Category: Uncategorized

Featured Artist – Martha Rajkay

July 2022

Featured Artist - Martha Rajkay

Please introduce yourself and describe your background

Born in Hungary I come from a family of artists. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Masters in Art Therapy and a Masters in Social Work. I have been a photographer, commercial graphic artist and painter for over 50 years.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

I won a painting contest at the age of 8 and I was featured on TV.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

I paint in acrylics because of their speed and vibrant colors.

What other media have you used?

I was a commercial photographer for many years.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

Impressionistic, colorful, vibrant and individually expressionistic.

What inspires your work?

Nature.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Rembrandt.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so, where? 

Local studio tours.

What is something most people don’t know

Born in Hungary to a family of artists.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

Express yourself without fear of being judged.

Featured Artist – Pat Kirby

June 2022

Featured Artist - Pat Kirby

Please introduce yourself and describe your background

All children, except one, grow up. Spoiler alert. Me, Pat Kirby. I’m the one that didn’t grow up.

Okay, so the real answer is Peter Pan, but spend five minutes with me and it’ll be obvious that emotional maturity isn’t taking my calls at the moment. Or ever.

I went through the physiological transformation of growing up in El Paso, Texas, a place that was called a cow town, but the only bovines I ever saw were chopped in bloody pieces and wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic. Nevertheless, I grew up horsey. My mom, a single mom, got it in her head that I was going to learn to ride a horse. Probably because she hoped I’d go horse crazy and skip the boy crazy phase. Wrong. I was very good at multitasking. I was like, “Sure, Mom, challenge accepted. Hold my drink.”

Every week, Mom would schlep me out to a riding stable on the outskirts of town where I learned that horses are biting, kicking beasties that delight in scraping their young riders off on tree limbs. And they are beautiful.

The horse thing is relevant. I’m getting to it. Chill.

I graduated high school and matriculated at New Mexico State University. (I’ve now used the word “matriculated” in a sentence. Go, me!) I graduated with a degree that would be used to cover a suspicious stain on the wall, a couple of dogs, a husband, and about a hundred dollars to my name. The latter being an incentive to try my hand at grown-up employment.

That experiment lasted a little over a decade before I realized my first-grade teacher’s assessment was correct. I ran with scissors, ate paste, and didn’t play well with others.

Hence…art. The refuge of all dysfunctional human beings. True story. The first paintings happened when a malcontent cave person was hiding in the darkest reaches of the family cave and started scribbling on the walls with charcoal. That may not be a true story. If I got my wish and had the conversation mentioned a couple questions below this one, I could fact check that yarn. Anybody got a time machine?

Anyway, throughout my failed adulthood, and beginning in childhood, all I’ve ever wanted was to be the greatest horse artist ever. Not a horse who makes art. Drawing with hooves is hard. A human who draws really amazing horses. My earliest influences were Sam Savvit and Frederic Remington. By influences, I mean I copied the hell out of their work. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, copy. The horse phase was followed by the embarrassing unicorn and Pegasus phase (with rainbows!).

To this day, all I draw are horses. It may look like a dog, a bird, a cow, a dragon, etc., but every critter that emerges from my pencil is just a horse with modified anatomy. This, no doubt, is the root of my difficulties with drawing humans, who are the most oddly constructed creatures in the animal kingdom.

I’ve never been adept at color and instead am fascinated with depicting gesture and motion in a paucity of lines. My wind chimes and shamans, glorified silhouettes in steel, are part of that ongoing exploration. How to infuse a work with life in two-dimensions with little-to-no shading or detail. This can be blamed on two things: First, color is hard and I’m lazy.

Second, the vastly underrated illustrations of Jan Pienkowski. As a child, I encountered his work on the cover of an October edition of a Cricket magazine. The cover featured a deliciously spooky and wondrously detailed landscape, all in silhouette. Witches on brooms in the sky, a fairy tale castle with a ghost emerging from a dungeon; a drawbridge over a creepy ravine occupied by a skinny troll; an island with a unicorn and Baba Yaga’s hut. I stared at that cover for hours. And copied the crap out of it.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

I’m around five years old. I’m sitting on the couch with bottle of red paint and a brush. There’s a sheet of paper in the vicinity and brush is supposed to meet paint and then kiss the paper in the most artistic manner possible. I’m fixing to paint a red cow, because red cows go faster than silly old brown cows. Zoom!

