it is difficult for me to imagine not moving around. I am one of those rare people who love it. With each move I have a different perspective with my art. For so many years it was very structured, however looking back on that structured time I can see how it continued to loosen up with each move. Actually, my friend Lesley McIver is the one who pointed out to me how much my paintings had changed with this last move from England back to the United States. The move before that from Virginia to England oddly gave me the gift of working large and really challenging myself with lots of exploration of paint. When we moved from Texas to Virginia I moved from drawing (pens, pencils, pastels, etc.) to the freedom of abstractly and lyrically expressing myself with paint. It is not to say I would not change my work when I am in one place, however it does open a different door. How has it influenced your life perspective? Moving has opened a whole new world for me. As you can imagine living in different settings and meeting different people has helped me to clarify just what it is I need and want in my life. I see lots of different ways of looking at issues which are important in my life – education, sustainability, healthcare, relationships, etc. It has also helped me to understand what it means to be a woman no matter what your experience. I think moving has help me to understand we all have a story and we all deserve to be heard and respected. I have also learned a lot of patience, because I often have no idea when the next move is going to happen and how fast or slow it might happen. Forcing what is to be is something which has not worked out well in this life I have.

2) You have a great respect for process, for noticing the small steps that go into making things whether in art or in life. Where did this sensibility come from? Oh, I am not sure where that came from. I have always been curious and would drive adults around me insane when I was younger (so I learned to keep my thoughts to myself). Even as an adult I had trouble finding people who would “wonder about things” with me…everyone wanted answers not questions. I suppose blogging has given me a platform for my wondering and blog readers are dealing with years of pent up curiosity. Or put another way who or what influenced you in this respect? I wish I could put my finger on a person or group of people who prodded me along that path. I just cannot do that.

3) You were an interior designer at one time. What do you miss about that world? I miss the opportunity of creating environments which made a difference in the lives of people. However that is also the part which became the most difficult because usually those kinds of environments were very rarely realized for one reason or another. Does your early experience with interior designing influence your paintings of today? Absolutely…it makes me just the artist I am now. Interior designers have to completely understand the elements and principles of design which are also the elements and principles of art. The nature of design school in the late 1970’s was learning to appropriately design on a 2 dimensional surface so it translates well 3 dimensionally. In my case, I have been a student of art for well over 30 years. It is funny the first thing I think of when I stand back from a painting is the space where it will look the best. I never, ever think of it hanging on a white wall, it is always with color behind it. I also think of how it might be presented in a different way with all of the elements of an interior space supporting the art and the art supporting the vision for the interior environment.

4) What are your favorite books on: art, child raising or education, and interior design? I read Mothering Magazine when the kids were little, but mainly I listened to my own inner voice about raising my children. Basically respecting the people they were and not trying to make forceful changes in their personalities was really important to me. I loved reading John Holt’s ideas about education. Both David Gutterson and John Taylor Gatto had a great impact on our decision to homeschool our children, however.

My great loves in interior design (aside from applying my creativity) is the psychology of design and design sustainability. Here are a few interior design books I really love:

A Pattern Language: Towns-Buildings-Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murry Silberstein

House as a Mirror of Self by Clare Cooper Marcus

Sustainable Architecture White Papers. By Earth Pledge Foundation

The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions by Winifred Gallagher

Archetype Design: House as a Vehicle for Spirit by Vishu Magee

Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

The New Natural House Book: Creating a Healthy, Harmonious, and Ecologicaly Sound Home by David Pearson

Home: A Short History of an Idea by Witold Rybczynski

Healing Environments by Carol Venola

Sacred Space by Denise Linn

And these I consider support books which are not design books, but helped me to shape ideas about design:

A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself by Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R

A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder. By Michael Pollan

Art books are fun for me, but they are few and far between. Often I focus on abstraction and process books. Here are a few of the Art Books I love:

Abstract and Color Techniques in Painting by Claire Harrigan

Abstract Painting: Concepts and Techniques by Vicky Perry

Beyond Realism by Brian Ryder

The Tao of Watercolor by Jeanne Carbonetti

Acrylic Revolution by Nancy Reyner (note: this book was clearly commissioned by Golden Paint Company)

Arteffects by Jean Drysdale Green

Art Escapes by Dory Kanter (this is a daily exercise book, however I do not use it that way)

The Artist’s Quest for Inspiration by Peggy Hadden

Inspiring Creativity edited by Rick Benzel, M.A. (this is an anthology of insights and ideas)

The Encyclopedia of Acrylic Techniques by Hazel Harrison

Art From Intuition by Dean Nimmer

Spiritual Doodles & Mental Leapfrongs by Katherine Q. Revoir

Spirit of Drawing by Connie Smith Siegel

Colour by Victoria Finlay (I purchased this book in England, so in the US the title may be spelled differently. It is also more of a history of color than anything…I highly recommend it, though.)

