Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Featured Member Interview: Maureen Seltzer

Maureen Seltzer
Facebook:  Maureen Seltzer's Art Studio
The Loft web site:
The Loft Facebook:  The Artists Loft @ Wake Forest Coffee

What inspires you to create?

Sometimes it can be as simple as a pattern that I see in my day or a splash of color that I catch out of the corner of my eye that gets into my mind. I often listen to music as I work and find that a song will trigger an image. In my play list I have a song called Mother Earth by Natalie Mac Master every time that song played I would see this wild horse in my mind. I did not collage it right away but waited until it came in focus and then grabbed a sheet of paper and got the sketch down.  I also often work in series so if I’m working on a bird I will get the idea for another bird painting. It is also fun to see how I can take the wildly abstract printed papers and turn them into some not so abstract. Sometimes it is the paper that will inspire me like when I was eating a burger at Char Grill and it was like I should use their slips and collage the Char Grill. I’m still working on this one.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?

I believe that art pursued me. One of the memories I have back in school was around second grade and I was getting a lot of attention for my art. This was good because I was having trouble with everything else; it was not much later that I would learn that I have Dyslexia. If it had not been for art and a wonderful High School that let me follow that path I’m not sure that I would have finished school. I also believe that my parents gave me permission to make a mess with all kinds of art stuff and helped to feed that creativity.

When did you begin to call yourself an artist?

It took a long time for me to call myself an artist, it was much easier to call myself a craftsman. But with time and the help of wonderful friends I can say yes I’m an artist, I might not be the best, my art might not hang in a museum but I’m an artist nonetheless.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?

I would be an archaeologist because I love history and the study of how people from the past lived. I watch a lot of the history channel I know it might be boring for some of you but I love it.I love to see then dug stuff from the past. 

What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?

I have a two year degree in Industrial Photographic Science. I have worked in many places like R& D research for Polaroid and in the graphic arts department as a darkroom technician for SAS. I also was the last darkroom technician for the local paper in town The Wake Weekly. With each of these jobs I was able to develop my eye to see things better which helped me with my drawing ability. With my job at Polaroid I was able to ask what if we did this or that and I use this in my art all the time. I also have worked with children from preschool to high school for a long time. They have taught me to enjoy the process of creating and not the end product. I feel that the kids have taught me more than I have taught them.

At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?

As my most used supply is what most people throw out like hand written shopping notes, old phone books, old maps and the like about the only thing that I go to the art supply store for is paint and something to collage on. I do get lost sometimes looking for any thing that I can use to make the texture on my printed papers.

What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so?

I’m trying so hard to keep blinders on right now and not lose focus on building a body of work in the collage field. If I could I would run to try cold wax painting and might just have to give it a try in the future.

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?

I have been blessed to see one of those things come to pass in my life time. I have always had a dream of having a place for artist to come together and work and sell what they have produced with their hands. Three years ago I was able to see this happen and opened The Artist Loft & Gallery @ Wake Forest Coffee. Albert Barneto the owner of the coffee shop runs the money end and I run the art end. It has been hard work and has pushed me to new level of learning so much of the business of the art world.
I have had the pleasure of working with a great group of artists that all work together for the good of the studio. I do have another dream that who knows it could happen. I love children’s picture books and would love to illustrate one someday.

Monday, January 16, 2017

CanvaSynergy II

Stan assembling and gluing canvases to the frame he built.

In 2011, we had a question:  What would happen if 25 artists collaborated upon a single piece of art?  The answer became a Guild challenge known as "CanvaSynergy," and you can read all about it and see the result in this post from the "Creativity Rocks!" archives. 
Last year, we decided to do it again, since many of our current members weren't with us for the first one.  The rules were the same:  use only the colors provided, the pencil lines on each canvas must show up in the finished work, and anything goes in terms of media (we ARE mixed media artists after all!).

Past President Penny Arrowood penciled in the design (hers was chosen from among those suggested by other members of the Board), canvases and four colors of paint were distributed to each participating member, and the fun began!  Once they were all completed, the task of joining them into one, large piece was given to Stan, Michelle's husband (who'd done the first one, so had experience), and you'll see some of the process in the images at left. 

CanvaSynergy II made its grand debut at the 2016 Art of the Carolinas, held at the North Raleigh Hilton hotel in November.  As you'll see from the photos, it the 5'x 5' piece is vibrant, fun, and surprisingly cohesive! Congratulations and thanks to all 25 member artists who contributed their unique style and creativity. 

Our plan is to donate CanvaSynergy II to the Visual Art Exchange's "For the Love of Art" gala in February.  We did the same in 2011, and it was bid upon and ultimately won by Nancy McFarlane, the mayor of Raleigh!  We hope this year's piece will do as well, and we are happy to do our part to contribute to the viability of art in Raleigh and beyond.

Display at Art of the Carolinas

CanvaSynergy II(enlarge to view details)