Interviews

Interviews Conducted by Carrie!

NOV 2017

Corey Motta

 

COA:

You seem to have taken the lens by storm, is there a particular subject you want to explore more?

Corey:

Interestingly, the artform I studied before I became fluent with a camera was graphic design. I took 4 years of Graphic Communications classes at the Career & Technical Center in East Providence where I earned my certification in Adobe Illustrator and PrintED. I also competed in the SkillsUSA Graphic Design contests in 2014 & 2015, and scored 4th in the state during my very first year. At Roger Williams University, I am a Graphic Design major, with a core concentration in Visual Arts (Photography). So alongside my passion for photography, graphic design is a field I have great interest in, and continue to explore. I would love to learn more about motion graphics in particular.

COA:

Are you inspired by any black and white photo in particular?

Corey:

One photo that I have taken great inspiration from is Albert Watson’s portrait of Steve Jobs. It’s a very iconic black and white photograph of Jobs in a “thinking pose” with his hand to his chin. It is featured on the cover of the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. Watson was a photographer known for taking portraits that showcased the “candid side” of the subjects. I remember reading an interview where Watson discussed the backstory of the photo. He recalled conversing with jobs about cameras and photography mediums -this was a method of releasing any tension Jobs had and making him feel comfortable. This is something I try to replicate when taking portraits. Being in front of a camera isn’t easy for everyone, the best pictures come when the clients are comfortable with you.

COA:

There is a range of color and textures that I see in your work, do you aim for that?

Corey:

I do absolutely aim for that, and I am glad you noticed! Texture was something I learned to utilize when I began developing on black and white film in the dark room. Shooting on film had always been something suggested to me by my professors and peers and I never truly understood the appeal of it until I tried it for myself about a year ago. When you limit yourself to black and white you have to rely a lot more light, shadows, and texture to convey your ideas. Since then, I have found it interesting to contrast textures in my photography. For example, the detailed and delicate feathers of a small bird against a collage of foliage in the background, or a smooth seashell presented beside grainy moss and the coarse canvas of a converse shoe.

COA:

Any selfies? lol

Corey:

It’s interesting how mobile devices and the art of “selfies” have played a major role in the art of photography. With very low barriers to enter the world of modern day photography, anybody with a cell phone can begin snapping their own pictures and posting them across various social outlets; the most prominent platform being Instagram. Being an Instagram user myself, I have to put effort into distinguishing myself from the casual cell phone photographer. I began exploring photography years ago when I bought my first smartphone; but with the Canon DSLR camera I use today, I have a lot more control over my photographs as I am making them.

COA:

Are you inspired by a particular artist in general regardless of the medium?

Corey:

I have pulled a lot of inspiration from Jordan Peele, the writer and director of the movie “Get Out”. The movie was beautifully crafted, and the overall ominous atmosphere in the movie is something I have been trying to capture in my artwork lately. A recent shoot I did in Barrington, Rhode Island, was heavily influenced by the dramatic tones of Peele’s film. I explored an abandoned college that had been overrun by nature and defaced by intruders for the past 10 years. The entire landscape had a creepy vibe, as it was riddled with spider webs and graffiti. I put extreme care into framing of the shots and editing the tonal range in post.

 

 

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OCT 2017

Thyme’s Treasures

COA:

I love your work. Can you explain fused glass versus blown glass?

Thyme:

Fused glass is a process of cutting sheet glass, stacking layers and adding elements such as crushed glass to add textures. The glass is then melted in a kiln ranging from temperatures 1100°F – 1500°F. There are often more than one firing that a piece will undergo to achieve the final look. Glass blowing is done by gathering molten glass on the end of a metal blowpipe, then blowing air and shaping the piece.

COA:

What color(s) do you find work best when fusing?

Thyme:

I love working with all colors! You have to have a good understand of color and the elements that are in the different colors of glass. Some colors will react with one and other, usually causing a darker reaction where the two pieces touch. If you do some experimenting you can use the reactions to accentuate the art piece.

COA:

What is your most prized piece(s)?

Thyme:

My most prized piece is a baptismal bowl I created for my daughter to be baptized over about a year ago. It is an 11 ½” bowl that is about 3” deep and was created in October 2016. This was not something that I had ever made before and was spur of the moment. Since then I have made a few more baptism bowls but this one will always be special to me!

COA:

Do customers ask for customized work?

Thyme:

Customers request customized pieces quite often! Special requests have even lead to new collections in the past. In 2015 I had a customer request a mini 3” x 3” camping scene which turned into a small collection. The original design had a camper, camp fire, pine tree and a silver crescent moon, later I added an alternate version that had a tent.

COA:

Any plans for additions to your collection?

Thyme:

I am currently working on a new series of 4” x 6” 3D scenes that will be mounted in frames. Two of the scenes that are almost completed are an ocean scene and a kite flying over grassy hills. I anticipate these being available before Thanksgiving!

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JAN 2017

Ted DiLucia

ted

COA:

What is it about Art History that fascinates you?

Ted:

Art History is great. I like it a lot.

COA:

I love the large pieces, is it easier to create and focus when size has no limit?

Ted:

I want my characters to be life size. When the viewer is confronted by a large dramatic image, they have no choice but to look and be consumed.

COA:

Tell me about the circles…

Ted:

The circles/dots started as light. Light, when seen through a camera with shallow depth of field, become circles of bright color. Later as the paintings evolved the circles became a minimal gesture to cohesively tie all the paintings together. One exception, the dots in “Doghouse” not only tell the story of the last supper and its dinner guests, but what is to become of them after they leave the table.

COA:

The eyes tell amazing stories, what are you portraying to the viewer?

Ted:

Sometimes I see paintings in two ways. There are paintings that can be taken advantage of, and others that make you back away. Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” makes you back away. You instantly become confronted by Wood’s Iowan dentist, standing steadfast with sharp stare of intensity. I’m always chasing intensity and the capture confrontation between the subject(s) and the viewer.

COA:

What’s next for Ted?

Ted:

I’m planning on a seven panel painting loosely inspired by Picasso’s Guernica.

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November 2016

Tamara Diaz

tdphoto

COA:

I love your work! How long have you been creating?

Tamara:

I have been creating since I was small. I always enjoyed art as a child and saved many of my drawings from when I was young. Some of these include portfolios from art class in school or series of designs that I created on my own. Looking back, you can see the same bright color scheme in my work. My first exhibit was at Tenafly High School when I was in the 11th grade.

COA:

Your color pallet has been compared to ‘pop’ art, do you agree?

Tamara:

My work has been comported to Pop Art because of the colors and bold black lines that I use. While it can have a Pop feel to it, the content is usually more emotional than typical Pop Art. My art has been described as a visual narrative that presents itself in symbols; like a journal, with a tropical feeling. Typically, my work shows reoccurring themes that pertain to Love, Identity, Cultural Pride, Loss/Grief and everyday life. Many of my pieces include some sad content however these feelings can be transformed thought the colors and the process in general, leaving the viewer feeling “happy” at the end, despite symbols of obvious turmoil. I have sometimes described my art “Tropical Pop.”

COA:

Does your work cross over into your day job?

Tamara:

Yes, in the day and evenings, I work as a school social worker and clinical therapist who providers home or office based visits. Most of my client’s are Spanish speaking. I use art therapy as a tool to help children and their families express themselves and as means to provide a visual language to foster self expression and communication. Working at an elementary school, I am blessed to be surrounded by art activities and supplies as well as the support and understanding of how therapeutic art can be for any age group. Because I meet with so many children and teens, over the years, I have created hundreds of pieces of different mediums. Colored pencil and watercolor paint among others.

COA:

Is there one particular artist, mentor you are inspired by?

Tamara:

It is so hard to name only a few inspirations since I am connected to so many talented artists. I guess one story I can tell is that while I always loved art, when i was in the 9th grade, my friend dated a 12th grader named Evan Klanfer, who is a writer, (former) graffiti artist, photographer and skater from the Bronx. He loved hip hop and this was during the golden era of hip hop, a magical prime time in NYC. He encouraged my art and always had new paint pens and other supplies for us to use. I began to go to art and hip hop shows in NYC as well as experimenting with graffiti and learning about black and Latino history. Keith Haring was also present in the NYC art scene around this time and is definitely an inspiration.

COA:

Current projects or work?

