Saturday, July 3, 2021

Kara Hendershot, Artist


Hello and welcome to the 37th 3 Art Questions With Jackson interview! This time I interviewed Toronto based artist Kara Hendershot. We have a lot of her work hanging on our walls and my parents bought a piece from her before I was born, so this is a cool experience for me to get to ask her questions after admiring her painting for basically my whole life. I think Kara has a distinctive viewpoint regarding art and I really related to her ideas about empathy and art. I think you will enjoy her answers! Thank you for reading, and don't forget to check out Kara's Instagram at @karahendershot. 

Jackson: What inspired you to become an artist? Did your Dad being an artist influence you?

Kara: My father's photographs taught me how to see. As a kid I would look at his black-and-white photographs, candid scenes from the 1970's of anonymous city dwellers on the streets of Toronto, Chicago, and Detroit. He intuitively captured a moment that, when viewing it in a photograph, caused me to wonder and to care about the life of a figure frozen in a frame of a silver gelatin print; just a stranger that my father passed on the street years before I was born. To be curious about the life of a person you've never met, to have empathy for them, that is what art is about. It connects us to one another. That is what my dad helped me see. At a certain point early on in my life, art became something I needed to do for solace and connection. I realized that if I wanted to keep doing this, then I would have to find a way to pursue it indefinitely, or else it might fall to the wayside. My father encouraged me to enroll in advanced placement studio courses in high school, which lead to me focus as a Studio Art major. After graduating from university, I took some time away from art. Then I came back to it and made a conscious decision to pursue art as a career.

Jackson: Do you feel your art has changed in any way since you moved back to Canada? Or since you became a parent?

Kara: Life experiences change your perspective. I feel that my art grows with me. Honestly though, I have not spent a great deal of time in the studio since moving back to Canada and having my son. But there are two components of making art. There is the execution of making the art - the manipulation of materials into a tangible piece. And then there is everything that comes before that and everything that is behind it - life experiences and life observations that influence the work, perspective, inspiration, memories, building a vision and amending it over and over, ideas just burning to become... Everything that has built in your head before it is drawn on paper. Right now, I am breathing in. I am reacquainting myself with the place where I was born. I am spending time with my son, as children are only so small for so long and I do not want to miss these incredible moments. I am building new work, but it's not here yet. I am working on everything that happens before the physical art piece happens. The art in my head will have to wait a little while to be born until I get back into the studio. I find that every time I take significant time away from the studio, to travel or study or just to live my life above the surface for a while, I come back with a drive and a hunger that is much stronger, and a readiness to plunge back down into my creative tunnel.  

Jackson: If you could meet any artist living or dead, who would it be and why?

Kara: I saw the film Seraphine a couple of years ago. It is about the early 1900s artist Seraphine Louis, a middle-aged housekeeper who paints late at night by candlelight. With no friends, no family, and no one to believe in her, she paints because she believes it is what she is meant to do, despite others mocking her and telling her that it is a waste of her time. A German art critic, who stays as a guest in the house that she cleans takes notice of her paintings and arranges exhibitions of her work. At some point in the film, on a high after some monetary success from her art, Seraphine buys a wedding gown and runs through the village, announcing her make-believe wedding. The neighbors believe her to have gone mad. She is locked away in an asylum and loses her will to ever paint again. 

I would choose to meet Seraphine, to tell her that we need her art, as much as I wish to tell this to anyone who has lost their will through no fault of their own, to do what they feel they were meant to do.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Melissa Borman, Photographer and Installation Artist


Hello and welcome to the 36th interview for my blog 3 Art Questions With Jackson! This time I interviewed Minneapolis based photographer and installation artist Melissa Borman! She is completely awesome and my Dad and I have loved her art wherever we have seen it on our travels. I think Melissa's answers give a unique perspective into her artistic world and I really believe you will enjoy what she had to say. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out her Instagram at @melissa.borman (Image info: 1. Portrait of the artist by Paul Wegner  2. L'Oiseau Bleu, archival pigment print, 2020)

Jackson: What inspired you to make art? How did settle on photography as your primary way to express your ideas?

