Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Elizabeth Bowler

Linus Galleries, a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. Our Linus artists are from all over the world and come from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. Read on to gain insight into the creative process and personality of our featured artist. This week we feature Elizabeth Bowler, a British abstract painter living in San Francisco. Elizabeth’s art was recently shown as part of our Vulnerability vs. Strength online art show.

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

My name is Elizabeth Bowler and I am a British artist currently based in San Francisco, working with a painting based practice.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

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

I will be graduating soon with a Masters Degree in Fine Art from San Francisco Art Institute.  I feel my learning began from a very early age painting with my Grandmother.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

“Drifter”
168 cm x 195 cm
Oil on Canvas
Exhibited in the Linus Galleries Vulnerability vs. Strength art show.

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?

As soon as the word color is mentioned my mind generates flesh tones and grey scale. Humans are the most prevalent part of my practice and exploring the subtleties within the color spectrum of the body enthuses me the most.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

An in-progress photo shows colors common in Elizabeth’s paintings.

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

The subject of my paintings continuously develops from my life, investigating and exploring the implication of a sense of limbo – mar – existing between absence and presence. I love how other humans that I encounter end up as part of a piece, capturing the moment in an abstract way. This allows viewers to project there minds onto the work, creating a continuous cycle of reactions. There is very little I dislike about my subject matter. It can on occasion be terrifying to really let go and be true to myself, and to be true about how I’m reacting to a moment. I think it can be easier to contain and suppress uneasiness. To be honest to that moment, immerse yourself in it and output it into a piece is when the work comes alive.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

“…Grinding the jagged edge of memories, hammering the unspeakable into forms, threading single perceptions into narrative…”
(Enduring Love by Ian McEwan)
From Elizabeth’s 2013 series.

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

I primarily make large-scale works, so the most difficult thing is moving them.

 

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

Untitled
30 cm x 18 cm
Oil Paint on Chalk Gesso Metal
2014

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

Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Bonobo, Blockhead, The M Machine, Foals, and Mimosa.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

Elizabeth paints on a large scale, as seen here in her studio.

7) Describe your “aha” moment when working with your medium that made you make that leap into another level.

My first major turn in my practice was when I increased the scale dramatically; all of a sudden my paintings were environments to be explored. The second major turn in my practice would be when I introduced the inner structural protrusions in the stretching of the canvas. My paintings had emotion, concept, an environment to be absorbed into, but the protrusions added tension and anxiety. It humanized the work.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

Untitled
61 cm x 60 cm
Oil on Canvas
2014

8) Where do you create art?

Mostly in my studio or in the woodshop I work in.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

A view into the artist’s studio.

9) How do you unwind?

I unwind practicing Yoga and exploring cities.

los angeles, linus galleries, abstract painter

An early morning view out of the studio window.

10) Any parting advice for budding artists?

Only apply to shows that either means something to you in reference to your practice, or you believe in the space and the people promoting that space.

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Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Gaetanne Lavoie

Linus Galleries, a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. Our Linus artists are from all over the world and come from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. Read on to gain insight into the creative process and personality of our featured artist. This week we feature Gaetanne Lavoie, a talented artist currently based in New York. Gaetanne’s figure paintings were recently featured in our Vulnerability vs. Strength online art show.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

The focused artist

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

My name is Gaetanne Lavoie and I am based out of New York, NY where my focus is figurative oil painting.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“Freedom”
70″ x 35″
Featured in the Linus Galleries Art Show Vulnerability vs. Strength

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

A view from her work space in NYC

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

I studied formally and have received three degrees in Fine Art with a focus on painting.

 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?

I have two favorite colors and both are equally valuable and loved. They are  Fuschia and Aqua (Love and Strength).

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“The Vortex”
48″ x 48″
Featured in the Linus Galleries Art Show Vulnerability vs. Strength

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

Wings are a recurring theme in my work.  I love them because of what they symbolize: freedom, flight, weightlessness, fantasy, dreams, possibilities, super powers!  Sometimes I dislike the act of painting them because it’s difficult to technically paint them and have them feel weightless but other than my own shortcomings in representing them, I love them completely!

