By N Valentine Studio
Featured artist - Karla Aron from enRouge, Fort Collins
The first thing that attracted me to Karla's work was the birds, the sweet little bird pairs. They seem so magical to me. The Mama & Me ones are my absolute favorites.
Then I fell in love with this print! Love Makes Everything Better is so simple and sweet.
I found myself repeating that phrase over and over while I wandered through my day. Have a look at her Etsy after you have read this non-SATeam interview, you won't be disappointed.
How long have you been working in your medium?
I started drawing and painting about 5 years ago. My dad was a graphics artist, but it never occurred to me to consider making art until relatively recently. I spent all my college and grad school years in music ... studying to be a concert pianist. The thought of trying to become an artist was such a lofty idea to me. I am still a little uncomfortable referring to myself as an artist, but I surely do love making art. It's like another voice for me altogether that I can go to to either try to say something, or to try to hear something speaking back to me.
What drew you to this medium?
I like the illusion of two-dimensional drawing and painting. I like how paintings let me in to look around and get lost ... to create my own world there. I may not even be seeing what the artist intended, or why he or she painted it, but it doesn't matter if I can find my own narrative there.
I suppose initially (and it's still true for me) I was drawn to painting and drawing for self-expression. All I've ever wanted to do is try to express what it is that I'm feeling or perceiving ... I have a need to try to connect with people that way. Sometimes it works best to try to realize it in a painting, and sometimes it feels better to me to write a song.
What is your favorite thing about your art?
The feeling of permanence ... I'm coming from a perspective of being a performing musician, where you practice for hours on end, give a recital, and then it's all over and done. All you have left is a memory and a feeling, which over time wanes in your mind. So, I just love that I can make a painting and have it near me to see again and again. I like that I have something tangible. I can move it around the house, put it in a show, or take it on a roadtrip if I want. I also like that I can see where my head was at the time I was painting it.
What's your favorite piece?
Hanging in our living room above the fireplace is probably my favorite painting - it's a cellist painting from a series of six cellists that I painted about two years ago. I sold all but one, "Forte".
What's the hardest piece you've ever made?
I have a big 5 foot painting of a jazz bass player and combo that took a lot of re-working. I stretched my own canvas which was really hard and time-consuming, then I set out to paint that huge thing with no real plan of where I was headed.
What's the one favorite tool you cannot live without?
My Bob Ross palette knife. I make every painting with it.
What's your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?
Well ... I'm afraid I've got studio issues these days. My husband and I recently relocated, and this new house has plenty of room and fairly good light in the downstairs area, but I just don't feel inclined to paint there partly because it's cold. So, I've been working upstairs in the kitchen. I like it up here because we have big vaulted ceilings, windows and lots of light. And it's warm!
What is your other craft?
Music is my only other real craft ... I'm working on my jazz playing right now with dreams of playing in a nice jazz lounge.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm inspired by Rebecca Rebouche ... by her work and the way she seems to be, which I base on her blog. She's got Deep South New Orleans roots, which is different from my Arkansas, Ozark Mountain, kind of upbringing, yet there's something that resonates with me so strongly. Looking at her work reminds me of my grandma's quilts, and what it's like to eat cornbread dunked in milk on a hot muggy evening in Arkansas. I have a good deal of Southern homesickness now and then and keep trying to find a way to express that in a painting. Rebecca does it beautifully.
What's your favorite inspirational saying?
"I am a thriving artist." Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday has started perpetuating this philosophy on her blog and in some of her artwork on Etsy. I find myself saying it under my breath as a mantra.
What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?
Right now what I really want to do is make a music video using one of my songs. I think that putting film together with music can be so powerful, and I've wanted to try it for a long time. I'm in awe of anyone who can put those elements together. So, I'm just going to go for it and see what happens!
Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com and here on ArtFire.