Interview with Amy Sol for upcoming exhibition “Garden Gamine”

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Thinkspace Gallery is proud to present Amy Sol’s latest body of work with her solo exhibition “Garden Gamine.” In anticipation of the show we have an exclusive interview with Amy Sol sharing with us her inspiration, love of nature, and creative process.

Do your characters possess a complete narrative or are they suspended in the moment we see?
There is rarely a narrative in place when I start a new painting. It’s more fun to build a story or setting around the first spark of idea. But I’d say it’s closer to being a suspended moment. Often, I like to capture something mid-moment, where you can imagine a before and after. I really try more to hone in on a feeling, but loosely enough to be interpreted.

Walk us through what a day in the studio looks like?
When I’m prepping a body of work I tend to, for better or worse, compartmentalize my life to an extreme. I have to do this in order to have the energy and time to create. My life bar is not very strong, so I have to use it wisely. That involves having to isolate myself a bit… so less internet, e-mails and interaction in general. If I’m lucky, it is just me in a room, with plants, my dog, coffee, lots of decent listening material, and a block of time to paint and do nothing else.

Amy Sol Garden Gamine

What was playing in the background while you were working on this exhibition?
Everything. I consume tons of music, audiobooks etc. I’ve been more into podcasts lately. Especially if it’s focused on science, nature, or personal story telling. I just found an art podcast called Artist Decoded— the episode with Phil Hale is so good, I listened to it twice. I’ve had to paint thru headaches at times and oddly found asmr tapping videos to help. They got kind of addicting, so now if I’m feeling wound up I’ll actually listen to that stuff with headphones for hours sometimes.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about being an artist?
mmm, I guess that it’s easy and all fun and no sacrifices need to be made if you choose to do it for a living. but no one actually thinks that… right? ;-P

It takes time to for an artist to develop their voice and style, then once they have defined who they are as an artist they must continue to push and grow without losing their voice. Having been in the post-contemporary world for nearly 10 years now, how do you push yourself to grow and experiment while still maintaining your unique style?
Experimenting with mediums is the phase I am in right now, I just started using oil a year ago. It is a huge challenge for me, and I feel it’s good because there are so many possibilities to be explored. My biggest rule is to trust my instinct, if I get a new idea, I try it out. I can’t put much energy into thinking where it will all lead to and how it might change me. I just try it, and if it doesn’t work I can paint over it. If I am excited to paint and getting something out of it, I feel I’m on the right path. Being in that mindset isn’t always as easy as it sounds but it’s what I aim for.

Amy Sol Garden Gamine 2

What’s your spirit animal?
A miniature panda! It reminds me to eat veggies and not take myself too seriously.

You use a lot of organic elements and imagery in your work, do you have a favorite garden or park you like to retreat to?
If I am ever visiting a city, I always check out the gardens or nature spaces. I love looking at plants. Even if there is one tree outside my window, it’s good enough. Looking at plants is really important to my well-being. I don’t know the mechanism behind this, but it works. A simple shape of a leaf or lines of a branch can communicate so much within a painting, it’s a big part of my visual language.

Amy Sol Garden Gamine 3

You’ve stated the Ghibli studio is a major inspiration, have you seen the documentary “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”?
Yes, I really love that documentary! It’s beautiful. Animation was a huge early influence towards the look and feel of my work now. Classic disney films played a big role in that too. As a kid I would pause the VHS tapes of Sleeping Beauty and Bambi and try to draw the forest backgrounds.

If you could live in a Miyazaki film for a day, which one would it be?
That’s a tuff one to choose, but I’d have to say Castle in the Sky and it would have to be on Laputa of course.