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

Mid-progress shot of “Untethered” by Gaetanne Lavoie

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“Untethered”
42″ x 62″

 

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

I chose this medium years ago because it was the most difficult medium for me to master and even after all of these years I still feel that I have much to learn and achieve within it.  That was the idea – I strive to master things that I love and have a natural pull to but maybe not a complete ease with.  I have found that every achievement has given me strength and confidence and drive to keep going.  My artwork has paralleled my life, in that everything is one continuous motion forward. Rather than look at the struggles as struggles, I’ve learned to see them as opportunities and adventures .

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

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

I really love to dance and am learning acrobatics.

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

I would love to have a drink with Rodin and Camille Claudel.  I first learned about them as a teenager.  I fell in love with both of their works and with their story.  I believe that they were both revolutionary, not only in their work and style of sculpture but also in how they lived their lives.  I also believe that had they lived today, Camille would have been much more successful and much less likely to go mad!  We would probably have wine.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“You find me at work; excuse the dust on my blouse. I sculpt my marble myself.” – Camille Claudel

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

My two most recent favorites are Sylvan Esso and Fink. Esso’s music is mellow enough that I can listen, sit and focus when I need to and cut a rug if my energy abounds. Fink is quiet and mellow but absolutely breathtaking. His songs make me cry, which is often a much needed release when I’m painting given that some of my subjects are conceived in tears.

9) Describe your “aha” moment when working with your medium that made you make that leap into another level.

I had an “aha” moment when I combined my oiling out with Linseed oil and Liquin.  Not only didn’t I need to clean my canvas before hand to avoid bubbling, but the surface became beautifully slick like butter while still maintaining the texture if I needed to have a dry brush technique.  It is my absolute favorite way to glaze and I feel it gives a most beautiful depth that I wasn’t able to achieve before, not to mention the fact that it just about dries overnight.  Some parts get tacky the next day, which I found really helped me in developing skin. It was dry enough not to get destroyed when worked over but tacky enough that I could work in new paint seamlessly.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

Early stages of “Creating Wonderland”

 

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleriesoil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“Creating Wonderland”
70″ x 35″

10) How do you unwind?

With dance, love, friends, meditation. I enjoy  exercise, walks, reading, travel, and movies.

11) What trends in art bother you?

Anything arrogant or superficial.

12) Where do you create art?

Everywhere.

13) Any parting advice for budding artists?

WORK YOUR ASS OFF!  If you work hard and never give up you will succeed.  It might take longer than you imagined but with patience, persistence and prolificus (I might have made this word up) everything will work out!

 

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Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Raisa Nosova

Los Angeles art gallery

“Confidence vs Vulnerability”
oil paint and colored paper on canvas
38″x66″

Linus Galleries, a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. Our Linus artists are from all over the world and come from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. Read on to gain insight into the creative process and personality of our featured artist. This week we chatted with Raisa Nosova, a talented artist who shares her thoughts on art below, along with some of her incredible oil paintings. Raisa’s artwork was recently featured in our Vulnerability vs. Strength online art show.

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

My name is Raisa Nosova.

I have a strong curiosity in cultures and a clear perception of the world, which has driven me to encounter the world through traveling. I have been creating work directly inspired by my surroundings while in Europe, the Near East and Southeast Asia. Once I’m back at my studio I make reflective work. My studio is located in Hoboken, NJ across the Hudson river from Manhattan. Most of my creative energy goes to painting and drawing, on occasion to film and animation, and recently music.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

A dramatic scene of NYC outside of her studio window

3) What is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?

