Interview with Amanda ‘Mando’ Marie for ‘The Light Touch’

Amanda Marie Interview

Amanda ‘Mando’ Marie’s latest body of work “The Light Touch” opens this weekend in Thinkspace Gallery’s project room. A collection of work that shows her signature golden-book illustration stencils and textured layers. Our interview with Amanda ‘Mando’ Marie discusses her creative process and artistic path.

SH: What is your favorite golden book children story?
AM: I don’t necessarily have a favorite, but I do remember collecting tiny versions of Scuffy the Tugboat, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, The little Red Hen, and a bunch of other classics from Hardee’s kids meals.

Amanda Marie Red Book

SH: How did you develop your artistic voice?
AM: Mostly trial and error. Trying new things, seeing and finding visual techniques that I liked together. When I first started art school I would go buy the expensive paint and canvas. I met some friends who had a gallery in a warehouse called ‘the wheelbarrow’ in lodo Denver. I was working at a framing wholesaler at the time and the boys at the gallery had a bunch of rolls of old vinyl wallpaper. We started to take the frames that they were throwing away at the frame shop and stretching vinyl wallpaper over them. It gave us all as young kids who just wanted to make the opportunity to do so freely. We would have art shows and sell our work for dirt cheap. It was fun.

SH: What made you explore stencils and the style you have today?
AM: After ‘The Wheelbarrow’ split up Ryan went to Miami where he is now ‘Miami’s best graffiti guide’ and a forever amazing dude, my then boyfriend Calan and I moved into a basement studio of Andenken Gallery (which is now located in Amsterdam). We hung out with old and new friends in the scene, all interested in different mediums. They ended up teaching me way more than I ever learned at Art school.

An old friend of Calan’s, but a new friend of mine, named Decker, rented one of the upstairs studios. He was a super chill snowboarder kid and was stenciling on everything. I decided to give stencil making a try. Later that year I was working at a pizza place down the Street Called Two Fisted Mario’s. I made one of the little girls and stenciled two of them for this tip jar that at the pizza place. My boss came by and loved it and asked if I wanted to show at his bar ‘Double Daughters’ next door. I got to work on making paintings with a lot of the characteristics that I’m still using.

Hyland, the owner and curator for Andenken, came to my opening and also liked the work and asked if Calan and I would like to show in the basement of the gallery. The show went well and he offered me a solo up tairs. That show also got a lot of good reaction. I guess it was partly feeling like I was in a nice stride and partly the reaction from so many people enjoying the styles I was using that made it stick.

Amanda Mando Marie

SH: What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work?
AM: There is always a million things that inspire the work. I don’t always know what the story is until I paint it. The work is usually a reaction to life and all that is swirling around. Life is so complex.

SH: You’ve traveled a lot creating murals and for exhibitions, do you have a favorite city? Are your murals influenced by the location they are created?
AM: Lots of favorites for sure. There is no lack of beautiful places in our world. I love almost every place I’ve been for one reason or another. There is a ton of the world I haven’t explored yet. But, influences do enter the work from traveling. The background color that I use on most of my murals is the dark green color that they use on most of the buildings in Amsterdam, which is the first place I left the country to visit for work. Portugal has beautiful patterns, Scandinavia uses color so well and has such a perfectly simple way of illustrating.

Amanda Mando Marie

SH: Some of your pieces have dozens of layers and other work more minimal, how do you know a piece is complete?
AM: Instead of completely buffing old paintings that I wasn’t quite happy with I started to buff the parts I didn’t like instead, Then add more imagery on top of that and so on. Mess it up, try and fix it, mess it up, try and fix it, until finally, the mess became part of the solution. Though recently I have been getting more minimal. I just like the way the work looks with less texture sometimes.

SH: What is your creative process? Is your studio messy, neat, or somewhere in between?
AM: Both. I clean it up before I get started and when I finish, but the in between is a disaster. Usually, there are piles of stencils scattered all over the floor. It can be a problem. I end up spending a lot of time digging to try and find one that I used a day or week before, they get walked on and torn. Not the most efficient, but it works.

SH: What do you do to push through self­doubt, a common problem amongst artists?
AM: The root of why I make paintings is because I like to. Whether I’m putting them out there for other people’s eyeballs or not, ‘making’ would still be what I was doing. Also, I can’t and don’t expect to please everyone. It really isn’t a contest.

