Studio

 

Interview with Elizabeth Kendall

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I just finished a ceiling sculpture for the MGM complex. I moved here over a year ago and didn’t have a studio. I was between projects. Then, a neighbor introduced me to someone who asked for Maryland artists for the MGM project. I got the residency here and everything has snowballed and developed since then.

If I didn’t have a studio here the MGM installation couldn’t have happened. It was great because it was something that will open up a bunch of new ideas and projects. Glass and light are new for me. I just finished a piece through an art consulting firm in Atlanta. Now that those things are over I am focused on ideas for my show at Maryland Hall next November. My framework for that is observations and experiences between my home and the studio.

What are the primary materials that you use?

Clay. I am using more glass and I have used fabric in the past. What I love about any material is that it requires you to use specific tools. you can exchange tools for different things - a belt sander to sand clay, rolling pin from the kitchen. I look at clay like fabric and I am referencing fabric and things from the sewing room.

My grandmother did knitting ,weaving, sewing, basket weaving, etc. so my memories are all of the things from her sewing room. She made clothes for my dolls and such. I don’t like the process as much as I like it in pottery.

What’s your earliest memory of art?

It is a frustrating memory because I had this idea of what good art was. I came to art through craft, through process. I had to get technique into my hands before I could get emotion into the work. I started off at a community center taking a ceramics class. I had a five year plan to become a potter and it evolved from there.

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

I feel that all the time when I see things or you look at something and it resonated with you. But almost inevitably when I am done a project then the next the piece is the one I wish I had made. You solve a problem or you work through a process . or you learn something right at the end that you want to put into the next work.

How do you know when a work is finished?

There are stages of doneness. throwing, trimming, rolling it out, drying it out.. all different stage. I don’t always know until the deadline is done or until afterwards. And, often times I think that is what keeps me coming back. Especially with ceramics where you rely on the kiln to help you finish it, things come out unexpected. That’s OK. then you can look at it and say oh that's cool how that came out. I love the serendipity. I also love the control you can get.

How has your time as an AIR been? Was it how you expected?

It has been great to meet other makers and people who are just involved with this community. I moved and it’s far enough that I need to make a new set of paths. I have always enjoyed having my door open. that’s the challenge of working at home is that you're alone. Every place has it systems. you take what you need and don’t take what you don’t need.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

Typically I would say process, and that is what initially drew me in. But, I also find it very hard to let go of things that I make for myself. It is probably a reflection of the process.

What is your ideal creative activity?

Yoga is a really good time. It’s a time where I let go. Somebody else is telling me what to do and in a way I am not in charge. I really think that every single moment there is Something there. Even if you are just at the bus stop doing nothing there is still something there that you can take away from it. if you don’t take-in the moment then you are just going.

Which artists do you most admire?

It changes but I always resonate with performance and installation artists. I like things that are temporary and relevant to space. The short term nature of things sets up interesting responses.

What is your creative ambition?

I want to make what I am doing now and figure out how to change it. I want to change the pace and the scale. Right now I make things fast, small, and in multiples to make a large piece. I want to slow down the making -- I don’t know where that is going to take the work necessarily.

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

I like making and I will just make as a default. I should think during that time and slow it down. You go to what you like to do. I need to say ‘this is the time for stretching a new muscle.’

How do you begin your day?

I try and have a period of time where I am not doing anything. I am not talking to anybody. Our home looks out at the bay when the sun is rising. The color change on the water is just amazing. And I am trying to do a little more listening, specifically to podcasts.

 

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I don’t think I do. I really like doing things differently, not that I always take different routes. I used to be very into control but I really like change. You can’t stop it so instead of fighting it just know things can be fresh and fun. My goal is to embrace it and find ways to change something.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

I don’t seek it out. I enjoy it. I think a lot of times it comes out and it sounds good. That's a good creative activity but I don't know it always translates into anything. it can be forced.

“My door is always open. I am perfectly happy to have people stop by. You never know who you are going to meet are what’s going to happen.” If you should find your way up to the third floor at Maryland Hall feel free to peek into Elizabeth’s studio! Studio 310 B.

 

 

  

An Interview with Emily Welsh

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I am taking ideas and themes from older projects and working them into new projects while I am here. I went to school for printmaking. I liked intaglio on copper the best. They had a brand new studio where I went to school and they were just getting a bunch of non-toxic things. My apartment is small and I wanted to get back into printmaking. I have been elbows deep in work which lent me to be in the music industry and night-life.

I was doing a lot of sketches in bars and with musicians. I had this idea to create the sketches into prints and develop them into a more finished project. Because I have been so heavily involved in work I have not been able to express myself the way I used to so having my studio at Maryland Hall has been great.

What are the primary materials that you use?  

Pen and watercolor for the initial sketches I have been doing. I carry a small cheap ten color watercolor kit. For the prints I use copper plates and ink - typically black and white. I might experiment with color this go around though.

What’s your earliest memory of art?

Probably my art teacher from middle school. It was around Easter time and I came home with these really intricate drawings of “Eggtown” and I did everything cars, buildings, etc. In elementary school art was prominent. In Middle school, the curriculum changed and for some reason art was lost somewhere.  I was more science oriented. In highschool I went back to taking art classes.

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

Any of Jeff Koons balloon animal sculptures mainly because I wish the large scale is something I could do. I just don’t have the means to really do that. I want to create a mechanical menagerie and have these large scale mechanical animals. They would probably be paper mache but I will refine the technique from my previous paper mache endeavors.

How has your time as an AIR been? Was it how you expected?

