Posts in Issue IV
William H. Thielen 

William H. Thielen was born March 18, 1954 in Pierre, South Dakota, where he grew up. He did his undergraduate studies in painting at Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota where he received a B.S. in Art Education Comprehensive (Painting with minors in Fibers and Sculpture) in 1977. At that time he realized that in making his art he wanted a broader base from which to draw. Therefore, he enrolled in graduate school under M. Joan Lintault at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He received his M.F.A. in fibers in 1980.

Just after completion of his terminal degree, he was invited to be a multimedia panelist for Fibre-Form-Fusion, an international conference held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Shortly thereafter, in 1982, he received a visual artist fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He has received purchase awards from the Evansville (Indiana) Museum of Art and Science in 1993 and the Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, Illinois, in 2002; and merit awards from the 31st Annual Quincy Show, Elizabeth Sinnock Gallery, Quincy, Illinois in 1981; the Alexandria Fine Arts Annual, Visual Art Center, Alexandria, Louisiana in 1982; the Self-Images show at the Associated Artist Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois in 1989; and the Evansville (Indiana) Museum of Art and Science in 2000.

In 1984 he was one of ten artists chosen to participate in the Interchange Program at the Banff Center for the Arts, Banff, Alberta, Canada. This international collection of emerging artists spent the summer studying with artists from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including Francoise Grossen, Gary Trentham, Ritzi and Peter Jacobi, Mildred Constantine, Mariette Rousseau, Patterson Sims, and Judy Pfaff.

In 1984-85, Sandra McMorris Johnson and Mr. Thielen took top honors in the National Endowment for the Arts-funded Fiberworks Exhibition and Projects Competition in Berkeley, California. They were commissioned to mount a collaborative installation in their main gallery.

Statement

When creating pictorial or sculptural objects, it is risky to trust the intuitive nature of emotions and the intellectual information that comes from observation.

For me, the only way to overcome this risk is in the language of abstraction.

The process of abstraction is one of spontaneity, flexibility, and trusting the intuitive nature of the act. Also inherent is an emotional reaction and metaphorical reckoning on the part of the viewer. All of this helps to create a new visual language in which to address the issues behind the visual statement.

The issues behind my work are personal and autobiographical. I work with these issues because they are my attempt to find my own true identity in a divisive social structure. Maybe in a way I am trying to find a momentary calm while existing in a society that is full of hostility and hatred.

Victoria Rose Martin 

My work is a reflection of life. The pieces are memories of people, places and things I have known. In the small faces, I can see members of my family, people I once knew, and even myself. The work tends to be whimsical with a slightly dark under current. My sculptural forms are hand built using lowfire clay. My art is collected both nationally and internationally. It’s in the permanent collection of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Armenia. I’ve shown my work at SDC London, England Pence Gallery,

Davis, CA, the Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, the Florida Craftsmen, St Petersburg, FL, and the Piedmont Craftsmen, Winston-Salem, NC. My sculptural work has appeared in the books/publications: Doll Master (Russia), Ceramics Ireland, The Art of the Contemporary Doll, 500 Figures in Clay, The Ceramic Design Book, 500 Handmade Dolls, and Art Doll Quarterly.

I am a full time Professor 1 and Department Chair for Fine Art and Graphic Design at Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth where I teach both fine art and graphic design courses. I have earned two separate Master’s of Fine Art in Ceramics and Printmaking and earned a Summa Cum Laude B.F.A in Graphic Design and Illustration from the University of Miami. My students have won international awards for their work.

During the summer you will find me sketching in several of the great museums of Europe because travel is my other passion. The past few years I have visited: The Louvre, The British Museum, The Reina Sofia, The Van Gogh, The Rijksmuseum Museum, The Hermitage, The National Museum of Scotland, The National Portrait Gallery, The Tate Modern, Britain, and Liverpool to mention a few.

www.victoriarosemartin.com

Vanessa Lam

Vanessa Lam uses mixed media painting and assemblage to explore the hidden stories behind everyday objects. In her recent work, she compares the thinking process to be like “rearranging mental furniture” where shifting deep-seated beliefs are akin to physical exertion. As part of her investigation of the relationship between home and personal identity, Vanessa interprets the home as a compartmentalized reflection of ourselves. There are areas where we open up to others while other areas remain hidden. She is interested in exploring this inner realm where objects exist both in harmony and in flux. Through the process of layering and collage, Vanessa explores the tension of this relationship in her latest body of work.

Vanessa Lam lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia as a mixed media painter. Her work was selected to be in a recent issue of Uppercase Magazine. She was also awarded first place in the 2014 Semiahmoo Arts Juried Art Exhibit. Vanessa has exhibited and sold her work at various community venues and public galleries across the city.

