Dean Adams Breeders’ Cup Paintings

The Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast spent some time at the Monmouth Park racetrack in NJ to support the Breeders’ Cup coming to the park on October 26th 2007.  The results of there efforts were some awesome paintings of the park.

Dean Adams an Art eXposed artist and member of the Plein Air Painters group, was selected to have his Thoroughbred paintings displayed at Frederick Gallery in Allenhurst, NJ.  Below are pictures from the October 12th reception at the Gallery.

Monmouth Park Kick It Up

Dean Adams and Kick it up

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Interview with Jennifer Bothast (Part II)

Part II of the Jennifer Bothast interview details Jennifer’s vision and process as an artist, and provides other artists with insight to jumpstart their own careers.

PART II

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hmm … that’s a loaded question to pose to someone like me that rambles so easily. I have always been one that boxed myself into a corner based on being a people pleaser. I hate conflict. I want everyone to be happy. As I’ve gotten older, I am learning to look more inward to figure out what makes me happy. Over the past three years I started a lot of self-reflection, which led to an outpouring of expression, which led to more discovery and so forth. It’s all sort of snowballed for me and led to completely changing gears in respecting who I am and what I want and need. I am learning to look out more for myself and worry less how others perceive it. I’ve come a long way from the painfully shy perfectionist I used to be.

Unfortunately, that also meant a shift away from the only family and way of life I’d ever known. My children and I are starting over. A newer me, a fresh start. Of course, like my painting, I am a work in progress.

What are your near and long term goals as an artist?
Of course, at some point, I would love to be recognized as a creative success by my peers and be able to earn even a modest living simply doing what I love to do. But, for now I am content to pay my dues, walk through it, apply to various galleries and exhibitions, and keep painting for my own enjoyment.

Describe your creative process.
I get a lot of my ideas when I am doing something else rote and relatively mundane like driving the car or taking a shower and getting ready for work. For whatever reason, an idea will pop into my head, and I’ll begin working out a sketch as the imagery of that idea takes shape. I’ll get it down in pencil, pen, and colored pencil on paper and then work toward giving birth to it on canvas on a larger scale. Once the basic image is penciled in on the canvas, the colors start to block in like a dance and the journey has officially begun.

What inspires you to paint and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio?

I haven’t actually ever felt things get “tough” in the studio yet. Once I am really involved in a painting, it is the most amazing thing. My kids think I’m insane, but it’s like a party I have all by myself. I lock myself in, I’ve got my iPod turned all the way up and I am singing along and dancing and moving around the canvas. It’s a complete emotional release and yet I get so wired at the same time. There have been times I am so keyed my hand trembles too much to continue and I have to literally force myself to back away from it until I can settle down a bit. It’s a very passionate experience and so addicting that it’s usually only a few days now between when I finish one piece and then start “jonesing” to begin a new one. The hardest part is balancing how much I want to paint full time with the very real obligations of my family and my career in healthcare.

Unfortunately, the bills don’t get paid and the kids don’t eat dinner and do their homework fueled by my desire to create. I can dream and play in my own world, but I have to be practical and reasonable in the real world I exist in.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of being an artist?
For me, I think it’s the vulnerability I still feel when someone sees my work. It’s not easy to be that naked in front of strangers and share something that is so intensely personal. I think that’s why I’ve been so hesitant in showing my work until now. Now, it feels like I have given birth to these paintings in a way that is nearly as physical and emotional as with my own children. I have to let them stand up on their own and just see what happens.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Well, that’s weird for me to answer since I am really just starting out myself, but I guess if I have any advice at all I would say to not take it so seriously that you feel imprisoned by what you think it’s supposed to be. I think its better to back off and let your work take on a life of its own, being true to your soul.

Part 1 of Jennifer’s Interview

Interview with Jennifer Bothast (Part 1)

When did you first decide to become an artist and why?
I’ve wanted to be an artist since I can remember. I think I have always had this innate need to create, evident even from when I was a small child. I think being an artist is something you are born as, not something you strive to be. It has to do with an awareness more than a career choice.

Who and what are your influences ( ie other artists, friends, family, a tragedy) ?
One of my favorite paintings is Duchamps’ Nude Descending a Staircase. I am fascinated with trying to not just capture the light as in impressionism, or emotion as in abstract expressionism, but the fluidity of movement and the quality of the line as it defines a space. I am influenced by the stained glass windows I remember walking past in church every Sunday and the depth of emotion I felt in tracing the stations of the cross. I wanted to take that feel of the sharp edges of colored glass and humanize it with more depth and warmth. I paint as a form of self-healing. It is self discovery at its finest. I often don’t even realize I am dwelling on something until I recognize it in one of the paintings.

You use the female figure in many of your paintings, what draws you to this subject?
Again, a lot of this has to do with the quality of the line, the curves, and the fluidity of movement. Plus, I think there is probably a deeper obvious connection in portraying myself as I’ve moved though this journey in my life.

Freedom dancerWhat was your inspiration for “Freedom Dancing”?
Freedom Dancing is one of my happiest pieces. I started this just as I was falling in love with someone new. Yes, there is a sense of music and dance, movement and wonder, but under that is all that excitement you get in a new relationship. It’s almost like a sense of euphoria.

What are you working on currently?
I just finished “Walls And Windows” a couple weeks ago. Usually, I only work on one piece at a time. I get so absorbed in how I feel with that one particular piece. I couldn’t imagine moving onto something else. It would be similar to having an affair in a committed relationship. I know that probably sounds insane, but I really get very emotionally involved in a lot of my work. I’m still in the infancy stages of a new sketch that will eventually be transformed into a painting I know I will call “Just Driving Through.”

Where did you learn to draw and to paint?
I’ve always drawn, always. I think my parents paid for private lessons when I was in grade school and middle school. Then, I went to a magnet high school where I majored in Fine Art and I briefly went to Ringling School Of Art and Design. All of that said, I’m learning a lot now just from experimenting with my own work and pushing myself in different directions. I really want to experiment more with textures and try to expand into much larger pieces. Each one fuels the next.

What do you do when you’re not creating art?
I work in a skilled nursing facility in the rehab department near Jacksonville and I am doing the best I can to raise my three children as a single parent. It’s always a juggle, and there’s never enough time in the day, but I paint for me because I have to. I need it as much as I need food and shelter and human connections.

What is your favorite subject to draw or paint?
Even though a lot of my work showcases human figures, the work itself is really more about following myself along my path of emotions and beliefs. The most important visual imagery has to do with the line, color, and composition. The reference to physical beings is secondary to the message.

What do you like most about the art you create?
I like the boldness and spiritual freedom I feel in a lot of the pieces. It’s really important to me that there is movement across the canvas. It is absolutely a process of self-discovery. I guess what I’m saying is the part I like the most is in the act of the creation itself.

Where can patrons see and purchase your artwork?
Right now my work is back home with me and can be seen and purchased through the web. My work is currently on display through http://www.getartexposed.com. I also often set up a few pieces to exhibit at the Jacksonville Artwalk, which is held on the first Wednesday of every month in Hemming Plaza, in downtown Jacksonville. Since I have only recently considered getting my work out there, I am now applying to other art exhibits in the area. I have my fingers crossed.

Jennifer’s Artist Page on Art eXposed