Today's interview will be with painter, Rebecca, of KneeDeepOriginals.
1. What is your art, hobby or craft? How did you come to creating it?
Foremost I am an oil painter, but I also make hand-beaded gemstone and glass jewelry, which sells better for me than the paintings. I think people on-line and at most of the shows I do have a hard time buying fine art like paintings because, I suppose, they are rather expensive, and you really have to be in the market for a painting, or to be so drawn to it that you are willing to open the pocketbook or wallet.
I have tried my hand at several types of media… stained glass, fused glass (again… the color!), and metal sculpture, but discovering the creamy feel of oil paints on a canvas was a joy! Painting is very meditative, and it often helps me release tension or stress because I become so focused on what is taking place in front of me. Making jewelry is a change of pace from painting, and it’s relaxing to work with stones and crystals, and such smaller projects that can be completed in a shorter time than a painting.
Click on photos for more information
I am also a musician and singer/songwriter, which is really just another art form, though the act of performing music is definitely not as solitary as painting or writing a song. Just a little more stress there!
2. What is your inspiration?
(Photo of Sauratown Mountains at Hanging Rock State Park, seen from the ridge behind my house where I walk my dogs.)
Ever since I was a child, I have loved playing with color. I love all those paint chips at the hardware and home stores! I notice color in people’s clothing, in the landscapes of each season, in the vegetable section of grocery stores… That love of color is evident in my work, whether it’s an oil painting or a necklace, but it is definitely the focus of most of my paintings.
Another thing that inspires me is the lines of things I see, such as a snake stretched across a rock in the sun, or the curve of a limb on a tree, or even a crack in a windshield… how it spreads itself out into a bunch of crystalline intersections.
Above all, though, is the natural world… wildflowers in the woods, lizards bathing in the sunshine, cloud-shadows on a mountain, shady spots in the garden, rust-colored leaves on a gravel road, animals, cows at ease in a pasture, a mother goat with her newborn. Most of my jewelry pieces are titled after some element of nature, and my paintings mostly try to express, whether realistically or abstractly, the beauty and joy of the organic world and the wonderful creatures around us.
3.How does your garden or nature influence your art?
There are times when my garden explodes with color, and at other times, it’s not quite so pretty, to say the least. That all depends on how much artwork I am creating at the time! Some of my paintings try to create at least the fullness and craziness of the color in the garden. But sometimes it’s just the quiet act of working in the soil or picking a gazillion bush beans as the sun is getting low in the sky that causes me to reflect on things and can bring a new image into my eye, or new words to a song that has been forming.
4. Will you share a few pictures of your garden with us?
Sunflowers and tomatoes (July), daffodils and pansies (February), day lilies (June and July), dianthus (May and June), snow peas (late April and May), Muscadine grapes (August), yellow daisies with spider (mid-June and July), red daisy (July), pear tree blossoms and butterfly (March)
5. Will you share a picture of your favorite plant?
This lily blooms in my garden in October.
6. Do you have any photos of your art in the garden to share?
8. What is the best lesson you have learned from the garden or nature?
Hmmm… there are many! There are the lessons of patience, of learning when is the right time for things, of letting things rest. There’s also the lesson of being a part of the day, of using the natural working of the sun and the weather to influence what we do. As an artist, I can’t paint when the weather is stormy and dark because I need the natural light to get my colors right. So when the weather is like that, it’s best for me to read or work on music or a song. As a gardener, I don’t go out in the heat of the day, but work around the schedule of the sun, so that I rest or enjoy a quiet time during those few hot hours. But I think for me, the best lesson is learning to just be out there in the dirt and among the plants, whether it’s working the soil, transplanting, or picking… it’s quiet, it’s a chance to hear birdsong and crickets singing, a chance to notice cloud formations or worms at work. One of my favorite times of the year is when the blueberries are ripe, and I can enjoy picking them with my dog who takes great pleasure in enjoying them right off the bush. It’s such a relaxing time, either early in the morning or as the evening is coming on, to spend an hour doing something so simple as this.
9. Do you have a gardening tip to share with fellow gardeners?
We do organic gardening, relying on horse manure and compost to help our vegetables and flowers grow, and I highly recommend that… although I’m sure most people already know that.
10. Are you creating anything new that you'd like to share with us?
The latest thing that I’m working on is a new studio building. I just finished putting in the flooring and the baseboard with the help and direction of my dad yesterday. Everything my husband and I build on our six acres is built by us, and this studio is no exception. Of course that means that it takes longer too. I am hoping to have the studio furnished and ready to move into by mid-August. I’ve been waiting a LONG time for that space!
11. Show us your favorite item in your Etsy shop.
Click on photos for more information.
12. Show a favorite item from another Etsy shop.
Ooooohhh… so very many, but here’s one I love and this is a relatively new Etsy member. This piece appeals to my sense of color and to my belief in humane treatment for all critters.
Rebecca, I thank you for sharing your inspiration with us today and hope you will have much fun and creativity in your new studio!