Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Artist Interview: Annie Koelle.

I'm almost giddy with the interview I'm bringing you today.  I've had a major art-crush on this artist for the longest time.  I stumbled across the painting below on Etsy a few of years ago, and was immediately smitten.  Now she's got even more impressive and awesome things going, not failing to mention she's a momma to two adorable kids, and now I get to introduce her to you!  Meet Annie Koelle:

White Crowned Sparrow.
1. Were you always an art kid, or did you stumble upon it later in life?

Always an art kid! Can't remember when I wasn't drawing, making, or thinking about what I was going to make. I don't think I ever had to sit down and figure out what I was going to be when I grow up, its like I have an extra bodily organ that drives me to create.

Small Botanical Transfer Monotype.
2. What style of art is your favorite and why?

I have don't have a favorite style, I like everything from realistic dutch still lifes to candy colored abstracts. I usually connect with individual paintings or pieces of artwork as opposed to one sort of look. 
Kallymenia, Collaboration with Knack Studios.

3. What do you use for inspiration, or how do you generate ideas?

Oh my! Where do I start!? Inspiration is an extremely complex idea. . . first of all it has been building in life from childhood. My love of natural subjects, the sort of landscapes I paint like the ones from where I grew up and many tiny woven things that I can't probably discern myself but they are a part of me. These bits build on each other and and then I fit them all together within the confines of my present life situations - like not having much time to myself for work because of dear little babies to play with and being too terribly tired at night to think about much. And my art inspiration board on pinterest! I look at all those jewels glowing on the screen together and it gets my brain going.

Carnation Painting on Wood Panel.
4. Walk us through your creative process from idea to finished project.

Well, I have lots of collected things laying around, like old thrift store frames,wood panels and things to assemble, so thinking about what I have to work with I let the idea spark for a while. Then I prime my surface (mat board or wood panel) with flat latex paint, make my drawing with graphite or charcoal, spray it with fixative then I start applying acrylic paint. First I goop on a tinted glaze that I meticulously mix just right, dry brush it out with nice wide brushes until I get the texture I want and let it dry for a day or so, or I hurry it along a hair dryer that has only been used to dry my hair like twice. Then once the glaze dries I might tweak it some more and then I apply the stronger swipes of color in heavier acrylic paint and latex paint. Once I'm settled with it I varnish it, sign it and tap a hook into it. 

2011 Flower Series Grouping.
5. What is a typical day in your life?

Hahaha, first, try to stay in bed as long as possible which is usually until 7:30, change Pearl's stinky diaper, feed myself, her and my son who acts like he is going to die of starvation. I take him to preschool, my husband puts Pearl down for her morning nap and we both get to cracking at art or stuff. I work for a couple of hours if I'm lucky, while she sleeps, then when she wakes up I might run some errands before I pick up Marshall from school at 12:30. We lunch, then Pearl takes another nap and sometimes I work again, but usually I try to reign in the chaos. At night I don't usually do much art work, in the past I've tried but I usually hate what I've done in the morning. I really need good daylight. And sleep! I don't know how some people do it! If I stay up any later than midnight I end up with migraines so it just isn't worth it. You can sneak a peek at these days if you follow me on instagram. 

6. What do you think draws you to other people's work?

I don't actually know, if its really great art it draws me. You can tell when you look at a piece if the artist behind it knows what they're doing, if they really care about what they are doing. 


7. What are your interests/hobbies?

Ha! no hobbies. Living life and enjoying it and painting as much as I can, that's what I do, the painting part is not a hobby.

"The Clouds Gave Up Their Horses."
 8. Is this your full time job, or do you have a job out-of-studio?

Mom of two crazy kiddos. That's job enough at this point.

Botanical Series Grouping.
9. What is your favorite piece you've ever made and why?

Oh dear, I have had several, not too many but a few, more now than before which is good. Right now I really love two landscapes that are a set, they are about 8 inches high with deep frames. There is a wilderness scene with big pines I drew and painted in them.  The frames are gray, then painted gold on the lower half, the best part are teeny tiny gold cowboys and indians fighting in front of the landscape inside of the frame. The paintings are called "Manifest Destiny" and I made them because I didn't know what to do with all the sad things that happened to the indians, my grandfather being one of them. I loved him very much and I think of him every day. That's probably why I like it so much.

An image of a work in progress that became a collaboration with Knack Studios.
10. What advice would you give to an artist just starting out in the business world?

Well, at this point I am not involved too much in the business world, but I would say networking and finding people who really believe in your art is the best place to start. Fortunately I have many people like that, one of them being Teresa at Art & Light Gallery. 

Her lovely family.
11. Describe your work space

I have a closet that I stuff things into and a mid-century cart that I keep most-used things on. I work on the kitchen table, an easel and usually the floor covered with swaths of brown paper. Here is a link to a feature a sweet photog friend did of my family, house and studio. 

Another work in progress that became a collaboration with Knack Studios.
12. Did you face any setbacks on your path to being an artist?

Well, lets not call them setbacks. They are very cute setbacks, I love them very much and their names are Marshall and Pearl. 

Another view of the work in progress of the collaborative piece.

13. What milestones, goals, or achievements are you striving for right now?

Keep my children alive, be a good fun wife and always figure out how to keep painting.
Thank you so very much Annie for your time, and wonderful answers.  

You can find her on:

1 comment:

Nora MacPhail said...

All of this work is fresh and imaginative!! Very creative.