Featured Member Interview: CMMAG Founder, Jeanne Rhea
Dreams—I often solve problems in my sleep, and wake up with fully formed ideas of what I want to create.
My studio—The moment I enter my studio, I am excited about the possibilities of the day.
Questions—What if I…? I am constantly asking myself what will happen if I try a different technique, flip my process, or a myriad of other questions.
Experimenting—New art supplies and visiting artists who are into experimenting make for excitement that one does not get when working alone.
Traveling—The moment I get on an airplane, I love to write. Traveling enhances my observational skills, and the ideas come like waterfalls.
Taking walks—Observing nature provides inspiration that on the surface appears not to enter my art. However, my mind clears, and I can return to my studio, and my art flows.
Music—Once I am in the creative groove, music keeps me going. I choose my music based on what I am working on. It helps me avoid the attention to detail that makes me overwork paintings, and keeps me moving which is important with my work.
When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
It must have been a symbiotic relationship. I cannot imagine my life as anything other than an artist.
When did you begin to call yourself an artist?
I have always considered myself an artist. After being online and observing the art of those who called themselves artists, and studying the past well-known artists, I decided that I was as much of an artist as many of them. I now proudly call myself an artist.
If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
There are so many areas of interest, and I am curious by nature. I go through periods when I want to learn every single thing I can about a subject, and I am certain that I should have studied it in depth. I have always loved geology, biology,
archaeology, and learning about other artists and their lives. With the passing years, I find myself leaning toward the study of human behavior, and our relationship with each other, living creatures, the earth, and the environment. If I could just pick one thing that I could magically do, I think I would be a singer or writer. Still art comes into play with those!
What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
Every job, from working in restaurants and factories, to owning a B&B to working in an arts and crafts co-op, to working in a bank and in the building and maintenance industry, has contributed to my art in some way. In my opinion, art is the one profession that is so much a part of a person that every event, every connection, every job, and every experience often affects what one creates.
At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
I check them all out on a regular basis. I love experimenting with new supplies and pick up any supply that looks like I may be able to use it in my art.
What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I am currently working on learning how to paint a little more representationally—more illustratively than realistically. I also plan on making more assemblages. I admire those who paint realistically, but I am not drawn to creating realistically for myself.
If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
Can I change the question? What would I do if I never had to think about making a living?
I would take classes to learn some art techniques that I want to learn quickly, and then go to my studio, and make art every day except for travel breaks. I would hire a studio assistant so I never had to do social media or marketing. She would contact galleries, keep inventory records, maintain my website, write a blog entry and a newsletter monthly, do press releases, order supplies, and ship artwork. She would find a source for putting my paintings on a clothing and jewelry line, and do all the graphic design to make a book of my paintings. She would find a manufacturer to create the alcohol inks that I love, and travel to demo them. She would do almost everything except create my art and clean my studio. No wonder I can’t get enough of my art done. I have been trying to do it all. I just need an assistant.
We ALL need that assistant! Thanks so much for your vision in creating the Guild, and for the interview, Jeanne.