What actually happens is the paint bottle tips over and the result transforms the couch into a crime scene. Which it very nearly was as my mother contemplated killing me when she saw the mess. The unveiling of my first masterpiece, however, was postponed as I attempted to hide my work beneath a throw pillow. By the time Mom found it, the paint had congealed into a lovely, indelible mess.

Thereafter, I became a plein air painter because Mom kicked me and my art supplies outside.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

Metal, primarily steel. Why? Because manipulating iron alloy requires extreme heat. I was the kid who played with matches and set things on fire with a ray of sunshine focused through a magnifying glass. Also, sometimes ate dirt, but I digress.

Plasma torch. Welder. Angle grinder. Power tools that melt and pulverize metal. What’s not to like?

What other media have you used?

My own blood. Not intentionally, but when you work with metal and power tools, bleeding will ensue. And tetanus.

A plain, old-fashioned No. 2 pencil is my weapon of choice for drawing. A hamster on speed has a longer attention span than me, so throughout the years I have dabbled in many other media including: watercolor, oil, acrylics, and pastels.

Presently, I’m working toward the goal of finally mastering human figurative drawing. That goal, combined with a love of anime and manga, led to the purchase of a digital tablet. Digital art gives me the ability to make loads of mistakes without wasting paper. It also spares the home furnishings any disasters when I do some painting.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

Sketches in steel.

What inspires your work?

Uh, everything? I prime the creative pump by going online and looking at art. I’ve been a geek long before it was cool, so fanart, art created by fans of science fiction/fantasy books, TV shows, movies, video games, etc., is a perennial favorite. Eldritch, weird and surreal illustrations are my catnip, as are weird and wonderful sculptures and assemblage art. Monsters, gimme the monsters!

Once my muse is awake, everything is inspiration. A group of dogs playing in a yard. The texture of a crumbling old wall. Everything.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

The person who painted the Paleolithic cave paintings in Lascaux, France. The artist(s) had far better mastery of color than I do, now, in the 21st century. And they were painting with beetle guts and berry juice.

I don’t speak Cave person and they wouldn’t speak English, so the convo would be mostly grunts and hand signals. Pretty much like any evening with my spouse.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so, where?

Back in the halcyon days, before a plague ravaged the land, I could be found at local craft shows. This year, my main venue will be CAST.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I hate sock monkeys. I’m not overly fond of real live monkeys either. (It’s the poo-flinging. And the creepy little hands.) Any configuration of runny egg—sunny side up, poached, soft boiled—makes me ill. I love most nuts, but despise pecans. I frequently fall in love with the villain in movies. I don’t find kittens or human babies particularly appealing, but snakes and spiders are awesome.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

If you want to be an artist, be an artist. Ignore the naysayers who prattle on about growing up and getting a real career. Art is a real career.

Learn to accept criticism, but don’t believe that all criticism is valid.

Learn to identify your audience and recognize that you are part of that audience. Create art that you love, that’d you’d buy, and you’ll find an audience.

Keep abreast of trends, but don’t try to fit your vision to match what is trendy.

Don’t be a snob. Art, craft, sculpture, design, illustration. It’s all art.

Featured Artist – Roger Green

MAY 2022

Featured Artist - Roger Green

Please introduce yourself and describe your background

My initial emotional and cultural influences began as I was growing up on the North Side of Chicago. I lived in a nest of apartment buildings laced with narrow gangways and ever-rising brick walls, that kept the world out and my creative imagination in.

As a teenager, my oasis from this urban maze was in the form of a unique Art Major program at the Nicholas Senn Academy. Where I was mentored by Elliot Balter and Elliot Jacobson, both respected instructors at the Art Institute of Chicago. Their introduction to the world of art and its history, along with my attendance at the Chicago Academy of Art, was to stimulate a life-long interest in the creative act.

My journey into the creative fray began when I worked for two of the world’s largest advertising agencies, where I was to become a Creative Director/ Vice President. There I created and produced award-winning television and print campaigns for nationally known brands. I have received many awards for creative excellence–including a Lion de Argent at the Cannes Film Festival, France; a Gold Medal from the International Film and Television Festival, New York; a Gold Medal from the Hollywood International Film Festival; and three Clio Awards for Creative Excellence.

During this time I was also exploring my own creative artistic processes–large-format Abstract Expressionistic canvases with great attention given to surface treatment and textural effects. My first one-man show at the Claussen Gallery was a success and led to additional solo exhibits in the greater Chicagoland area.