Tamara:

I have a high volume of projects and exhibits which are in progress or on the way. One project I am excited about is the “Tapitas Project” which consists of 75 round Ice Cream tops with a symbol painted on each one. So far, one design has been edited and printed on magnets, stickers, t shits and other items. Some of my clients love the project (some of the Tapitas are hung up in my office) and they design their own Tapitas symbols. I have also started creating clothing designs with a company based in NYC called Print All Over Me. One other project which takes place in November 2016 is the Autism Project Runway (fundraiser for Autism Project of RI). I am one of the artists who has been asked to design a model with a creating that includes their puzzle piece logo. In March 2017, I am planning an exhibit with Johnson and Whales Bridge Center. Currently my work can be seen at the State of RI Administration building (“Origins and Identities”) and at the Center for Study and Practice of Non-Violence (“Cortado Por La Misma Tijera/Cut from the same cloth.”) Both are Latino Heritage Exhibits.

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September 2016

Kimberlee Forney

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COA:

How long have you been painting?  Explain your technique.

Kim:

I have been painting my style for the past 16 years and creating art since my childhood. I use mainly acrylic on canvas for the work I create now.   In college I studied primarily drawing and printmaking.

COA:

Your murals are beautiful, do you like larger pieces or working on smaller paintings?

Kim:

I enjoy working on both.  When painting a larger canvas some of the movements are more free, using my whole arm or hand to create the brush strokes. With a smaller canvas I am concentrating on a smaller area, with a smaller brush and  with smaller, often more controlled brush strokes, using mainly my wrist and fingers to make the marks.  The energies of creating the two different sizes are both different and fun to explore.  With the larger pieces, I can create them for hours and hours…weeks or months. And with the smaller pieces its fun to see something come into being and be completed by the end of the afternoon.

COA:

Love your color palette (!), any particular artist you are mentored by?

Kim:

Thank you.  Many people are drawn to my work by the color.   I am not looking at any artists work in particular.  I have seen and viewed art in my studies, but have never really studied  other artist’s work or color in depth.    I paint my paintings until it “feels good” to me.  I enjoy how the colors interact and change the feeling of the piece the moment I place another color on the canvas.  Color has healing and emotive properties which I enjoy utilizing.  I feel like I am creating a balanced and harmonious space of cool and warm colors.  I have had people mention other artists , such as van Gogh and Picasso, when looking to find a comparative artist for my work. My style does share properties of these two artists, and I do enjoy these artists for their color palette.  I was fortunate enough to view the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and see the color and texture of his originals many years ago while in college.  My style came in a flash of inspiration 6 months after I graduated college and is almost completely “opposite” of the realistic work I had been creating from childhood through college.

COA:

As an artist you keep painting and creating, anything new projects you are currently working on?

Kim:

I am pretty busy with the retail aspect of being a professional artist, so finding time to create can be sporadic and minimal at times, especially during the busy times of the year.  I would like to work on a children’s book, and hope to find time for that in the near future.

COA:

You mentioned on your web site a connectedness and mood about your work, can you briefly explain?

Kim:

My art is a reflection of one of the ways I perceive and understand life, which is that we are all energy….everything is energy.  And  it is all connected…we are all connected. I am able to affect people’s moods/emotions with my work due to my use of color, intention and subject matter.  I am grateful to be able to make a person smile or laugh or remember a beloved pet through my work. In my paintings, I use the black lines to represent the connectedness of every “thing”, and the color to represent energy or light.

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April 2016

Richard McCaffrey

RMphoto

COA:

Your photographs are timeless… how do capture the perfect picture?

Richard:

With the best equipment and experience and the ability to gain access and place myself in the right position.

COA:

Tell me about your career path?

Richard:

Started taking pictures of family and friends with a Kodak camera around age 12, built my first darkroom in my bedroom closet at 14, In Junior high school l took class photos etc.

Joined the US Army and became an official Army photographer in Hawaii in 1964-65.

Graduated from Franklin Institute in Boston, Photography 1967.

