Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Kassandra Mattia

 

Linus Galleries, a contemporary Los Angeles art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. This series is a new blog featuring Linus artists from a variety of different practices and backgrounds and from all over the world! It’s an enjoyable read that shares insight into the artist’s creative process and workspace, as well as their view of the world around us. This week we feature Kassandra Mattia , a Laguna Beach oil painter whose creations are often times inspired from her childhood to create beautifully structured artworks. Two of Kassandra’s pieces were featured in the Linus Galleries Vulnerability vs. Strength art exhibition.

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.

My name is Kassandra Mattia, and I am an oil painter. I currently live in Laguna Beach, California; however, my work is heavily influenced by imagery from my childhood in Northeast Wisconsin.

oil painter

Oil Painter Kassandra Mattia

2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?

As long as I can remember, I have always seen the world as artwork. One of my earliest memories is of having a huge headache from staring intensely at the edges of furniture in my parents’ house—I was trying to figure out if everything had a black outline or if colors sat flush together. I graduated with a degree in physics from Santa Clara University, but I took many painting and drawing classes along the way.

oil painter

For I Have Sinned
2014
Oil on panel
8″ x 8″
Part of the Linus Galleries Vulnerability vs. Strength Exhibition

 

Because I lack a formal degree in art, I suppose some people may consider me to be self-taught. Personally, I never felt that I was teaching myself. Rather, I always feel the world giving me opportunities to see from a new perspective. That is why I make my work. It allows me to constantly be in a very childlike state of learning and discovery.

3) This is a hard choice for many visual artists, but what is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?

Yes, that’s hard. In my personal life, I don’t have a consistent answer. In my painting life, I’ve been increasingly incorporating phthalo green into my palette. All of the paints from the phthalocycanine group have a potent tinting strength, so they can easily add new energy to an established color scheme.

oil painter

In Progress

oil painter

The Way of the World
2014
Oil on panel
30″ x 30″

 

4) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike?

In general, I tend to build abstract landscapes around the figurative elements of my work. I’m really interested in the tension that grows between the real and imagined images. There’s a certain psychological dialogue that’s created between the figures and the abstracted space they occupy. What I love about painting this way is finding the right balance between being descriptive and ambiguous. The goal is to create work that is definite enough to provoke emotion and memory in a viewer, but indefinite enough to leave room for the viewer to project their own story onto the image.

What I dislike about painting this way is waiting for the balance to come. There are times when I am impatient and force an image…no good. My paintings run on their own time. Some paintings come together beautifully—the tension is balanced from start to finish. Other paintings are just a series of climbs and falls, with the tension between the precise and indefinite unequal up until the end. It can be emotionally exhausting.

oil painter

In Progress

oil painter

Elaine (In Mae’s House)
2014
Oil on panel
40″ x 30″

5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium?

There is such alchemy to oil painting. The technical aspect of creating a chemically sound painting is fairly straightforward—however, it can be restricting. There are many choices of how to create an archival painting, but many of these choices depend upon one another, and can therefore prescribe physical limitations. While I want to make work that will last a long time, I also want to have the freedom to explore and really push the paint to do something visually extraordinary. Sometimes those two wants are at odds.

6) Do you have any secret talents or party tricks unrelated to your art making?

I can recall the chemical symbol for just about any element on the periodic table…also, not to brag, but I am excellent at translating song lyrics into emoji.

oil painter

Kassandra’s Workspace

oil painter

window friend in her workspace

7) Which artist living or dead would you want to have a drink with? What type of beverage?

Egon Schiele. I’d probably drink whatever he was drinking. I would teach him how to take a selfie. I think he’d be really into it.

Egon_Schiele_-_Self-Portrait_with_Lowered_Head_-_Google_Art_Project

Artist Egon Schiele
Self-Portrait with Lowered Head
1912

8) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating?

Lately I’ve been mixing it up between Bon Iver, Regina Spektor, Josh Ritter, and Dolly Parton.

9) How do you unwind?

Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Repeat.

10) Any parting advice for budding artists?