I also taught Graphic Design at the Illinois Institute of Art and was a member of the Art Curriculum Advisory Board there. I was a guest instructor at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and the Ray Vogue School of Design.

I have explored the concept of abstraction and its relationship to the landscape in a series called AbScapes. By shifting the narrative from realistically representing a mirror image of nature, to visually create a feeling of it–I hope to create the concept of a landscape, rather than a rendering of the landscape itself. Through random gestural marks, colors, and forms that align in ways suggestive of clouds and horizons, I can achieve freedom from objective context and portray the abstracted landscapes of my imagination.  While this AbScapes series seeks to create images that are different and unique, there is always a subtle familiarity. It is this intrigue of the unusual and familiar, that can capture our attention and allow for a variety of personal visual interpretations.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

When I was about five years old, my mother gave me a paint-by-numbers canvas that was a picture of a horse. I filled in each shape with the appropriate color number of oil paint and really enjoyed it…I still have it.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

I work in acrylics mainly because they dry fast and I like the intensity of the colors.

What other media have you used?

Interior house paint.
Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

My paintings are expressive, gestural and have a simplistic elegance.

What inspires your work?

I live in the Sandia foothills and every day I see the ever-changing skies and horizon…it’s very inspiring.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Willem de Kooning. I love the emotional gestures of his work and respect the fact that he was one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so, where? 

I have exhibited at the Weyrich Gallery, FreeStyle Gallery, and South Broadway Cultural Center…all here in Albuquerque. I’ve also shown my work at the Santa Fe Arts Community Gallery.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I collect vintage pressed steel toys from the 20’s and 30’s.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

I think the most important thing is to remain a child when you create and let yourself play. The result will be work that is original and truly represent who you are.

 

Featured Artist – Sandra Lapham

april 2022

Featured Artist - Sandra Lapham

I am a retired physician who specialized in internal medicine, with a focus on addiction medicine. In 1996 I formed a not-for-profit research center in Albuquerque that studied behavioral health and tested new medications to treat alcohol and drug use disorders.

Throughout my life my greatest joy has come from immersing myself in natural settings, which often includes travel to remote locations, and observing wildlife and the beauty of natural landscapes. The beauty of nature also helps activate the right side of my brain, dormant for much of my past. I like the technical challenge of photography and the part it plays in nurturing a sense of my own creativity and unique perspective.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

At age ten I asked my parents for a camera. They gave me a Kodak Brownie on my next birthday. Since then, my love of photography, paired with an ever-present hankering for travel, has given me lots of opportunities to capture images of the world around me. While in medical school I took photographs of Mexico, South America, Africa, Europe, and Canada, while on a shoestring budget. Now retired I have the luxury of indulging my passion.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

I chose photography as my primary medium. It simply came naturally.

What other media have you used?

In the past five years my interests have expanded to creating mixed media works using wax (encaustic photography). The application of melted wax to photographs preserves them, and gives them a surrealist cast, softening and muting hard edges. The encaustic process also enables the artist to incorporate other elements, like plant material trinkets, into the piece.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

Art that fosters a personal connection with the natural world.

What inspires your work?

I believe that nature connects us to the earth and each other. Just viewing a photograph depicting or suggesting natural scenes can help people heal emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.

My hope is that my art will foster a personal connection with the natural world, motivate efforts to preserve our natural environment, and by so doing better our community’s mental and physical health.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would spend a day with Leonardo Da Vinci. Why? He was an inspirational artist, engineer, inventor, compassionate animal lover, and had one of the greatest minds the world has known.

Do you show your work commercially? If so, where?

My work is available through my website, can be viewed in person by appointment, and is exhibited regularly through local art shows.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

My dog, Scout, a Belgian Malinois and I are volunteers on the Sandia Search Dog team.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

Join a club, network, and find a mentor who can guide and support you.

Featured Artist – Barbara Clark

Please introduce yourself and describe your background

I am a painter who loves the outdoors and is grateful to get to do what I love. I am grateful because I understand what it is to get in the car every morning and talk myself into one more day of the daily grind.  I have been a house cleaner, a customer service clerk for an insurance company, a rental car rep, and assistant manager for a retail art gallery. I put myself through college at the age of 30 by being the “girl” for a wealthy family in New York. In college I learned the trade of accounting and subsequently opened my own bookkeeping business until my best client hired me away from my own company.  That company was sold in 2006 and now I get to paint!  It was not easy getting here, but this is where I was always meant to be.  Geographically, mentally, and emotionally.  Everything I’ve been through has put me in this very time and place.  And I’m grateful to be here!  I wish the same for everyone!

