Jeanne Rhea [jeannerhea]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I am currently painting with inks on various substrates including acrylic laminate, metal, Plexiglas™, polymer clay and Ampersand Claybord™. These surfaces and the inks allow for a wide range of effects that are reminiscent of microorganisms, the arctic tundra, cave formations, mudflats, terraced earth, the cosmos, sea life, flowers, and surrealistic landscapes. All of these ink paintings are one-of-a-kind.
My mixed media works are made from found or salvaged materials. As a collector of unappreciated, unloved and seemingly useless and worthless items, I often use them in collage or assemblage. These works of art often tell a story. All collages and assemblages are one-of-a-kind.
My sculptures are often made using a variety of earth and synthetic clays. Some of the clays are fired in a kiln and some air dried while others such as polymer clay are cured in a home oven. A few sculpting mediums are cured through a process of chemical reactions between two different parts. My large sculptures are one-of-a-kind. My smaller works may be in series, but no two will be the same.
What is your message?
It depends on the artwork. Most of my sculptures and assemblages tell a story or they are commentaries on social issues. My ink paintings and dye paintings are for visual delight.
Your biography in four lines.
Most of my adult life I have been self-employed. All of my work has contributed to the art I create. Experimenting with various techniques and materials is part of the lure of art for me. I am a self-taught artist and I enjoy the process of creating - the journey - as much as the end product.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
I find inspiration in nature, colors, patterns, fractals, photomicrography, life experiences and the very act of creating. I usually approach my artwork with an idea and then find techniques and materials to capture the concept.
What role does technology play in your creative process?
I am continually inspired by the art that I see online. The friendship of other artists is valuable as an artist's life is often an isolated one. I have made enduring friendships with some artists from other countries.
One particular web site comes to mind and has been a constant source of information and inspiration for me. It is Robert Genn's The Painter's Keys. http://painterskeys.com/
I am the founding member of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild and without technology, it would be much more difficult to correspond, to organize activities and to expand our reach in our areas of interest.
What is art?
Art for me is an expression of life even when on the subject of death and it is about everything even when saying nothing. To create art is as important as breathing. Not that all of my creations are masterpieces, but all of my creations or desires to create are an attempt to get at something, express a feeling, or reveal truth. It is a way of seeing. Art comes from the creator who is like a mad scientist or one who methodically and with detail presses to find a sweet spot or from one who is near insanity from attempting to tell a story or convey a feeling. Still art is the journey and not necessarily the destination.
When do you get your best ideas?
In my sleep. I wake up and they are there.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
I just attack it and if something starts to work immediately, I continue. If I have a block due to mechanics or trying to figure out how to make a material work for the piece, I sit it aside and wait for it to show me where to take it. I am currently working on a piece that has been sitting for over two years. Magically, it is coming along quite well.
I think a lot before starting any piece when I am telling a story or it has a message. For abstracts, I don't think too much. I just paint and attempt to go with the flow.
Three creative ideas that you would have liked to have created?
I think this question should read... What are three pieces of art that you would have liked to have created? Or what do you wish you had created?
I have so many ideas that I don't think I can wish I had some ideas that others have had before me. I wish I had actually created many things before others created them. The work is in the actual production and not the grand idea!
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
I think I have always seen myself as an artist, but I never called myself an artist until I was confronted with this fact. One particular friend (Thank you, L. C.) made me realize that I am an artist at heart. I live a creative life. My life would be empty without creating. Everything that I have done in my life always had some element of being creative. I see with artist's eyes.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
I don't and this is the one characteristic that may seem like I am not an artist. However, I am opinionated and I do express my thoughts. I do not explode and I am not short tempered. I am thoughtful, considerate, tolerant and believe that art or the written word is the best way for me to communicate.
Do you consider yourself postmodern?
How should a work of art be evaluated?
Whether it speaks to someone---good or bad.
Whether it commands attention---good or bad.
Whether it evokes an emotion----good or bad.
Whether it stands the test of time.
The principles and elements of art are often used to evaluate art, but I have seen many pieces that did not measure up in this manner, but they still would pass one of the above features that I have listed and they are considered art.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
No, but one must continue to evolve or grow. I am who I am, but I change as I learn and grow.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
There are too many to mention, but I will list a few. I don't know that they influence me consciously, but I do watch how they live their art. I am only mentioning artists who I feel like I know. No Michelangelo, Leger, etc. in this list.
Kelly Borsheim's life is her art along with the art she creates. http://artbyborsheim.blogspot.com/
I admire Lisa Stewart for her ability to focus on her business of art.
Robert Genn has found a way to connect with artists and enrich our lives while still being able to create his own art.
Porro Sahlberg has critiqued my work, encouraged me and been a real friend for years.
All the members of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
You can read about my views on this subject in the last part of this interview. http://carolinamixedmediaartistsguild.blogspot.com/2009/01/january-member-interview-jeanne-rhea.html
Is art necessary?
Yes, it is a part of being human. It is necessary in the sense that I would be miserable without it and I know many, many other artists who would say the same thing.
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
Sometimes. I have sold three pieces that I would pay to get back because I loved them.
I have also sold or given away several pieces that I have tried to get back as they just were not good! I think these bother me the most.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
I don't care what is said. Just buy my art! You can phrase it anyway you wish!
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
I just continually move along. I do not stop. I take a few detours for exploration, but I don't lose the main road unless I get carried away and can't find my way back because the new path is so exciting. If that happens, I run!
What role have the figures of art dealer, gallery owners, representatives, and intermediaries in general played in your career?
I value the gallery owners who are as enthusiastic about my work as I am. I believe that gallery owners earn their money when they work for the artist. Three of my gallery owners have been very supportive, but I also try to change out work every three months so nothing is stale. I want my gallery owners to feel open to discuss with me what they believe will help sales.
What types of jobs do you usually do?
All of them. From creating the artwork to the business of being an artist such as promotion, bookkeeping, gallery contacts, packaging and shipping.
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
The beginning of a creation after deciding an idea is a good one. I can hardly wait. Since I work a lot in mixed media, that can be anything from painting, to sculpting to woodworking to metalwork. What I am doing does not matter---it is important that I am doing.
Do you personally collect any items?
Do I collect anything? TOOOOO much! I have many collections that I wish to incorporate into assemblages or collages. Here are just a few....
old metal or wooden pieces of all sorts
boudoir cocktail napkins
Anything that I think I will someday use in my art
And for inspiration and reference---Books on art, mythology, cultures, art techniques, fashion
Which websites do you frequently visit?
Way too many.
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
For the first six months approach creativity with the attitude of play.
For the next six months, try different mediums and experiment. Some paint, clay or fiber will click with you and you will be on your way.
Start an art journal or a book that has your ideas in writing. I still have great ideas that are over 20 years old in a journal so I will never be without ideas for the rest of my life. I need to live to be about 135 to complete the ones that are already written down.
For the next year, create something every day or at the very least go to the studio every day and work. If you have a creative block, straighten your supplies or studio.
Get organized and stay organized---esp. if you can't create in a mess.
Determine what direction you wish to go with your creating.
I will stop here. I could write a book.
Raleigh, NC USA
|| ||Jeana Nielsen|| |
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|| ||DR. DEMOSTENES MARCIAL CHAVEZ GOMEZ|| |