Amanda Mando Marie

SH: Your work has a very vintage post­ World War II style with a modern edge, is there something about that time period that holds some specific meaning to the work a part of style?
AM: No Not really. It’s what I first found success with and I’ve been able to grow with this style.

SH: If your work was used at the basis for an animated short, what would be the plot? Who would write the script or be cast as the lead voice? And what style of animation would it be?
AM: A short film on something super practical like how to fix a flat tire on an old dutch bike, or how to pop popcorn over a flame. You know useful. I really like Alan Watts voice, he could read the script. I don’t know who I’d have write it, but someone with sarcasm and a sense of humor.

SH: What’s the best advice you’ve received as an artist? What’s the best advice you can bestow for life?
AM: ‘You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.’ has been something a friend told me and advice that I seem to continually need to remember. My advice would be to remember, it’s supposed to be fun.

Amanda Mando Marie

Join us for the opening reception of ‘The Light Touch‘ this Saturday, August 20th from 6-9pm. The exhibition will be on view through September 10th.

Kevin Peterson Featured in the September Issue of Juxtapoz

Juxtapoz Kevin Peterson

Kevin Peterson is featured in the September issue of Juxtapoz magazine. Visit Juxtapoz.com for a preview of the issue, and an interview with Kevin Peterson discussing his upcoming exhibition with Thinkspace Gallery opening this Saturday, August 20th.

The new work looks, dare I say, a lot more post-apocalyptic? Not in the “end of the world” sort of way, but also not subtle, as in The Leftovers sort of way. What ideas and themes were you channeling?
I don’t believe in an end of the world, apocalypse-type situation.The earth will persist, but the only question is what stage it will be in. Time and how things change over time are always themes in my work. I like thinking about our world in different stages. Seeing how the things we make crumble and decay. Seeing nature take over when it’s allowed to, but even nature is cyclical. A forest burns down, but it grows back stronger. It’s just a matter of time.

Interview with Cinta Vidal on PR0HBTD

CINTA ON PR0HTD

If you’re still not convinced of the epicness that is Cinta Vidal’s neck craning work, then check out this great interview she did with PR0HBTD.  Tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th is the last day to view Cinta Vidal’s ‘Gravities’ and Adam Caldwell’s ‘Dark Stage’. To view all available work from the exhibitions please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website. Visit PR0HBTD.com for the full interview with Cinta Vidal.

I think we all live in the same world but inhabit it in different ways. We often share a landscape but see it from different points of view. I am passionate about the idea of being physically close to someone but mentally far. In order to show this idea, I play with the various orientations a painting can have. You will never be able to see all points of view at the same time, so you must choose which one you see upward. I think this also happens in life: All points of view are possible but we eventually choose one. – Cinta Vidal for PR0HBTD

Cinta Vidal ‘Gravities’ Show Pieces:
http://thinkspacegallery.com/shows/cintavidal-2016/show-pieces/

Adam Caldwell ‘Dark Stages’ Show Pieces:
http://thinkspacegallery.com/shows/adamcaldwell-2016/show-pieces/

Thinkspace Gallery hours are noon – 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

POW! WOW! Antelope Valley Map to Murals

POW WOW AV BANNER

If you’ve been following our Snapchat and Instagram account, you’re well aware of how hard the artists and we’ve been working towards this weekend’s opening of “The New Vanguard” at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. Opening in tandem with this year’s POW! WOW! Antelope Valley, the murals around town are as captivating as the work inside the museum walls.

Click the link below for a printable map of all the POW! WOW! Antelope Valley mural locations and we’ll see you this weekend!

POW! WOW! MURAL MAP PRINTABLE

Yoskay Yamamoto (@yoskayyamamoto) at work on his mural for POW! WOW! Antelope Valley in Lancaster, CA. • Mural fest will run through August 14 and coincides with #TheNewVanguard exhibition curated by Thinkspace at the MOAH that opens to the public this Saturday, August 13 with a big block party from 4-8PM, that will also serve as the culmination of POW! WOW! and a great chance for all to check out the completed murals around town. • @thinkspace_art is proud to be a sponsor alongside @rvca @montanacans @montanacans_usa @flexfit @1xrun @monsterenergy @moahlancaster @powwowworldwide @spratx • #powwowav #powwowworldwide #thinkspacegallery #thinkspacefamily #moahlancaster #wip #mural #YoskayYamamoto // pic by @halopigg