Amy Sol 4

The opening reception for Amy Sol’s “Garden Garmine” is this Saturday, April 2nd. For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Thinkspace Presents New Works by Amy Sol for “Garden Gamine”

Amy Sol Postcard

Thinkspace is pleased to present Garden Gamine, featuring new works by Amy Sol. Born in Korea, where she spent much of her childhood, Sol now lives and works in Las Vegas, NV. A self-taught artist, she has developed and refined an intuitive technique over many years, mixing her own unique pigments and mediums to create signature palettes, and working primarily in thinly layered acrylic on wood panel. Her illustrative paintings and works on paper are dreamy and beautifully stylized. An artist whoembraces the Golden Age of illustration’s simple expression of narrative, Sol’s concise work perfects visual storytelling with fantastic imagery.

Sol is known for her paintings of graceful nymph-like girls and their sympathetic animal companions. Fundamentally a storyteller, her images capture surreal encounters, moments, and characters. Her figures seem suspended in dreamlike states, arrested in thoughtful and meditative trances. The ambiguous postponement of time and action in the works contributes to their otherworldliness; they are somehow nostalgic and frozen, like glimpses into a fabled past or a mythic, narrative dimension. Owing to this feeling of whimsical detachment and playful idealization, her imagery conveys an almost childlike sensibility. Though Sol explores imaginative themes that fascinated her in her childhood, she incorporates a subtle element of melancholy, a quiet shadow of adult sadness and reserve to deepen and offset the overall tone of the works.

amy sol new work

Inspired by a variety of graphic and artistic traditions, Amy Sol combines several aesthetic influences in her imagery. Among them, she cites Japanese Manga, Korean folk-art, Celadon ceramics, Japanese Studio Ghibli animation, Disney, and vintage 19th century and early 20th century illustration. Among the Golden Age era of illustrators she admires are Arthur Rackham, known for his phenomenally detailed line work and silhouette cuts, and Kay Nielsen, an early 20th century Danish, Art Nouveau illustrator who eventually created for early Disney. Her understated palettes, use of natural imagery, and preference for graphic and linear detail attest to her love of early vintage illustration, while her cartoon-like animal companions and their surreal, childlike encounters, reveal an affinity for stylized comics. The combination is undeniably spellbinding.

The dreamscapes in which Sol’s characters find themselves tend to be sparse, abstract, and atmospheric, contributing to an overall sense of surreal dislocation. Preferring to paint on wood panel for its smoothness and organic texture, Sol balances the linear and graphic quality of her aesthetic with a feeling of softness, flow, and warmth. Her custom palettes are entirely her own, and in this new body of work she continues to explore the possibilities of monochromatic ranges, moving away from golden muted sepias to the incorporation of warmer, and more saturated, pink and purple hues.

Join us for the opening reception of Amy Sol’s “Garden Gamine” Saturday, April 2nd from 6 to 9 pm.  The show will be on view through April 23.

Next up in our Project Room – “Nemeta” featuring new works by Rodrigo Luff

Rod Luff_ Nemeta

Thinkspace is pleased to present Nemeta, featuring new works by Rodrigo Luff in the project room. Originally born in San Salvador, El Salvador and now based in Sydney, Australia, Luff creates ethereal figurative works of women and nudes in beautiful dreamlike settings. Inspired by Art Nouveau and turn of the century illustration, his works are ornate and lush, replete with elaborate references to the natural world.

Working in color pencil, pastel, graphite, oil, and acrylic, Luff has honed his illustrative skills alongside his facility with painting media. His works are both linear and painterly, realistic and expressionistic. He explores a feeling of the otherworldly by capturing his subjects in trance-like dream states, suspended mysteriously in fairytale atmospheres. His nudes are often surrounded by kindly owls or other iridescent woodland creatures, and staged in forests or haunted woods.

Luff’s palette is vibrant and his sense of light luminous. At times, his greens and yellows border on neon to exaggerate and deepen visual intensities. The contrasts in Luff’s work are dramatic and theatrical, and recall some aesthetic conventions of the Romantic period. Using chiaroscuro effects, and traditional figurative techniques, Luff creates a world that is simultaneously technical and surreal.