Yellow has been my favorite since my childhood and I still feel a strong tie to the color.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

Raisa arranging a multi-panel painting

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

In most of my figurative and abstract work, spaces have been the major reoccurring theme. I recreate interior and exterior spaces based on memories, on-site sketches or photographs, focusing on the diffusion of color and light throughout the environment. This work explores the idea of the tangibility of spaces that we, as social individuals, pass through daily in our lives.

 

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

In-progress

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“Skånegatan, Stockholm” completed

My abstract body of work, created with a feel of architectural structures contains spaces made up by my subconscious, perhaps out of a need for a place that is truly mine.

I have understood a big aspect of myself through the work, by allowing myself to first create the work and later analyze its origin and meaning.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

In-Progress

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

“Ground Zero”oil paint and construction paper on canvas78″x62″

 

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

Oil paint is one the most traditional mediums; it is tough to break away from its classic application whether that is blending or piling brushstrokes. It has also become in a way my language and it is difficult to switch languages without a necessity. However, sometimes I strive for something fresh, and feel a pull back to my big rock.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

A view of the artists studio

7) Which artist living or dead

would you want to have a drink with?

markrothko

“I’m interested in expressing the big emotions tragedy, ecstasy, doom.” – Mark Rothko

It would be quite illuminating to get some of Rothko’s time for conversation. I sometimes see him partially in my life by experiencing his work and by trying to understand him from readings. It would be great to compare how this interpretation has been shaped in, in contrast to reality.

Drink choice is a spontaneous thing for me that would be decided on the spot, with the flow of the moment.

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

I have gone through a full cycle from listening to Russian pop music a few years ago, to switching to what I consider quality music whether it is Chopin, Schubert, Manu Chao, Trentemoller, Stromae, Beirut, Okean Elzi, Bon Iver or Lykki Li, to recently returning to Russian pop rap. Considering my formal music education growing up in Russia, this widely criticized genre should not be my music choice yet I feel the most focused on my work and at inner peace with myself when listening to it.

9) How do you unwind?

Camping, exploring, taking chances, learning about anything, bonding with new people, getting outside of my comfort zone, and spending time with my family.

oil paintings, los angeles, linus galleries

Artist Raisa Nosova showing her artwork “Confidence vs Vulnerability.”

 

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Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

Katarína Kalmanová

Linus Galleries, a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. Our Linus artists are from all over the world and come from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. Read on to gain insight into the creative process and personality of our featured artist. This week we are taking a closer look at the art of abstract painting with artist Katarína Kalmanová. who recently exhibited in our Vulnerability vs. Strength show.

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world. My name is Katarína Kalmanová. I currently live and paint in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Los Angeles art gallery

A portrait of the artist, Katarína Kalmanová

2) Are you sclf taught or did you formally study art? I graduated from the Faculty of Education in Fine Arts at Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa, Slovakia. I have been painting more or less since I can remember, but around five years ago I decided to spend much more time with my hobby and share my art with others. I rented a studio, changed my previous job to a less time consuming one and finally began.

Los Angeles art gallery

“The Red and White Swan” from the “Vulnerability vs. Strength” exhibition

3) What is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?

All of them are definitely my favorite. I cannot choose only one because the combinations of more colors and mixing them together is what still fascinates me.

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

Feelings and moments that touched my soul. In the artwork there is always something intimate, that is exclusively mine. I offer this intimacy to the viewer when I show my work and that makes me anxious sometimes.

Los Angeles art gallery

The artist at work

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

I paint mostly acrylic, and very passionately. Many times I find it hard to wash out all of the acrylic around. My canvas is usually on the floor during painting. I prefer this rather than on the wall. If they are bigger I do a lot of exercise on them, so I feel physically tired after a few hours.

Los Angeles art gallery

A view of Katarína’s workspace

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

Portrait of Henri Matisse  1933

Portrait of Henri Matisse1933

I would choose Henri Matisse, who influenced me the most as a young teenager.

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

Nouvelle Vague or ZAZ, or most recently the Slovak Folk Songs, which I also love to sing to my little son when he is accompanying me. These folk songs together with some fairy tales have even inspired me for my latest artworks.