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

High School!  I had the best art teacher in the world.  She treated me like a prodigy.  She ordered materials for me to experiment with.  She invited me into her home where we took turns cooking dinner for her brood after school while the other got to play with art.  She was a friend and a mentor. She gave me a set of keys to the art lab to keep me out of trouble and keep me creating. I was incredibly lucky to have known her.  Thank you, Virginia Fitzgibbon.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

Oil painting, en plein air.  Because I love the buttery texture and the richness of oil paints.

What other media have you used?

I started with pastels, but the dust is too hard on my lungs.  I currently paint with gouache and watercolor in addition to oils.  I’ve been known to experiment with paint sticks, acrylics, and found objects.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

Rich, colorful oil paintings distilling the landscape into basic shapes.

What inspires your work?

Color and light.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Any artist: I’d happily spend the day with my art teacher from High School.  I never got to tell her how important she was in my life.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so, where? 

I co-own Corrales Fine Arts, in Corrales and also show at Et Cetera, Gallery Tamaya, The Abiquiu Inn and several locations of The Range.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I’m an introvert.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

Understand your market.  Understand basic bookkeeping.  Pick 5 artists, dead or alive, whom you admire.  Study their work.  Strive to incorporate what they do that appeals to you into your own individual style. Develop your own hand and don’t copy.  To copy doesn’t do justice to yourself or the artist you are plagiarizing.

Featured Artist – Rick Snow

Rick Snow

Please introduce yourself and describe your background

I was raised as an “army brat” all over the world.  I graduated with a degree in organic chemistry, physics and math, then immediately joined the Army.  After serving for 20 years, I retired and began working as a program manager in the private industry.  We moved to Corrales 19 years ago from the Florida panhandle when I was recruited for an executive position in an R&D tech company in Albuquerque.  For ten years, I directed development programs in “energetic” materials research, design, fabrication, and testing.  I have been a CSA artist and board member since 2005.  In my spare time, built my pottery studio and installed our commercial vineyard.  Since then I have been producing and selling unique functional and whimsical pottery, producing wine grapes for Corrales vintners, teaching private pottery in my studio, and playing golf.  Mary Anne and I recently celebrated our 47th anniversary.

My ceramic work can be seen in my Corrales studio and in the Ghostwolf Gallery in Old Town.  My grapes can be enjoyed in the wines produced by several Corrales vintners.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

My whole family growing up was artistic and always creating things.  I do not really have a recollection of starting artistic efforts.  I started pottery twenty four years ago when we lived in Florida.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork

What other media have you used? I focus on producing artistic pottery that is too difficult and time-consuming for most conventional potters.  I prefer to weave porcelain baskets, masks, and finery.  I normally choose not to make common mugs, bowls and cups.

What other media have you used?

I used to make “fine” wooden furniture (armoires, tables, beds, and cabinets) for our family use.  I have also done bronze “lost wax” castings.  Years ago, I used to carve museum-quality models of “full-rigged” sailing ships.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less

I make graceful, difficult, functional and whimsical pottery for fun.

What inspires your work?

I love making things.  I love showing a new item to other potters and having them ask me how I got it to come from the kiln in one piece.  I will sometimes work a new idea or form in my mind for weeks before trying it.  Usually, it will take me 3 or 4 attempts to make it work, some things are still in progress.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Monet or Renoir.  They changed the art world by defining a new way of perceiving and capturing the way we can see the world.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so, where? 

Yes, I show my pottery in my studio and at the Ghostwolf Gallery in Old Town.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I am a shy and reserved person.  I had to develop ways to put myself into public and leadership positions.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

I have two recommendations.  First, have a job skill or profession that will pay to support you (food, housing, car, etc,) while you are developing you talent and art; second, learn the “business of art,” (how to promote your products, pricing, marketing, customer expectations).

 

Featured Artist – Jennifer Noel

Hello, my name is Jennifer Noel, I am 43 years old and I was born and raised in Socorro NM. Both of my parents are Geologists who work at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. I imagine it was a bit of a shock to both of my parents to have a daughter who was interested in art. My earliest memory around art was on my mother’s maps that she was making and my connecting the dots and then making dragons and monsters out of the river and mountains. I went on to Eastern University for my Bachelor of Fine Arts and afterward I realized that if I had a better paying job, I could buy all the art supplies I wanted, and so I went back to Nursing School at the University of New Mexico and finished with my Bachelors of Nursing. I currently work in the Newborn Intensive Care at Lovelace, I am married have 2 beautiful children, a small farm and a studio that I get out to often to create my art.