Why A Painting Is Like A Pizza by Nancy G. Heller

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

The Artist Way by Julia Cameron

5) Music is important to you in your creative process. Can you talk a little about that and list a few of your favorite pieces or CD's? I do listen to music while I am in my studio. When I am painting large works…basically standing at my easel..I like to move around a lot to the music (dancing in my own way). I will listen to all kinds of things when I am doing that from Queen to Willie Nelson (which is as country as I can go). When I am doing small paintings or just messing around with little bits I tend to listen to softer music which more or less blends in the background (if it stops, I usually don’t even realize it). I only know the music I love and am not at all a music head. I adore my little iPod and use it often. Here is a bit of what I love:

Electric Light Orchestra

Carole King

Dan Fogleberg

Elton John

Five for Fighting

Fleetwood Mac

Jim Croce


Cold Play

Josh Groban

Kenny Loggins

The Moody Blues

Rolling Stones

Savage Garden

Simon and Garfunkel

There are so many more I listen to, but this gives you a flavor. While music is important to me, so are all of the arts. I find it is often the arts which influence my painting and it might be music, but it also might be a poem or a novel which I am reading. I honestly only tap into my emotions when I paint, but I also recognize a lot of the time the arts pull my emotions out.

Suki, thanks so much for doing this. As you know I feel the process of sharing is so important to me and now I feel as though I have been interviewed, too.

Here's the instructions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Very interesting and good interview. We find out more behind the work you do. I guess where you live would make a difference in what inspires you. I know I am interested in different things living where we do now.
I too like quite a few of what you listen too. I have Jim Coche in my CD player now. I did some of my best painting to the CD of The PHANTOM OF THE OPERA once. And then Carly Simon can trigger some good work too. Enjoyed the interview.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Cris,

I had lots of fun doing this, and Suki asked me some lovely questions to contemplate. It is great to hear some of this resonated with you.



Unknown said...

Thank you Kim and Suki, this is wonderful to read, questions and answers very interesting. I appreciated a lot to hear about your "former life" as an interior designer and your thoughts about it, as well as those about your perspectives influenced by moving!
Thanks for sharing this!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Andrea, I am glad you liked it. I had fun doing this with Suki!



soulbrush said...

what a loy of new things i now know about you kim. it is such a fun thing to do, i can recomment it to anyone. thanks suki too, as the questions mae the interview real.

sukipoet said...

Kim I just love reading your answers here and gaining more insights into who you are as an artist and person in the world. So many facets to each one of us, arent there.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Soul,

Yes, I think Suki was the real key with this one! I am glad you also enjoyed getting to know me more.



Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki,

You are right, we all have so many facets which make us who we are today. Of course, I think your questions are the real key here. Thank you Sweet Suki for the opportunity to do my first interview.



Laura Doyle said...

This was such a delightful interview to read. I truly loved your answer to the first question, especially when you mentioned that moving so often has helped you to clarify exactly what you need and want in your life. I can wholly relate.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

I was interested in the moves around to various places that you mentioned. Why did you move so often? Was it motivated by your own desire to wander?

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, Starlene!

Have you moved around a lot, too?



Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Cynthia,

Those were just a few of the places I have lived. When I was a child, my father was in the military for a few years, then my young parents were trying to settle. A few years after college, I married an engineer who's work has taken us to more places than if he had of been in the military and it has been fabulous. I feel very blessed with the opportunities life has provided me.

Thanks Cynthia!



Yvette said...

what a pleasure to read more about you....interesting beautiful being you are!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Thanks for your reply, Kim. I hope you come back to Oasis Writing Link sometime soon. Is this the blog you write in most often? You seem to have 3 blogs. I have another blog that I use to compile research. Oasis is the active/open to the public blog.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Cynthia,

I am sure I will be back to Oasis Writing Link. I am going to add you in to my blog list...which helps remind me.

