Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery
2014 Artist Interview Series
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.
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.
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).
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!
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 .
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.
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.
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?
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!
Interested in purchasing artwork from this artist or any of the artists featured on this blog or our website please CONTACT the GALLERY
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