Melissa: I always made art as a kid, but it never occurred to me that it was something I could keep doing into adulthood until I took a photography class in college. I was studying Film Theory and Photography was required for my major. I fell in love with the darkroom and eventually added am Art major. Although I learned a lot from all my art courses, photography seemed like the most satisfying way to express myself. The process felt so much like writing in that in that through selecting and arranging a group of photographs I was able to communicate more than I could ever imagine doing with a single image and if I changed the arrangement the meaning changed. That seemed like magic.

I've also always been drawn to the flexibility that working with photographs offers. I can present a project as a series of images on a wall, as a book, takeaway ephemera, a projection, online, or as a combination of any of these methods. I love that photographs are so accessible and that there are so many ways to reach audiences with them.

Jackson: How do you decide what to photograph? Do you set up each shot or do they happen spontaneously? 

Melissa: My projects usually start with an idea of something I want to address. For example, I Started A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter after researching historical and contemporary works depicting female figures in the landscape. I didn't like what I was seeing and was moved to make photographs that reflected my own experiences of being active in the landscape. I didn't know how to make those photographs, but I had a good idea of what I didn't want them to look like, so there was a lot of trial and error in the process. 

My current project, Birds, started with what was just going to be a single image of a ceramic bird I had in my studio. I was going to break it and use the pieces for another project and I thought that photographing it would make it easier for me to break it. It didn't, it just made me like the little figurine even more. I had been working on a project about grief and loss and something about its broken and glued tail resonated with me. I do make plans, but the work almost never ends up anything like the plan. That said, I think the plan is always important. It's a way to get started. I tell my students that it is like a good road trip. You start with a destination, but you stay open to possible detours and maybe you end up somewhere else entirely, but you would have never gotten on the road without the original destination in mind. 

Jackson: If you could meet any artist living or dead, who would it be and why?

Melissa: I greatly admire and would be honored to meet Yoko Ono because her work has inspired me to be vulnerable in my practice and to explore new materials and methods. I first became aware that she was so much more than the wife of a famous man when I watched Cut Piece in a film class in college. She addressed so much, such as issues of gender, class, and cultural identity so effectively in the deceptively simple act of sitting still. That piece still inspires me as I endeavor to pack as much meaningful content into seemingly simple works as possible. It's a lot of work to make something look simple and often miss the point, but it's the most satisfying was for me to work. I'll keep trying.

I'll add, although there are many artists I would like to meet, this year of isolation has made me even more grateful for the many wonderful artists I am lucky to know.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bernart, Painter, Teacher, Textile Designer, DJ


Hello and welcome to the 35th interview for my blog 3 Art Questions With Jackson! This time I interviewed Istanbul based artist, teacher, DJ, and textile designer Bernart! Exciting! We have been following each other on Instagram and I have always been super impressed by her art. I always enjoy getting the perspective of someone who lives in a different country and I did this time too. Thank you for reading and check out her Instagram! @_bernart_

Jackson: What inspired you to become an artist? Did you have a specific experience? 

Bernart: My sister was studying Fine Arts at Mimar Sinan University when I was little, my sister is a very good artist and I was inspired by my first sister. One day I will grow up and become a good artist and designer like her, it was my dream. And I studied at the same university in the department of fine arts, textile and painting, so I can say that I made my dream come true :). I am still working as a designer in textile, and at the same time I am an artist and an art teacher. Thank you very much for this beautiful question.

Jackson: Has the global pandemic changed the way you make art? Are things getting better in Istanbul now?

Bernart: Actually, I was impressed like everyone else and this was reflected in my paintings. I started drawing in the first days of the epidemic but I could not finish it. Then I can say that this situation has improved day by day. I reflected the pandemic effect in some of my drawings, it was not possible to not be affected. The situation in Istanbul seems to be getting better and then it gets worse again. Unfortunately, we have a curfew. Everything will be fine and we will return to our healthy days.

Jackson: If you could meet any artist living or dead, who would it be and why?

Bernart: Hmm, very good question, thank you. Actually, I did not have a request to meet celebrities. But like all art lovers and artist friends it is Leonardo Da Vinci, whose art I am very impressed with. The reason is that I have been interested in geometry and anatomy since I was young, the best in these subjects is Leonardo Da Vinci. Although he has 17 works that are very few finished and unfinished, the starting point of art is the genius Da Vinci for me.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Darrell Hagan, Artist and Curator at Gallery 427


Hello and welcome to the 34th interview for my blog 3 Art Questions With Jackson! This time I interviewed Minneapolis based artist and curator Darrell Hagan. He is an amazing painter and a curator who is nice enough to give opportunities to an artist like me who is just starting out. I thought his answers were very relatable and I think you will too. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out Darrell's social media sites listed right after the interview!

Jackson: What inspired you to begin making art? How old were you when you realized you wanted to be an artist?

Darrell: I don't recall ever consciously deciding to be an artist. I think it isn't something you choose to do, I think it is just something you are. I have for as long as I can remember always drawn or painted. As a child I thought art must be something everyone does. It took a while to realize that wasn't always the case.

Jackson: Has the pandemic changed the way you make art or how often you make art? Have you lost any opportunities?

Darrell: I have never created as much work as I have during the pandemic. Not being able to do much else has made me concentrate more on my work. I think it actually made me better at my craft. 

I mainly sell my work in my gallery space in the Northrup King building. Not being able to open and have the large events like Art-A-Whirl and Art Attack have definitely hurt my sales.

Jackson: If you could meet any artist living or dead, who would it be and why?

Darrell: I would have to say Rene' Margritte. It would be fun to hear about how his work comes together. I have always been a huge fan of his paintings because of their surreal nature and humor. I'm sure he would have been an interesting person to talk to.
Instagram: @darrellhagan 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Camilla, Artist, Instagram Star


Hello and welcome to the 33rd interview for my blog 3 Art Questions With Jackson! This time I have interviewed London based artist and Instagram star Camilla! We've been following each other on Instagram for a long time now. She is a lot of fun and her art is really cool. I really enjoyed what she had to say in this interview and I enjoyed getting the perspective of someone who lives in a different country. Thanks for reading!

Jackson: What made you want to become an artist? Do you think where an artist lives influences the work?

Camilla: Good question! I honestly tried art when I had lots of free time and nothing much to do. It was suggested to me and I said "sure why not" because I love to try new things! I really enjoyed it and liked the results. I ended up showing some friends and some people I was working with and they were really impressed. Almost right away a friend of a friend wanted to buy a painting I had done and it just went from there really and so my ideas kept flowing. I had to paint! I filled a small room with so many paintings over summer and decided to call it my studio. There's always something in there drying!

I think where an artist lives can definitely influence their art! Although I have so many abstract ideas which even I don't know where they come from, I just paint them out when they arrive. I have always been surrounded by beautiful trees and I love nature so I paint a lot of trees! 

Also, I live in a big city and always visit different beaches often so I've done a few beach paintings. My first one, which is of the waves, I am so lucky that one of my followers from my art page bought it as a surprise for his girlfriend because she loves the beach. He thought it would be lovely for her to have in her home since she did not live near a beach. I've just finished a set of buildings too.

Jackson: Has the pandemic influenced how you make art or how often you make art? Have you lost any opportunities in the last year?  

Camilla: Another good question! I definitely think so! I always do art whenever I can or whenever I just have to paint - or when a new idea comes to me and I just have to paint it out right away! I have definitely painted more than usual. Luckily I'd just stocked up on art supplies so I could have started my own art store! 

I used my time to try something new and did a series of abstract collages and pop art collages. I have been very lucky to sell some work throughout the pandemic. I also donated money from sales to buy food and supplies for vulnerable people and safely and securely delivered them and sent thank you paintings as gifts to my lovely buyers for their kindness. I'm beyond happy I could help and doing it through art makes it super special. 