A photo posted by Thinkspace (@thinkspace_art) on

Andrew Schoultz (@aschoultz) showing off in front of his complete mural for POW! WOW! Antelope Valley in Lancaster, CA. • Mural fest will run through August 14 and coincides with #TheNewVanguard exhibition curated by Thinkspace at the MOAH that opens to the public on Saturday, August 13 with a big block party from 4-8PM, that will also serve as the culmination of POW! WOW! and a great chance for all to check out the completed murals around town. • @thinkspace_art is proud to be a sponsor alongside @rvca @montanacans @montanacans_usa @flexfit @1xrun @monsterenergy @moahlancaster @powwowworldwide @spratx • #powwowav #powwowworldwide #thinkspacegallery #thinkspacefamily #moahlancaster #mural #andrewschoultz // photo by @halopigg

A photo posted by Thinkspace (@thinkspace_art) on

Interview with Kevin Peterson for ‘Sovereign’

Kevin Peterson Interview Banner

Kevin Peterson has had an exciting year. Between prepping for ‘Sovereign’ and his piece Coalition II being the album art for the Red Hot Chili Peppers new album “The Getaway”, to say he’s been busy is an understatement. Next weekend, his much-anticipated solo exhibition ‘Sovereign’ opens Saturday, August 20th from 6-9pm. In our interview with Kevin Peterson, we discuss the album cover, his creative process, and an art day in Houston.

SH: What is the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes or ideas were you exploring during its development?
KP: Time is always a theme in my work. How things change over time. I like thinking about our world in different stages. Seeing how the things we make crumble and decay. Seeing nature take over when it’s allowed to, but even nature is cyclical. A forest burns down, but it grows back stronger, it’s just a matter of time.

My settings always have an end of the world look to them. I don’t really believe in an apocalypse type situation, but it is a different world than what we are living in currently. A new phase I would say.  Things are crumbling, but it’s not a reason for fear. It’s a new beginning, a clean slate. It’s important to remember that change can lead to good. It can make you adjust your trajectory, reevaluate your priorities. I suppose the kids in my paintings are a reflection of a hope that I have that people will learn from past mistakes and face the future with a sense of calm reason. Part of that is re-prioritizing what we value. The work is a vision of a new generation of kids that will not rule the world like tyrants but will respect  nature and the world we have.

Kevin Peterson Polar Bear

SH: Walk us through a day in the studio and what your creative process looks like. How does an idea turn into one of your paintings?
KP: I spend a lot of time with my reference photos. Working out different combinations, putting my models in different environments. Trial and error. I do a lot of preliminary work in Photoshop. I try to make a little time for this most days, but staring at a computer screen is not my favorite. If I’m really into a painting, then I’m just going to be sitting at the easel all day. There’s nothing worse than finishing up one painting though and realizing that I’ve got nothing ready for the next one. I try to keep those new ideas lined up and forming so I’m never too far from getting paint on the panel.

SH: Your work has received a tidal wave of attention since becoming the album artists of Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway.  What was your reaction when you received the request to use your painting as the album art? What’s it been like for you since the album release?
KP: I was surprised and excited. My wife pointed out that it was April fool’s day when I got the call from their manager, but I never seriously thought it was a prank. Then I was just curious as to how they saw my work. Later I learned they saw it online somewhere. The internet is a beautiful thing, opens up such a huge audience. People will see your work that you could have never reached before. I know I discover great work nearly every day.

Kevin Peterson Black Bear

SH: Also, what was the first Red Hot Chili Peppers song you remember hearing or do you have a good memory attached to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song?
KP: The first song was Give it Away I think which was the first single after they were signed to Warner Bros. I was 12 when it came out. I remember the video more than anything, pretty much thought these dudes were the coolest, weirdest guys ever.

SH: You’ve shared that painting help keeps you sober, has your sobriety shaped your artistic voice in anyway?
KP: Yeah, no doubt. I mean I always loved drawing and painting growing up, but my true voice as an artist didn’t really start to develop until after I got sober. When you go through a treatment program, there is a ton of reflection on your past and growing up and all those things that shape you as an adult.  All that reflection is a big reason why so much of my work includes kids and addresses growing up.

