Q: Your website is beautiful, updated and well organized! It also lists a very busy show schedule. How do you balance managing the business side of being an artist with the time to produce the art?
A: Thank you. The business side is usually what I try to get done before I sit down to paint. I try to treat it like any other management position, so I make a little checklist of what I need to do to keep the website and the newsletter up to date, mailing out prints, and any other business related tasks that need to be done.
Q: Do you have any pre-work rituals that “must be” done before you can get to work?
A: Not really, maybe I would benefit from something like that, but I usually just head in to the studio and paint.
Q: When is your best time of day to paint?
A: It used to be night time, I’d stay up all odd hours of the night and paint. Now I prefer to paint in the late morning and early afternoon. There’s really great natural light in the art studio and it’s particularly nice at that time of day.
Q: So many of your paintings come across as mystical, full of symbols and dark, night-time mystery. Do you have a rich dream life?
A: I have really dark dreams sometimes but that is not what normally fuels me creatively.
Q: How do your ideas for a collection come together?
A: Often the ideas for a series will just come to me, it’s really varied what will set it off but I know I can’t force it. I tend to have dry spells and then bursts of inspiration. I’ve learned that there’s a cycle so I focus on other things, reading, hiking, traveling etc, and wait for inspiration to hit. Also a trip to a good museum always inspires, we have a great art museum and torture exhibit here in Balboa Park.
Q: When you are at work on a series of paintings, are there certain artists, books, tv shows, etc., that you find yourself drawn to over and over?
A: Yes, I love the Pre-Raphealites and the Flemish painters. I recently went to The Huntington Library to see the ‘Face to Face’ exhibit on how Flemish artists influenced the Italian Renaissance, that was a really great show. I love the Addams Family show, eerie films from the 1920s, I sometimes listen to documentaries or TED Talks while I’m painting. As far as books go I have so many that I don’t often read books twice, that being said I do like to occasionally revisit The Mists of Avalon by MZB (Marion Zimmer Bradley).
Q: When did you know you were a painter? If you could advise yourself from back then, would you, and if so, what would you tell your younger self?
A: I started drawing at a very young age. I did my first oil painting around the age of 13 and it was of Vlad the Impaler, heh. I’m not sure what I would tell my younger self, I think things took their natural course and I’m pretty happy with how they went.
Q: I read on your blog that you had a sold out show before it even opened. Congratulations! Did that experience affect your work?
A: Thank you, my collectors have always been really supportive of what I do and that is such an amazing thing. Many of them own numerous pieces of mine and they keep in touch sending me pictures of their collections and asking about new pieces. I’ve recently started selling giclee prints and I’ve had a really good response to that. I am endlessly grateful to the people who collect my originals and my prints, for their undying support and for making the sold out shows possible!
Q: Where do you see yourself/ your art five years from now?
A: I plan to be painting all the time and showing my work, and always be learning and improving.
Exclusive MIROIR interview by Alisa Solovyeva.