Artist Interview

Lizzy Marshall: Self-Defined Editor in a Deep Atlantic Blue

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Your name / age: 

Lizzy Marshall / 35

Where do you live / work:  Kingston, NY

Where do you live / work:

Kingston, NY

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What brought you to where you live:

A job, but mostly a need for quiet

 
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What's your favorite place:

The Northern California Coastline

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Name three of your favorite books:

Radical Love, Fanny Howe

Eros the Bittersweet, Anne Carson

The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience, Ann Lauterbach

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Which artists inspire you:

Andre Masson, automatic, hallucingenic

Cy Twombly, force energy

RH Quaytman, her perfectionism

Mira Schor, politics in drawing

 

 

What is an artist:

someone who is self-defined.

What is art:

freedom

 

 

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How do you identify as an artist:

As an editor.

 
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What was a pivotal project, person, or experience that shaped your practice:

Amy Sullivan taught me about commitment and  I haven't let go since.

 

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What are key elements or constants in your practice:

Drawing Always. The figure/ human form.

What are your current interests and inquiries as an artist:

What role does color play in my paintings?  How do I create two different spaces of time in one painting.

                                                       

                                                        What do you see as the value of art:                          

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                                                  What is your greatest challenge as an artist:

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Creating with More Time: Sonia Corina Ruscoe

(Full audio conversation below)

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I was delighted to spend the afternoon with Sonia Corina Ruscoe the curator of our upcoming April exhibit, Tragic Instant.  We sat down in the women's writing room and recorded what could be best described as a mash up of Oral History and casual conversation.  Having recently attended Suzanne Snider's Oral History Winter School as a Community Fellow, I am eager to play with audio interviews and enamored with the ethos of Oral Histories, and of course have big OH future plans (give me a taste of something new and delightful and I'm gangbusters).  Some definitive characteristics of Oral History Interviews, is there are no pre-scripted questions, and it is primarily an opportunity for the narrator (what OH calls the Interviewee) to share a part of their life story--and one other peculiarity is long pauses. 

( I also want to suggest that if you have any interest or curiosity in Oral History, Suzanne is enrolling her Oral History Summer School program in Hudson, NY right now!  It is hands down one of the best educational programs I have EVER engaged in!  Inspiring is too small of a word.) 

But, lets talk about SONIA!!!  Sonia, approached me at Instar shortly following the presidential election with a beautiful and compelling project proposal, Tragic Instant.  In it she spoke eloquently about the instants that change everything, with their pain, tragedy, confusion, comedy, the strangeness that emerges at once.  She wanted to frame these quick cutting moments, giving us time as an audience to witness them. 

In our conversation Sunday afternoon, I learned more about Sonia's artistic practice as a self-taught painter coming from a formal photography history, which she shares in her interview.  She speaks of"more time" when creating, and what can happen when time is stretched, and how the slowing down of time is something she relishes about life upstate.

Listen to her interview (press that play button) and enjoy!  View more of her work here!  Come see her upcoming exhibit April 15th at Basilica Back Gallery, participate in the Sedar-Style dinner she's co-created, and join her and the group of 'Tragic Instant' artists for an in person closing conversation--learn more about everything 'Tragic Instant' here!  And consider helping send her to her upcoming European residency and castle drawing experience here!

Remote Dreams of Creation: An Interview with Artist Ruby Palmer

Original installation ideas laid out in the Ruby's studio, before being written into directions to be reconfigured later by students at SFCC

Original installation ideas laid out in the Ruby's studio, before being written into directions to be reconfigured later by students at SFCC

We recently interviewed local Hudson Valley artist, Ruby Palmer, to learn more about her exhibit, “Subject to Change: a remote installation.”

During the month of January, Palmer followed a similar process to artist Sol Lewitt, writing and mailing specific instructions for wall drawings and paintings to be executed by a team of faculty and students of Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) in Spokane, WA. Through this project, Palmer was able to explore a new meaning of what it is to create, by relinquishing control of her creation, by placing it into the hands of others and cooperatively imagining into its final form. The end results were better than she could have imagined.

IL: How has this project opened you and your practice as an artist?

The project was ALL about opening up. Since others were actually making and installing many of the ideas which I drew and designed, I had to completely reconsider how I approach making things.  I sent the team of instructors and students elements that I had made in my studio or at least chosen the colors for, and they assembled them with help from my written instructions. It was both exhilarating and challenging for me because I had to really get imaginative with hardware store materials and the given space, which I had never visited. I’ve always been curious about how instructions are written, and how to convey direction, whether it be in a cooking recipe or for IKEA furniture, and it’s a lot harder than I thought!

It was daydream-like in many ways. It actually parallels my creative process as I usually solve problems in my work through sleep or waking dream. I don’t work directly from my dreams, but I do have that moment when waking, where I “know” the answer to a problem. It’s usually a solid response that I trust.