9) Describe your “aha” moment when working with your medium that made you make that leap into another level.

This always comes unpredictably and it is a very mysterious moment for me . Typically, the sudden picture comes to my mind when I go to sleep. I try to sketch the picture immediately as not to forget in the morning.

Los Angeles art gallery

“Dare to the Light” by Katarína Kalmanová

Los Angeles art gallery

The artist and her son

12) Any parting advice for budding artists?

I taught myself – when I’m joyful about my art, then it can grow.

Los Angeles art gallery

“The Small Courageous Fish” by Katarína Kalmanová

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Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery

2014 Artist Interview Series

John Sollinger

Linus Galleries, a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. Our Linus artists are from all over the world and come from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. Read on to gain insight into the creative process and personality of our featured artist. This week we are taking a closer look at the masterful glass art of Biologist and Mosaic Artist John Sollinger. Several of his pieces have been showcased in our art exhibitions over the years including our live art show Silent Communication and our Vulnerability vs. Strength online art show.

1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.  My name is John Sollinger, but I go by Solly.  I paint with bits of glass in a technique that I call “mosainting” (mosaic + painting).  I live in  Ashland, which is in the Rogue Valley of Southwest Oregon.

Mosaic Art

Artist John Sollinger

2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?  I established my own techniques for mosaicking; however, I have admired the treatment of light in the work of impressionists.

3) What is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color? Cobalt blue.  I used it to copy Van Gogh’s Irises.

Mosaic Art

“Mutation”
2009
stained glass on tempered glass, 3 x 4 ft.
Inspired by Van Gogh’s emphatic brush mark, brilliant hues, (gr)outlining and highlighting

4) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike? Native scenes devoid of human artifacts is my predominant theme; however, environmental issues underscore my most recent works.  My last two works are nudes with forest fires.  I like the sights and smells of a forest, but perhaps it is the quiet that I love most.

Mosaic Art

Two Tufts of Phoenix Down
2014
glass
27H x 22W x 1D inches

5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium? Mosaicking is difficult due to the time commitment.  l lay each piece many times before I adhere the pieces to a substrate.  As a result, I produce one mosaic every 4-5 months.  It is difficult keep it from going stale, and the motivation to continue sometimes vanishes.

Mosaic Art

Snowfell in progress

Mosaic Art

Snowfell
2012
stained glass on glass
61H x 56W x 3D cm

6) Do you have any secret talents or party tricks unrelated to your art making? I make the world’s best pie!  Apple and cherry pies are my family’s favorites, but I make a mean strawberry-rhubarb and blackberry pie too.  The real secret is in the crust, the recipe for which came from my grandmother, although I substitute butter for lard.

7) Which artist living or dead would you want to have a drink with? What type of beverage? A beer with Vincent on a starry night would be a dream come true.

Van-Gogh-Self-Portrait

Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait”
1889

8) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating? Jason Aldean cannot be beat.  When certain songs of his come on the radio or CD, I stop mosaicking to dance, or I cut the glass in rhythm.

9) Describe your “aha” moment when working with your medium that made you make that leap into another level. When I copied Van Gogh’s Irises in Arel, I labored under many handicaps, including having my studio in an unheated, unfinished garage in snow country.  By the time I had finished the work 13 months later, I knew that I had learned enough and could now create original works.

10) Where do you create art? I base my mosaics on digital images that I take while on image quests on forest walks.  My studio is still in my garage, but it is heated.  In good weather both garage doors are open, letting in great light to supplement indoor lighting.

Mosaic Art

That this artist is also a biologist might be evident for the close observer

11) How do you unwind? I best unwind when I meet friends at the pub.  I am a classic introvert, liking the social gathering and then escaping to the quiet of my home or studio.

12) Any parting advice for budding artists? Learn techniques from experienced artists and learn art from nature.

Mosaic Art

detail shot
Of Eden

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