Five Questions for Gerald Barnes

Artspan sits down with collage artist Gerald Barnes

Your collages are like boxes of memories. How do you choose your images? Are any of them specific to your life? Your own relatives? Or are they historical figures?

The images I use reflect the things that interest me – art, literature, architecture, history, travel, graphic design and the human condition. I have a large library of material that I’ve collected over the years, ephemera, old magazines and newspapers, stamps and notes. I also use my own drawings and photographs. Usually I select one particular image and then build around that.  I have in the past used family photos but there are only so many times you can use Grandma and Grandpa! Some images are of historical figures. Mario García Menocal was President of Cuba from 1913 -1921 and looked like a Hollywood movie star.


 Numbers Series #79

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Five Questions for Kay Smith

Light through paint.

An interview with watercolor artist Kay Smith


1. You describe your watercolor technique as “transparent.” Can you explain what this means and how the process works? 

Being able to see light pass through clear paint on paper is the hallmark of watercolor’s abilities and allure. I use transparents such as alizarin crimson, thalo blue/green, and arylide yellow mostly in initial washes if doing traditional work, and a mix of transparents with a few opaques if painting in a direct one-application manner.

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Five Questions for Kelly Burke

Opposing Forces in Nature

An interview with abstract painter Kelly Burke

 Toujours Fidele

Your work seems very personal and connected to your mood or your view of the world on a particular day. You strike an interesting balance between feelings and ideas…the vague and the specific, the soft and the harsh. Do you paint in response to specific events in your life or the world around you? Do you find that your mood changes while you paint…that the very act of exploring your state of mind changes your state of mind?

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An Interview with Kerry-Fleur Schleifer

Spirit and Flesh in Seamless Existence

Questions for Kerry-Fleur Schleifer


What types of subject matter do you find most resonant with your creative ideas?

•Birds -spiritually and other worldly.

•Revealing spirit and flesh in seamless existence.

•Aboriginal tribes and their use of body art.

•The idea of weaving and layering. Transparency within the layers of depth.

•Spirit inside of human and nature’s flesh.

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Five Questions for Peter Davies

Artspan sits down with painter Peter Davies

1. I love your story of rediscovering art after a decades-long hiatus. Did art play a part in your life in the interim? Did you visit museums or read art books?

I didn’t make a point of visiting galleries, museums or reading art books. Painting hadn’t played a part in my life during the time I worked offshore in the North Sea and any artistic abilities I had I guided into other creative forms of expression once I returned home, such as guitar playing, gardening and cooking. 

I’ve always thought certain people look at the world with a painterly eye, whether or not they actually paint. Is this true of you?

I don’t think that’s particularly true for me although I’ve always tried to express my artistic feelings in some way or another but not always through paint.
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An interview with Teresa Lawler

Artspan sits down with painter Teresa Lawler

The Brothers - Ray and Roger

The Brothers – Ray and Roger

What types of subject matter do you find most resonant with your creative ideas?

My paintings deal with various subjects but I have always been drawn to people – whether it’s some form of portraiture or featuring the figure in a wider context. Although I trained as a painter ( Newcastle and the post grad school at the Slade) I’ve also worked as a set designer in TV and theatre in the past and elements of the screen often appear in my work in the way a subject is lit or a narrative is implied.

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Five Questions for Brenna K. Murphy

Artspan sits down with Brenna K. Murphy

Silhouettes (Rocking Chair II)

You use human hair as your medium, which seems surprising and unusual, at first, but actually has a place in art history. I’ve seen Victorian art and jewelry made with the artist’s hair, which seems like an incredibly personal way to express oneself. Was this a tradition you were aware of when you started working with hair? Have you discovered other examples of artists working with hair throughout history or in your travels?

I was relatively unaware of how hair has been used in traditional craft-work and contemporary art when I first began using it in my own work, but once hair became a part of my practice, I began learning a lot about its history in art. Victorian hair jewelry and funeral wreaths were some of the first hair art-objects I encountered, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. There is a museum in Missouri, Leila’s Hair Museumthat I am dying to visit – they have a huge collection of Victorian era hair work and they offer workshops on the techniques used to make these incredible objects.

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Four Questions for Roger Aslin

Artspan sits down with Roger Aslin.

Your work reminds me almost of film stills…the sense that you’re glimpsing one moment of a story, and it will continue in another scene elsewhere. This is heightened by the fact that we often see the back of the figure and they’re on the phone…making them more cut off from the viewer, but connected to whomever they’re talking to. Do you think of your images in terms of characters and stories? Do you ever know the subjects of your work? Do you choose subjects who fit your particular palette, or do you alter their appearance to make them fit into your vision?

The Unexpected Text

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Five Questions for GAIL DEVINE

Artspan sits down with eclectic artist Gail Devine

Your work is so varied in subject and medium–as you yourself say, you “jump all over the place”–but it all has the sort of strange perfect honesty I associate with outsider art. I see Bill Traylor’s “exciting events” in some of your pictures of people.  What artists have inspired you? Which painters, musicians, filmmakers, do you admire?

Having Fun

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