1. What part of the process of creating art do you like best?
Thinking, researching and forming ideas for paintings. A visual diary is very useful and visiting a few galleries almost always helps. Then planning what to paint e.g., interpreting the ideas into an image. Finally applying the paint onto the canvas.
2. What is your working environment like?
I am lucky enough to have a studio in an Artist Complex in Collingwood with other friends, who are artists, close by. Having a space dedicated to my art that I do not have to pack up each day and room to display my works in progress is wonderful. The interaction with other artists is a great support and keeps the creative juices flowing.
3. What kind of (formal & informal) art training have you had?
After attending many art classes over the years I enrolled as a mature age student to study for a Diploma of Visual Art. I graduated 5 years ago with a major in painting and a minor in sculpture.
4. How has your art training affected the kind of art you produce?
Formal art training gives you the confidence and freedom to experiment with your art practice. It forces you to exhibit and take chances. It develops the ideas process and gives you the technical ability to follow through. Being introduced to modern art, studying art movements and specific artists opens your mind to other ways of thinking and seeing. The result of all this is my interest in abstraction and interpreting and not copying an image.
5. Name some important influences and inspirations in your art career.
My greatest influences have been students and teachers over the years. Discovering the German Expressionists and the American abstract expressionists and understanding their place in time. I particulary like the American artists: Hopper, Diebencorn, Theiboud and Rauschenberg.
6. What has been the most difficult thing you have encountered in your work?
Trying to find my own style and looking for new direction in my painting. I sometimes also find myself getting too tight. It is easy to slip into copying something instead of making the image your own.
7. Have there been major turning points in your art career?
Realising that painting is now intuitive and not having to labour over technique. Having the skills to work through a problem. Knowing, more often, when to abandon, fix or finish a painting.
8. What has been the highlight of your art career?
Seeing or knowing that someone loves and is moved by your work. Even better when they purchase it. Creating something that you love and can't part with is also special.
Renos, Acrylic on canvas, by Kathy Siganakis