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, February 27, 2016
6:00 – 9:00pm

Etam Cru featured in January Issue of Juxtapoz

Etam Cru Juxtapoz

We’re excited about Etam Cru’s first state-side exhibition, Galimatias, opening at Thinkspace Gallery this Saturday, December 12. Along with the exhibition of new work, the artists are releasing a series of prints that are a mixture of screen prints and giclees. Read up on this talented Polish duo in the January issue of Juxtapoz now available where sold.  Can’t wait? There is an excerpt of the interview up on now!

When you work by yourself, you are the boss of the work. You don’t have to answer to anybody; you choose the theme, colors and composition. I think that working together levels you up; you have to be better and better because your friend is getting better. – Bezt

Interview with Carl Cashman for ‘An Edited Version of Life’

Carl Cashman I

We (SH) interviewed UK artist Carl Cahsman (CC) for his upcoming project room exhibition “An Edited Version of Life” at Thinkspace Gallery. Unfortunately, Cahsman will not be in attendance at the opening this Saturday, August 15. Yet, make yourself a cup of tea and plate a few biscuts while you read over our quick chat with the artists on the rise.

SH: What is the inspiration behind “An Edited Version of Life”
CC: I see my work as a biography, documenting moments in my life. My previous show ‘good things comes to those that paint’ marked the point of falling in love with ‘the one’ sadly that lasted about as long as the show.. which is reflected in some of the titles in this body of work.

SH: Do you ever ‘unplug’ (outside of going to bed) and step away from the internet and cell phone etc.
CC: I’m pretty bad at that, I was pretty lost for a while in terms of where my life was going.. I feel like I have to make up for lost time so stepping away from painting is something I struggle with. I’m off to Australia in September for 6 weeks to see my oldest and best mate, that will probably be my first real break in 5 years.

Carl Cashman II

SH: There seems to be a fine line between a graphic designer and an artist, do you think there is a difference between the two?
CC: I’m not sure there really is much difference, especially now days which you see people making a great career from prints with things like movie related artwork.

SH: What is your creative process? What do you do when you feel stuck or uninspired?
CC: I only work from a sketch book, im not really into designing on a computer.. my thoughts are that if I cant realise a concept with just my brain and a pencil then its not for me. Im probably holding myself back to a certain extent, but in doing so I’mm improving my draughtsmanship which is obviously a skill in its ownright. If I get a block, I tend to consume gin with one of my mates that live close by… 1 or 9 gins later the ideas usually start to flow

Carl Cashman III

SH: If money were no object, what would be your dream project?
CC: I really want to get into installations, the closest I get to that atm is helping out at festivals such as Glastonbury. Luckily someone else has a budget for that, I just have to help spend it

SH: When did you decided you were going to make “artist” your full-time occupation?
CC: Id never considered that being an Artist full time was an option, but after helping out at the first moniker event in 2010 I decided to give it a go. Ive never really had the normal 9-5 mindset so im quite lucky it kinda fell in my lap. Sven Davis gave me my first break in terms of a career in Art potentially being an option.

SH: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? What advice would you give an artist who looks up you?
CC: Ive never received advice as such, but coming at this as a collector.. having my Art heroes such as josh keyes and mark dean veca being genuinely interested in what I do was mind blowing. My first ‘proper’ show was over in Portland Oregon, where I met them both. I was running around collecting autographs, while my work was hanging next to some of the biggest names in the scene.. the whole experience was pretty surreal. The only advice I can offer is to keep making Art and oushing yourself, with social media opening up the world.. you never know who s watching or where that break will come from.

Carl Cashman VI

SH: What were you listening to while creating this latest body of work?
CC: I listen to a lot of boiler room sets and the joe rogan podcasts, they are both quite long which helps me switch off.. a normal bands album tends to be around a hour which makes me more conscious of how long ive been working.

SH: Do you have a favorite brush or brand of paint you use?
CC: I mainly use fluro based system 3 acrylics, I keep trying to convert to liquitex but keep switching back to the more basic paint

Carl Cashman V

Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more details on Carl Cashman’s “An Edited Version of Life”