Tag Archives: contemporary art

“Dinner with an Artist” featuring Inez Storer

“Dinner with an Artist” was inspired by the many dinners ANNE REED GALLERY’s owner, Barbi Reed, has had the pleasure of enjoying with gallery artists over the years. It was during these dinners that the conversation twisted and turned to the delight of all sitting around the table. There was no more perfect way to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of artist, collectors, and staff after the intensity of curating, preparing for, and installing an exhibition. Today, we invite you to this virtual dinner table conversation with Inez Storer as we talk about her current exhibition: Summer Pastimes.

ARG: What early influences sparked your interest in art and becoming an artist? inez-storer photo

My father was an artist and art director of many well-known films. Being around his creative energy greatly influenced me. I always knew I was an artist. I have a vivid first memory from when I was 3 years old of creating a “site specific work” in a sandbox. Later, I was the go-to kid for all the posters in school. I also always went “outside the lines” on the handouts given out during the Friday Art Lesson that only lasted a HALF HOUR!

ARG: Do you have any contemporary or historical role models who inspire you?

My eye roams everywhere – Matisse, Rauschenberg, Giotto, DADA, Surrealism. I find myself often attracted to work that doesn’t always make sense in the real world.

FoundTheCave

Found the Cave by Inez Storer

ARG: Your use of found imagery is one of the defining elements of your work. When did you start working with mixed media and what determines your selections of material?

I had a life of interruptions with a large family so creating collage/assemblage works was a way of dropping what I was doing and being able to pick up where I left off by merely looking at the scraps left on the table.

I also have a bit of a criminal past! One day my 9-year-old son came home with some very interesting things and, after I bribed him one dollar, he led me to “the burned down house” down the street.  It was incredible! Items left there dated back as late as1856: journals, objects, photos, books, every thing had “history” written all over it. One day I was caught and that was the end of my criminal object hunting activities and the beginning of collage!

ARG: Your paintings are all very narrative, often with multiple stories. We’re very curious about how you determine the subject of your paintings?

The first mark, or matrix, I make on the surface of a work is oftentimes my instinctual way of beginning the process. It may change (and most often does) as I go along but, it is definitely that first mark or marks that determine the way to proceed.

 ARG: Your work seems to beg us to dig deeper into this narrative. In your statement you mention that you often leave “written clues” in your paintings. Can you give us an example of a written clue in Summer Pastimes and where you might want that to lead us?

Balance, Relax by Inez Storer

Balance, Relax by Inez Storer

I really don’t set out to give “clues” but just hope that the viewer will take the adventure to new heights. Verisimilitude!

 ARG: We feel that all the elements in each painting relate in some way. Do you have an intention directed to the viewer?

I hope that the work isn’t always “of the same flavor”! It is through my process that I want to explore various ways of telling stories as I am a storyteller by nature.

I sometimes create a series, and other times, there is a wild card piece. I really do not believe in planning things out to the nth degree. What comes creatively is always the surprise and I like to be surprised and have that “AHA!” moment.

ARG: We understand you’re a wonderful teacher. What do you do to inspire your students? What advice would you offer other aspiring artists?

I have always told my art students, “art chose you, not the other way around.” They really do not have choice except to figure out how to support their “habit” and to keep on doing it as much as is possible. I think I still am on the right track as I just gave a lecture to students (and other art people) at Santa Clara University. Afterwards students came up to me and thanked me for giving them that advice and information. They were grateful to hear it.

Jump Up, work on paper, by Inez Storer

Jump Up, work on paper, by Inez Storer

ARG: You mentioned that your parents are European. Where are they from and has being first generation American influenced you and your art career?

They were both from Germany and, yes, indeed they influenced me. They kept many secrets about their lives before they came to the U.S. and I was always trying to find out more about that life. My mother was Jewish but only admitted it just before she died. I learned that we have over 30 relatives and some lived only fifteen minutes from where I grew up. THAT WAS A SECRET! But my mother did not want anyone to know she was Jewish so she never mentioned it. Life was complicated for me since I never knew much about my own history growing up. A lot of my art making came out of this experience.

ARG: Besides having European parents, you are married to Andrew Romanoff, also an artist and whose great-grandfather was Tsar Alexander III and is the great nephew of Tsar Nicholas II. Has being married to someone with so much familial history influenced your work?

"The Boy Who Would be Tsar" by Andrew Romanoff chronicles his magical childhood through the use of miniature Shrinky-Dink drawings.

“The Boy Who Would be Tsar” by Andrew Romanoff chronicles his magical childhood through the use of miniature Shrinky-Dink drawings.

It has had a big influence on my work in terms of the historical observations. It has been/is a constant source of ideas that may or may not come to fruition. Many a painting has come out of this relationship. It’s ongoing, like turning to the next page in my studio practice.

ARG: We raise our glass to you and to your latest wonderful exhibition with ANNE REED GALLERY. Although we’ve many more questions for you, perhaps we should end this conversation by asking if there is there anything else you would like to say, either about your work or perhaps something totally unrelated.

I want to say that your online style is a very interesting way to go about introducing artists across the globe and one that should/and will have a life of its own! Thanks!

Inez Storer, Inverness, California

ARG: Thanks, Inez. We’ve so enjoyed sharing a conversation over a “virtual dinner” with you and look forward to more time with you in the future.  Cheers!