I consider myself to be budding, so I’ll just share some advice I give to myself: Good ideas are everywhere. If they aren’t currently in your brain, attract them by moving a pencil around a piece of paper or something. Also, don’t be afraid to make terrible art. Some of my best paintings have very unpromising beginnings. It can be tough to find a balance between knowing when to just paint the whole thing over and when to tolerate the discomfort. But in my experience, making an effort to find the balance has really helped me develop my work.

oil painter

In Progress

oil painter

Incarnate
2014
Oil on canvas
30″ x 24″

 

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   Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Eike Waltz

 Linus Galleries,  a fine art gallery based out of Los Angeles, presents The Artist Interview Series. This series is a new blog featuring Linus artists from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. The blog aims to be an enjoyable read, sharing insight into the artist’s creative process and workspace, as well as their view of the world around us. This week we feature Eike Waltz, a California-based sculptor, and his incredible bronze artworks.

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.

My name is Eike Waltz and I am a sculptor living in Aptos, California.

california based sculptor
2) Are you self-taught or did you formally study art?

I studied at the Akademie fuer Druck und Werbung in Berlin, followed by the London College of Printing, followed by the Royal College of Art, London (MdesRCA). I was a great admirer of Jean Cocteau and met with him (so in a dream) when I was 20 years of age. He confronted me with the importance of “the line”. Around the same time I was told by a family member of writer Stefan Zweig to pursue the meaning of “to say” (say it outside the box, say it differently and say it with passion).

Los Angeles art gallery

A portrait of Eike mid-performance

I enjoyed a twofold career as a classical ballet dancer and as an engineering designer and international electronics industry consultant. Between these careers I studied fine art and industrial design at the Royal College of Art, London. I am married to the accomplished painter Sheila Halligan-Waltz (not to forget, our cat Felix). We often collaborate in shows called “art statements” which we documented in a series of documentary films, see www.f-artstatements.com.

3) This is a hard choice for many visual artists, but what is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?

Black & White. Maybe because the first movies I saw on the screen and TV were in B&W. Sometimes I use colors which have to be bright to accentuate a specific point I like to make. It can be any color as long they are bright.

Los Angeles art gallery

From the Linus Galleries “Figurative” show

4) Where do you create your art?

When I wake up I like a cup of strong coffee in my bed. After first watching the news the blatant hype/manipulation/shortcoming leaves me in an angry low state. At the point of repeat I switch over to the Classic Arts Showcase and indulge in a high of infinite pleasure. This low-high experience opens my mind beyond any self-inflicted creative tyranny. Ideas are flowing.

Los Angeles art gallery

Eike and his wife Shelia-Hannigan Waltz

5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium?

My preferred chosen medium is bronze. The difficulty is to create a white patina.

Los Angeles art gallery

6) What trends bother you?

I support, to a degree, that art has to be taught in schools. Only a gifted teacher may awake a student’s curiosity and provide some guidance. The trend to require from an “emotional infection” artist, such as Tolstoy, “communal content” to receive recognition or grand eligibility is absurd. Sometimes an artist can teach but many speak with their art only. If art speaks and communicates it will teach as a result, and all additional words are superfluous. They who need the additional words believes anyhow in everything.

7) Describe your “aha” moment when working with your medium that made you make that leap into another level. Or does that feel like it is yet to occur?

The “aha” moment when it occurs is like a zip of champagne, temporarily.

Los Angeles art gallery

A view into the artist’s studio

8) How do you unwind your brain?
I am always more or less wound up. Then I do like a good night’s sleep, sometimes topped by a fascinating dream (black & white or in color).

9) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating?
Classical music, avant-garde music, unusual music.

Los Angeles art gallery10) Any parting advice for budding artists?
Never become a tyrant of your own mind. Look beyond the horizon.

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     Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Alexander Churchill

 Linus Galleries,  a fine art gallery based out of Los Angeles, presents The Artist Interview Series. This series is a new blog featuring Linus artists from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. The blog aims to be an enjoyable read, sharing insight into the artist’s creative process and workspace, as well as their view of the world around us. This week we feature Alexander Churchill and his striking paintings, some which were featured in our contemporary painting collections in the Haunting exhibition.

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.
My name is Alexander Churchill, I am an oil painter and I currently live in Norwalk, Ct.