My primary medium is ceramics. I love working with the clay, the smell and the tactile feel of it. I am fascinated that fire and the elements of the earth can help transform clay into a beautiful but functional piece of art. I have worked a little with photography, watercolor, and printmaking, but ceramic stole my heart. I currently show my artwork at the Weyrich Gallery, the Range Café, and Thrive.

When people ask me about my art, I often say that “I make the pottery using glazes that are fluid, and other elements that are ash and glass.” I am often inspired by art made of watercolor because of the way the colors bleed into each other. I often wish I could spend the day with an artist from Mexico Freda Kahlo, who in the 1940’s who continued to find ways to paint despite the pain she experienced after an accident. She did not let her pain dampen her love for art or her creativity. My advice to younger artists who are just beginning their art career is to find something or someone who inspires them, and then to dream big, set realistic goals, and be kind to themselves.

 

Featured Artist – Urey

Fetured Artist - Urey Lemen

 

Please introduce yourself and describe your background.

My father was in the Navy so for the first twenty years of my life our family bounced around the world.  I got my love of photography from Dad who was always taking family pictures.  Like many my age, my first camera was a Kodak Brownie.  Soon after that, I got my father’s Argus 35mm camera as a hand me down when he upgraded his camera.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

When I was in grade school I liked to doodle images of palm trees and boats on the ocean.  Probably should have been paying attention to my teacher.

Describe your primary medium.

I tried painting, watercolor and oils but it wasn’t for me.  I think I have a “good eye” for composing images, so I went with photography.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less.

I’m mostly a landscape and wildlife photographer.

What inspires your work?

I have always been an outdoorsman.  The beauty of the natural world is what inspires my work and my passion for photography.  I try to capture those fleeing,  magic moments of beauty in the nature world.  I am a great admirer of the work of Galen Rowel, Art Wolfe and Ansel Adams.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Early in my profession career, I did a lot of wet darkroom black and white work.  Ansel Adams had a great influence on my work. I love his high contrast b/w work.  I wish I could have met him.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so where?

I am one of the founding members of the Albuquerque Photographers’ Gallery in Old Town at 328 San Felipe.  The gallery started in 2003, time flies!   I also take part in shows like CAST.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

My only advice would be to follow your passion and try to develop your own style.

 

Featured Artist – Victoria Moulden

Featured Artist: Victoria Maulding 

 

Describe your primary medium and describe why you’ve chosen it for your artwork.

I work almost exclusively in acrylics. I have gravitated to acrylics as my preferred medium because they work well with my style of painting, which is often light to dark, light to dark, many layers of thin paint to accomplish the fur, feathers, etc which are a part of much of my paintings and the ability to paint for long periods, layering and keeping the colors true.

When did you start working with this medium? How did you get introduced to this medium?

As a teenager, I learned to paint in oils. During college, I was introduced to Acrylics and spent many years using either oil or acrylics depending on which one seemed most appropriate to the style and subject matter.

Did you teach yourself or do you have a formal education?

I took my first art class as a freshman in college and continued with as many art classes as I could schedule while working on a degree in education. Even in graduate school, electives were always ART. Also years of workshops, classes, retreats and painting groups.

Have you always worked with this medium? What other media have you used?

Over the years I have worked in watercolor, oils, water-based oils, and acrylics. While I enjoyed the special challenges of each media, the acrylic works best with my style of painting, brush strokes, layering style, and cadence of painting.

How much time do you devote to your artwork?

Artwork is a daily part of my life. I am involved in some aspects of the process from design, planning, research to execution and can spend 5-7 hours on a “good paint” day.

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

I feel intimately connected to the space and subject matter of a painting when I

finish a piece. I am humbled by patrons who tell me that my paintings bring them daily joy.

What are your sources for ideas and inspiration?

The beauty that surrounds me, and most recently dreams and my imagination.

What obstacles do you encounter as an artist? How do overcome challenges?

Painting offers challenges that are always exciting. I may do a study if I need to learn something before jumping in, but sometimes accidents become happy surprises.

Do you know what the finished artwork is going to be when you start? Do you ever just work from spontaneous impulse?