Worked for Brown University and then commercial photography studios till opening my own studio in 1969. In 1972 started an alternative/entertainment newspaper called The Point in Providence, Rhode Island where I became interested in music photography. Moved to California in 1973 to further my career as a music photographer. By 1975 I was being published in Rolling Stone and other National publications. In 1976 became Chief Photographer for BAM “The California Music Magazine” and also working with Rock Promoter Bill Graham and record companies. In 1991 moved back to Providence Rhode Island occasionally shooting bands entertainment and politics working for The Providence Phoenix and other local publications. I currently contribute to Motif Magazine, GoLocalProv.com and Getty Images.

COA:

What gear/equipment were you using during your career?

Richard:

I have mainly used Nikon Camera equipment, film cameras, then digital starting in 2003.

COA:

Generally speaking, how is rock photography apart from general photography ?

Richard:

It takes a while to build a reputation and get connected with publications so I could have the kind of access needed to further my career. Live rock photography’s main difficulty is following the subject(s) that are constantly moving on stage while the lighting is always changing. It helps to learn to anticipate where the movement will stop, usually on the beat, and even more difficult when trying to include more than one performer in the shot.

It can also be challenging to direct members of a rock band in a backstage or studio setting.

COA:

Are you influenced by any one photographer?  If so whom?

Richard:

Music Photographers: Jim Marshall and Annie Leibovitz

Admire: Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus and many others.

COA:

What is your favorite piece of equipment?

Richard:

My main cameras are Nikon D700 and D7000 with a full array of lenses.

COA:

What have you learned from the lens? How do you keep motivated?

Richard:

How lucky I am to be able to earn a living recording history, it’s always interesting and never boring.

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March 2016

Janice Sheehan-Hodge

Janice

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COA:

What is it about your medium that drives you to create?

Janice:

The medium that drives me to create is usually oil.  The reason for this is because I like the play of light, ever changing color and an imagination that I can put to work by creating the right mix of colors with oil.  When I have a need to soften it a bit, that is where I prefer to use pastels though they themselves can be remarkable in their tonal quality.

COA:

Tell me about your current project.

Janice:

My current project is undertaking a large piece as I move toward a more impressionistic approach in a much looser technique than I am used to.  I am taking an outdoor scene and attempting to make it more painterly and inviting.

COA:

Is there anything that you haven’t done yet that keeps you going?

Janice:

Because I have dabbled in photography, pastels and oil as well as acrylics, I have a vision to perfect whatever I am doing toward a more inviting approach so when one visits my art, they get caught up in the image/scene.  What I haven’t done yet is be the best artist I can be.

COA:

How much personality do you expose when creating?

Janice:

Painting is all about personality.  I paint what appeals to me.  Sometimes it could just be a play of light, a shadow, a highlight, a color or even a simple image that catches my eye.  Perhaps my mood will dictate to me what I need to do that day as it follows the sunshine, perhaps the rain or even the snow.  My personality will even look into a forest and sees an old worn path and thoughts of its past.

COA:

Favorite medium, artist, place or time to create?

Janice:

Some of my most favorite artists are Ansel Adams, a photographer of black and white.   Monet as well as Andrew Wyeth have always been some of my favorite painters..  Although I love realism, photography does that a lot for me, I seem to want to take what is real and make it more exciting, more thought provoking and even more peaceful or exciting.  So it would do me well to always have with me my camera and paints and ‘go with the flow, wherever and whenever”.

Visit: Janice’s Facebook page

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A beautiful way to begin the new and exciting artistic year!

January 2016

Demi

View her write-up here.

DemiMonk DEMISha DemiBW

COA:

How do you see people react to your work?

Demi:

I just began exhibiting my work, and I have three solo shows currently hanging with two more in progress. Prior to now, I had been mostly producing illustrative work for children’s books. And the response has been overwhelmingly encouraging. Not only have I sold original art. I am now selling posters of my poem, SHE, in response to an audience demand. I sold out of my sculpted butterflies, and I am teaching an ongoing journal workshop for cancer patients as a creative outlet during their experience. I’m also trying to organize an after school workshop for grade school students in the Providence area near Blackstone Blvd. People like what they see which isn’t a surprise to me. I take my work seriously, and I work long hard hours just like anyone else. This is my job, and I show up every day to make quality work. If it’s not, you won’t see it. Some people who have seen my work have asked to commission custom pieces. Which I have done and still do.

COA:

What would you call your style?