Tahnee Kelland 

I'm 34 and living in Dawesville, Mandurah Western Australia. I'm a self-taught artist and failed art in high school. Actually, I think I relieved an "E" on the report card. Is that worst than an F? Who knows. Could have had something to do with me painting/drawing what I wanted, not what I was told. Not much has changed. For the first 10 years After leaving high school, I hardly painted or drew a thing. My confidence was low and I never finished anything I started. At around 27 I picked up my pencils and committed to finishing anything I started. I promised myself to finish anything I started even if I hated it. I'm so glad I did that because it taught me about " the ugly stage". I feel like everyone has that ugly stage in their work where it's not quite looking it's best and all the fear and doubt creeps in over if it will even work. Then you push through and of course it does. I never knew that. I gave up before even trying. Now things are different and I've over come that hurdle.

Then there was the next challenge. Style. It's taken me about 6 or 7 years to find "my style". I was always looking for a short cut and hoping I'd find it over night. But all the advice I received was, unfortunately, correct it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I also get bored easily so I'm not sure if that helped or hindered.

The work I've submitted, My most recent work feels like the closest to "my style" I've ever got. I love patterns on patterns, muted, dirty colors and fabric. So they feature heavily in each work. The women in the painting represent myself I guess. Ive always been content in my own space with my thoughts, I can go weeks pottering around the house without seeing another human. A lot of people have questioned if this is healthy for my mental health and shone a negative light on having so much alone time. So I wanted to celebrate it. It doesn't have to be a bad thing to want to spend long periods with just yourself. I find that I grow as a person in the stillness.

www.tahneekelland.com

Sylvia Troconis 

Sylvia Troconis is a Venezuelan self-taught artist based in Austin, Tx.

After a brief career as an attorney, she disruptively decided to break many paradigms and chose to follow her calling as an artist. She shares this life with her husband and best patron, her baby, and dog.

Statement

My entire process has a recurring theme: “To Discover”. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a kid during adulthood; to be a child while keeping our adult skills in reason and understanding. What it would be like to keep a child’s sense of wonder while being conscious of our own sense of amazement. In all my line of work, I use a theme that suddenly comes to my mind, study it, and then develop some of the concepts into my visual proposal.

Sophie Derrick

My work focuses on portraiture, but with the use of painting and photography this genre is skewed and manipulated, and the transformative properties of paint are pushed to the limit. I photograph the act of painting on to my skin and then paint on top of the printed photographs, creating a layering of image of paint and painted image, blurring the boundaries between the two. My ‘self’ is lost, buried beneath the paint and the notion of portraiture is questioned. The body becomes both object and subject within the work.

There is a constant shift between dualities in my work; painting and photography, reality and fiction, and absence and presence. The painting, photographic and layering techniques and vibrant bold colours used within the work become obstacles to reality, distorting and creating absurd and abstracted portraits.

www.sophiederrick.com

Rosie Wright 

Inspired by the patterns and beauty found in nature, I interpret my designs using traditional embroidery methods which I try to add a modern twist to. I use a wide variety of beads, sequins and thread to create textured colour combinations. I have a slight obsession with collecting intricate beads in different shapes and colours, and I am always searching for the interesting and obscure to create something unique.

My Grandmothers initially taught me to sew, but now I find the best way to learn new stitches and techniques is to search through antique books from the past, which also brings a sense of nostalgia.

There are so many areas of creativity and design that interest me, and I have worked within couture, bridal and dyeing studios, all of which have had an influence on my work. At the moment my journey has brought me to work as a milliner which in itself is an artform and a great way of transforming designs to be more 3d with a sense of sculpture.

Originally from Devon, I am now based in London and dedicate my spare time to producing embroidered pieces of art as well as scouting for places to open my imagination. I am currently creating a collection inspired by geometry, merging simple shapes with detailed patterns and textures.

www.rosie-wright.com

Qing Song 

Qing Song is a US-based Chinese painter, graduated with her Master degree in Fine Arts from School of Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, working primarily on oil and watercolor. She has always been deeply obsessed by the subtlety of humanity. This has led her to the belief that the experience of closely observing real people is always meaningful, always fresh and always worth portraying.

Patricia Gonzalez 

Hello! I am a Venezuelan girl that has been living in Australia for the past four years. I grew up between paper sheets and crayons thanks to the colouring books that my parents used to give me all the time when I was a kid. Later on I studied illustration and it hasn't been a day where I don't paint or draw.