Los Angeles art gallery
2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?
I did graduate with a degree in fine art and painting from Green Mountain College in Vermont, but since I was a kid I have always been drawing and painting trying to teach myself.

Los Angeles art gallery

A view of the artists’ workspace

3) This is a difficult choice for many visual artists, but what is your favorite color?
My favorite color has always been green, but if we are talking about favorite color I use in my art, then I think it must be Van Dyke brown.

Los Angeles art gallery

A new painting in-progress

4) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike?
The subjects I explore most often are the underlying feelings of anxiety and subtle mistrust everyone has towards each other on a person to person level. These emotional cues have been evolutionarily successful for our self preservation instincts and can be a powerful thing to mess with. What I love about this subject matter is the tension of conflicting feelings it brings to the viewer. The image of an innocent child can evoke feelings of sympathy or can trigger a protective instinct but when painted with a slightly disturbed or dead face and when put in a vaguely ominous setting, the child becomes something unsettling and subtly menacing. As a human being whose brain only wants to experience nice things, I like to use visual stimuli that I DON’T like to get the right “creepy” effect. So the things I don’t like about these paintings are exactly the things I do like.

contemporary-painting-collections-05

A detail of a painting underway

5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium? I think the most difficult thing I can think of about my medium is the fact that I get wet oil paint everywhere. It’s all over the house, my non painting clothes, my face, in my mouth, on my dogs and places yet to be discovered. Other than that I love it.

6) What artist would you want to have lunch with?
I would have lunch with different artists for different reasons. Edvard Munch to talk about the psychological factor of art, Ad Reinhardt to talk about the Art factor of art, Picasso because I feel like he would make something really good to eat, and Wayne White because I think he would be fun to hang out with.

Los Angeles art gallery

Alexander’s studio companions

7) Which describes you: Beach, Forest, Desert, Field, or City?
Forest surrounded by desert.

8) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating? Today it was Ray Lamontagne, Andrew Bird, Nick Drake, St. Vincent, and Courtney Barnett. Also WFUV in NY.

Los Angeles art gallery

9) What do you see as the future of your chosen medium and fellow painters? Alot of abstract painting of the future is going to likely be something that looks accidental and would go unnoticed as art when seen out of context. I am really finding the “new casualist” paintings to be super interesting. Also loving representational painting that’s out there today and I think it will continue, as it is, with exploring multi-dimentionality, rudimentary and child-like styles, and incorporating abstract imagery as a defining factor.

Los Angeles art gallery

The artist was featured in Linus Galleries Haunting exhibition

10) Any parting advice for budding artists? Constantly create your art, whatever your medium. And when your not doing that, think about doing it, and think about Art itself as a phenomenon. Go to museums and art galleries. Explore it chronologically and then backwards and then do it again. Also there is nothing wrong with shameless self promotion.

 Los Angeles art gallery

 

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     Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

David Miller

 Linus Galleries,  a fine art gallery based out of Los Angeles, presents The Artist Interview Series. This series is a new blog featuring Linus artists from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. The blog aims to be an enjoyable read, sharing insight into the artist’s creative process and workspace, as well as their view of the world around us. This week we feature David Miller and his artistic portrait photography

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.

My name is David Miller and I work in photographic mixed media. I live in Chandler, Arizona near Phoenix.

 

A self portrait

A self portrait

2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?

I received my BFA in Photography from ASU in 2006.

A view into the artist's workspace

A view into the artist’s workspace

3) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike?

I photograph a lot of models in goddess or scifi/retro roles. I love working with talented interpreters who can make my ideas much better in an image, but there’s a lot of difficulty setting up shoots. The models who communicate professionally, show up on time, have magnificent skills are rare enough, but also most of them live in LA or NYC and I don’t.

A portrait of David's dog

A portrait of David’s dog

4) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium?

I think photography is very undervalued, people consume hundreds of images in a day and don’t apply a lot of critical thinking to either the creation of or appreciation of photographs. An example would be newspapers laying off their entire photographic staff, the presumption that everyone is a photographer because everyone has a phone camera.

Los Angeles art gallery

5) Which describes you: Beach, Forest, Desert, Field, or City?

I wish it were beach but I live in the desert.
6) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating?

Usually some combination of Meat Beat Manifesto, Future Sound of London, Phil Ochs, the Eels.