In fact, the whole concept for “Subject to Change” came about that way. I went to bed thinking I couldn’t do an installation so far away, and I woke up with the idea to work remotely, turning it into a game with the students—giving them direction and they would interpret and make the ideas. The results were sort of incidental, and the hope was that they would learn a bit about my process through making.

IL: How do you measure success of this project?

The biggest feeling of success came from the students’ texts and emails to me expressing their enthusiasm and curiosity, and willingness to participate.

That was a relief for me, especially since we’ve never met! The final result was also interesting and dreamlike to see these images appear on my screens and realize I was responsible for them. 

 IL: What’s happening in your studio now?

I’m doing watercolor drawings in response to the Spokane project. I’m back to thinking about cutting into walls and floors and making compositions inside those shallow spaces. Since the opportunities are rare, I’m imagining them a lot.  I’m also continuing my “flower paintings” which I began last spring and are a departure in many ways, but are informing the other work. Who knows where they are going, but they satisfy my need for color, more voluminous shapes, more gesture and less hard edge geometry.

IL: It's not a secret, at Instar we love artist moms and are always interested in what that relationship is like. Can you tell us a little about your own experience of being a mother artist?

It’s a pretty big challenge and I am SO happy to have my kids in my life, I love them so much. I can’t work the way I used to, so I’ve adjusted, and my work has adjusted, for better and worse. Like, I have to leave all the dishes and piles of laundry and have a messy house.  Before I had kids I used to sit around contemplating my work a lot—too much, and now I really don’t have time—I’ve gotta get to the point. 

Ruby Palmer lives and works in Rhinebeck NY with her husband and twin daughters. Since 2016 she started and has run an artist lecture series at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff NY called ARTalks that runs monthly. Her work has been shown in NYC at Exit Art, Smack Mellon, Parallel Art Space, and Morgan Lehman Gallery, at Page Bond Gallery in Richmond VA, as well as Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY and Instar Lodge in Germantown, amongst others. Visit Ruby Palmer’s website to see her multi-disciplinary work. 

Ruby Palmer, “Subject to Change: a remote installation”, 2017 Spokane Falls Community College Art Gallery, Spokane, WA, Photo credit: Chris Billings
CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO WATCH THE PROCESS UNFOLD

The Hidden Past of Now: An Interview with Artist Melora Kuhn

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Standing inside Melora Kuhn’s studio, one steps into her upcoming installation.  An other room, something imaginary with painted walls displaying both the unnatural version of nature and interior settings of some mysterious historical place, a grand trompe l'oeil. Deeper than that, it is a space within a space and moves your thoughts to a mind inside a mind.

Her work confronts modern issues through a historical lense. In past work, Kuhn displays the idea of a known scene confronting the unknown. In paintings such as The Interior Chamber, she moves the viewer from a setting in an interior room to a place where the walls are filling the room with water. Or, as seen in The Wolf’s Cry, dogs and wolves battle in a Habsburgian wilderness. Her art provokes themes of class, race, and unspoken histories that can too often be lost in the fondness for a past time.

“I love to play off of reality,” says Kuhn. “I want to understand the thinking system and hidden elements within it.”

Kuhn’s upcoming installation for the Eigen + Art gallery in Leipzig is being finished inside her studio, a converted red barn from the late 1800s in Germantown. As a resident of the area for the last eight years, she has seen not just the small community of Germantown grow, but the Hudson Valley as a whole bioregion. This cycle of renewal and change mirrors her work, but Kuhn’s influences stretch beyond the valley.

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“The quiet helps you to go deeper in the work,” explains Kuhn. “But those daily interactions [among artists] are missing. It makes you need to seek them out more.”

The as-yet-untitled installation will be shown this spring at the Eigen + Art in Leipzig. Her installation expands her previous work into a fully immersive piece, with painted walls, furniture, and interactive elements.

“I’ve always painted 19th century rooms. Now, I’m making one,” Kuhn explains.

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The scale of her installation, incorporating a fully enclosed room, pushes her to new ways of creation. While she would always mix her oil paints the need for consistency lead Kuhn to developing her own color palette using Benjamin Moore house paint.

“I had to with more space,” Kuhn says. “It was to save time and make the colors consistent.”

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As she is putting the final touches on her installation, her work takes on, literally, a new dimension. She moves from paintings of a room to art as a room. This natural evolution of her work goes on to establish what she most wants a viewer to take away from her work.

“To unravel it. To find out where we are now,” says Kuhn.

Melora Kuhn’s installation will be on display at the Eigen + Art Gallery in Leipzig from April 22nd through May 27th. For more information, visit their website.

Reported by William Crane, images by Dawn Breeze for Instar Lodge.

Melora Kuhn was one of the inaugural artists exhibiting in Time & Again in August 2016