Demi:

I always deliver something new to the viewer. I’ve been known as the consummate Chameleon. I’m always evolving, never limiting myself to one style. However, I am consistent. And I can repeat previous styles. I always remember how I created something. If it’s new, I take photos of the process. I normally work in series, and I approach each subject like it’s my role, or an involved study. I research and think. I analyze various subjects and environments. I choose a specific color palette. Once my thought process has developed some kind of control that has to happen within a painting, then I let my subconscious take over. That’s where the fun begins and the magic happens. Stories begin to reveal themselves and the figures in my paintings develop personalities. Every element from life and my mind suddenly begins to make perfect sense together. That’s when I know I need not go any further. I just need to wrap it up and pay attention to the details and the composition.

COA:

How has ‘life’ changed how you create? (i.e. traveling)

Demi:

I love what I do. I have received a diploma for what I do. I have owned a gallery and helped others do what I do. I have visited museums all over the world and realized I can do what others do. However, meeting people who run different businesses, taught me how to manage my own. Communication and relationships is the most valuable tool for an artist or anyone. And the more I travel, I realize that we are what we do. My art isn’t something I just do while I’m on vacation. My art is what I need to do. I’m miserable without it. Every piece is a rite of passage. After experiences here or anywhere, I learn something about life, and I teach it through my art. I remind people of what they know and understand but sometimes, they just don’t know how to vocalize it. I grow more and more comfortable with visual communication and symbolism because people everywhere can understand it.

COA:

Current or future projects you’d like to share with us?

Demi:

I’m currently working on a series called “Objects of Nostalgia”.

COA:

What is your favorite medium thus far?

Demi:

Acrylic on canvas with something from life collaged within it like paper text or thorns.

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October 2015

Joanne Thorne Arnold

Joanne is an extremely talented artist, devoted friend and inspiration!

See her write-up here.

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COA:

You’ve work as evolved over several years, what are you most proud of?

Joanne:

My work has evolved over the years. It comes with work. Chuck Close said it best, “inspiration is for amateurs the rest of us just show up and get to work”.  He said that every great idea “grew out of work itself.”  I agree.  I am most proud of how original my paintings are.  I have spent years finding my voice as an artist.  It has been a Matisse-like approach in that I have been all over the place as a figurative & abstract painter.  The process has driven me to be a mark-making colorist with an atmospheric perspective.  The work is abstract but there is a sense of place.  The discipline of just showing up & getting to work is what it’s all about.

COA:

With your different styles, how do you know when a piece is finished?

Joanne:

I know a piece is finished when I feel that I can no longer add another dimension of depth.  It’s intuitive for the most part.  The layering of colors creates visual energy.  My work can be viewed at a variety of distances from up close to across the room.

COA:

Now that you are retired from teaching art in middle school, is there an element you miss about it?

Joanne:

I haven’t been away from the classroom long enough to miss anything.  I was in public school for 30 years.  I don’t expect to miss much as I was ready to move forward.  I spent a lot of time developing art projects that required higher level thinking skills & problem solving.  I enjoyed that element of play & then would pilot it to a classroom.  It always gave me a buzz when it was a successful launch.  I will miss that element of challenge but look forward to my own world of play and see where it takes me.

COA:

What’s your most prized tool you work with?

Joanne:

My most prized tools are my eyes, my mind & my left hand.  Sounds hokey but they’re my built in tools.  All the rest; brushes, paints, solvents … can be replaced.  I do however love my studio space.  Several years ago, we renovated a two-car detached garage into a one car garage & my studio, “the Art Garage”.  It’s been beneficial to be able to work at any time and to just check progress.  I would say my studio is my most prized tool.  Environment is important.

COA:

How has painting influenced your life?

Joanne:

Being an artist is a lifestyle.  There are many hours spent in solitude just getting on with work.  The social part is the sharing, having exhibitions.  My husband is a potter.  Many of our friends are artists.  Our travels take us to exhibitions that enjoy the current art world as well as the past.  Being a painter is probably considered old fashioned but it’s who I am.

Jay Gidwitz – January 2014

JayPhotoself

Jay Gidwitz is an artist and digital photographer with an interest in the intersection of art and emerging technologies. He is curator at surrealismtoday.com, and surreal-art.tumblr.com where he features contemporary surrealist artists. You can follow Jay on Twitter and Facebook and on his website at jaygidwitz.com.