Yes, this is my main blog. One is used as a transitional space for newer art which has not made it to my web site and the other one is a group blog which has not been used lately.

Thanks Again, Cynthia.



Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, Yvette! This was fun to do.



ArtistUnplugged said...

Very interesting interview. I think the interviews are great ideas.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Artist,

I hope you will visit me again!



Laura Doyle said...

I have moved a lot. 22 Times in 29 years. And I've also become many different people throughout the process. Everything I've done and everything I've experienced has been for the sole purpose of returning to my true self, my happy self. Moving around and being exposed to so many different people, situations, and ways of living has helped me tremendously.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Starlene,

Well, you have me beat there. I think I have moved (oh, I keep loosing count) like 27 or 28 times in 50 years. The last move was 2 years ago, though, so we are due here. :) I totally identify with moving enabling you to return to your true, happy self! I love being able to settle into a culture for a period of time to learn as much as I can about it. That being said, the culture has to be willing to have me...and I have experienced what it is like to be an outsider in some places. The thing is I have learned a lot from that, excluding people is not something I wish to do.

Thanks Starlene!



~Babs said...

Really excellent interview Kim and Suki.
Kim,,,the interviewee for a change! That felt a little different, I'm sure!
Also excited to see you have a new interview lined up with Dianne. Good job, you guys!

colorspeaker said...

This is wonderful. You are really on to something with your ideas and focus on spreading the opportunities around. Reminds me a bit of Julia Cameron and her belief that artists helping each other is the way to build community and artistic alliances. "There is room for everyone" I believe is one of her best quotes.
You are setting an example, and your interview (thanks Suki!!) was a thoughtful pleasant surprise.
I am happy to see you being interviewed for a change. You have grown so much in the time I have had the pleasure to know you.
Thank you Kim and Suki!
Always xoxo,

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Babs!

You know I really enjoyed the process of answering these questions. It takes quite a bit of contemplation to figure out how to express what is true. Makes me wonder if I ask too many questions.

Oh, you would see the interview with Dianne! I think you will enjoy what she has to share with us. Look for it know I will give the heads up there.

Thanks Babs!



Andrea and Kim said...

Ah, thank you, Julianne! I have to say things have been a bit crazy for a little while around here, but I think some time MAY be freeing up a bit.

You know I absolutely do agree we need to share, as artists. It seems to me being proprietary doesn't exactly help anyone. Of course, to honestly make that work, we all have to agree at some level and be respectful.

Now speaking of growing. I am seeing a lot of growth, sharing and truly becoming over at Some wonderfully beautiful work happening up there in NYC.

Thanks Julianne!



marianne said...

Hi Kim,
Great interview!
You are always such an inspiration!
We have a lot in common but here i read some differences and I like that!
I can learn from that!
I don´t like to move a lot, but your approach is interesting!
The only thing I like about moving is the chance to get rid of a lot of things.
Interior designer, I knew that, but I learned some new facts again!
That´s what is so nice about these interviews!


marianne said...

PS forgot to mention Love the gold chunk painting , so rich!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Marianne,

I am glad you liked the interview. It was great fun to do it, too. It seems when we can learn a different way of seeing things, it makes our understanding of ourselves so much stronger. For me, understanding myself means I can understand others and have greater respect for all kinds of people and the work they do.

It is true, moving really helps with house purging. I would hate to think what it would look like if we had not moved as I am not a person who would do this with any regularity.

I am glad you enjoyed the interview and the little painting with the gold leaf on it. I like that "gold chunk" ....that is just what it is!



Lynette said...

Kim and Suki, thank you both for this wonderful and enjoyable interview!! *much applause* Kim, I love your taste in music and I can also identify with your love of moving to new places. I feel really energized and inspired when I travel somewhere different! Great interview!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Lynette!

I think you and I are from the same music era. Moving...I think there are those who completely identify with it and those who shake their heads.

Thank You, Lynette!



Dianne said...

Dear Kim,
I so enjoyed reading this interview with you. I love to learn more about you - this bloggy friendship is strange, so remote, yet each new nugget of information goes towards building the mental picture of you.
Thanks for sharing!
Love Dianne x x

Andrea and Kim said...

It is interesting how this works, isn't it? My introverted self finds this venue to be a lot more comfortable than in a life group.

Thanks Dianne



Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, Sarah!

I will enjoy exploring over at your place, too! I am glad you decided to post a comment. Hopefully you will continue to read along and post from time to time, too!