Our featured artist this month is Stephanie Brockway. Stephanie has explored a number of mediums and always brings a fresh voice to whatever she does. Recently she has been thrilling us with her unusual carved wood, urban folk art.
1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?
I consider myself both a painter and wood carver. I dabble and experiment, but these are my main vices, painting is my first love, and wood carving and sculpture is a challenge I never tire of.
2. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?
Classes are a must with wood carving, knowing how to hold the knives and use the knives is essential, you'll find they're sharp! I started buying knives before I really understood what they did, someone with knowledge can help you pick the basic knives and kind of woods. I go to wood working stores and shows. I just pick pamphlets that appeal to me. I dont follow patterns. I'm more free form. Woodcrafters is a great resourse for knives, demos & wood. http://www.woodcrafters.us/. And the local community college has beginner's classes.
3. A perfect art day would look like__
Having the whole day free, no commitments or interuptions. A clean studio, hot coffee & maybe a pastry....
4. Do you have dedicated studio space? Give a brief description of where you work.
I usually work in my studio, which is a converted bedroom. I have a corner with a easel and wood bench with built in vise and bulletin boards covered with inspirational bits, colors, objects that speak to me. I go to the garage when I power carve or sand, it gets messy.
5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?
I grew up in Hawaii, lived there for 20 years, and carry a love of plants and nature. I tend to like wherever I am, anyplace with past lives and history. Europe always captures my imagination.
6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?
I'd have to say Folk art, either Early American or Latino. I love crude naive pieces, substituting traditional mediums for whatever's on hand. Pieces that really show the artist fingerprints, never looking mass produced. And old circus images.
7. I still struggle with________
Time, working and life often get in the way of creating. Also having the space to paint large pieces and make a mess.
8. I'd be lost without_________
my garmin? lol. My sense of humor, and the use of my hands!
9. Favorite dessert?
Usually involves layers of good quality creamy chocolate and a vanilla layer. I love a pastry to be both beautiful and decadent.
10. What's on the horizon?
I have 3 deadlines and love a challenge. I have a dream of completing a whole puppet stage, everything from carving the puppet/dolls, building the stage, painting the backdrops, sewing the costumes, to writing a story for my characters....
Visit Stephanie's blog to see more of her work. You can also find it at Guardino Gallery. At the end of October she curates a great Day of the Dead show at Guardino Gallery--check the top of our blog or the gallery for more details.