A few weeks ago I suggested one of my favourite Etsy Shops to Mod3rn Art's Featured Artist Contest. She chose my suggestion and I was fortunate enough to receive one of her recent featured artist's prints. The wonderful thing about winning this contest is that not only was I able to share one of my favorite Etsy artists but I gained one in return. Last week I posted about winning Shay Dodson's print and it looks so lush and juicy in person that I can only imagine how delectable the original painting is.
Whether it's a subtle play of monotone colours or a dizzying dance of pigments; the paintings in Shay's Etsy shop are sublime. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art with a concentration in painting and her mastery of the paintbrush is a testament to her education. in her Artist Statement, Shay refers to a life-long love affair of color and she uses it intuitively allowing the viewer a little insight into her subjects thoughts and emotions. Shay goes on to say "color always has an emotion to express." and she expresses these emotions so beautifully and energetically through the medium of paint that I can almost see her paint each stroke as I look at her work.
I really enjoyed Shay's replies to my questions, she has a wonderful way of explaining herself that is almost as painterly as her art. You can see more of Shay's work online at the Saatchi Gallery. As with all of my five question features please click on any of the images to learn more.
Can you describe the palette you use to create with, what colours do you always reach for?
First and foremost: pink. It has cultural and socio-political connotations and I believe it to be the perfect neutral. I appreciate the fact that in the West it is a color primarily associated with little girls, romantic and relaxing, where as in other cultures, it has a strong masculine presence. Pink is controversial, gender-bending, and looks like luscious candy on canvas.
Second: white. I rarely use many darks or true neutrals. Third: light blue-green and a bit of pure cadmium red, my favorite colors to decorate with. These colors have a strong presence in my home and usually show up in anything I paint.
What has surprised you most about selling your creations online?
The thing that has surprised me most is how much publicity I’ve been offered through artists’ blogs like this one! It’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve met many amazing artists and crafters through Etsy. Everyone has been so supportive!
Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, what's on your play list right now and why?
I definitely prefer to have music playing when I am painting or drawing. There are a few mixes I’ve made especially for this purpose, including songs by Tori Amos, Portishead, Muse, Sneaker Pimps, Jem, Uh Huh Her, Garbage, lamb, The Cardigans, and Iron & Wine. I like a mix of energetic, electronic, and really mellow music when I’m painting, because that’s how I work. ‘Sudden chaos, then quiet passivity’.
What life or art lesson have you learned that has shaped your work?
Like my paintings, I always consider myself a work in progress; never finished. An influential professor and mentor of mine, Nancy Morrow, has always encouraged my intuitive use of color and has told me to let my work be what it is, as I used to struggle to make my work look like someone else’s or be something that it is not. I’ve only had success with the paintings and drawings which were driven by intuition, where I wasn’t consciously aware of each decision I was making, or worrying anxiously that I wasn’t obeying conventional rules of painting. Nancy encouraged me to be completely myself, and that is something I strive for personally and artistically, each day.
If you were an animal what animal would you be?
I think I would like to be a sparrow. I’ve always loved the idea of having wings to fly. Birds are not my favorite animals, but I enjoy the symbolism behind the tattooed image of sparrows and swallows. In addition to travelling the world then returning home, they are symbols of loyalty and fidelity; these birds mate for life and carry messages of hope.
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