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“Dinner with an Artist” featuring Cheryl Warrick

“Dinner with an Artist” was inspired by the many dinners ANNE REED GALLERY‘s owner, Barbi Reed, has had the pleasure of enjoying with gallery artists over the years. It was during these dinners that the conversation twisted and turned to the delight of all sitting around the table. There was no more perfect way to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of artist, collectors, and staff after the intensity of curating, preparing for, and installing an exhibition. Today, we invite you to this virtual dinner table conversation with Cheryl Warrick to discuss her current exhibition: Visual Dance.

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ARG: What early influences sparked your interest in art and becoming an artist?

CW: I remember watching my father draw and sketch on napkins and the papers that were in front of him on his desk.  He would never describe himself an artist. He was a Retired Army Lt Col. and was very organized and thoughtful with everything. I thought his drawings were amazing. They were like watching his brain at work. Drawing was how he figured things out. My sister is also an artist. I can remember watching her creating small figurative sculptures of wax and wire coat hangers.  I started drawing in middle school. I drew the figure mostly. I would pull out my sketch pad and draw everyone as they watched tv at night. 

warrickNOTwords

ARGYour paintings contain many symbols that you have mentioned are important to the viewers’ “continued exploration” of your works. We notice some symbols recur in your works, such as boats, trees, ladders and even teapots. Can you explain what some of these symbols mean to you and why you choose to include them in your paintings?

CW: I think of these images as archetypes. We all know something about these objects, either on a personal note or as a symbol that represents the opening to a deeper story. We all know something about an empty chair. It could be about loss or about someone who will fill that seat in the future. Two empty chairs may imply a conversation. I am not really fixed on a meaning, and everyone will always have a different response when they see these images. 

ARG: Besides iconography, you are also clearly drawn to landscapes, including your new series of acrylic works on paper featured on our sister site ARTprojectA. Are these specific landscapes or landscapes that are made-up, fabricated?

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Distant Ground, Acrylic on Paper

CW: I invent my landscapes. They are also about symbolic associations. We are all living with a sky above us and the earth under foot. I paint from what I call “internal knowing” and I invite the viewer to complete the painting by bringing their own meaning and interpretation to what they see. There are often, hills, valleys, waters to cross, stormy skies, bare trees or densely filled horizons. Some places seem a stone’s throw away, while others are much farther off. 

ARGIn some of your works you use materials other than paint such as bits of found paper. Where do you find these materials and why do you choose to incorporate them in your paintings? 

CW: I love bits of scrapbooking paper, old maps, found letters, and ledgers. Almost anything. I love putting found papers down as a way to begin. I cover them up and then they begin to form a texture and history in the work. 

J.M.W. Turner Painting, "Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps"

J.M.W. Turner Painting, “Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps”

ARG: Do you have any current or historical role models who inspire you? 

CW: I have a great appreciation for many artists and kinds of art. I am a big fan of the landscape paintings by J.M.W. Turner. They always seemed so contemporary.  I also love the the work of a group of women quilt makers from Gee Bend Alabama. The improvisation, texture and movement in these quilts are really beautiful.

ARG: Have you encountered any obstacles you’ve had to over come in the art world? And if so, what advice would you offer other aspiring artists?

CW: I think all artists have obstacles from time to time. The first and most important thing in my mind is always self compassion. We are taught to take great care of our brushes and art materials, but our first tool is ourselves. It starts with being present with yourself and allowing what is there to be there. Meeting yourself as a creative person on a journey that is not linear is a real challenge. It requires radical acceptance and cultivating a practice of inner dialog that is kind. I suggest spending a lot of time in nature, that really helps. 

Letters, Acrylic - Mixed Media on Panel

Letters, Acrylic – Mixed Media on Panel  

ARG: Have you been influenced by living in Boston?

CW: Yes, especially lately. The recent bombings at the Marathon were horrific and tragic. There are so many brave, kind people that helped one another on that day, and the days that followed. It was truly inspiring. This is a great city, alive with a vibrant caring community, culture and of course, wonderful art. 

ARG: Can you tell us a little bit about where you work?

CW: I have a small studio in the SOWA district of Boston. The building used to be a whiskey factory and has been artists studios since the 80’s. The floors are sloped from the weight of the whisky barrels. There are 20 or so artists in the building. It is rather old and creaky, but it works!

The Way, Acrylic - Mixed Media on Panel

The Way, Acrylic – Mixed Media on Panel

ARG: Just for fun, Do you listen to music or the radio when you paint? If so, can you tell us what you listen to.

CW: I always have my ipod on..I’m a big fan of musical compilations. I listen to anything from Love is My Religon by Ziggy Marley to anything Bill Evans and everything  you can imagine in between.

ARG: Do you have any thoughts about the direction you see your work evolving?

CW: I have no idea, I am just grateful to pick up the paint brush and paint! When I  look back over more than 20 years of facing the blank canvas, something always comes. Creative life is a beautiful dance with faith, trust and action.

ARG: Thanks, Cheryl. We’ve so enjoyed sharing a conversation over a “virtual dinner” with you and look forward to more time with you in the future.  Cheers!

CW: This was fun. Thank you.