Monday, August 15, 2011

August Member Interview: Pat Upton

1. What inspires you to create?
I find that I am inspired by things, and my odd sense of humor. Pictures in magazines or online can inspire a wicked idea or pun, in my head, and then it is on. Rusty things can inspire an assemblage piece or jewelry possibility. I am also inspired by other’s art…I see what can be done and maybe adapt that technique for my piece. I love love love to learn new techniques! I guess you can say I have art ADHD. I will find an interesting technique to do and then when the next thing comes along, I am off on that path and may or may not come back to what I had been doing.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Art (and crafts) has always been a part of my life though I thought for many years that I could not be an artist, as I cannot draw or paint photo-realistically. Twenty-five years ago, I started cross-stitching. I loved the look, it was easy to do, and I could find just about any style and colors to try. About 8 years ago, I found that photography was one way to express myself artistically. I love macro photography and ultra-close-ups. Flowers and bugs are still my favorite subjects. Then about 3 years ago, I discovered mixed media art and the whole art world opened up to me! What a revelation!

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I still say that I am not an artist though I am closer now than at any other time in my life! I am a scientist (the laboratory is a great place for art supplies!). I am a technician (I guess that is why I love techniques!).

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
My jobs have not helped me on my artistic path really. That path has been blazed with friends. I have been very fortunate to have friends that share my interest in arts and crafts. We learn together. I have also found that the internet is my friend too. I can find instructions on how to do techniques, see what others are doing for inspiration and generally sponge up the knowledge.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?Definitely, the acrylic paints and media. While I still can’t paint photo-realistically, I can paint some interesting backgrounds. What I do after that? Who knows! Sometimes that is where I stop. I still would like to learn about layering paint. I haven’t fully explored that technique; I am somewhat intimidated by it, for some reason!

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Oh there are soooo many! I would love to learn weaving, felting, the elements of design for jewelry and/or collage/mixed media. In case you hadn’t noticed, I have no formal art training at all, just interest!

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
For many years, I have thought it would be grand to start and run an arts and crafts store for supplies, classes, and for finished pieces. I don’t have that much drive and I really don’t want to work that hard, but if I could not fail, that would be it. The chance to interact with artists on all levels fascinates me. Plus there is all that great stuff! Ah, to play with all that stuff!

It would be a grand idea, Pat! A special place for artists to hang out, learn and play=creative nirvana. Thanks for the interview.