Thursday, August 25, 2016

Spotlight on Studio Workshops: Q&A with Instructor Kristen Ashley

This September, Athens-based artist and educator Kristen Ashley will be leading "Studio Workshop: Abstraction," a four week course that explores abstraction and non-representational art through various techniques and materials. We got to learn more about Kristen and her work with a brief Q&A.

Kristen Ashley
1. What are some of your favorite works at the Georgia Museum of Art?

Some of my favorites are Josef Albers' "Goldengate", Elaine DeKooning's "Bacchus #81", and Edgar Degas' self portrait.

2. How does a visit to the museum inspire you as an artist?

An art museum is a holy place for me. Just being around the centuries' worth of artwork inspires me, and in spirit, I feel closer to the artists themselves. Getting to see the works up close, trying to figure out how the artists worked and what influenced them, gives me new ideas for my own work and a sublime feeling of my place in art making's long history.

3. Is there something you are currently working on or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?

Right now [K. A. Artist Shop] is my work of art! We are a young art space, and I take great pride in how the environment is set up and organized, as well as in the overall visual experience I'm creating for my shoppers, students, and gallery visitors. I'm also working on a series of oil paintings, where I take imagery from textiles and weavings and translate them into two-dimensional works on wood.

4. What do you read, listen to, or look at to fuel your work?

I love podcasts and books on tape. My favorite authors du jour are Oscar Wilde and G. K. Chesterton. I listen religiously to "Science Friday," "99% Invisible," "Radiolab" and "My History Can Beat Up Your Politics." I even sleep with headphones on ... I'm not happy unless I'm learning.

5. What advice or words of wisdom have influenced you as an artist?

"Art is never finished, only abandoned" (various attributions, usually DaVinci) has stuck with me since I first heard it. The trick for me is finding the exact right moment to abandon a painting ... I usually go too far and start looking for an eraser!

"Studio Workshop: Abstraction" runs Thursdays, September 1 through 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This workshop is open to artists of all levels and experience, from enthusiastic beginners to more seasoned practitioners. The sessions will draw inspiration from the museum’s collection, including works from the archives and many not currently on display. The cost of the course is a $15 materials fee, which will cover all necessary supplies for the four sessions. Call 706.542.8863 or email to register. Limited to 15 participants.

No comments: