The second installment of “Artist to Artist” features two of my fave ladies, Julianna Swaney and Danielle Krysa. Julianna has been one of my favorite artists since I curated a show featuring her work a few years ago. At that same time, the always generous Danielle Krysa, wrote about the exhibit on her fantastic art blog, The Jealous Curator. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. I got the chance to work with one of my favortie artists, AND I got a write-up on my favorite art blog. Who would have thought that just a couple of years later both of these artists would be a part of Paper House Press? I definitely feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
Please enjoy this latest installment of “Artist to Artist” featuring Julianna Swaney, with questions by Danielle Krysa:
Danielle Krysa (DK): Your work is like getting a glimpse into a beautiful/bizarre fairytale – where do your ideas come from? Dreams? Pure imagination?
Julianna Swaney (JS): This question is always hard for me! I guess it depends on what I’m working on. I usually get inspired by a fragment of a memory, or of a story I heard once, or an image I saw, and I elaborate the idea in my sketchbook before I arrive at the final idea for a piece. Sometimes I’ll see something specific, like a person in an old daguerreotype, and I’ll have to do a piece specifically to fit them into it. Sometimes I just start sketching on an idea, it starts to take shape, and I go from there.
DK: There is an undeniable narrative in all of your work… do you ever imagine the dialogue that might take place? (I do!)
JS: I don’t really imagine anything as linier as a narrative. This will probably sound strange but I tend to imagine the sounds that would be heard within the piece; bird song, leaves crunching under feet, crickets chirruping. I feel like in many of my pieces you’re seeing the moment just before the action takes place, and half the time I don’t know what that action will be myself!
DK: You grew up surrounded by nature, and now you’re based in the lovely city of Portland. What’s your life like there? Do you still spend a lot of time outside exploring, or does your work mainly come from childhood memories?
JS: I wouldn’t say living in Portland or the Pacific Northwest has influenced my work directly so much as I sort of gravitated here naturally because I like forest and mountains and rainy days.
DK: I read that you love to crochet. Do fibre arts/textiles ever enter into your work? (Maybe some real mittens for those wolves?)
JS: Actually for me crocheting is more like a nice break from drawing/artwork. It’s nice because there is a set pattern, you don’t have to think too much, and at the end you have a solid object to show for all your hard work. Drawing can be so ephemeral, I find working with something more solid refreshing.
DK: Speaking of wolves… I love all of your wolves! In fairytales they’re always the bad guys – how do you view them?
JS: Sometimes good, sometimes sinister, definitely tricksters.
DK: As a full time artist (so inspiring by the way!), do you ever take a break? What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
JS: Oh yes! Breaks are important for me because I can get drained and pessimistic really easily. Reading is always good for recharging. When I don’t actually feel like working I always tell myself that reading IS productive so it’s okay to read all day. Getting out of the house is also good, just going for a walk is really therapeutic for me. And, like I mentioned before crocheting, or working in any other medium actually, can be a refreshing break.
Thanks to Julianna and Danielle for the great Q&A! By the way, if you want to see original work available from both of these artists (and you DO…trust me) please head on over to the Paper House Press online shop!
One week from today (on Monday, December 5), the Paper House Press online shop finally launches! We are so excited! For those of you in Nashville, we hope you can make it out for a sneak peek at Porter Flea: Handmade Holiday Market on Saturday, December 3. You will have a chance to preview and purchase the artwork before it goes on sale to the world the following Monday!
I just want to personally thank all of the talented artists who have been a part of making Paper House Press a reality. So…Danielle, Lillianna, Robin, Julianna, Ananda, Kristen, Mason, Masako, Crystal and David…THANK YOU ALL for your hard work and for being such a pleasure to work with! I’m honored to have all of your work included.
I received these two stunning sculptures this week from Paper House Press artist Crystal Morey. I can’t decide which one I like best!
They will be available for purchase in the online shop next week!
Right: “Black Evergreens of Night” – Ceramic and Underglaze – 10.5 x 10 x 6 in.
Paper House Press is THRILLED to be included in this incredible juried event to be held on Saturday, December 3, 2011, in Nashville, TN! Porter Flea is a wonderful thing. Truly. Not only do they strive to promote the indie craft movement, they support artists and small businesses across Nashville and beyond. Porter Flea held their first event in July 2011 (which was a huge success) and the organizers wanted to create another event to promote local and handmade holiday shopping, and so…the Porter Flea: Handmade Holiday Market was born!
Porter Flea: Handmade Holiday Market will showcase some of Nashville’s finest talents in handmade goods, local culinary fare, and vintage finds in a winter wonderland setting. Paper House Press couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this event! If you’re in the Nashville area on Saturday, December 3, please join us. Come say hello, see all of the amazing artwork created by the Paper House Press artists, enjoy some delicious food, and find the perfect holiday gifts for all the special people in your life.
We’ll see you there!
Lillianna Pereira (LP): Describe your work in 10 words or less.
David Linneweh (DL): My work’s about our fragmented experience in Contemporary America.
LP: What does your work tell people about you?
DL: Interesting question, I think it tells people that there’s an aspect of me that really seeks to create order, especially with the current state of our country. I hope that people would also gather that my impressions of landscapes that I’ve visited in the US that many are similar, that a feeling of a place appearing new inevitably is lost.
LP: What made you start painting?
DL: To be quite honest it was the first time in college that I really felt like there was something that was that important to me. I wasn’t an especially great student at the beginning of my studies but when I took painting it just clicked in me, especially remember really falling in love with color and what it could do and how it makes one feel.
LP: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
DL: Like any aspiring artist I’d love to say that I make a living off of work but I teach as an adjunct professor at a couple colleges. I’ve learned also that despite it’s frustrations it’s a really rewarding experience to see students recognize their own progression.
LP: Describe your favorite piece of art either created by you or created by someone else (or both!).
DL: I love this question, there’s so much good stuff out there but in a contemporary light I’d say William Kentridge. Way back in 2001 I think I saw a huge exhibition at the MCA in Chicago, I wound up spending hours watching and re-watching his works. I love the idea that his material is so ancient, that his methods of creation are very strait forward yet difficult, but perhaps simply I love the fact that he’s created things which are so beautiful that talk speak very much about the challenges of South Africa.
I think mostly my favorite pieces of mine are whatever I’m working on or just finishing!
LP: How much does living where you do inspire your work?
DL: I think it means most everything, my first impression is to say it’s not very exciting, that visiting new places is much more exciting but they are just different, ultimately a Wendy’s is a Wendy’s, a home is just a home; but I’m very interested in how where we live and how we live speaks to who we are and what we value.
LP: Do you work from photographs?
DL: Yes… I take many photograps, I’ve felt it’s such a strange thing at times, to be either snapping pictures while driving or walking though a community, I wonder what some people must think!
LP: Is there a lot of preparation before you start a piece (i.e. scoping out a specific area, gathering materials)? How long does it take from start to finish (usually)?
DL: Typically my process is that I go through pictures I’ve taken and select ones that have really wonderful formal qualities, interesting compositions, interesting colors, etc… In photoshop I drop these pictures in and try and have some fun, I try and break apart the image in some strange way, trying to find some aspect that would create a much different composition, something that will be challenging. This really is the most important part of the process for me as my paintings are largely based on them… I cut areas I like, I copy certain areas, flip their orientation, they really become my creation hence why I feel a viewer would get the idea that I like ordering them. When I have a composition I like I print out the pictures to scale on a panel that I’ve built and which seems almost like an old billboard in appearance… transfer the image as a drawing, and than carefully work through a painting, slowly adding more and more fragments till the image seems balanced.
LP: You do a lot of your paintings on wood. How much do you think this adds to the meaning in your work? Ever consider painting on any other materials?
DL: I like the surface of wood the best because it reinforces this idea that not only are our spaces constructions but so is my painting… I think it’s a way to really show the surface as something that relates to the idea of construction as does the graphite and paint. In the past I’ve painted on primed surfaces like canvas but I feel this works the best for me in that it adds a feeling of nostalgia in the work, like they could be read in a way to imply aspects of them being old and worn yet newly reconfigured. In a way I think my work really is about challenging some of the idealistic notions we have about our society.
Thanks Lillianna and David! We’ll have another Artist to Artist Q&A posted soon, so please check back!