INTERVIEW WITH - Vyu Magazine

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INTERVIEW WITH - Vyu Magazine

MAGAZINEINTERVIEW WITHMEREDITH FIFE DAY:URBAN SCAPESISSUE 27 DESIGN POETRYPHOTOGRAPHY ART MUSICThe subject has a way of choosing me. I think the relationship between artist and subjectis one that should come from a deeper place than intellect and conscious control.Meredith Fife Day brings Vyü Magazine intothe birthplace of James McNeill Whistler to discussher role as resident artist and her currenttechniques.Vyü: I don’t remember seeing your collagesin the past. Are they a relativelynew medium for you?Day: During the past few years I have becomemore interested in structuring my paintingthrough color, and the studies I would makewith pencil were not satisfying me. Then acouple of years ago, in either impatience orurgency, I began to put colored shapes next toone another, and found myself making collages.The act itself was almost involuntary. Ijust needed to see how certain color/shaperelationships would work.Can you describe how Whistler House hasaffected your career as an artist?continued on page 2


(Day continued from page 1)Whistler House has had an enormous effect onme, though I never really thought of taking thestudio there as a career move. I saw the spacemany years ago and fell in love with it.I am quite drawn to the urban landscape. Theviews of The Acre from Whistler House areincredible and they began to appear in mypaintings immediately. Visitors who come to themuseum seem to share my enthusiasm for thespace. They see that I work from an environmentI have a strong connection with, andoften respond to my work because of that.Can you tell us about the show you havescheduled for the fall?Soprafina Gallery in Boston’s South End willshow my new work this November. In May2005 the gallery exhibited my collages ofWhistler House views, and the gallery directoris encouraging me to show more collages. Atthis point I am taking a single subject andworking through it in both painting and collage.The two play off one another in the studio.I hope that will happen in the gallery.What techniques or method did you usewhen you started as an artist?I’m afraid my first drawings were on my bedroomwall! During naptime, I took my hair clipand drew an ongoing mural behind the mattress.When my mother discovered this activity,she enrolled me in art classes. In those classes,which were some of the happiest times of mylife, we worked with tempera.My first attempt at painting with oil was in highschool. Since then, I can’t tell you how much oilpaint I have gone through! As most artists realize,oil is very forgiving. Because I seldom getanything right the first time around, I think Ineed a forgiving medium.Do you have a recurring subject inyour art or do you always strive for newsubject matter?Certain still life objects seem to show up overand over. I have enormous respect for theItalian artist Giorgio Morandi, who painted thesame still life objects all his life. Then there arethe rooftops—a subject of longtime fascinationto me. Although I can’t explain why I loverooftops so, I often wonder if it is their strongand stable shapes against the ever-changingsky. Also, their color reflects natural light whilehaving a slightly artificial impertinence in thenatural world.I really do not strive for new subject matter. Thesubject has a way of choosing me. I think therelationship between artist and subject is onethat should come from a deeper place thanintellect and conscious control.Do you give art lessons?I taught in the classroom at a university in theMidwest for many years and loved it. Now Iam more interested in learning. When peoplevisit my studio at Whistler House, I feel there isa wonderful exchange between us. They teachme and I share with them what I know aboutpainting—my own and others’. To me, theseare art lessons and life lessons. What a thrill!Where did you learn about drawing?When did you realize that art was goingto be a big part of your life?I have been learning about drawing from thecontinued on page 4


(Day continued from page 2)beginning, from those early pre-school daysof drawing on the wall. As we all do, I learnabout drawing from the masters. I amabsolutely awed by the drawing in the work ofartists as diverse as Rembrandt and Bonnard,as well as work of other cultures. There issuch affection and often such struggle in brilliantdrawing—those qualities speak to me.Art has always been a big part of my life, so Ican’t pinpoint a moment of realization—aeureka moment. As I grow older, I look forsigns that tell me what my life’s work is. Ithink the fact that I am compelled to painteven when things are not going well, evenwhen I have to make material and emotionalsacrifices, tells me something about the placeof painting in my life.What did it take to become a wellknown artist in Lowell?Time. Lots of time. Although I do not think ofmyself as well-known in Lowell, I have livedhere for17 years and have been an artist formore than twice that long. If people arelearning about my artwork I have to attributemuch of that to the exposure at WhistlerHouse and to the generosity of its staff,board, members and visitors who have supportedme and taken the time to look at mywork. Exhibiting at The Vintage Company andLa Boniche introduced my work to manypeople in the Lowell area—Brian Baraby andAnna Omoyeni are wonderfully supportive ofthe arts community. Also, back in 1996 I wasenormously grateful to have work exhibited inthe Brush Gallery. Nancye Tuttle and, earlier,Dave Perry at the Lowell Sun have been sovery helpful to me and to many other artists ingetting the word out on our endeavors.Have you been busy with interviewsrecently?A high school class interviewed me a fewyears ago. Nancye interviewed me shortlyafter I moved to Whistler House. About 18months ago, an Associated Press writer whowas doing a feature on Whistler House interviewedme. I can’t think of any other morerecent interviews, and am delighted with thisopportunity you are giving me through Vyü.Do you have any comments about modernart and how it may or may notrelate to computers? Or how computersaffect art?I have seen some quite interesting andprovocative work involving computer generatedart. What is missing for me in that work istouch. I think the presence of touch—uniqueto each individual—gives art somethinghuman and timeless.Tapas & TangosThe Andover Chamber Music Seriesinvites you to its first annual Spring Bashwith tango music, tapas, and wine.VYÜ MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTORS:James DymentJeannie JudgeThe Andover Town HouseMain Street, AndoverSaturday, April 29, 2006, 7:30 to 11 PMDesigner & PublisherEditorVyü Magazine, April 2006Name and Logo Copyright ©1999THE BRIDGE REVIEWThe Bridge Review:Merrimack Valley Culture(ecommunity.uml.edu/bridge) is anon-line journal about the culture ofthe Greater Merrimack Valley ofMassachusetts and southern NewHampshire. Founded in 1997, thejournal explores the interwovenconcepts of place, nature, culture,and society. Based at the Universityof Massachusetts Lowell, the journalincludes writing, visual art, music,video clips, and other creative andscholarly works relevant to ourbio-region.A Gala Benefit for theAndover Chamber Music SeriesPablo Ziegler, world-renowned Argentinean pianistand composer, brings his arrangements of tangolegend Astor Piazzolla as well as his owncompositions to the Andover Town House, leadinga nine-piece orchestra from the piano.It’s a party you don’t want to miss!Tapas, hors-d’oeuvres, cocktails, silent and liveauctions. Proceeds to benefit ACMS concerts andoutreach programs including Music for All, whichbrings instrumental and choral instruction tounderserved youth in Lawrence.Please respond on or beforeApril 15, 2006Tickets $85For additional informationplease call 978-474-6222or visit www.andoverchambermusic.org143 East Merrimack StreetLowell, MA 01852(978) 454-8300New Art EveryTwo Months!DECORATE YOUR SPACE!Framed and Unframed ArtJewelry, Antiques, Mirrors, PotteryHours:Wednesday 4 to 8 pmThur. & Fri. 1 to 8 pmSaturday 10 to 3 pmSunday 10 to 4 pm

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