It’s been a busy time for the gallery. First, we celebrated our ten year anniversary, then we added some wonderful new artists to the family, and now we’re happily introducing them to you — the way we know best — in their own words.
Hi Rae! Where are you from?
I was raised in Barrington Hills, IL outside of Chicago. I was surrounded by my fathers’ free-spirited lifestyle as a painter, illustrator and jazz pianist. My mother is a first generation Norwegian so there was a lot of heavy European influence in my background as well. I studied painting and illustration at The American Academy of Art in Chicago and then at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. I started working as a package designer after college and went on to a variety of art and creative direction positions.
When did you start to paint?
I have always painted along side my commercial art career but I became a full time painter in 2001 after the birth of my first child.
What was your inspiration to become an artist?
My father, his father and the next 3 generations behind him were all painters. I am not sure I needed much inspiration. It was just a natural progression for me. Our family vacations often included my dad bringing his watercolor paints or camera on the road. Everything around me involved arts, music, dance and literature.
Describe your technique and or medium.
Currently I am painting in a variety of mediums. I typically use acrylic as a base and then move on to oil sticks, pastels, graphite, sea salt….anything that brings the mark I am looking for.
How has your work evolved?
I started primarily in oils and pastels. Around 2007, I discovered encaustic painting with hot wax and really fell in love with that for a while. I attended Fine Arts Workshop in Atlanta with artists Michael David and Tom Swanston and ended up teaching encaustics at FAWS and the Art School in Sandy Springs. But as an artist, my interests are continually evolving. So now I am delving into cold wax painting and mixed media. I have also spent time perfecting the encaustic monoprint technique where I create one-of-a-kind prints on fine art paper by drawing with wax on a hot plate and pressing paper onto it.
Who or what is/was your inspirational role model?
I really love Helen Frankenthaler’s work at the moment and I admire her vibrant personality. But my appreciation and inspiration changes as I continue to learn more about various artists. The complexity of good abstract expressionism is inspiring to me. I also read poetry to put me into my creative state of mind.
– Place to travel – My grandfathers house on a fjord in Norway
– City – Venice, Chicago, San Francisco
– Hotel – Sonoma Mission Inn
– Restaurant – Osaki Sushi in Vail, CO
– Drink: Seltzer with a shot of Roses lime juice
– Book: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (read the review from the N.Y. Times)
– Movie – The Big Blue
– Painting– too many to count.
– Artist – too many to count. Gustav Klimt is up there though.
– Go-to room in your house – My music room/library.
– Happy mood song– La Mer, Charles Trenet
– Way to unwind– Sudoku. It switches off the rambling creative side of my brain for a while!
– Favorite quality in others – Empathy
– Wish I were better at – Playing Cello. I am teaching myself!
– Happiest when – I can let the floodgate of my creative mind open wide for a LONG period of time without interruption. As a mom, wife and professional artist, my life is made up of a million 10 minute intervals and tasks which can make it hard to discover where this open path can lead me.
I always like to remind parents out there who tell their kids there is no future in art… ”Remember, Walt Disney liked to draw cartoons and George Lucas was just a kid who wanted to go to film school.” So keep it up!
We agree, Rae! And loved getting to know you.