SH: How do you select an animal for a piece? Do the animals represent a characteristic of the child or are they more guardians?
KP: Well, I have my favorites like Bears and Foxes, so they’re always making appearances. I really love all animals. When it comes to the work, I get a bit partial to those guys because they can be found here in North America. I’m not strict about that though. I mean, these paintings are not actual situations so there’s no reason to be tethered to reality in any way.

Sometimes they are the kids’ guardians, sometimes they are representations of the child’s inner strength, sometimes they are just companions.  Sometimes they are all of those things. I feel like a have a different narrative in my head for each piece.

Kevin Peterson Details

SH: How do you work through self-doubt or a difficult day in the studio?
KP: Get away for a while; spend time with my kid, live life. I let things percolate more than I did at one time. I never regret doing that. It helps with approaching things from a different perspective. Sometimes I get attached to an idea and struggle and struggle trying to make it work, but it’s just not quite right. I set it aside for a while, and when I come back in a different state of mind I can usually sort it out. Sometimes that means scrapping the idea all together, which is a totally ok solution to some problems.

SH: You recently joined the Parental Club, how has being a father affected your artistic process?
KP: Well it’s changed my schedule. I work 8-5 now and then again after the little guy goes to sleep when necessary. It is harder to find time to work sometimes, but like I said earlier, it is also nice to have something else to focus on, to take an art break. I need to get out of my own head sometimes, and there’s nothing like a new little life form that you are responsible for to do that

Kevin Peterson Fox

SH: If you were to give us an art tour of Houston, where would we go? Don’t forget to feed us!
KP: You would want to check out the Menil Collection, the Rothko Chapel and Cy Twombly Gallery.  Maybe the Art Car Museum and the Beer Can House too. For food, Tex-Mex is always my first choice, El Tiempo or Chuys.

SH: When looking at other artists work, what elements excite you?
KP: I always have a penchant for figurative work. I like seeing how others apply paint. My work tends to be pretty tight so I love seeing art that is similar in content, but very different in style than my own.

Kevin Peterson Details 2

SH: Where were you ten years ago in your art career, and where do you want to be in the next ten years?
KP: 10 years ago is just about when I started getting serious about my art career. I was just showing locally and really focusing on improving my technical skills. That’s just about the time of the first graffiti/ kid combo.  In ten years I hope I’m still doing what I’m doing right now. Painting whatever I want, doing shows. That’s all I ever really hoped for. I’m excited to see where the work goes, hopefully, it keeps evolving in interesting ways.

SH: Best advice given to you about life? Best advice you’d give to a new artists who looks up to you?
KP: Be so good they can’t ignore you. No one actually told me that, it’s a Steve Martin quote, but I always liked it especially when it comes to the art world. I would tell a young artist to put your studio time in. Marketing yourself, PR, all that stuff is important, but in my opinion, making the best work you possibly can and always developing your skills should be the priority.  Challenge yourself to make work that really stands out.

For more information on the exhibition and Kevin Peterson please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

New Prints from Cinta Vidal – Now Available Online

Cinta Vidal Prints

We released two prints with Cinta Vidal, one on wood and the other a giclee print, in conjunction with her opening ‘Gravities’. For those who were unable to attend the opening night, can now purchase one of the new prints online at Thinkspace Gallery’s shop. Prints will not be shipped until at August 15th, but there is still time to see the original works in person. Make sure to stop by the gallery this week before the show closes on August 13th. Thinkspace Gallery’s hours are noon to 6pm now through Saturday.

Cinta Vidal Prints

Cinta Vidal Prints

Cinta Vidal

Brutal Architecture
Edition of 50
17×18.5 inches (43x47cm)
Giclee print on 300gsm paper
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
$75 each plus s&h

Printed by Static Medium

Cinta Vidal Prints

Cinta Vidal

Together Alone
Fine art wood print on 1/2″ birch with bright white finish
Edition of 50
12×12 inches (30x30cm)
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
$120 each plus s&h

Printed by Prints On Wood

Meggs’s Mural Progress at MOAH for ‘The New Vanguard’

Meggs Mural The New Vangaurd

The artists have been hard at work creating their mural installations at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History for “The New Vanguard” presented by Thinkspace Gallery. Artist Meggs, who created a solo presentation for 2015’s Beyond Eden, sent us a few shots of his mural in progress.

The New Vanguard” opens Saturday, August 13th with a special VIP night Friday, August 12th.  Visit the Lancaster MOAH website for all the details.

Meggs Mural New Vanguard