IMG_1673During this last week of Artist Conversations, I had the pleasure to interview Makaila Palmer about her artwork. In the Gatov Gallery, she had a total of three paintings in her show to represent the stages of her life as a child transforming into ending her college career.  She considers her style of artwork as psychological landscapes using oil on canvas.  All of her pieces contains a figure within the painting and it is on a path of figuring out who you are.  Makaila uses high contrasting colors to represent the moods and feelings associated with that stage in life.  She quotes, “There’s a path but you don’t know what you’re going to do yet.”  This is articulated through her works displayed at the Gatov Gallery.  On display, she had her Dusk, Day, and Dawn pieces; however, her midnight piece is still in the works.  Her inspiration for this kind of art came about through her study abroad program in Florence where she studied Michaelangelo.  She tried to emulate him by mixing landscapes with a figure.  Beginning this showcase, she did not know if this was the direction she wanted to head in, however a professor gave her the motivation and confidence to translate her feelings into these pieces of art.

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Throughout my conversation with Makaila, I couldn’t help but sympathize with her in her college career journey.  She admitted that graduating did take a little longer than expected but she finally made it.  It’s not just about the journey to the end, but the all of the things in-between that you learn and see throughout the process.  It’s all of the careful choices one makes in life to help guide you to your finish line.  By examining her life, she can realize that at one point, she had no clue where her life was going, but then with hard work, she was able to conquer it and finish her BFA.

I can sympathize with Makaila here because my own journey through school has been atypical to say the least.  I first went to UNM in 2006 as a pre pharmacy major.  I took all of my pre requisite classes but did not do as well as needed to so I then changed majors to nursing.  That didn’t work out either so I took a break from school to work.  Knowing that I needed to eventually finish school no matter what, I then re-enrolled in school and this is my final week of my undergraduate career.  The journey has been bumpy and atypical, but I persevered and made it.  Relating to Makaila, her journey in her college career took a little longer than expected, however she learned valuable lessons along the way that has allowed her to reach her end goal and enjoy.

You can reach Makaila Palmer through her website or email at makailap10@gmail.com.

Wk 12 – Artist Conversation – Christopher Linquata

IMG_1554During week 12 of Art 110, I met Christopher Linquata.  His work consisted of huge paintings on the wall depicting normal activities in everyday life, showing himself in some of the works.  His paintings made use of acrylics on canvas and his art had a real sense of smooth realism effect.  One thing that stood out the most about his paintings were that the largest ones were very large.  They were one of the biggest ones seen in the art galleries this semester.

Chris begins his works first by creating a sketch that starts with his imagination.  He draws the people in his paintings, and he considers his artwork a study of life and space.  He spent 18 hours a day on these large paintings and he would put layers on top of layers creating these paintings.  If something didn’t fit or he didn’t like something, he would have the luxury to paint over it.  He is inspired to do this type of artwork because of his love in Renaissance paintings.  By talking and meeting other people in this art program, he became inspired in different types of pantings, from renaissance to modern paintings.  He considers himself a representational painter.

From listening to Christopher talk about his artwork, I felt inspired because there are so many ways to be creative.  By talking to different students, you can always learn and get a different perspective on things you already know.  When you are passionate about something, it is always important to show people and be able to express your thoughts.  Here are some of Chris’ work.

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Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley

IMG_1510 IMG_1509 IMG_1507In week 9 of the Fall 2015 semester, Professor Glenn invited one of his previous students and artist currently featured at the Gatov West Gallery at CSULB.  His name is Maccabee Shelley and he was given the microphone and the floor to speak to us students.  He urged us to follow our passion because pure talent can only take us so far, and one day, talent alone isn’t going to motivate us to be great.  Passion is something that will continue to drive us moving forward.  On Thursday afternoon, I had the pleasure to meet with Maccabee on a 1 on 1 basis to ask him about his artwork and to view inside the mind of the artist.  His art has smooth texture with contrasting colors.  A lot of his art uses materials that are found and free.  A lot of bottles of glass, cones, suitcases, books. With this raw material, he combines them together to create a new identity for the material.  Some materials, he chose to stack them together to form the base, and others, he melted together to create a new object.  Mac was an environmental science major who decided to switch to art but still use the knowledge gained from his science background to further his art.

Through talking with the artist, he has articulated the ideas of understanding the  different things that can happen when combining two objects.  When starting, he does not have an idea what will happened, so therefore, doesn’t get disappointed with the results if it didn’t go the way he wanted it to.  Instead, everything is an opportunity to learn and observe how it made him feel.  The next time he wants to recreate that same feeling, then he knows exactly how to do so.  This is him documenting what happened and his process on how he creates his art.  Using his mistakes and turning them into his art is a way to always learn and progress.  Another take on his art is to show ordinary things to people in and unordinary way.

After talking to Mac, it made me realize the fragile nature of the objects in the world.  A small change in the physical properties of the object has the ability to change the whole make up.  And by trying and trying again, you learn from your mistakes and learn from every action you do.  Instead of being disappointed in your failures, you should learn from it and turn it into something positive instead of thinking of it as a failure.  This resonates an important message in life because when people get frustrated and quit, then they have closed a door to an opportunity to learn and progress through whatever task was at hand.  Thanks Mac for putting this into an easy to understand perspective.

Here is Mac posing with my favorite piece. He can be reached through his website.  IMG_1508

Wk 9 – Classmate Conversation – Zeida Gonzalez

IMG_1509While in the Gatov West gallery, I met Zeida Gonzales while admiring the artwork of Maccabee Shelley.  She is a 3rd year film major living in Whittier and the oldest of 6 siblings.  When I asked her about her tastes in art, she told me she likes the creepy and eerie vibe.  She mentioned some of the artists of previous weeks that she was interested in because they gave her that feeling.  One was last week, the artist that had skulls and skeleton bones as drawings.  I noticed that she had teal hair so I asked her what it meant to her and she told me it was just something she wants to do, and eventually going to magenta hair.  However, it’s hard for her to achieve that because of life events that she has to change her hair back to a normal color.  A funny coincidence was that Zeida had matching hair with our professor Glenn that day. LOL

Wk 8 – Artist Conversation – Alice Andreini

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Here is Alice Andreini and she could be reached through her website here. Her artwork was on display in the Gatov West Gallery at CSULB.  Her pieces of art are paintings using oil on canvas.  She uses contrasting colors to bring out different symbols within her paintings.  The image she brings to life is a zoomed a zoomed in aspect of a garden.  Within the garden lies plastic army meyn toys scattered throughout the painting.

I asked Alice what her paintings represent and she said she chose the garden to represent a conversation with space.  In her words, she wanted the “code and recode peaked space.”  The army men represent an opposing force to the garden.  I understood this to be a sacred area protected by the army.  Not all people get to experience the beautiful garden because in order to achieve the beauty of the garden, one must maintain and protect it.  In order to have a garden, it needs to be in a safe condition and can represent the progression of history.  One would not find a garden in the middle of a war stricken country.

From speaking with Alice, I feel that the relationship between nature and people have a unique bond.  A garden needs to be tended to and nurtured in order for it to grow.  This is just like a newborn baby, because it needs a mother to take care of it until it is big enough to sustain on it’s own.  And as humans go through life, we have to continue and tend to the garden if we want to be beautiful and as we grow older, gardening becomes a lot of people’s hobby.  A person is born and dies in the garden.