Saturday, September 26, 2009

Art Blog: Artist’s Stories

I love reading biographies about artists. Actually I prefer autobiographies because you get the story from the artist’s perspective. Biographies written by others tend to be slanted this way or that. Interpretations contain embellishments or are swayed by the author’s viewpoint. I don’t like that.

For instance, last week I watched the new movie about Georgia O’Keefe on television. I had high hopes and anticipations for this movie. I was disappointed. Like so many Hollywood efforts, the film was less about Georgia’s art and wonderful contribution to art history and more about her sappy relationship with Stieglitz. I could see where the story was going during the first half hour but I continued to watch for the mere purpose of being able to confirm my disgust with this video version of her life.

Recently, I featured an artist on my blog, Vhilo. I have decided to feature other artists on the blog from time to time. I love reading what they have to say about their art and art life. This is a small effort to let them tell their own stories. This week, I want to feature, Erika Allison. I noticed her work online and really enjoyed it. I asked her to write a little bio for this blog.

ARTIST BIO (written by Erika)
Erika Allison
Erika was born and raised in St. Louis. She started taking art classes at age 11 and was painting by 12. She was serious about her art right from the beginning. She attended Kansas University Summer Art and Music Camp on scholarship after eighth grade. She continued her art education at Drake University, majoring in art. She worked at an ad agency in Norfolk VA, and then took off a few years to do the “mother thing”.
She re-entered the art scene by taking studio classes and making representational watercolors. She showed and sold her work at numerous Chicago outdoor festivals, as well as entering national competitions. She had work accepted in the Salmagundi Club non-members exhibition, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe non-members exhibition, and several watercolor society shows.
Erika moved to rural Minnesota in 1988. She and her husband/collaborator worked in clay and did national outdoor festivals across the country - a lifestyle in itself! Working in clay introduced her to her love of texture. She really missed painting and got back to that while still working in clay. She chose to work in the abstract for her paintings, focusing on strong design and texture, including mixed media. Some shows would show clay, some would be paintings and some shows would show both media.
Major life changes including a divorce and quitting the outdoor festivals precipitated her move to Las Vegas, NV, where her two daughters live. She continues to paint with oils and mixed media on panel. She prefers the hard surface because it works best for adding mixed media and found pieces, as well as subtracting pieces of the painting surface to create a non-rectangular shape. She likes mixed media because all the “rules” are out the window. She does what she wants with her mediums. Her inspiration is the obvious and the absurd in life. There is no end to the possibilities!
She just had her first Las Vegas show and feels that it has validated her as a Las Vegas artist. The Las Vegas arts scene is vibrant and growing. It’s an exciting place to be.

"Caused by Human Activity"
Oil and mixed media on panel
24" x 24" x 2"
Click pic to see more of Allison’s work


Martha Marshall said...

Sheree, I love Erika's work. Thanks so much for sharing her bio and introducing her.

You got me thinking. If we want our story told right, we'd better make sure we tell it ourselves! Of course you and I have that pretty well covered so far. :)

namastenancy said...

I love Erika's work but I hated the TV bio of O'Keefe - badly written romantic slush and pretty inaccurate in a lot of places. I finally gave up because it was painful to watch. I think that Ed Harris' movie on Pollock was the only movie that's ever been made on an artist. The rest range from mediocre to dreck.