article by Furiousdreams
I know that you're a painter and that you've had a successful online shop for a few years. Can you fill us in on your background as an artist and tell us a little about yourself?
First let me say, hello Victoria, hello AGTeam and blog visitors! It's an honor to be participating in this interview with you and I'm a huge fan of your work.
Making art has always been in the cards for me and it was clear when I was just a young child. I studied painting at the University of New Hampshire and the University of California Santa Cruz (graduated in 1999) and I've been selling my work online since 2005.
It appears that most of your work is vividly colorful abstracts, some derived from the landscape, but you also have a highly geometric focus. What is the context of your work? Do you have any set ideologies as a painter (formalist, expressionist, etc)?
My only real goal with painting is to be true to myself and to be free to explore new directions and voices. These voices all vary, and you can see that reflected in my work, but I think they all come together and interact with one another in a way that makes sense to me.
Who are some of your influences, whether they're painters, sculptors, musicians, poets or 'none of the above'?
I love the Abstract Expressionist movement as well as the Fauvist painters. Some contemporary painters that I admire include team members Mary Ann Wakeley and Kendra Zvonik and you, Victoria. I also love Elis Cooke, Martha Marshall, Meghan Henley, Jean Hutter and Aisyah Ang - all of whom are also on Etsy. Truly I could go all day listing names, this is just a sampling.
Do you work spontaneously or is there a set time that you devote to the paintings on a daily/weekly basis?
I have mixed luck planning to paint. Most of the time it happens spontaneously and once it has begun it dominates my life and takes over for a four to five day long ongoing session. Then I come up for air, reconnect with the world and wait for the next cycle to begin.
How do you stay current, or is that important to you. Do you visit galleries and museums on a regular basis, or travel to view art and cultural events?
Because I'm in such a rural area and I tend to be a bit of a hermit/homebody, the internet is my primary portal into the world of current art. It's also the season. Once Spring comes, I'm more apt to hop on a train to NYC or drive up to Boston for a day in the city, appreciating art and culture. The end of winter is rather gloomy here in New England.
Some artists suggest that the studio is too private for them, that they require a social forum for their work. Does networking with other artists and developing community have much bearing on your life as an artist and if so, how does it inform your work and process?
I need to work in a private space. I have a studio in my backyard that I work in and it gives me such joy to be surrounded by the peace of nature. Connections to other artists, many of whom are online, keep me grounded and connected to a larger sense of community.
Exhibiting in galleries and museums - are you involved in showing your work in brick and mortar galleries?
I have in the past and would like to focus more attention on gallery exposure in the future. The last year or so I've slowed down with shows and focused more on my online business but I feel like that isn't enough for me anymore. I need to get more work out there in the flesh.
Any long term goals for your painting or art?
I'd like to remain flexible and open to new ideas and techniques and keep challenging myself. I'd like to keep pushing the scale working on larger and more ambitious paintings. I'd like to return to the figure just to see what my take is on it now after working abstractly for the last ten years. I'd like to create a large scale series for a gallery exhibit and make that a reality. The most basic goal I have though, is to just keep painting for as long as I am able.
Anything else you'd like to add?
It's been a pleasure. Thank you Victoria and thank you to the Artisans Gallery Team!
Website - http://www.jessicatorrant.com