Los Angeles art gallery
7) Any parting advice for budding artists?

The main factor to any artist’s success is perseverance. It has nothing to do with the amount of “likes” you accumulate- that doesn’t translate into money, and there is no particular value to those opinions, so you’re better served by avoiding social media and focusing on the work.

 

David's work in our Vintage show

David’s work in our Vintage show

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   Linus Galleries, Painting Gallery LA

2014 Artist Interview Series

Erik Kaye

 Linus Galleries,  a fine art gallery based out of Los Angeles, presents our sixth interview. The Artist Interview Series is a new blog featuring Linus artists from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. The blog aims to be an enjoyable read, sharing insight into the artist’s creative process and workspace, as well as their view of the world around us. This week we feature Erik Kaye and his watercolor fine art paintings.

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.

Los Angeles art gallery

The artist and his favorite tool

I am Erik Kaye. I paint in watercolor, and although I’m an American from New Jersey and Oregon, I have lived outside of Tokyo, Japan since 1998.

2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?

Although I studied art at the State University of New York and the Rhode Island School of Design, I still consider myself to be self-taught. I continue to work in the themes I did before going to art school, and I have built up on those themes.

Los Angeles art gallery

Erik’s work in the Linus Galleries show, Fork and Knife

3) This is a hard choice for many visual artists, but what is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?

It is true that I buy more tubes of cobalt, light-cobalt, turquoise,  Davey’s grey and Chinese white than any other colors. I like colors that are fully saturated, with a little grey or brown in them, in order to showcase the brighter colors.

Los Angeles art gallery

Portrait by Erik Kaye

4) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike?

I have numerous themes I cycle around in; landscape which I usually render more realistically, portraits and figures which I like to work in Japanese brush, both black and in color, and purely abstract gestural work based on brushstroke and calligraphy. But I also cycle in natural objects often rendered as mandalas, I like to paint food, packaged fish, mandala sea-shells and vegetables. I love landscapes as I have an intuition of the geomantic character of the places that attract me. But they demand more of me, more time and accuracy than the other modes I work in.

Los Angeles art gallery

A view of his city

5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium?

Watercolor demands great focus to be both spontaneous and controlled, but it is very satisfying to balance these two characteristics, or at least try to. Blending and grading colors wet is always challenging but great fun. Watercolors are more exciting for me than oils or acrylics because the colors are more light and bright and true.

6) Do you have any secret talents or party tricks unrelated to your art making?

I sing well, I like karaoke, I write poetry (and have been published), I know thousands of songs.

Los Angeles art gallery

7) Which describes you: Beach, Forest, Desert, Field, or City?
I’m an oasis in the desert. Around me parched frontier; if you enter my gates I am lush, exotic, mysterious, abundant. But if you see me, be skeptical, you might be seeing a mirage. I’m hard to find.

8) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating?
I always listen to Yes, Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu, Krishna Das, Return to Forever; the classics. Contemporary doesn’t do much for me but I like Indie stuff when I hear it, like post Chemical Brothers or trance. I challenge one and all to introduce me to something that grabs me.

Los Angeles art gallery

Another view from Erik’s studio window

9 What do you think the future of your medium will look like for other artists or as a whole?

We are entering into a time of deep transformation. Surviving it will depend on accepting that Gaia changes; it will depend on cooperating together to share and transform resources rather than fighting for them. Artists do better in smaller micro-economies than in macro ones; in communities that are small enough to wrap our minds around, and our hearts. Availability of resources will always change and we may not always be able to buy Winsor Newtons or even Fig Newtons. We may have to go back to making our own pigments and paper. Internet technology is already being limited, and will probably be determined by income disparity as it evolves. But when we lose one medium, another will appear in its place.

Los Angeles art gallery

A detail, mid-progress

10) Any parting advice for budding artists?

Hell no!
Wait, yeah! We are all interconnected and equally divine. Share the commons and spread the wealth. Never be too sure that your choices aren’t effecting others, both positively and negatively. Apply art and creativity to sustainable economy, not zero-sum or I-win-somebody-else-loses economy. Don’t be afraid to journey inside yourself. Money is not the determiner of success.

Los Angeles art gallery

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