My inspiration comes from people and the variety of their colours, textures, beauty marks, etc. I also like to include plants or animals to complement my illustrations and paintings.

www.pattgonzalezart.com

Monica De Mitri

Observing art from the point of view of the artist, today we find always less its functional and evident role declared in the form of specific activity, filtering from this highly cultural category according which he has traditionally declined to do. Artists dedicated to forms of painting, sculpture, installation seem to put always more often their art outside of definable schemes, like activities that seem to us more accessible and near to be their outcome of an attitude of adhesion and integration to a sort of daily existence. Monica De Mitri belongs to this attendance of somewhat ‘familiarity’ of art, with an approachable access and customary substantial knowledge. As an artist who with clear critical vision of the historical anthropological conditions of the present she doesn’t pretend to make herself a bearer of higher values, of higher themes of revolutionary ideals or of a central redemption of the artistic ability, she considers it rather as an integrated activity between the others that connote her feelings, her attitudes, her way of being and daily life, in relation to which she makes comprehensìble, with which she maintains the most vital contacts and acquires her particular and specific character. Interests which stem from her artistic training, the activity in the world of fashion, in scenography and as choreographic costumist, show also the fundamental components and multiple characters of an art which is born from her life, which follows her inclinations, which adheres to a perfectly fitting existence and for this is difficult to classify and escapes traditional distinction. Her work is not painting nor sculpture nor object nor installation in the true sense; from time to time these categories could be presented as possibilities or potentialities of her work, prevailing one or the other; deriving not only from the total separation, from filters of a traditionally artistic culture but directly from the idea of a minute, patient work, almost excellence and researched manufacture, on its own made of apparently simple statement, sometimes even conceptually minimal and mentally concentrated in an essential gesture almost Zen-like. A work which clearly demonstrates the process and explicitly declares it; a creation of colour, of ink but also of scissors, glue, paper simply painted or adorned with paper ribbons or with glued on gauze, with overlaid foil or gold leaf and drops of glass or fragments of colored crystal redeeming the simplicity of these materials and mimicking fabric or evoking decorative elements, finishing touches, jewels of far ethnic echoes, fashion world but all on a grand scale, transparent paper fragments tied together ceiling to make scenographic wings or the large strips which support long plaited cascades of little together with fine metal wire. found in fashion archeology, but when for example fragments of or with motives of squares in ascending supremacy or like monochrome tables composed according to the geometry of abstract and constructive memory but altogether having an air temporary and contingency. This work itself a small discovery, a twig, a metallic shred, a drop of crystal to make a sort of precious relic, or together create a support for elements hung or stuck to each other interchanging roles becoming now elements binding now supporting the work. They are gestures which implicate other gestures, in fact, they derive from it, are a consequence of it so that the final work is only a part of it, phases of a longer process which has moments before the creation and successive reoccurrences. It’s as if the artist wants us to perceive the fine pleasure of her initial searching, finding, assembly, conservation, custody and wants then wants to give a time and a place to that which is temporary and ephemeral, to that which has been discarded and recovered.... transformed in the urgency of halting and defìning each thin and small emotion sensitive also to materials of little value of her discovery. From these therefore attentive to inclinations to reveal and fix upon a hidden beauty maintaining all the while the sense of a dynamic contingent above all in those of paper hung as provisionally leaning against the wall or in those areas and almost precarious compositions of fragments of painting or in the free and potentially changeable composition of the broken tables that seem to find only momentary equilibrium, held together by unifying elements of wires which run the length and descend from above as if accidentally hung or like those small fragments of cut paper recomposed on the surface, almost ready to change configuration or scatter with every breeze. In every work where the idea of composition, of the centrality of geometric order seems to sub-enter, a sort of inclination or better still constructive evocation, this is contradicted by the style, by the way, it’s done. Even the memory the ascent taken from the various stylistic temperatures brought into play, appears more as a retro suggestion, dictated by the materials found always different. It is the latter which creates fine, sensitive emotions, suggesting their way of being using from within each single work determining the morphology its peculiar character. The things have a soul which seems to have been suggested by De Mitri, the artist is only an instrument which allows it to emerge. That which pauses between a sort of sentiment of the material and like a deep thought, that of a diffused aesthetic which rediscovers even in the tiniest and apparent negligible things that surround us. Her works stimulate our capacity of trying the sensuality of the materials almost through a tactile as well as a vision of a more sensitive affinity and in keeping with a perception of the finest shades. All this reflects in works in which the sense of ‘precious’ and ‘poor’ co-exist, the ‘high’ and the ‘low’ live together in evocation and go from the present, from the flavour of things to the re-interpretation of painting methods which from time to time the opera suggests: perhaps an informal abstraction, pictorial sign automatism, minimalist geometry, stylistic numbers fully re-lived as material objects. And so becomes a sign, painting that becomes a thing; at the end the work moves within to this dialectal ambiguity so much as to say that the things themselves or better the fragments of things are presented as stylistic motifs and suggesting the shape of the work. A sort or ready-made artistic, a sort of discovered art, implicit within the materials and their natural or artificial form, the artist supports it according to a sensitive thought in which the interference, the inter-relations, the contaminations of culture and nature, fashion and memory temporary or permanent, casual and intentional are intertwined as fact in her works, their warp and weft.

www.monicademitri.it

Molly Catherine Scannell 

Molly Catherine Scannell Words have never been my friend. I consider myself mostly, a visual social hermit. I love my friends intensely and love having fun, but I will always sneak away and mostly, curiously, secretly observe the world as it whirls around me with a big smile.

