By M Sebastian Araujo
What in the world around you inspires your work?
Light. Color. Sea. Sky. Water. The landscape of the outer cape. Shells, of course. Lichen. Other artists. I am hugely inspired by all of the artists at Four Eleven Gallery and the wonderful energy they bring to that space. The ability to channel some of the spirit of this universe into creative endeavor inspires me. Much of my work is my response to nature around me. I try to convey the sensation and feeling of the outer cape, as I see and feel them. Sometimes I am inspired by the microcosms that exist within a seashell. At other times it is the light reflecting on water, or the vastness of the sea and sky.
Who is your favorite Artist and Why?
What a tough question! I simply can’t give one answer because my favorites are changing constantly, depending on what I am mulling over or what inspires me at a certain time. Joan Mitchell is a perennial favorite, though. I love the gestural, painterly, and sometimes calligraphic qualities of her brush strokes, and her colors, and the scale of her paintings. I admire how she held her own in the male dominated world of 1950’s abstract expressionism. Another longtime favorite is Richard Diebenkorn. In particular, I enjoy his abstracted landscapes from the 50’s; how he played with depth and surface tension to tease out atmosphere and light. Those artists inspire my work directly, yet I am also compelled to say that my favorite artist is Giotto. The emotions he conveyed with the simplest of lines and form in the Arena Chapel in Padua 700 years ago will probably always be my personal favorite.
Was there an Aha! Moment in your life when you knew you were and Artist?
When I was in 6th grade a substitute art teacher had us draw from the model (a classmate standing in the center of the room). That day I remember clearly seeing how to represent the three dimensions on a flat surface, and I remember the teacher announcing that I could be a ‘real artist’. My mother is a visual artist and I always thought I might become one too, but hearing that teacher’s validation was an Aha! Moment of sorts for me. (Hurray for kind teachers and the lasting impressions they make!)
Later in life there have been other kinds of moments, in art school, and repeatedly in my busy life today, when I learned/remember that being an artist is also about hard work and pushing though blocks or stagnancy. It means carving out time to go into the studio, even if I am tired or feeling uninspired. Being an artist is more than seeing the world in a certain way. It requires the creative act of pursuing a vision and bringing it to life.
How do you think technology has changed Art?
I could try to answer that question by reviewing art’s history and considering the historical significance of both the printing press and camera. It’s a big question, and that would begin a huge answer, so I will instead try to bring it around to my own art and career. In my lifetime, computer access and digital technology has changed art significantly. Practically speaking, I remember the considerable frustration of photographing my work for slides, and sending off slide portfolios in their carousels. What a pain in the neck! Now, with a few clicks I can propel my images into the world of social media and where ever else I need them to go! So technology has really given me the gift of time. Technology has also made art more accessible- to viewers and also to other artists. I feel that increased accessibility has helped to create a more open and sharing community where we can inspire and encourage each other’s art and creativity. Of course, the flip side is that many would say we have become saturated. People say that nothing is new any more. But I still maintain that technology can help artists to access inspiration and to work through concepts. It has opened opportunities for artists and made things easier.
What is it about Ptown and Cape Cod that has drawn Creative people to its shores time and time again?
Ptown is beautiful! As is the Outer Cape. The light is so special, and there are endless opportunities for painting here and inspiration. But there is more to it than that. There is a charged and creative atmosphere here that is stimulating. People are thinking about art, working hard and creating. They are taking classes and painting in the streets. It’s wonderful to be a part of that dynamic energy. It’s like riding a series of waves that ebb and peak as the seasons change. These metaphoric waves are huge in the summer but in the winter they are still rolling in a different way. Most people are drawn here in the summer but the winter holds it’s own deep beauty, albeit a bit darker. For me personally, something happens when the light on the water and the sand somehow combine with the salt and it scrubs my brain free of the day to day interferences. Something about the way the elements collide here make.
How Great it is to see an Artist so profoundly impacted by the world around her, and yet can share what she sees in a very new and innovative way. Inspiring the viewer to see things in a very different way .For More About Helen Click Here: