Monday, March 29, 2010

four questions for heather smith jones.

[small works by heather smith jones available in the gallery and the online store.]

earlier this month heather smith jones agreed to do a little interview with me about her work, and i asked her exactly four questions. her answers are thoughtful and interesting, and you can read them here, and also (soon) on the interviews page on the gallery site.

tt::was there a time in your life where you consciously decided to pursue being an artist, or did you always feel there wasn't any other path for you?

hsj::You know the notion of being made to do a particular thing? I think I always knew I would be an artist and doubt I ever considered anything else. Making art is what I love to do; it's where my instincts and passions, talents and skills convene. My parents, both artists, nurtured creativity and encouraged my own artistic interests from a young age. I consider it a valuable experience as well to have grown up in a home surrounded by handmade things.

tt:: i'm interested in your process. where, when, and how do you like to work? would tell us about your studio, and what time of day, how often you work, etc...

hsj::I'm in the studio daily and love the freshness of working in the morning when my thoughts are new. My studio itself is designed and built by my husband from reclaimed materials as well as local lumber. It was a labor of love to construct as well as a lot of sweat and tears, probably some blood too. Every day when I walk in the studio door I take a deep breath and am grateful for it and for all that went into its making. It truly is my favorite place to be.

tt:: there are a few recurring images in your work, but is there a theme or themes that you would say ties various series of paintings together? or a question that you are trying to pose or answer through your work?

hsj::I'm continually interested in the dichotomy of things. Overall my work relays the notion of finding hope in the midst of struggle, an idea I communicate in concept and composition. Oftentimes I compare dissimilar ideas and visual elements within a painting. For instance an open space may be next to a cluster of overlapping objects, alluding to ideas of finding quiet during chaotic times. While there is a narrative or a chain of ideas within a piece I don't want it all to be easily explained. I like for a viewer to have as many questions as answers when looking at my work, or at any art for that matter, and find something to connect with and think about.

tt::your photography is equally skilled and lovely. do you view your photographs as completely separate or different from your other work, or do they interplay in some way? does your photography inspire you to paint, or vice versa?

hsj::Photography is something I really enjoy doing and try not to take the end product too seriously. Composing a shot and seeing what actually happens helps me practice patience and work to solve artistic problems. The process gives my brain something else to consider, like a kind of creative exercise. It is another medium I do alongside my drawings and paintings, yet the subjects of my photographs don't necessarily manifest in that work.

i thank heather so much for her taking the time to answer these questions. you can read my interview with jennifer judd-mcgee here, and tim's interview with eunju kang here, and all of the eyebuzz artists interviews here.

thanks so much for reading.


Blogger Pravina Studio said...

I'm a big fan of Heather's work. It's always nice to get more insight into her processes. Thanks!

March 29, 2010 3:54 PM  
Blogger Parismages said...

How interesting and inspiring ! Thank you both for this interview !

March 29, 2010 4:19 PM  
Blogger Alicia A. said...

I still love listening to Heather talk about her work. SO inspiring!

March 29, 2010 6:25 PM  
OpenID thenextarrow said...

this is so encouraging and lovely. thanks so much!

xo Alison

March 30, 2010 9:50 AM  

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