It has been great being here. I live with two other people and they have  turned our kitchen table into a craft center.For me, it’s really just creating a mess and not cleaning it up. So, it has been really nice to have a studio where I come back to everything where I left it. I was an AIR in the past as well and I came into that residency with no expectations. It both was and wasn’t what I was thinking.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

I think if i don’t like the process then I won’t like the result. [In printmaking] you have to prepare the plate in such a way first or the rest of the system won’t work. If you miss a step the acid won’t set or the ink won’t dry, and so on. I become somewhat obsessed with the process. I can tell going to a bar if the process is going to work based on who is there, what music it is, what bar I’m at, etc.

What is your ideal creative activity?

Driving. I had the grand scheme of finding a studio space and etching these drawings when I was on a really long drive. It has happened multiple times - on the jersey turnpike when I have been by myself long enough that my mind starts turning and I want to pull over and start writing all these things down.

Which artists do you most admire?

I have been heavily influenced by illustrators. My grandmother had the older version of the old Wizard of Oz stories. Some are full color illustrations and some are just black and white. the whole fantastical themes stuck with me.

My favorite artists are

Quentin Blake - Roaldl Dahl Books

Hilary Knight - Elouise

W.W. Denslow - Wizard of Oz

Edward Gorey -  The Gashlycrumb Tinies

What is something you are proud of that you have created in the past?

The Electric Elephant is a book that my grandfather wrote. It was based on another story with the same title. He wrote 50 pages filled with stories and they always incorporated me and my 3 cousins, Kate, Sam, and Grace on an adventure. I illustrated the whole book.

Who are some of your role models?

Outside of my parents it would be some of the people I worked with previously. I worked at Rams Head and met a lot of really incredible tour managers. A lot of the female tour managers were really influential in a really man-dominated industry.

 

What is your creative ambition?

A mechanical menagerie based off of my animal prints is definitely something to work towards.

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

Space and size. When I was working on the elephant the last time I was here, I wanted to do an art installation kind of art walk. At the time there were a lot of unfortunate empty storefront spaces in Historic Annapolis. I would like to use those spaces at some point and create random areas for art installations. It would include a pop-up art walk.

How do you begin your day?

Currently just setting a loose plan for the day. Trying to get into a routine.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

Circles are definitely repetitive in my art. If you look through any of my sketchbooks you will see them everywhere.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

Outside of doing these portraits of people at bars there was not a lot of dialog like that at work. But, I do rely on a conversation to further what I am doing. I like it to be someone who is far away from the process and from me. Sometimes it takes someone, who has no idea about my work, that asks me a question that sparks an answer or another way to see or do things.

Progression Photos

 

 

 

 

Studio Tour with Nathanael Scott

  

Wood burnishing and found objects by AIR                  Current series in the making by Nathanael Scott

   

Charcoal drawings in Scott's studio                                 View of Scott's studio at Maryland Hall

       

Artwork inspired by Scott's previous job at a wood flooring company. Wood tile samples and found objects pictured.

Interview with AIR Nathanael Scott

What projects are you working on at the moment? 
I’m working with wood and a lot of found objects. I use re-purposed samples from a wood-flooring store that I used to work for. I was not happy at this place of employment and that came up in a lot of the themes I work with. It hit me why I was there one day. It was something about the materials; it reminded me more of a graveyard. I used the wood slabs and was resurrecting them to a degree. The artist, Leonard Drew, he works with wood. He weathers the wood, burns, and scorches it. He lets it sit out in the sun, aging it and giving it character. I didn’t want to do carving or big sculptures so I was and am really inspired by him.

What are the primary materials that you use?  
Wood and found materials. I use chicken wire and different plastics. Even with my older work, it’s a process that comes naturally. There are themes that come up in my work; perspective and perception. I like to get my work to a perfect rough draft through trial and error. Then it will start to create itself. 

How do you know when a work is finished? 
To me, the work has multiple lives. The first life is when I am putting it together, here in my studio. When it is presented in a show or commission, that’s its second life-cycle. I am making my work to be open-ended. I like abstract art. It can be so many things. I like for my work to say a certain thing but not be too clear. I want people to have different opinions about it. 

When you work, do you love the process or the result?
The process. It is very physical. Art is always therapeutic for me. The process is very important and it allows the finished product to be different from the initial result I had in mind. Also, I like to take my time to make my work. 

What is your ideal creative activity? 
 I think of art itself as a conversation. Materials are like a language. I’m more comfortable speaking in certain languages - or materials. I’m always talking about the same things but sometimes I use a different language. Other creative activities for me…I like to listen to instrumental, classical, or jazz music. The bible. Books, either spiritual or astrological. 

How do you begin your day?

When I am in a good creative place I get up and pray. I might fast if I am working on something very important. Art is therapeutic and spiritual and if I go into it in that way I will accomplish more of what I want to accomplish. I like to block everything else out. 

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?
It is very important to me. It was easier in college, but this interview is proof I can still talk your ear off about art. I have a friend who is a world-renowned artist. I like to go to his house and take some work there and we talk about different things. Art is always a conversation.

 

Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence Lindsay Pichaske takes you on a tour of her studio.

I have a wall of tools and a wall of inspirational images. These tools are ones I use frequently, and I love having them out and visible, do I know where everything is. The images are of other artists' work, reference animal images, and images of interesting objects and textures that I've photographed.

I usually begin a piece by doing a quick, large scale drawing. These are examples of some previous pieces.

I keep a collection of natural found objects in my windowsill. These are my 'natural history museum' in the studio. They are objects I use as reference, and as textural inspiration in my work.

I also keep texture test tiles around my studio for reference for specific materials. Here I have an example of pinecone 'petals'.

I typically start each piece by making a quick maquette (small model). This quick study helps me work out the pose, gesture and proportions before starting on the larger piece.

 

For more information about Lindsay, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

 
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