COA:

How long have you been creating art?

Jay:

One of my earliest memory was working on a coloring book when I was about 4 or 6 years old and trying to get the color inside the lines. I remembered how my mom did such a better job of it than I did. I was scribbling outside the lines. I’ve been creating art my whole life, and my work has gone through many of phases and transitions. In high school I was mostly doing a lot of drawing, a little painting and printing-making. Now it’s photography and digital.

COA:

Describe your work?

Jay:

Photography and digital art. My work tends to be surrealist and occult inspired. Recently I’ve been exploring more abstraction and photography that is less manipulated.

COA:

What is your process and average time per piece?

Jay:

I use Photoshop with photos that I take. Usually there will be layers of multiple photographs that are heavily manipulated. I use a bunch of photographs that I turn into a floor background and then a ceiling and then a bunch of different layers on top of that.

It’s like digital painting because it’s using all the tools of the computer to make something. People tend to think of a ‘painting’ with paint moving around on a canvas, but in this case its moving pixels around on a screen and the finished product ends up being a print.

Some can be very quick with little manipulation and others I could work on a piece for up to two weeks. While I was in painting school we would work on one painting for up to three months. But since moving to photography even a heavily manipulated digital painting probably won’t take much longer that two weeks.

COA:

I noticed Symbols in your work, can you describe them?

Jay:

I have an interest in occult. Some are occult symbols that are traditional, (.ie.: demons) and then others I made my own symbols or a pseudo code. The concept plays with how our concepts and thoughts distort our perceptions around us. So our thoughts filter our perceptions of reality.

COA:

Inspiration?

Jay:

I love the Surrealists, (i.e.: Salvador Dali) and the symbolists. I like Alejandro Jodorowsky, (film director) from the 70s and psychological and occult concepts, to bring new ideas. Recently I’ve been reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. There’s a lot of stuff that brings great ideas to work that doesn’t directly become content.

COA:

Future Projects?

Jay:

I got a bunch of material from my recent trip to Turkey, Armenia and Romania. I have a lot of photographs and will start working and playing around with to integrate into the Dream Logic Tarot and make into abstractions. I want to start with the photographs as textures and elements and start doing more collage and mixed media stuff and continue with the tarot deck. I will revisit the Sigils but with a different take on it, a few years later. I want to bring in more organic media. Over the next couple months I’ll be working on an ecommerce store/gallery for prints.

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Picture Perfect Photography – November 2013

DennisPPLogo DennisLogo

COA:

I noticed from your photographs that you make Photographic Art.  Can you describe what that means?

Picture Perfect Photography:

I firmly believe that I am not only a photographer, but a story teller as well. I focus on the glamour and the beauty of the people, and the wedding process itself. Not only am I capturing natural magic as it’s happening, but, creating beautiful magic utilizing my own creative vision. And it would most certainly also be my beautiful wife that shoots right alongside of me and provides wonderful ideas. Her style of shooting is soft, romantic, and elegant while my style is more towards fashion and high-key glamor.

COA:

It seems that photography is a great passion for you.  Do you consider it a hobby as well?

Picture Perfect Photography:

Yeah, I have passion, and lots of it! Passion is a necessity to becoming the best wedding photographer that you can be, love it, and to always strive to be better than your last wedding…

At the very first wedding that I assisted, I learned more about photography and people than what I did throughout all the formal training in schools. And that was because I was getting on the job real-world training.

We need to have flair and finesse, the ability and the risk of being different, an endearing and attractive personality and the knack to work under pressure while still being technically proficient. Another very important trait is to know how to relax and be down-to-earth.

COA:

Tell me the types of equipment you use?

Picture Perfect Photography:

Hmmm, let me begin by saying as photographers we strive for gear that can produce the images that we dream about inside of our heads. It must be up to a standard of professionalism which is flawless, the highest quality, with consistency that can create great resulting images wedding after wedding.

So, what is in our camera bags you ask?

Not only do we carry our cameras, we carry over 9 different lens, flash cards, stands, cables, flash cards, light meters etc… we never forget the batteries and of course business cards!

COA:

How do you know if you’ve done your best with each photo shoot?