That depends on whether it is a story I am telling, or something from the imagination. I usually have a concept in mind, sometimes it is vivid and sometimes it is just an idea, a feeling, that I want to express. I love both telling a story you “get” right away and also sparking inquiry.

Do you have a philosophy about producing art?

Paint what is beautiful and make it as beautiful as nature has made it in order to give the viewer joy.

Do you collaborate with other artists and if so, how does that happen?

I have been fortunate to spend many years in artists' groups, classes and workshops and maintain many of those relationships for decades.

Do you show your work commercially? If so where? Do you produce your art for a living or is it more of an avocation?

I show my work at two galleries, Corrales Bosque Gallery, and Dragonfly Blue Gallery in Taos. I do local large venue shows like Masterworks, CAST, other area venues. I produce my art for my soul and consequently it occupies more importance, space and time in my world than an avocation.

What advice would you give aspiring artists entering the field?

The advice I give aspiring artists ranges from basic information regarding materials, techniques, to the most important thing I can say “PAINT, PAINT, AND PAINT!”

What else do you want to say to help introduce you and your work to our readers?

I paint the beauty that abounds in this world. Sometimes it is a simple story being told, like a portrait of a beautiful horse, or sometimes it has an imaginary quality to it with the beauty of nature painted into it. In either case, my goal is to connect on an emotional level to the viewer.

 

Featured Artist – Ivana Starcevic

 

Please introduce yourself and describe your background.

I was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, and moved to New Mexico in 1989.  While enjoying a 20-year career as the Creative Director for a Fortune 500 company focused on technology/innovation in customized training and digital communications, I remained connected to the art world through work as a rescue animal photographer and photo contributor to Getty/iStock. I earned a BFA in Ceramics and Studio Art and an MFA in Mixed Media from the Academy of Applied Arts University in Belgrade and completed postgraduate work in printmaking at the University of New Mexico. My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and my pieces are held in both public and private collections. In 2021, the City of Albuquerque purchased one of my large paintings for its “Art in Public Spaces” program.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

I had a passion for art starting at a very young age. With a few crayons, pen and ink, and some limited watercolors, I would spend hours at the kitchen table drawing and painting. For me, art is a way of life and I have been lucky to earn a living from it.

Describe your primary medium and why you’ve chosen it for your artwork.

Currently, my main focus is on paintings and the landscape interpreted through the language of abstraction. My entire career has been defined by experimentation, which has been my forte.

What other media have you used?

I consider myself a multifaceted artist and, in my long artistic history, have experimented with combinations of disparate yet complementary art mediums and various genres as well as different forms of technological research. I let intuition guide me toward disciplines and techniques including ceramics, photography, printmaking, sculpture and painting. Regardless of the medium, my goal in art-making is not to imitate reality but to inspire viewers to wear different types of lenses.

Describe your artwork in 10 words or less.

Large canvas, vibrant colors and spontaneous brushwork with elaborate mark-making.

What inspires your work?

I always start with a subject, often the landscape, whether it is the view from my backyard or faded memories of Europe where I grew up. I have long sought to capture “the spirit of place” in my artwork, finding inspiration in nature, the breathtaking views of the Sandia Mountains, botanicals and the ever-changing colors of the sky. The wild and enchanting natural beauty of New Mexico is a powerful visual stimulation that continually finds its way onto my canvases. Landscapes are dynamic physical and spiritual reminders of our view of the complex material world and its significance in our lives.

If you could spend the day with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I don’t think I can choose just one. Some of the artists I admire most are Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe. Both were fearless, flamboyant and powerful personalities who created their own dreamlike worlds full of symbolism. I would love to sit down with these two and sip margaritas while listening to their personal stories about what it meant to be women during their times in history. I would get fashion advice from both and later watch them paint. What a treat that would be. I am also an admirer of Fauvism so, naturally, I would love to spend a day with Matisse in Paris—my favorite artist in one of my favorite places—just watching him work in his studio.

Do you show your work commercially?  If so, where? 

My work is available at Ghostwolf Gallery, through group/solo exhibits, and online at https://www.ivanastudio.com.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

My husband and I have a pack of five wonderful dogs…but I think everyone who knows us knows that.

What advice would you offer younger artists just beginning their art careers?

Practice and work hard, but remember that art is fun so just create what you like and don't be too critical of yourself! Keep at it, love it and enjoy it. Join art associations and start networking. Forging strong relationships is the key to building a great business and succeeding as an artist.

 

Ivana Starcevic

https://linktr.ee/ivanastarcevic