I have learned much from 'living' a big life and the people living around me, including the ‘familiar strangers’ and familiar friends. I often see them in my work. I love people, making, working with teams, and being absolutely ‘100% solo’. Also, I deeply love mentoring and learning new things everyday. I maintain my identity as not only and artist but as a working mother/woman because it brings so much deep responsibility to me. The best kind, which is the kind you must curate and grow with unyielding passion. You MUST own it. My three daughters will learn this; know that they have choices to be whomever they want to be in life - no matter how hard. They get to write and direct the opening scene as they see fit. That is how I feel about the art I make. They are windows really, to mostly somewhere, hopefully, amazingly fantastic.

I feel as though I have purpose and meaning to why I do what I do everyday- it’s fueled by passion and desire... my minimal requirements. I often reflect on my own childhood and how precious it was that has made me who I am today. It was a magical space to cultivate curiosity and creativity. I wish there was more of that purity in the world today.

Live your everyday as a gift…..or as often as you can.

www.instagram.com/a_collage

Michela Martello 

Artist Michela Martello was born in Grosseto, Italy. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in illustration from Europe Institute of Design, after which she published works in over 30 books, primarily children’s book illustrations. In 1993 she shifted her focus to painting and had her first exhibition in Milano and New York. In 1998 she moved permanently to New York where she started her research as artist painter full time at Arturo di Modica’s studio. In 2006 she was selected by the American Association of University Women in the “Emerging Women Artists Juried Exhibition” held at the New York Design Centre. In 2007 and 2008 she was selected by Jim Kempner fine arts and Ok Harris gallery for the “NYU Small Work” group show at the Washington Square gallery. Her artwork has being collected and commissioned by both public and private clients; Soros collection, Serafina group, CityCinema group, Fulton collection. Michela has collaborated with: Bonelli arte contemporanea, Italy, Tria gallery, Azart gallery, Pen&Brush gallery, NYC, Parlor gallery, NJ, and Rarity gallery in Mikonos Greece. In 2014 she won the selection for the juried exhibition "Understanding Media, the Extension of Human Being” organized by Call for Bushwick, during Bushwick open studios, in Brooklyn, NYC, in the same year she exhibited at Tibet House Museum US, and she took part of ''Transcending Tibet'' NYC curated by Davide Quadrio and Paola Vanzo. In 2015 she has being commissioned a triptique for the permanent collection of Metropoliz MAAM Museum of Rome by curators Giorgio de Finis and Stefania Giazzi, meanwhile, she's being selected by curator Rick Kinsel, director of Vilcek foundation to be part of ''Domesticity Revisited'' at Pen&Brush NYC. In 2015 she takes part of AQUA Miami Art Fair, and in 2016 at Context NYC with Azart gallery, In 2016 she has being selected to be part of Woodenwallsproject a public art program curated by Parlor gallery, with a Mural installation in Asbury Park, NJ. and most recently she's part of ''Overlap: life Tapestries'' curated by Vida Sabbaghi at A.I.R. gallery BK. In 2017 she's having her major solo show at Pen and Brush gallery, NYC.

Statement

My artwork is a reaction to the environment I occupy, with my technique I built up a gesture that always reflects my thought, my emotions, and what dictates them.

I wish to express a certain balance and harmony, but I realize that the process that leads to such an experience usually involves the opposite aspects. The artistic path has so many constructiveness/destructiveness elements, which creates a certain weight, this weight is a treasure that forges a body of creativity.

I work with mixed media on linen, paper, textile, vintage fabric, wood, walls. My pieces include drawings and paintings as well as collage, sewing, and embroidery. Rather than turning my attention to these domestic forms, I choose instead to make them part of a larger illustrative endeavor, one that draws upon familiar folktales and folk art forms, often with a spiritual and decorative dimension that can be translated on larger dimension from canvas to big murals.

I have always being inspired by the technique of frescos from Giotto to the oldest pigmented murals in the Tibetan Monastery, as well as eastern philosophy, graffiti, and western contemporary icons.

To achieve a compelling piece of work is important, although the daily practice is the essence. How to make my artwork by making my artwork. the hours spent in my studio, the old and new tools, the routine, the unpredictable source of inspirations, the detour, everything is crucial to that final touch.

The funny thing is that I am always unaware of this process at least until the end.