Picture Perfect Photography:

One of my favorite mantras is that I don’t focus on being the best, I just focus on being better than last week. And by doing that, you become the best that you can be – you realize your own potential. My style is very glamorous and natural at the same time. I place a big emphasis on the story telling aspect of the day, as well as shooting with empathy for more striking and powerful images. But in addition to that, I also make sure that I never leave a wedding without creating several “WOW” shots.

Every morning before a wedding, I wake up to a blank canvas in my mind. As the day progresses, I photograph a love story in motion. Each image is a brush stroke on my blank canvas and at the end of the day, my love story painting is complete with each and every detail. Just like a true artist, the wedding story, through the painting, can be understood and appreciated even if you were not there on that day.

COA:

Do you ever push the limits in photography or do you always want to connect with your subject(s)?

Picture Perfect Photography:

The second you think you know everything, you know nothing. There’s always a different challenge that perhaps you have never been presented with yet.

Let’s put it this way…
If you do not consistently push the limits of your mind’s eye and create the “WOW” shots, you will be left behind with the many photographers who are happy with the same ole, same ole, and never reach the next level. Because in this business, you need to be creative and take risks in order to make the ordinary become the extraordinary…
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Deanna Rae Vincent – October 2013

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Artist: Deanna Rae Vincent

COA:

Why greeting cards?  What is it about this medium that excites you?

Deanna:

I like greeting cards because they are small projects with a purpose.  I find making cards exciting because each card is a small gift and piece of art.  I lone to see the excitement and anticipation of the recipient of the card!

COA:

What inspires you to come up with ideas & designs for your cards?

Deanna:

My inspiration usually comes from an event/occasion and season/holiday.

COA:

Is there one particular artist(s) that you use as a mentor?

Deanna:

No.

COA:

I see you use many different materials in your work, what do you think is the most challenging aspect while creating a finished piece?

Deanna:

The most challenging aspect is that each card is balanced and that all the different textures and colors flow/blend.

COA:

Have you created your best work yet?

Deanna:

NO WAY!!!!!

THANK YOU!!

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Joyce Ronald Smith – September 2013

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Artist and Author: Joyce Ronald Smith

COA:

When did you start creating necklaces and why?

Joyce:

I am 83 and I started doing bead crochet about two years ago. Have been doing an off loom form of weaving call Taaniko for decades.  I developed a frozen shoulder and could no longer do Taaniko.  I get very crabby if I can’t do something with my hands every day.   Was fooling around with the computer and found directions on how to do bead crochet.  The frozen shoulder is gone but I am still doing bean crochet.

Note: Taaniko is a traditional weaving technique of the Maori of New Zealand.

Purchase Joyce’s book: Taaniko: Maori Hand-Weaving

COA:

Your designs are very distinct. Where did you get your inspiration from?

Joyce:

The designs fit the medium.  Mostly I make the 3 designs up as I go along.  Sometimes I graph the design out on paper.

COA:

Did you study find arts in school/college?

Joyce:

I have an MFA in Design.

 COA:

How much time a week do you spend in the studio?

Joyce:

I am in my studio every afternoon doing bead crochet and listening to books on tape.  As I said, if I can’t do it every day I get crabby.  It is in some ways like meditation.

 CAO:

As an artist what other mediums have you created in?

Joyce:

I have done surface design for fabrics, batik, teaching and have made two videos documenting disappearing textile techniques.

I am going to be showing my work at a Craft Show in Wakefield, RI (Main Street) on October 5th from 10-5PM.

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Anthony Demings – July 2013

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June 2013 – Tony and Carrie at his art opening in Providence, RI.

COA:

How did you come up with the idea for your two pieces of artwork?  The ‘Scandia Tugboat’ and ‘Brooklyn Bridge’?

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Tony:

The Scandia tugboat ran ashore on Moonstone beach in Rhode Island in the 90s.  I went out there with my sketchpad and pencils to capture this piece of history.  It was January and my hand was so cold I used my sock to keep my hand warm to draw!

I like the power and energy of the Brooklyn Bridge.  I named my coffee house; the Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House after it.  I opened the café because to me the bridge transports people.  I drew the bridge on acid paper which as you know is a ‘no-no’ for drawings as the paper becomes brittle and weak.  I don’t dwell on it; I want it to go away as it entices me to do more drawings.