I was asked to do an exhibition in New York City and haven't done it with the pandemic, which can't be helped. I'm sure something will go ahead soon and I am beyond happy to be asked.

Jackson: If you could meet any artist living or dead, who would it be and why?

Camilla: Oh, easy! Salvador Dali! I absolutely love his work. My favorite piece by him is The Persistence of Memory from 1931. I would love to chat to him about it and ask him some questions. I think it would be fun to chat with him and hopefully hear some of his ideas.

Instagram: @i.l.l.a.rt 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Susan Wagner, Artist


Hello and welcome to the 32nd interview for my blog 3 Art Questions With Jackson! This interview with Susan Wagner is really cool because she is a great abstract painter and she is friends with someone who taught me in elementary school. Small world! Susan's paintings are really deep and her answers were very thoughtful. I can really relate when she talks about the emotional part of making art. Thanks for reading! 

Jackson: What inspired you to begin making abstract paintings? Did you always love art or did you have a specific experience?

Susan: I started out as a landscape painter and just kept digging deeper into what attracted me to it. I decided to keep going with abstraction after I took a painting I had done and, using only black oil paint on gessoed paper, I painted just the shapes and lines that were the essence of the composition and the heart of it. I did that a lot, years ago, and it got me going in that direction, which was very satisfying for me on many levels. I found that I was attracted to the interplay of shapes and it's interesting to work out the problems, but I was also connecting to my emotional stake in it. It's definitely bringing the inside, out.  

I always loved art on some level. My mother has art books around when I was growing up and she had a knack for color combinations and harmony in the way she decorated her house. She was also deeply into poetry and was usually thinking about it. I think that maybe closely observing a mother who was closely observing human behavior and other things set me up to feeling a connection with art. 

Jackson: How has the pandemic changed how your make your art? Were any of your shows postponed or cancelled?

Susan: The pandemic really didn't change the way I make art - I did make less work. The enormity of what was happening around me was all consuming. But I eventually starting working in the studio again. In terms of show fallout, all my open studios were cancelled and some group shows I was in ended up being online. And so, there was no way to interact with people responding to the work. In my view, that's a necessary energy to have. That in-person energy between the viewer, the artwork, the artist, and even the space it all takes place in. 

Jackson: If you could meet any artist living or dead, who would it be and why? 

Susan: There are quite a few artists I would love to meet. Very hard to narrow it down. Today, I'm going to say Peter Doig because of the ways he paints, and what he paints feels deeply personal yet accessible.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Melissa Loop, Artist


Hello and welcome to the 31st interview for my interview blog 3 Art Questions With Jackson! This time I am very happy about being able to ask excellent painter Melissa Loop questions. I have always been amazed by her paintings and I love how I can tell it is her right away. She gave very thoughtful answers to my questions and I think everyone will really enjoy them. Thank you for reading!

Jackson: What was it that inspired you to make art? Do you feel like you were born to paint?

Melissa: All of my art is based on places that I have visited in the past. I have a deep interest in anthropology and ways that Western culture tends to misinterpret other cultures so that tends to be a common thread in which places I choose to paint. Having a child and watching her I would say that all humans are born to paint. But for myself, painting centers me in the world and I become very off balance without it.

Jackson: Where do you get the ideas for your art? Have those ideas changed during the pandemic? 

Melissa: My painting are all based on photographs that I take while traveling. I find I need that framework to keep my focus otherwise I can go all over the place. The pandemic definitely changed what my future and I started reexamining what would make an interesting painting and what types of things I wanted to paint. My paintings take a lot of planning and time so I am actually just finishing paintings I started over a year ago before the pandemic. So people will notice the shift much more in my next batch I think.

Jackson: If you could meet any artists living or dead, who would it be and why?

Melissa: David Hockney. He is someone who has shifted through so many ways of working and doesn't mystify the idea of painting. I just want to sit and have a conversation about seeing because he has spent his whole career on it.