Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March Member Interview: Vivianne Voyles

Vivianne Voyles
The Expressive Thread
1. What inspires you to create?
Fiber, texture, sunlight filtering through my garden plants, quiet, bits of rusty things found while walking, rocks, pebbles, shells, fossils, shards, color, birds singing on a frosty winter day....
I have a drive to ‘do’ something with those things seen along the way of living life, like that metal bit of broken sunglasses along the road – I don’t see trash I see ‘what can I make with this?’ Once, I collected parts of a dead tree because I wanted to make a big wooden horse sculpture for the garden. Another was an old 60’s metal hanging kitchen light fixture that will become something to hang the bird feeders from. No fabric is safe. I haunt thrift stores, finding clothes I may never wear but get inspired by the fabric, the texture, the threads. I go home tear it apart and make something else from it – even if it becomes another piece of fabric when combined with other torn bits of paper, wire, and other clothes. It is addictive.

Another inspiration came when joining CMMAG. Such support! I found my ‘tribe’, those that wouldn’t scowl at my latest experiment in art, those that share what each has learned at a workshop, giving advice about websites, helping each other to create. The group won’t let you sit in and wallow in self-doubt, they see right through the excuses and go right on encouraging everyone to get out there and make something! I knew this was the right spot for me when a member said she had picked up something while walking and said she had to use it in her art – another member had looked at a little bit of dyed cheese cloth from a grab bag and said she can do something with that! It was cool!!

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I have never pursued art; it’s always been there with me. I’ve ignored it plenty of times while driving onward to get a ‘good paying job’. The secret was listening to the inner heart and voice that kept asking ‘what are you waiting for’. The real question was ‘what was I afraid of?’ I started to actionalize my desire to create around 3 years ago, which resulted in my dream of a studio being built over the garage. Windows and windows and space galore! So this was my push to get going and stop being afraid. I read somewhere that you can live your dream but first you have to wake up. I guess I decided to wake up!

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a project manager in a major computer industry – what would I be? Being an artist is limitless. If I couldn’t be an artist, somehow I would create, learn, and dig into the history of things. I’d definitely be an archaeologist (my minor at the University of Arizona). Wow, I would dig and sit in the dirt, searching for the little things that spoke of another time and life.

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I really haven’t had any job that aided my art or the desire to create. The closest thing and that’s a bit of a stretch is when I was an aircraft engineer on the flight line. It involved tearing apart the aircraft's instruments, flight controls, engines and putting it all back together. Let’s see, how to do this without getting hurt, killed or killing someone else. That was creative.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Ah, an art store! The way I relax and unwind! In an art store there is so much to be distracted by, a way to get lost from the stress of the day! I love paint brushes and sketching pencils and can spend hours looking around. I see a pencil, it's not what I actually what I went to look for but when I see it I say ‘I bet that is a great pencil’ I feel the lead, hold it in my hand, give it a try, see if it smudges just right … same thing with a brush, feel the bristles, what can I use this for?

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I’d like to learn more about encaustics. I love the depth it can bring to an object or painting. Just how can I take a piece of fabric and pull out the texture, add objects and add the wax, cool!

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I would like to adventure around the country and the world. Looking for fabric and bits that I can’t even describe! Learning about other cultures. To live among people so I can understand and learn about their lives, and their history. I’d study plants, how they are used, sketch them, and sketch the people that depend upon them. I would dance and sing and celebrate the world. I would move back to the southwest, digging for fossils, finding color in cool stones, and creating from those things. Fearless. Endless energy and living until I did everything I wanted to do with art.
We hope you get to do that and more, Vivianne! Thanks for a great interview.
April Member Interview: Ophelia Staton


Anonymous said...

Great Interview Vivviane!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Wonderful interview, Vivianne -- you are a marvel!
- p

Jodi Ohl said...

Great interview Viv, I learned so much about you that I never knew--I had no idea what you did for your day job or your love for the past/archeology, it's just all so intriguing to find out how our every day lives and our deep rooted passions drive us to be who we are artistically as well.

Jeanne Rhea said...

Great interview! I could sure see the southwest in your M4 submission. It had so much that I can see came directly from YOU! It had the look of a part of the past or something old and not completely there, but it made us look and ask questions and wonder what it's story really is. Loved it!