COA:

What is your process for making your artwork? (physically and mentally)

Tony:

The process is done in 4 stages.

First I draw in pencil and label it AP1. Then I put it through a roller printer (they don’t make them anymore) and label it AP2.  AP stands for ‘artist proof’. Then I use color pencils on the print-out and label that AP3. Last, I use a laser printer to lock in the color.  I use a lot of colored pencils.  The process overall takes about 14 hours. For backup, I have all my work digitized.

Mentally, I like the feel of drawing from real items.  I distort them.  Nothing is perfect and not too linear.  I force the angles a lot of the time.  Whip-it fast to give it movement.  I’m self-taught, but I do miss the camaraderie of not going to art classes.

When I was younger, (I’m 67 now) (note: Tony looks fabulous!), I joined the military, got married, raised kids, got divorced and then there was a lull in my life.  It was then I began commission work.  I did commission work for Steven Spielberg for the movie Amistad in Newport, RI.  I like the process I use as there’s no water, oil and I can just take the pencils with me and create.  The starting point is you begin with a line, hold that pencil and never, never let it leave the page.  I could be talking with you for 5 minutes and I never let that pencil go.  I finish the line.  I use standard #5 or #7 lead pencils, colored pencils and Crayola crayons.  While doing security for Johnson and Wales University, I did a lot of drawing.  At one point Faber-Castell sent me 2 boxes of pencils to try out.  They saw my work and told me to try it out.  I told them they don’t burn well.  They didn’t understand what I meant so I told them if I’m looking for a smooth line, I heat the pencils in the oven …and for a harder line, I put the pencils in the freezer.  I like to play with the pencils for different effects.  I still like Crayolas the best!

Doing commission work on say a house or storefront requires you to listen to your customers.  Focus on what they like and that energy will make the work satisfying to the customer.  I’ve done architecture work and understand structures of buildings so for me, it was easy to do an artist rendering for customers and contractors.

I also do plenty of what I call ‘Tony-time’.  I take time to schedule downtime to draw and think, I love structure but I also love beautiful things.  I’ve been told some of my work looks like Monet’s because of the color and beauty I use in my work.

COA:

Tell me any important interactions with organizations?

Tony:

I began Rhodywood as I support the arts.  I love people and listen to them.  I love films too.  Back in the 1980’s when independent films where becoming popular, I’d watch films in theatres and become a film junky.  I was hooked.  I also saw a niche but wasn’t quite ready yet.  Rhodywood was designed to help bridge people over from the arts into film.  Rhodywood gained respect as independent filmmakers came into Rhode Island, especially SAG folks.  It’s a way to gain resources for their films.  It’s a catalyst for people to go there.

COA:

You exhibited a one-man art show this past June, how do you feel it was received?

Tony:

If I can satisfy 1-2 people, I’m happy.  I’m happy with 10%.  It’s more about people that come to the show to support me.  Things take time I’m not an instant person.  I was very happy with it overall.

COA:

Tell me a little history behind the Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House.

Tony:

I opened the coffee house in 1999.  It was a coffee house only.  Then around 2005, I noticed a trend, laptops started coming in (after all this is a college town…) and no one was interacting with each other.  So I decided I was going to shut it down, I paid my staff and we closed the coffee house.  The next day, I opened the space as a venue house and never looked back.  With this new idea, I’ve helped more people out by renting the space for art, music, weddings, casting calls, bridal showers, it doesn’t end!  We have been very successful with the change.

COA:

Speaking of change, are you adaptable to it?

Tony

I am and I’m not.  Growing up in an orphanage and with my film that debuted this year, ‘Children of the Asylum’, it was a very emotional struggle for me to not act or direct this film.  I told it through another filmmaker.  I’m very satisfied with the results, but the emotions are stepping stones for me.  We are all here for a short time and I want to inspire young artists.  I get a tingling feeling when I help somebody.  We all need to keep moving along, a kind of empty-nesting.

COA:

What’s next for Tony Demings?

Tony:

Well I have a thousands of friends.  I like to be resource for people.  I’d like to float and act in the future.  I want to have fun.  I’m exploring off Broadway or a possible television adaptation of my film.  There is a lot of competition out there, but I don’t want to appear too hungry.  Time will tell.

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