Friday, June 4, 2010

Artist Profile--Tory Brokenshire

Our featured artist this month is Tory Brokenshire. Tory is one of those artists who moves easily between many mediums, always coming up with fresh and creative ideas. She is especially known for her charming three dimensional work incorporating found objects.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

Wire, metal and wood are most often used as a base to many of my pieces. I do look for some special found item to put in or on each piece. I hardly ever use new materials-- the old seem more substantial to me.

Found object and clay fellows:

2. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?

Take a good class with a teacher willing to talk about more than just the project. Pick their brain on what could go wrong and how they would fixed it. Believe me if they have been working with it for long, they will know what to tell you. They will know the best books. Remember they have done all the leg work, probably for years.

3. A perfect art day would look like...

First off I would like to spend the night because I want to wake up with my art friends, have a cup of coffee and have time to visit and laugh before we start.

Tory's Santos:
And a close-up:

4. Do you have dedicated studio space?

I have a table that is 5’x 6’ and a ton (yes a ton) of containers that I work out of. In winter it is in my bedroom. The table sits near a window for light. I keep it opened just a bit so I can hear the rain and smell the cold fresh air. In summer I work in the garage with the double door opened so I have a view of the garden and birds. It is also very close to all the power tools-- NICE!

Pine needle basketry:

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

Victoria, B.C. is close to home but with a feel of Europe. In mid to late summer, the flower baskets hang like jewels on every street; the water and forests surround you with beckoning adventures.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?

People and rusty old earth tones, not always together but I am intrigued by both. I love Michelangelo’s grotesques, and my people tend never to have a youthful, perfect face. The old and gnarly have a character I can’t resist.

7. I still struggle with....

Keeping a clean studio. Once the creative juices kick in, I turn into a Tasmanian devil, spitting out art supplies in every direction, and it always seems to take more days to put it back than it did to get it out.

Wire and paper lantern:

8. I'd be lost without...

A pencil and note pad. I dream ideas, I see ideas in a TV commercial, or a friend says “have you ever tried this?” I jot it all down or draw a little picture. Well I should say the pencil and eraser because it takes me about three attempts before I get the thought down the way I want it.

9. Favorite dessert?

A peppermint milkshake that I can only get around the holidays.

Wire and clay sculpture:

You can see more of Tory's work on her blog. Tory is also a gifted teacher who teaches at local and national events. You can catch her in Oct. at the Art and Soul Retreat in Portland where she will be teaching classes in using power and hand tools, creating wire and clay sculptures, and making your own personal Santos. Check out the Art and Soul website for details and registration info.


steph b said...

You sound like my kind of girl! You had me at rust!

Dayna Collins said...

Such fabulous diversity in your art work! I love the whimsy.