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Amy Sol Interview – Sour Harvest

Interview with Amy Sol for NEXUS III at The Brand Library & Art Center

Technically self-taught, Amy Sol has spent many years perfecting her own mixed pigments and materials. Known for a distinctive palette with a subtle ghostly cast, her compositions possess poetically measured images that invoke melancholic pause in spite of their idyllic beauty and calm, feeling at times like the magic of fairytale tempered by the ambivalence of the adult.

What was the inspiration behind the body of work that will be showing at the Brand Library & Art Center?

I painted these works over the summertime of 2020 during the pandemic. I approached these pieces as a form of meditation & introspective peace I was searching for at  the time. The portraits for instance, are focused on medicinal plants I had as reference in my studio with a very limited colored palette. This allowed my mind to wander and relax a bit while I got lost in the small details. I had to look inwards to find calm during times when I could not find it in the outside world. It was my goal to communicate this with each of the paintings. 

Do you have any pre-studio rituals that help you get into a creative flow?

I always drink tea and try to go on a walk before I work. I’m lucky to live in a pretty beautiful area where there are abundant trees and plantlife to look at. 

It’s was a challenge to stay free of distractions during some of the stranger times this year. I found that if I went straight to work and stayed away from my phone a bit, it helped me maintain a flow state necessary to paint. 

When you were working on this body of work, what were you listening to in the background? 

I listened to a lot of new music I found online, I really enjoyed instrumental lo fi and wavy music playlists just to have going in the background. I spent more time with my windows open just hearing bird sounds as well. I have a broad taste in music, it just depends on the mood and vibe of the moment!! 

When I start sketching, I definitely go for music to help with the creative flow. As things start to get technical and tedious I’ll put on an audio book or podcast to keep myself entertained. 

Is there an artist or piece of work that has made a significant impact on you? 

Many many, but off the top of my head I saw some Eyvind Earle originals at an art fair while I was a teenager. These works definitely sparked something in me and kind of woke me up to the possibilities. 

Has that work influenced your own artistic voice/style? 

Sure, I do think his work inspired me to explore and experiment to find a way to uniquely communicate my love of nature. I also loved animation and his art was a sort of bridge from illustration to painting mixed with a strong visual language he made his own, I found all of that intriguing and inspiring. 

What piece challenged you most in this body of work, and why?

I think the painting Biome was a challenge to paint because I was trying to express a very strong feeling I was dealing with. It was challenging to synthesize this feeling into one simple and emotionally nuanced portrait but that was my goal.  

This piece started when I was experiencing some old emotions stirring up from my past trauma dealing with severe pneumonia. That trauma sort of re awakened because of this pandemic. This feeling blended into a concept, the reality of interconnectedness of humans and nature and the need to recognize vulnerability as awareness not weakness. 

I started off sketching mycelium-like forms to represent the lungs of the subject. The salamander is a symbol of vulnerability & vitality. I choose an Amphibian because they are sensitive creatures being both land and water borne. Because of this, they are considered accurate indicators of the health of the environment they dwell in.

Her floating head in the darkness sort of reflects this idea that because our minds & egos are all encompassing to our own human experiences, we sometimes forget how interconnected we are to other living things. 

This piece really helped me put some closure on my past experiences & navigate some unresolved emotions. 

What do you think will be said about the New Contemporary Art Movement in 100 years?

I hope it will be looked back upon as a time of positive & progressive transformation in the psyche of humans and our push towards a better future. Many artists make art to send messages about what we care about & we communicate what matters most to humanity across a broad spectrum.

 

Visit https://players.cupix.com/p/r6FRkjOZ for a self-guided virtual tour of Nexus III featuring a solo exhibition from Amy Sol at the Brand Library & Art Center .

Interview with Amy Sol for “Bird of Flux”

Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present Amy Sol’s solo exhibition, Bird of Flux. The exhibition features new delicately rendered paintings and the artist’s venture into sculpture, which both captures the suspended breath of introspective meditation. In anticipation of the exhibition opening, Saturday, March 3rd, our interview with Amy Sol discusses her new medium, ways of tackling self-doubt, and an inspired cocktail.

SH: In your last exhibition with us, “Garden Gamine” you had experimented with oil paints in order to continue to challenge and push yourself artistically, in this exhibition you’re introducing sculptural work for the first time – what was your journey into sculpture? How long have you known this is a direction you wanted to explore, and what was the learning curve like?
AS: I began casually playing with clay a couple years ago and immediately fell in love it! There is something magical about working in physical space, and co-inhabiting with the thing you are creating. I’m also a very hands on person, I like to craft and tinker and trouble shoot, so this was the perfect project for me. Oil-based clays are my favorite clays to work with right now. I can quickly shape ideas into blocks and later on it is forgiving enough to let me manipulate it without totally erasing the essence of the original sketch. Since oil clays are not permanent, I had to learn how to make molds and cast them. I choose resin as the first material for casting simply because I didn’t have access to a kiln. I then discovered that it is limitlessly versatile and super interesting to work with. It has been a crazy steep learning curve… but I decided to attempt this medium and accept the crunching of hundred of hours and inevitable mistakes as part of the process.

SH: What was one of the most challenging pieces in this show, and why?
AS: The most challenging piece I made for this show was “Ine” the life sized-ish bust. It was the first thing I’ve ever made in this scale. Before this, I’d only made relatively small toy-sized things. I had to overcome some obstacles in relation to physics which I didn’t anticipate due to the scale and the weight of the material itself. I began working on the piece in August last year and after three months of trying and failing, I had to revise my method altogether. I learned so much of what I know now from making this, and difficult as it was at times, it was the most fun and rewarding as well.

SH: What is your favorite aspect about what you do / being an artist and least favorite aspect?
AS: Favorite aspect of being artist is that I get to express myself in the way that comes most naturally to me and which I find the most exciting – through visual mediums. Least favorite is that requires a massive amount of self-discipline and physical demands – extreme single minded focus, being still all day, and repetitive motions.

SH: Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry-spell or burdened by self-doubt? What do you do to pull yourself out of it?
AS: Yes, I do occasionally get hit with the artist block or self-doubt.. It is still something I am trying to figure out but have gotten much better with over time. When I feel a dry spell come about I sometimes find that a simple change of scenery and stepping away can help reset my mind and allow inspiration to come from the external world. Also, talking with others artists and learning from those with have great work ethic helps keep things in perspective.

SH: If “Birds of Flux” inspired a cocktail, what would be the recipe and how would it taste?

AS: wow, haha! love this question!
okay here is my recipe :

gin / or any clear liquor
10 butterfly pea flowers brewed to make 30 ml of tea / cool
Lemon Verbana and sugar
citrus juice
splash of elderberry liquor

muddle the lemon verbana ( bird feathers ) & sugar
shake the gin with ice and pour gin
add butterfly pea tea – butterfly flower from Southeast Asia which produces the bluest edible blue found in nature.
let your mind wander into the blue abyss …
add elderberry and citrus juice last and watch the blue fade into a rich purple!


Opening reception of “Bird of Flux,” Saturday, March 3rd from 6 – 9pm

Thinkspace Projects
6009 Washington Blvd.
Culvery City, CA