Sunday, May 24, 2009

Studio Visit with Amy Boone-McCreesh

Amy Boone-McCreesh was interviewed by Joseph Keli Anaya

Where are you from and can you tell me a little about yourself?

I'm from Pennsylvania, but my mom is from England. I'm recently married and moved to Baltimore about a year ago. My parents divorced when I was four years old and that plays a large role in forming my personal relationships.

Why Baltimore?
I wanted to go to grad school that was relatively close to where I'm from. It really just made sense for this point in my life.

What medium did you first start working in seriously?
I started in large oil paintings because liked expressing through gestures and the texture.

How did you make the shift from oils to your work now?

I had the desire to achieve different line quality and oil paint only allows for a certain kind of line quality. I also liked thick paint which helped me move into 3-D work.

Will you talk about your process a little bit?
I have a pretty short attention span, so I work on sculptures, drawing, and anything in between even if it's just ideas. Working on several things at once helps the cohesiveness of everything. When I create a drawing it makes me excited to create something in 3-d and then merge the two. I'm never satisfied with what I'm working so it spawns the next piece. My work mainly from intuition and usually use very little planning.

What draws you to the materials that you use?

I use a limited color palette because it avoids the danger of being too busy. Cohesive colors also unify my 2-d and 3-d work in same space.

What materials do you use and why?
When I work in 3d, I use second hand fabrics. Those handled, worn or used fabrics have a history and I use them because I like to reference home and items in the home. For example, a certain fabric might have been a cushion or some other thing that was comfortable for someone else. I have a skewed sense of home because I was shuffled around a lot, so I try to recapture that comfort.

How do you feel about craftsmanship?
Craftsmanship is important, but I struggle with it. I work so quickly and fast paced that those issues are difficult to face, but if I don't take the time to face them I regret it.

How do you take the time for craftsmanship?

I desire to have a successful finished product, which overrides the need to produce for the sake of producing. The process of making during the piece is as important as a successful finished product. As much as I love the process it's detrimental to my work, but if that was not an issue the work would be totally different.

How do you feel about concept in relation to your work?
I'm never not thinking about concept. I make aesthetic decisions, but always with a concept in mind. Visual decisions influence the concept by either reinforcing the concept or working against it.

What are some specific issues that interest you and what are your goals with those issues?
I'm working with human relationship issues because of the way I grew up and because of my life currently. I'm influenced by family dynamics like mother/daughter, husband/wife, and brother/sister and the different issues that can arise within those relationships. I'm interested in how one changes whether you are with your mom or with your husband. For example, I bring the history I have with my mom to the table when I form a relationship with my husband.
My goals are to examine specific situations that can some up in a single relationship or in a group dynamic and bring those emotions to the surface. Ideally I'd like to illicit an emotional reaction with my work.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on fusing 2-D and 3-D.

What is most important for people to get from your work?
Ideally, I would like people to make a connection from abstract visuals to human interactions and for people to get a sense of me because my work is a visual extension of who I am. It means a lot to me when people come in to my studio and understand that my work is a direct visual representation of myself. My work provides me with a forum to express things that I can't express daily. It's like having a translator. I feel way more comfortable with the visual vocab than I do with real communication.

What are you most proud of?
I am very fortunate for all the things in my life right now.I most proud of getting to where I am right now because when I was born my mom wasn't even an American citizen. That's where I started and the awareness of my path here makes being in grad school really exciting.

What artists are you looking at right now?
Petah Coyne: I like her monochromatic arrangement and the assemblage quality of it.
Lauren Owens: I like her sparse compositions, particularly the grand scale.
Egon Shiele: I like his line quality
Louise Bourgeois: I'm fascinated with her because she's still making work about her childhood.

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