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ST RTISTS The Talk Magazine

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ST RTISTS MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 14TH 2018 Valentine’s Special Chief Editor/Writing Contributor

PRIYA YABALURI Graphic design Priya Yabaluri Cover Photo Priya Yabaluri

STAR”TISTS is a Premium Women’s Art Talk Magazine featuring Contemporary women in art. It is “Art for Awareness “trademarked Publication Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/STARRARTMAG/ Website: www.startistsmag.com Mail: startistsmag@gmail.com Submission Guidelines If you want to contribute to the next edition, you can send us an email with your data and a PDF file that Shows your works, also a link of your website if you have any. All artwork in this magazine is trademark protected under the AFA,”ART FOR AWARENESS”brand AND all rights are reserved as the property of individual artists contributing to the magazine.

ISBN: 9781980281535

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CONTENTS ANNUAL 2018

CONTRIBUTORS

ST RTISTS Spectacular watercolor Art

Lana Matich Privitera pg26

Geometrical Abstracts

Priya Yabaluri pg 8

Splendid Encaustic and Watercolor Art

Maria Varga Hansen pg 54

Majestic Figurative Art

Shuchi Krishan pg 42

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CONTRIBUTORS

CONTENTS ANNUAL 2018

Serenity And Nature -A colorful Journey

Jane Boyd pg86

Nostalgic Expressions

Alka Chadha pg72

Beautiful Patterns

Kaoru Kushima pg 100

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ST RTISTS Exclusive Portraits

Jaya Bakshi pg116

Fabulous Landscapes

Marz Doerflinger pg132

Serenity In Divine

Shweta Singh pg146

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Editor’s Letter

ST RTISTS

Dear Readers, Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I am honored to inform you that this year, on the 14th of February, this magazine enters its second year. We have accomplished so much in the last one year, and our best years are still ahead of us. We have become known for bringing in all the talent around the world in the form of this Artist talk magazine. I personally had a great pleasure to talk to and interview wonderful and accomplished artists around the world. The magazine in its last editions featured some of the best art and artists around the globe, making “STARTISTS” a unique women’s International art magazine, one of its kind launched in India. .More and more artists have come forward to showcase their magnificent works and share their thoughts through our interviews. The Artists interviewed in this edition are outstandingly creative with unique ideas and working styles.They throw light on the ways different media is used to project their ideas and creativity. Some of the artists are also actively involved in occasional teaching or college fellowships and imparting their knowledge to novices and lovers of art who wish to learn. My own curiosity leads me to understand and study the art created in different forms .I congratulate and thank all the artists of this Annual Valentine”s edition. In the future, we hope to only grow, and we hope that this letter, as well as the work we do, inspire you to join us; either as a member, a freelancer, or a fan. We thrive on the enthusiasm of our members, contributors, and readers from all over the Network, for which we are eternally grateful. Thank you again for reading this letter. To stay up to speed, please follow us on Facebook or our other social media accounts. Priya Yabaluri Editor-In-Chief

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A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT OF HONOR !!!

I Mrs. Renu Bala, had the opportunity to know Mrs. Priya Yabaluri in the last couple of years. She has two grownup sons and husband working for Oil Company. She is a qualified Interior and web designer in addition to her talent in the field of ART. I have seen her exponential growth in the field of ART. Not only she has amassed lot of honours and accolades in this field, but also has given the opportunity to the Talented women artist around, by bringing them together through her quarterly addition of her Magazine “STARTIST” as an editor. This is her special edition celebrating completion of one year of her magazine. She in her journey of success, has inspired so many to excel in life. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that her work has definitely encouraged and empowered women of her kind to accomplish and achieve and make life more meaningful. I wish her all the success for her future endeavours. This poem is dedicated to her to reflect the kind of person she is and where she is heading for, in future. Good Luck, Priya...! Mrs Renu Bala Assistant General Manager AIR INDIA, Mumbai

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ST RTISTS Bringing Together –Priya the ““ST

RTIST”

She is dearest of all as her name “Priya” suggest, Having a progressive thinking adds up to her winning quest. She gets good feel endorphins, through gymming, For her physical fitness is a way of living. Being open to learn any art is her great attitude, But her in-built creativity compounds it up to, great magnitude. Drawing, Painting has been her original passion, But nevertheless she is also extremely good in her sense of fashion. Her friendly & joyful personality spreads happiness around, This quality of hers keeps the friendship so profound. Achieving, winning, accomplishing in her journey, as an artist, But fantastically bringing talented artists together, through her magazine “ST

RTISTS”

Her qualities caring, helpful, always giving are the best, But above all she is the best of human in the end………… Ms. Renu Bala, Air India

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PRIYA

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YABALURI

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Founder and owner of the Brand “Art For Awareness” under which she is publishing Art Magazines and books on poetry, Priya Yabaluri is an established freelance Artist and Editor of Magazines.Artist Priya is into the art field globally and at national level Art shows since last 15 yrs.Born Artist, Priya showed early interest and inclination towards art since her childhood.A graduate in science and holding Diplomas in interior design and Multimedia Design, She is presently based at Mumbai and is actively participating in group and Solo Art shows in the city of Mumbai over the years.Her works were selected by Redwood Media Company RMG international New York Art Expo conducted in the USA. She is also interested in writing poetry and other performing Arts.Her Paintings hang on the walls in the offices of ONGC, Air India, and many private collections. Priya is publishing two International Art Magazines,”STAR’TISTS and W& Art”, both which feature Women Artists around the world.She is also actively involved in Poetry forums and her poetry has been published in a book “Pilgrims of Peace” Priya Yabaluri also encourages Poetry and Literature and has recently launched the first book of the Poetry series “The Poetry Cafe”. She believes Art in its various form as a healer and that our society needs more awareness about Art and the artists. “I am a passionate abstract artist presenting my thoughts in the geometrical form and finding my connectivity to the universe sacred geometrical way” Priya Yabaluri

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The Endless River

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ST RTISTS STAR: Which contemporary artists do you admire and where do you draw your inspiration from? PRIYA YABALURI : I am inspired by a number of artists who can paint precisely with passion and freedom, examples include Leonardo Da Vinci, Jean Haines, Vikram Nayak, S.H Raza, Gaitonde, Vincent Van Gogh I live in the beautiful city of Mumbai therefore, the majestic landscapes and changing seasons are a constant source of inspiration.

The Seed

STAR: How do you go about the planning and beginning work on a painting? PRIYA YABALURI:I plan my schedule a day before, the design I am going to execute .I sit for hours drawing my painting .Before I start painting ,I make sure that the composition I wish to create is appealing to the eye .

The Circle of Life

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Echoes

STAR: What are your current projects?

STAR: Please tell us about your style of art.

PRIYA YABALURI: Right now I am actively involved with my Art Magazines which require a lot of time.In my leisure, I paint and keep writing poetry.

PRIYA YABALURI: I am keen upon understanding the conscious state of human mind and my works reflect the healing art as well as the abstract form of my imagination .I basically deal with geometrical representation and colorful impact on our minds .I have also depicted the concept of the healing art using sacred geometry with colors of universe as a cosmos generated pattern and unity and thereby the beauty behind it .

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STAR: Can you tell us more about your favorite medium?

STAR: What are your favorite works you have created?

PRIYA YABALURI: My favorite medium is Acrylics.Though I love other media too, I find acrylics to be easy in handling and creating my abstracts, which give the texture, flow and strokes with the moment my ideas come into my mind. I love the challenge that watercolor can create. I totally get lost in the process of painting and enjoy the outcome.

PRIYA YABALURI: My favorite works are” Another Brick In The Wall “ and “Time”.These Paintings I created on the theme of” The Pink Floyd songs which are very philosophical and inspire me to paint.

Shine On you Crazy Diamond 15


Echoes

STAR: What is your average day like? PRIYA YABALURI: I distribute my time towards my writing, painting, and family. I am a fitness freak.I enjoy working out at the Gym, Dance, and Aerobics. STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? PRIYA YABALURI: I love any form of creativity I love to dance, write poetry, and listen to music.I play Sitar and got trained in Classical singing.

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STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? PRIYA YABALURI: Paint and Practice with Persistence are keys to good Art . STAR: Please tell us about your training in painting.How do you think your artistic practice has changed since you began painting? PRIYA YABALURI: I am a self-taught artist. I am constantly reading about new techniques and learning new skills. The key to becoming a better artist is persistence.I hold a diploma in Multimedia design And Interior Design which helped me a lot in developing my skills.


ST RTISTS STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression? PRIYA YABALURI: I study and acknowledge all that is worthy and it does help me expand my thoughts. STAR: What are you currently working on? PRIYA YABALURI: Currently I am painting a series “Self” which is a reflection of my moods and my creativity. STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? PRIYA YABALURI: I am always looking for the expansion.My thoughts flow with time. I love to go to galleries and exhibitions and educate myself on the techniques of others and how it has worked to create their way of painting.I love reading and writing art blogs and articles. STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work? PRIYA YABALURI: I use my colors luxuriously.Often my paintings reflect the impasto and thick layers of paint and textures, which I achieve with colors.My color palette is wide but I love the warm and cools more.I also love Metallics.The wide range of colors help me express myself better on the canvas.

STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? Do you get enough time to paint every day? PRIYA YABALURI: I paint sometimes whenever I feel like painting.For me, it is a natural process.It has to happen.I sometimes dab colors on canvas when I am bored.But I enjoy the time, though these days my painting has reduced because of my commitment towards the magazines.I try to balance my time between all my activities.

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The Green Turf (Mixed media)

STAR: How have you been so successful with marketing and selling your art? PRIYA YABALURI: I have sold a lot of works to my friends and various corporates.Usually What I noticed is the clients or the buyers are often your immediate contacts.

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TIME

STAR: What is your thought behind your new series of paintings”The Endless River”? PRIYA YABALURI : Paintings are created with inspiration from progressive music of the legendary “PINK FLOYD” rock band of London and the songs have greatly inspired me to adapt them as the subject for my abstract paintings. : Geometrical Abstract are based on the Pink Floyd song “The Endless River “. Life is like an endless river , flowing into eternity ,travelling through different spaces ,time and dimensions.

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ST RTISTS

The Ocean

STAR: What style of art would you classify your work?

STAR: How did your artworks become famous?

PRIYA YABALURI: Gemoetrical Abstracts .I also paint sacred geometry .

PRIYA YABALURI: I do not know how famous I am (smiles) but I have tried to paint something which is a unique style. Like combining maths,geometry,music and color makes my painting.

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AUTUMN

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STAR: What do you look for, what attracts you the most, when looking for potential subject matter?

STAR: Do you have some colors you rely on and some you try to avoid – for any reason?

PRIYA YABALURI: I work from ideas and intuitive thoughts that get generated when I listen to music. I look for value changes and an interesting composition when I determine to design the drawing on my canvas.Once I select a subject with a strong composition, it becomes my job to infuse it with additional content that will speak to the viewers. To the end, I often add objects, shapes, textures and change the mood and atmosphere by adjusting the value structure to impart a sense of time and place. Some subjects lend themselves more readily to a “story” than others and that is part of the challenge in creating a painting that people can relate to.

PRIYA YABALURI: My favorite colors are very traditional and my palette hasn’t changed much in many years. Indian Red, Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow, Naples Yellow, Silver, Lime Green, Magenta and Pthalo Green are my favorites as do Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Burnt Umber... Another combination I like is Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Orange to create some rich hardto-define colors.I love to paint using layers of matte and metallic .I use palette knives,brushes,rollers,variety of tools to get the textures.


ST RTISTS

Colorful Memories

STAR: Do you do anything in particular to protect your art? PRIYA YABALURI: I usually use a Golden product to protect my art. It is a polymer varnish with UVLS to protect against ultraviolet light and leaves a flexible surface that is dust resistant.I like this particular product because it is water based so it has no fumes and the brush can be cleaned with soap and water. And once this varnish is applied and has dried no special care is required by buyers of my artwork.

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Another Brick In The Wall 25


STAR:What is the best advice you can offer a young, aspiring artist? PRIYA YABALURI: Whether it is asked by a beginner or an experienced artist hoping to improve, the answer is always the same—PAINT MORE! The more we paint the better we become and the more we enjoy it.Time is the answer to all our goals and aspirations.Practice makes us perfect ! But perfection also is infinite and relative!

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Festival (Pen & Paint on Paper) 27


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ST RTISTS

LANA PRIVITERA

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Award-winning watercolourist Lana Matich Privitera is well known for her realistic renditions of buildings, people, animals and Still Life’s. Originally from Spain, Mrs. Privitera graduated in 1983 from the Fine Arts School of Zaragoza, where she majored in Fashion Design and Art History. After several visits to the U.S., she settled in New Jersey in 1995, starting then a very active career in its artistic community. By 2002, her watercolours were being regularly accepted in Juried Art Shows at State, National and International level, winning awards in many of them. After a 10-year hiatus and a change of location, Mrs. Privitera returned again to the Art Scene in 2014. Since then, she has been busy painting new watercolours for a long list of Solo Exhibits, Group Shows and National and International Art Competitions. Since the very beginning of her art career, Light has played a key role in all of her compositions. She finds fascinating how Light, with its infinite variations of hue, temperature, and intensity, is able to alter the mood of the objects and landscape around us. She chose watercolour as her medium not only because of the ethereal and luminous effects she’s able to achieve with it but for its rewarding immediacy and inherent difficulties as well. She finds the challenge of creating hyper-realistic paintings in such a difficult medium quite an exhilarating experience. In the USA, she is a Fellow Member of the American Artist Professional League and a Signature Member of the North East Watercolour Society. She is also an active member of several other local Art Associations and exhibits regularly in Art Galleries in the Region. Mrs. Privitera has been an art instructor for over 15 years and currently teaches at the Wallkill River School of Art in Montgomery, New York, as well as in other locations and events per request. 29


DOS AMIGOS 30


ST RTISTS STAR: When and where were you born? Tell me about your background. Where did your life as an artist begin? LANA MATICH: I was born in Zaragoza, Spain. My Mother is from Madrid, also in Spain, and my father was originally from Croatia. They both made sure that my three siblings and I had a good education. They took us often on trips to historic places, or they took us to the Opera and to Art Exhibits. Both my older brother and I found great pleasure in art and spent many hours drawing and coloring as we grew up. Early on, my drawing skills attracted the attention of my teachers at school and all through my school years, they used to ask for my help when they needed something drawn on the blackboard. STAR: Who of the masters of the past and present had the most influence on watercolor media? LANA MATICH: My parents home had many traditional, realistic paintings on its walls, and that was definitely my first source of inspiration as a young girl. Later, in my early teens, when I started to appreciate our visits to Museums, I was mostly impressed by painters that used light in a dramatic manner. Joaquin Sorolla, a Spanish Master, was always my favorite because his fascinating compositions filled with light also tell very compelling stories. I also discovered Jan Vermeer, Vicent Van Gogh, and J.M.W. Turner in Museums and, even though they all have so completely different styles, I found their artwork absolutely captivating and inspiring. Without being aware of it, light and value contrast became the focus of all of my drawings and school artwork as my style matured.

STAR: Do you look for the inspiring objects or it just happens that you find something to paint? LANA MATICH: I have many different interests and hobbies and they all give me great satisfaction. But Art, for me, is more than a hobby. It’s all tied up with my perception of beauty and my wish to share it. Beauty is all around us every day, all over the place. Anything can look beautiful when it stands under the right light. Then, of course, I can’t help but notice it and make plans in my head on how I would turn that particular scene, person or object into a painting that other people might find beautiful too. STAR: How do you go about the planning and beginning work on a painting? How important are balance and tension? Do you use any form of dynamic symmetry or similar? LANA MATICH: I’m an intuitive artist. With that, I mean that I rely more on what I feel that on what I plan. I try to plan my paintings carefully, though. I take my own reference photos, sometimes spending hours editing, and cropping them until I find what I think is the best composition. I don’t consciously apply rules of composition. I might consider briefly the major, basic rules, like the rule of thirds, or the negative spaces, but mostly I just go with my gut instinct. I don’t even do value sketches. If one of my photos looks at least 80 % good to me, I know it could be the base for a successful, appealing painting.

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ST RTISTS

Krishna and Radha series

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THE TREAT STAR: What are your preferences in the watercolor paper? What brushes do you use – natural or synthetic, flat or round, etc? LANA MATICH: Watercolour Paper plays a big part in results handmade rag Paper, like Arche in various weights Usually rough or medium, Saunders Waterford, are good reliable papers, but there are many others that perform well. My advice is to spend time looking for good Quality paper I use a variety of brushes - Pure Sable, Kolinsky, Flat Sable, Rigger Brushes and Daggar brushes STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? LANA MATICH: I’m currently working on a series of large, realistic Still Lifes and will soon also start in a series of portraits of the elderly. Until recently I’ve been painting what I thought people might like and might want to buy. I had 3 Solo Exhibits in 2017 and that was exhausting. In 2018 I’m painting for myself, at my own pace. The Still lifes will fulfill my craving to experiment painting objects of different textures and shapes and playing with high contrast and values. My portraits of the elderly will fulfill my soul needs. Aside from the artwork itself, I’m planning on creating a series of short Free videos for the internet. They’ll come under the title: “Lana’s Tips and Fixes”. I’m aiming to demonstrate some of my personal techniques and also show how I would fix the most frequent problems amateur artists encounter. After that, I’ll focus on a series of Online Classes and longer videos in English, French and Spanish versions. 34


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THE HUNTER

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STAR: How did you become interested in watercolor?

STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work?

LANA MATICH: As a housewife, mother, teacher, and businesswoman, my time is limited. I wish I could experiment with many mediums but I’ve decided that I’m better off trying to master just one. In this case, watercolor. When I was younger I worked mostly in black and white. By the time I reached my mid-twenties, my portfolio included more than 150 commissioned animal and people portraits in charcoal and Conte crayon, as well as some black ink illustrations, clay sculptures, wood carvings and some pastels. But, once I moved to the USA, in my late twenties, Watercolors took preeminence because they suited better my personality and needs at the time. After all these years, I still find it riveting. It’s a medium that challenges me with its inherent difficulties but allows me to complete a large, full of detail piece in a relatively short amount of time. Quite a satisfying combination that keeps my excitement up at top levels.

LANA MATICH: To tell the truth, I don’t have major obstacles. I’m very fortunate. Like most artists, I might complain of not having the perfect studio so I can paint larger size watercolors comfortably, but I still feel lucky to have a room of my own, a big table and all the supplies I need. More than many artists have. As for the exhibits, I’m also quite fortunate. I live near NYC. There is a big selection of Art Exhibits and Art Associations I can submit my paintings too. And now with the internet, and the IWS Global, entering watercolor competitions all over the world is quite easy. The only drawback is that it gets quite expensive though, so I can’t enter as many of them as I would wish. So I find that my biggest obstacle is time. I don’t have enough time to put to paper all the paintings I have already in my head.

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ST RTISTS STAR: What do you look for—what attracts you the most—when looking for potential subject matter? LANA MATICH: For many different reasons, I have many favorite paintings. Some because of the subject, some because of the memories they bring, and others because they came out better than I expected and I feel proud of them. They are usually my larger pieces or the ones that I painted for my own pleasure. Mainly they are Still Lifes. Among them are some recent ones in which I had to experiment with textures I had never painted before, like in “Silk”. Making sure that all that red was consistent in color and that the cloth looked like silk was quite a fun challenge. “The treat” is another recent one that I gave me no problems and almost painted itself. I love the warm colors and the 3-D effect in the salt grains.

STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? LANA MATICH: When I attended the Fine Arts School of Zaragoza my Major was Fashion Designing, but I also got very interested in 3-Dimensional art. Clay sculpting and Woodcarving are always in my waiting list but, unfortunately, I have no time for either of them these days. After graduating I also directed a couple of Plays for young adults and designed and created the wardrobe for one of them. It’s a pity my son isn’t interested in participating in his school plays! I’d love to get back to it! Writing and illustrating children’s books and novels for young adults is another of my passions but sadly is not compatible with my current artistic goals.

STAR: What is your average day like?As an art instructor do you find it challenging? “Yellow Apple”, “Summer Days” and “Curves” had its LANA MATICH: I have no average days. As much as I love routine and predictability, it seems I can own fun challenges and I enjoyed painting them very much. “Open your heart, Open your mind” is a soulful never follow my planned schedules and To-Do piece. While I was painting it, I couldn’t stop thinking lists. Just too many unplanned interruptions. of all the terrible wars, Natural disasters, and famine in We get up very early around here, so by 9:00 am the world, and how many millions of children are desti- I have already made the beds, done some laundry, tute and without a home. We certainly need to open our had breakfast, vacuumed, had a shower, cleaned minds and accept diversity and open our hearts to help the bathrooms and kitchen and walked the dogs. If I don’t have a class, or I have to travel to deliver the ones in need. or pick up a painting from a show, then I hit the internet. Sometimes that is not a good thing be“Ward’s Bridge”, “Morrison Hall Tower” and “Dos cause I can lose 2 to 3 hours just answering emails, Amigos” are quite representative of my work with researching for things I need, or checking and buildings as well as of my love for drawing and fine answering my Facebook notifications. detail. I try to clear my desk of important paperwork every day, so I don’t have to lose time the days I With “The Hunter” and “Farm to Table” I finally repaint. turned to portraits. “The Hunter” symbolizes also my return to larger painting format and my newfound wish Some days I go food shopping to take my Mom-inlaw somewhere or meet with a customer or student. to grow and raise myself to the next level. Other days I also spend time planning the next “Farm to Table” is one in a series of portraits of the el- classes or Demos or helping my husband with a derly that I will work on soon. In this series, I’ll try my project, or the family business or do a more thorhand at painting in a more impressionistic, looser style. ough cleaning of the house. That leaves me no time to paint at all most days since I have to pick up my son from the bus stop at 2:45 pm and my husband comes home a bit after that. Family life takes over once they get home. 37


STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? LANA MATICH:: Teaching. Nothing gets me more excited than to see my students improving day by day. I don’t exaggerate when I tell you that I actually jump for joy when I see a particularly good result. I’m so happy for them!!

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STAR: How did your artworks become famous? TAMALI DAS: As I have said earlier that painting is my one and everything. From the very beginning, I am enabled to make my own individual ‘Gharana’ without copying anyone else. The pattern, drawing, and color of my painting are completely my own creation. The subject matter of my painting is not imaginary. I paint on what ideas influence me, what things I realize. In addition to the mythological paintings, I have been working on the present day social problems and various rites and rituals. Maintaining my own individuality and uniqueness in my attempt brought me success and fame. WINTER PACKAGE 39


STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? LANA MATICH: The best advice I can give to anyone trying to get established is to use the internet to get known by a larger audience. Post your paintings on Facebook or other Media. In my case, Facebook has given me all the free publicity I need and more. I simply can’t keep up with all the notifications from new friends and admirers from all over the world!! Facebook exposure has also provided many buyers for my paintings. STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression? LANA MATICH: I’m fortunate to have total freedom of expression where I live. Still, long time ago I decided that politics or controversial subjects would not be the usual subject of my paintings. Life is tough for billions of people but I’m powerless to change their living conditions. That’s why I chose to paint subjects that might bring a smile to people’s faces instead. I always hope that the image of my painting can bring them joy when they most need it. STAR: What’s integral to the work of an artist? LANA MATICH: Each artist, as a unique human being, has personal perceptions of the world around him/her, and consequently different reactions to it. Everyone has personal preferences and likes and dislikes that condition the kind of work he/she will produce. For me, the most important contribution of an artist work to the world is the message that conveys and the reactions it produces.

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STAR: What are you currently working on? Once the composition and direction of the painting are established, do you proceed without much more preliminary work? LANA MATICH: I’m currently working in a series of Large Still lifes Even though I plan carefully my compositions before I start the drawing, I tend to change my mind most times at some point and I usually alter things along the way. That’s why I always start with a very pale wash all over the painting: that way I can see better how the shapes interact with each other and if something is wrong or odd looking, I can still change it early in the game. I usually follow my reference photo until the painting is about 80 to 90% completed. I then let it rest for at least a couple days. After that, I sit away from it and look at it with a critical eye for quite a while. Taking photos of it and seeing them in my computer screen also helps me to spot any potential problems with values, negative spaces, color issues and such. That’s when my intuition enters the game and gives the painting the final push. I always paint sitting on a chair, with the painting lying flat on a table for about 80 % of the process. After that I paint standing up, to be able to stand back every few minutes and see things more objectively in the distance. STAR: Do you have some colors you rely on? Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work LANA MATICH: In some ways, I’m always looking for Harmony in everything in this life. Even though I don’t consciously try, I always end up with compositions where a series of analogous, harmonizing colors encounter a complementary color that sets them of. I’m fond of warm colors so I believe they predominate in my palette.


ST RTISTS STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process?

STAR: what role does the artist have in society?

LANA MATICH: We all have different roles. I have artist friends that like to raise awareness on social LANA MATICH: I “discovered” many of the problems. Others enjoy shocking their willing aucurrent Watercolor Masters on the internet when I diences with their amazing creativity or with their returned to painting in 2013. I’m fascinated by the outlandish behavior. Yet many others, just like me, paintings of Thierry Duval, Thomas Schaller, Mary prefer to present society with their interpretation Whyte, Alvaro Castagnet, Soon Warren, and many of the gentle side of humanity and Nature. The others. I mostly focus on studying their compoworld needs more positivity these days. We artists sitions. It helps me to visualize and plan better com- can help to make people happier. We are the un-lipositions of my own. Doesn’t matter how patient I censed therapists of this world. We can create art am with detail or how good my technical ability is. that simply pleases the eye and make people smile, If my compositions are not outstanding, my paintor create art that makes viewers go back in time, to ings will never reach that next level. memories of less chaotic times in their lives; or perhaps we can create art that carries its viewers to a peaceful place they have always dreamed of. Each artist has the potential to fulfill a need in someone’s STAR:You are tremendously disciplined artist .Can else mind. you throw some light on your regular work schedule? STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? LANA MATICH: Because of all my responsibilLANA MATICH: Even though I am -and look- like ities, I’m unable to paint daily. I’m lucky if I get the typical next door neighbor, mother, and wife time every two weeks! I need peace and quiet and before I got married I was quite the fearless travea few hours of freedom to feel comfortable and ler. I speak Spanish, English, a smattering of Cromotivated to paint. So in order to be ready for the atian and quite a bit of French, so I wasn’t afraid painting day, I select ahead of time at least 4 or 5 of exploring the world. I’ve visited 33 of the States reference photos I’d like to paint. Then, when I in the USA, six European countries, Canada and have some more free time, I draw and transfer those Tunisia. Hope to see much more in the future. 4 or 5 sketches to watercolor paper. That way I nev- I made friends with an old lion and also rode a er get “Painter’s Block”. The moment my calendar crazy camel in Tunisia. I almost got blown off the frees up, I’m able to choose among several exciting Eiffel Tower by a gust of wind once, got several subjects to paint: If I feel like experimenting with times thrown off horses, I punched a couple means skies, I paint all the skies. If I feel like trying new guys in self-defense when I was younger, and just techniques or color mixes on the landscape, I paint recently jumped off an airplane just because I alall the trees. I like to paint at least 4 hours at the ways wanted to. time, or more if my eyes are not having problems. I love History, Archeology and getting to know That keeps me eager to start, and helps me to focus people from different cultures and religions. I’m better and to paint faster. The first 30 minutes are interested in learning anything and everything that’s a slow warm-up. After that, my brushes fly and I offered in a University curriculum -except Math become more efficient and confident. and Chemistry. That’s why I find it so fascinating to have friends from all over the world today and why I’m so glad that Art was the one that created that opportunity. 41


SILK

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SILVER MORNING STAR: What is the best advice you can offer a young, aspiring watercolor artist? LANA MATICH: To any artist trying to improve I say: Lift your head and look around you. You have plenty to learn from others. I didn’t know any better and I wasted too many years absorbed in my little art world before the arrival of the internet. Take advantage of the Internet and watch videos, look at the art of every style and trend. Visit Museums and go to Galleries –even if virtual ones. Fill your eyes with all the artwork in the world. Copy the current Masters and the ones 2,000 years old, and LEARN from their compositions, their use of color, values, and symbolism. You can learn in one year what it took me 20 to discover on my own.Once you have absorbed the wisdom of the old, you can start your journey.

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SHUCHI

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Her interest in art developed in her childhood as renowned artist Shuchi Krishan grew up seeing beautiful paintings by her grandmother. This early enthusiasm has been the driving force, which makes her explore creativity through painting. “An inspiration for me comes from my immediate and perceived environment. Living close to Rajasthan in India, I am inspired by the vastness of the desert, its color, the architecture and the culture of its people. I love to paint its palaces, havelis, and pillars which are getting eroded by the passage of time” She Says. She also loves to paint the human figure, especially of women, deep in thought, synthesizing some details of the architecture or landscape in the background. Presently, She is working in the forgotten Indian wash technique. ‘The technique of the Bengal School’ She wants to bring it to the forefront of Indian art. Her passion for art takes her to different cultures to see their diverse and rich art forms. As she paints the forgotten temples, churches and homes, she wonders about the young craftsmen who labored at making these beautiful monuments. Her paintings of these ruins are the homage to their excellent design concepts and work.

ST RTISTS Artist Shuchi Krishan has been taking her career in the Indian Art scene very seriously. She has been awarded the EMPOWERMENT AWARD -2012 for excellence in fine arts. The INDIAN WOMAN POWER AWARD -2014 Fine Arts. for individual and distinguished contribution toward building the nation. The KALPATARU AWARD for Excellence in Art -2017 The Main Hun Beti Award -2017 for excellence in arts. Shuchi Krishan exhibited her paintings in a solo exhibition at Cabinet Secretariat Rashtrapati Bhavan 2017. She participated in Exhibition INDIA at France in 2015, on an invitation by the French cultural society. A group show in Nehru Centre London -2017. In 2002 she took part in Invitational International exhibition ‘ Nationality and Tradition’ at Busan in Korea. Organised by the Korean Fine Arts Society. In her career spanning more than three decades, she has exhibited her art in many prestigious National and International art exhibitions.

The soulful old places, forged out of stone and wood, inspire her spirit and drive her to capture them on canvas.

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STAR: When and where were you born? Tell me about your background. Where did your life as an artist begin? SHUCHI KRISHAN: I was blessed to be born in the home of a great painter, my grandmother Sarla in 1958 at Delhi. She was the second generation of painters who learned the technique of The Bengal School of wash paintings from the great master Samarendra Nath Gupta, Dean of the Mayo School of Arts Lahore in undivided India. Samarendra Nath Gupta was in the first batch of artists with Halder and Jamini Roy who learned the wash technique from Abanindranath Tagore, the initiator of the Bengal School of Wash paintings in the early part of the century. STAR: What artists inspire you.What is the source of inspiration? SHUCHI KRISHAN: My source of inspiration is my country India. The rich and deep culture in its totality inspires me to capture it in my paintings. I love to paint its people, culture, traditions and ancient architecture. When I painted in oils, I admired the art of Rembrandt and Caravaggio. Now when I am painting in the technique of the Bengal school of wash, I do admire the paintings of Abanindranath Tagore AANCHAL and Samarendra Nath Gupta. 46

STAR: Why are you so passionate about ART? SHUCHI KRISHAN:When I paint, time ceases to exist. No element at that time comes in between me and my work and I feel one with the universe. It is like a meditation. I work the whole day, and so many times I work till late in the night. STAR: How do you go about the planning and beginning work on a painting? How important are balance and tension? Do you use any form of dynamic symmetry or similar? SHUCHI KRISHAN: My paintings are a complete thought out projects, which last for months. I just cannot finish a painting in a day. First comes the intuitive idea then I work on the composition. The line, drawing, and proportion is the base of my work. The balance of color and composition is very important.


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THE RED LOTUS

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THE TERRACE 48


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THE MIST

STAR: What role does the artist have in society? SHUCHI KRISHAN: The artist can play a very important role in the society. Let’s begin with the simple folk artists, who decorate their walls with pleasing murals and folk paintings‌ this puts forward a feeling of pleasantness around. Sometimes the artist paints stuff which embarrasses and make the society feel uncomfortable, So many times, with paintings or caricature they put forward issues which bring about a change in society for the good and of course the artist helps in documenting the era.

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THE MONK STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? SHUCHI KRISHAN: These days I am working on a wash painting, which I want to name ‘ The Roses or the Jasmines’ This painting is of a young Indian woman wondering which of these flowers will go better with her dress. This year, I had many exhibitions at Delhi. The main being a solo at Cabinet Secretariat Rashtrapati Bhavan, where two floors were converted as a gallery. I exhibited seventy of my paintings here. At this time, I have no plans. All I want to do is create more paintings and give them all I have.

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I did this three-year course with a vengeance and scored top marks. Here I began my career as a French translator. The money I earned from my French would help me buy my art supplies. I lived on a stringy budget. PLEASANT THOUGHTS

STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? SHUCHI KRISHAN: Way back in the early eighties, The reality of my unachieved dreams hit me. Here I was a Delhi girl – had the best of school education and then a prestigious college which would have given me a profession but I was living a different life with my husband and two little children on the construction sites in the deserts of Iraq. Back in India in 1986, the desire to stand on my feet was intense. But how do I do it? I needed to finish my education and be capable to do something. I sold a black and white television which my parents had gifted to me. With three thousand rupees in my hand, I enrolled at the Alliance Francaise at Calcutta. It was eight years after dropping out from the Art College of the University of Delhi.

Very soon the money from my art also started pouring in. However, it was tough. My husband saw me working hard at both and advised me to pick up one profession or else as he said, I will not be able to do justice to either !! By this time, my fingers were itching to put down the pen and pick up the brush, full time. I did just that. I started my art career by working for commercial art studios at Delhi. I would leave home in the morning, change around 6 buses, work a half day, to be at home when my children came home from school. I would bring the remaining artwork home to be finished by night. At this time I worked at Rupees 1. Per inch and lived the life of a freelance artist, who was sometimes not paid for the work. Well, life has taught me many things to bring me where I am today and I thank God for it. Nothing comes free. If God blesses you with talent, he makes sure you very well work at it. 51


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ST RTISTS STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? SHUCHI KRISHAN: I have worked for three decades in oils on canvas. I loved the richness of these colors. The urge to work on paper and a lighter medium took over and since 2013, I have been concentrating on the traditional Indian wash, which is watercolors on paper. All my paintings in this technique were selected by the French cultural society for an exhibition ‘ India’ at France. To master the art of Indian wash, has become my new passion. STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work? SHUCHI KRISHAN: There are no obstacles at all.I feel if you work with your heart your work knows where it has to go. When the French government invited me to exhibit my paintings in the wash technique, I often wondered, is it me who is taking my work there or is it the paintings which are taking me at this prestigious exhibition ‘INDIA’! I need at least 5 years to put a completely new body of work forward. As one painting of mine takes about three to five months. For many years, I handled my own art exhibitions which required a lot of hard work. Now I have met some curators who exhibit well. STAR: What are your favorite works you have created? SUCHI KRISHAN: My favorite paintings are Pratiksha, Aangan, Caretaker of the fort, Saffron on the lotus fields, The monk and his boat, The Red Lotus, and Sangeet.

STAR: What is your average day like? SHUCHI KRISHAN: The day starts early for me. I put my home in order, have a hurried coffee and leave for my studio where I work until 5 pm. Then its back to the home where I enjoy preparing the dinner. Later in the evening, I do go for a walk or a swim. Paint till late in the night on another painting which I work on from my residence. STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? SHUCHI KRISHAN: I love to make Lepan murals. Lepan is the traditional Indian art form of the Indian desert. Unique, historic and beautiful, it is prevalent in the desert states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Beautiful designs are made on the walls of the homes, using mud, mud mirrors and thread. Deities which bring prosperity to the home are depicted beautifully using this art form. I am passionate about this art form and bring it to modern interiors by working on board with modern durable materials. Besides my art, I am a home person. I love taking care of my home, studio, and plants Sewing and crochet are also my hobbies. STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? SHUCHI KRISHAN:You have to paint from your heart and for yourself. Give your art and your skill time. Do not be in a hurry to finish your work.

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STAR: You joined Delhi College of Fine arts.Please tell us about your training in painting. SHUCHI KRISHAN:: Art was always my main subject. There was never an art competition at School where I did not win the first prize. I joined Delhi College of Fine arts in 1976. I could do just about less than two years at art College, had to leave because of early marriage and a baby. I rounded off my education with a Diploma in French language and literature from the Alliance Francaise Paris. Later, when I realized time had come to put down the pen and pick up the brush, I started by working in commercial art studios at Delhi. I got hands-on training here. After two years of this experience, I opened my own art studio and there was no looking back. I designed and implemented art projects for hotels and homes. I also taught Indian art and craft techniques from my studio and took overseas projects to teach the same to the Indian diaspora.

STAR: What are you currently working on? How much do the subject and composition evolve during the painting process? Could you say something about your painting process? SHUCHI KRISHAN: At present, I am working on a series of paintings on women. The subject and composition do evolve and stand out in the painting process. My painting process is a very lengthy one. It takes a few months to finish one painting. For oil paintings, I paint in the technique of the Dutch masters of building up the color in transparent layers. This takes up a lot of time. STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? SHUCHI KRISHAN::These days I am inspired by the late 18th and 19th-century masters. No, I never look towards other contemporary artists work. I know what I have to do and my work should satisfy just me.

I taught myself the technique of the Dutch masters in oils, of building up the color in transparent layers by reading books and working relentlessly on my paintings at home. The style which has evolved is without any influence and is contemporary and rare

STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work? SUCHI KRISHAN: I love deep vibrant colors and of course, my preference for these reflects in my paintings.

STAR: Any effect of socio-political environment of your country and around the world impact your artistic expression?

STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? You seem to have tremendous self-discipline.

SHUCHI KRISHAN: The social and political climate of my country or the world does not impact my art at all. My art is inspired by the deep Indian culture, I am fascinated by all things beautiful and graceful. The rich Indian textiles, with their captivating textures, designs, motifs and color combinations, The jewelry designs, The architecture of an era gone by. The carved stone pillars and temples. My paintings usually have a feminist theme.

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SHUCHI KRISHAN: I start my work by 10 am … finish by 5pm….then again I work in the night for about two hours. You are right about the time management I have created. I do not waste my time, be it watching movies, serials or socializing unnecessarily.


STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? SHUCHI KRISHAN:: I am smiling, recollecting this experience. When I went to France on an invitation by the French cultural society, I said to myself ‘again, I will live the life of an artist, roughing it out and going up and down in a dwelling finding a kitchen to cook my simple vegetables’ I was pleasantly surprised when the lady opened a beautiful cottage by the sea for me….Behold, there was this beautiful kitchen in blue tiles….. where I could cook for my heart’s content. The kind lady officer even showed me a glass carafe she had purchased for me to make my tea. It was a dream come true. STAR: What is your inspiration behind the series of paintings? SHUCHI KRISHAN: As I said before, The deep art and culture of my beautiful country India is my inspiration. I like to paint from my immediate and perceived environment. Living close to Rajasthan in India, I am inspired by the vastness of the desert, its color, the architecture and the culture of its people. I love to paint its palaces, temples, havelis, and pillars which are getting eroded by the passage of time. I love to paint the human figure, especially of the women, deep in thought, synthesizing some details of the architecture in the background. As I paint the forgotten temples, homes, jewelry and vibrant textile designs, I wonder about the craftsmen who labored at making these beautiful things. My paintings are a homage to their excellent design concepts and work. STAR: What’s integral to the work of an artist? SHUCHI KRISHAN:The Integral for an artist’s work is how you feel about your subjects, your work. You have to have a passion for the themes you paint on.

ST RTISTS STAR: How have you been so successful with marketing and selling your art? SHUCHI KRISHAN: First and foremost it’s the quality of my art which has brought itself forward. The quality came with my discipline and hard work. Next came the commercial projects I took on to sustain my art and myself. I could never put forward anything substandard. I strive for excellence and am answerable only to myself. Third, came my web presence. I remember, I designed my website in 1999. Among the first Indian artists to do so. I started off with small exhibitions at the embassies, which made me realize my potential for big expositions on a grand scale, which I did, again – singlehandedly. STAR: What style of art would you classify your work? SHUCHI KRISHAN: Where my oil painting is concerned, I paint in the style of the romantic realism. Romantic realism is art which combines elements of both realism and romanticism. In the words of Ann Rand – Romantic realism is to paint life more beautiful and interesting than it actually is. Yet give it all the reality. Now when I have become totally obsessed with my wash paintings on paper, The style I paint is called ‘ The Bengal school of wash painting.’ STAR: Can you give suggestions to the upcoming artist? SHUCHI KRISHAN: My only suggestion to the upcoming artist is to paint with their heart. Make good pleasant art and not grotesque.

Artist Shuchi Krishan beautifully explores the Indian culture s and creates a memorable colourful exemplary works of art bringing us nearer to the culture and traditions, so vibrantly expressed! 55


MARIA

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V A R G A

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Eminent Artist Maria Varga Hansen, a.k.a

Vargamari was born in Hungary and lived there, and in Austria from 1988-2008.In 2009 she moved to the USA, married to John Hansen who is a digital artist and has been living and working in Racine, Wisconsin.Her life is all about Art. At first, she was an actress, then a textile designer and then the last 28 years as a fine art painter, working by different mediums such as watercolor, oil, pastel, ink, airbrush and last but not least, her favorite medium “encaustic�.She had several exhibitions in Europe, and her works are in different private collections.She held painting classes for thousands of children in Austria, and also for adults, in watercolor, and in encaustic media.She offers classes in the USA as well.She now moved from Wisconsin to Arizona recently and stays there teaching watercolor.

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Beans & co STAR: When and where were you born? Tell me about your background. Where did your life as an artist begin? VARGAMARI: I was born in Budapest, Hungary.I was born to be an artist: first I was an actress, then I started to weave (by hand), and established a small company in 8 years, had a small shop in Budapest, where I sold my self-designed, hand-woven products (curtains, pillows, table-clothes, wall-tapestries and also clothes). I had 7 employees. I realized that all was not enough to express myself, so I started to paint! I’ve found my way, finally! STAR:What artists inspire you.What is the source of inspiration? VARGAMARI: I’m inspired by many artists, I’m always glad when I see a good work, but my real source of my inspiration is my life experience. I’m always inspired when I see something good, but my favourite painters: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Salvador Dali. I can learn from every good contemporary artist, too (the list could be too long).

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Fragments of my childhood

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our christmas encaustic

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ST RTISTS STAR: Why are you so passionate about ART? VARGAMARI: ART is how I can express myself, my thoughts, my feelings, my desire, and my memories. Art makes me feel whole, and I believe: making art can change the world to be a better place...a good art-work always has to contain a message, that is our legacy for the future generation. I don’t believe in negative “art”. STAR: What do you love about life, and what do you hate? VARGAMARI: I love life in general, every moment of it. I hate to get old; I’d like to live healthy forever!  STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? VARGAMARI: I’m drawing a baby-portrait right now, having the plan for an encaustic painting about corals, and more plans to paint with watercolor. I wish I could paint all the day, but I have not so much energy anymore.

STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? VARGAMARI: The only advice I can give: try to express yourself, do art, if you feel you can’t do other, but never create an art-piece in mind, if it would be sellable, or not. Just create for yourself. Not important to create a “masterpiece” all the time, but always do your best, respecting ART!

STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? VARGAMARI: I tried all kind of mediums, but my favorites: watercolor and encaustic. I always change these two mediums. Watercolour is a real challenge I have to be calm to paint with it, but I love all the challenges. I paint with palette knives in encaustic, using Master Paste Original. It needs completely other skills to create this way, as in watercolor. Recently I like more and more to draw with pencil, too. I will do some oils and pastels, too... STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work? VARGAMARI: I use every opportunity to exhibit my work organized by the local art-clubs, but I can’t afford to send my application for all kind of artshows, because you have to spend a lot of money, without having a chance to sell your art-work. Not too many people buy art in these days... What are your favorite works you have created? Usually, it is always the one I’m working on. STAR: What is your average day like? VARGAMARI: I have to admit: I don’t paint every day. As I’m living now in Arizona and the summers are very hot here. I just purchased a portable fan to make my studio cooler. I do a lot of gardening, cooking, embroidering, etc. BUT I always create my next painting in my mind, and when I feel ready: then give it a go. I don’t paint “quickies”, even for my watercolors I need weeks to finish. STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? VARGAMARI: Embroidery is my hobby, but I think gardening can be creative, too.

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STAR: Please tell us about your training in painting VARGAMARI: I consider myself as the self-taught artist, although I took some private lessons in Hungary and Austria at the beginning, about 28 years ago. I am learning about every piece that I create, try to make it better every time.

Old Fountain at Split, Croatia,watercolor STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression? VARGAMAR: I hate politics, but of course, I can’t be blind and deaf to know what is going on in the world. My works are not political, but I believe they show my intention for Peace and Harmony.

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ST RTISTS STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? VARGAMARI: I’m also teaching recently (watercolor classes in a local art-club and private classes at home, in my studio). I was teaching a lot back then, in Austria, also kids. I love/loved it. STAR: What is the “behind the scenes” process for you when it comes to your work ? STAR: What are you currently working on?

VARGAMARI: It depends on the theme: if it is a memory, a feeling, or a subject VARGAMARI: As I told: I’m drawing, and preparing an encaus- that has beauty, which catches my mind. tic work. STAR: How have you been so successful STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to with marketing and selling your art? other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? VARGAMARI: Not really...maybe it is VARGAMARI: I’m inspired by more contemporary artists (almy fault...I need an agent! ... low me NOT to mention them in names), but I never look at the works of others, when I create my own. I should develop in me, A in my mind, heart, soul, etc. STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work? VARGAMARI: I prefer to use warm colors, those reflect more of my feelings. STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? VARGAMARI: As I told: I can’t paint every day. Not because I’m lazy, but – as a woman – have other, everyday activities, and after finishing a painting I need some time to “recharge my batteries”. You get your self-discipline through lot of “blood, sweat, and tears”. Making art is not just fun, fun, fun for me, but hard work, too. Agnus dei (Encaustic) 63


STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? VARGAMARI: It is not an easy question! My life was/is rather interesting, with many changes, I can’t mention any, special interesting facts, though. Maybe I’ll write a memoir later, who knows...

Sunflowers

STAR: What role does the artist have in society? VARGAMARI: Most of the artists are eccentric and deviant (I’m talking about the real ones), in my opinion, the legacy is important, what we leave behind, not the “social activities”.

STAR: Can you give suggestions for the upcoming artist? VARGAMARI: As I told above...maybe only one more: try to stay objective about your work, stay humble, willing to learn, leave your ego behind, keep the self-criticism all the time. Only this way you can develop as an artist.

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self knowledge 65


There was a party -water color STAR: What style of art would you classify your work? VARGAMARI: My works don’t belong to any “isms”. I try to find my own voice, without pressing it. As I paint a bit differently with any medium, but slowly my works are getting recognizable (I hope). STAR: How did your artworks become famous? VARGAMARI: I don’t know how famous are my works, but I realized to get more and more positive feedback, especially at Facebook, and won some prizes at the local, juried exhibitions, too.

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Imagination encaustic STAR: What do you think are the biggest struggles of an artist? VARGAMARI: Struggle with him/herself, proving how well can do his/her art. Lack of self-confidence always belongs to the talented ones, the “wannabes” are always proud and satisfied. STAR: How do you bridge the gap between the business side of art? VARGAMARI:That is the most difficult question! I hate to think about art as a “business”. It is not easy to sell originals these days because the people don’t appreciate art as before. There are generations, growing up to know very few about art, so their kids will know even less…However, the task of an artist: TO DO IT, NO MATTER WHAT!

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Waiting- encaustic 70


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Dream of venus

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Lilacs watercolor

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Reflection

Maria Varga Hansen brilliantly creates artworks in Encaustic media and Watercolors. With washes of transparent color, she is able to capture light and atmosphere, achieving luminous effects that suggest immediacy and freshness. The artworks are rich, expressive and beautiful in uncompromising realism combined with surrealism. Both modes of execution in different media challenge the Artist yet she captivates the viewer. 73


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ALKA

Born and brought up in a progressive middle-class family of Punjab, Alka was confronted with a great contrast of cultures. After completing BFA in Painting from College of Arts Chandigarh, she had to go to Banaras for pursuing a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. The immense pressure of a conservative and conventional society of Varanasi exposed her to myriad aspects of Hindu religion. It added positive charm to her personality, which became a perfect blend of conventions and modernism and this condensation of sensations started getting imprinted in her paintings. Whether for sunrise or sunsets, walk to the Ghats, the essence of tea in Kuladhs, multifaceted religion, the chakra of life and death - brought Alka more close to reality and nature and enhanced the sensitivity as an artist. She started writing poetry and gradually her paintings became an intense concoction of words and images. All this paved a way out to carve her name on ‘Art’-scape as a painter, poet, and researcher and form her own signature not only in U.P but also Punjab – ‘2 states’ of which she is made of!!

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Alka’s believes in Paul Cezanne’s saying: “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.” Her thoughts are impregnated with the colored profundity of space enriched with feelings. Her life has been a journey of explorations and realizations, where the theme of ‘Pages of my diary’ played a role of her confidante and her creative reflections on every page. She enjoys a rendezvous with herself. In her paintings, one can come across journeys, imprints of Varanasi, reminiscences, nostalgia and misprints. Misprints are the symbolic representation of numerous failures which add to one’s success as a learning process. That’s how the concept of ‘Something or nothing’ came forward in her paintings. The present series of painting is on ‘WE’...it is Alka’s post marriage series and reflects the experiences of a new phase of life. Alka’s papers have been published in various national and international journals and she has many exhibitions, seminars, and workshop to her credit.

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STAR: What artists inspire you? What is the source of inspiration? ALKA.C : I have been impressed by myriad things of numerous artists like ornamental background of Klimt; strokes charged with emotions of Van Gogh; movement in lines of Degas; endless possibilities of accidental flow of colour in Pollock’s work; frottage of Max Ernst; visual repetition of Andy Warhol; assemblages of Picasso; linear energy of Paul Klee etc. I like the self-portraits of Frida Kahlo, installations of Vivan Sundaram, symbolic representations of Arpana Caur, boldness in the display of Anish Kapoor, the performance of Ein Lal & Ratnabali Kant, rhythmic lines of Jatin Das etc. Besides my experiences, even a simple thing can inspire me. It can be a flower, an envelope, boats, birds or even a calendar. I then use these elements by molding them in my style in my painting by connecting them to my theme.

STAR: When did you become an artist? ALKA.C: I was inclined towards art since my childhood. I got a chance to pursue arts and do BFA in painting from College of Arts, Chandigarh from 1991-95. Later on, I went to Faculty of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi for MFA (1995-97) & Ph.D. (awarded in 2004). The specialization kept on pushing me on the track of creativity and made me an artist. STAR: Why are you so passionate about art? ALKA.C: I used to be very shy and writing poetry and painting were my favorite mediums for venting out my feelings. Gaze went inwards. Expression through visual representation and creating new thoughts through words helped in making my own art language. My art is something I ‘feel’; and feeling brings passion in me.

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ST RTISTS STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? ALKA.C: I love working in mixed media – acrylics, dry pastels, drawing inks, markers, collage etc. Varied mediums trigger my imagination and coax me to explore myriad possibilities in my expression. I sometimes install a related object along with my paintings to create a visual dialogue between object, painting, and spectator. STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work? ALKA.C: The only obstacle in making my art is sometimes clogging of too many thoughts together. While exhibiting the artwork, these days’ galleries are becoming so expensive that one has to think twice for exhibiting the work frequently. Sponsorship is also difficult to avail. The market is slow so there is very rare chance of one’s work getting sold. STAR: What are the favorite works you have created? ALKA.C: I love my series on ‘Travelling’, where I posted railway and platform tickets in my paintings for an apt expression. ‘Imprints of Varanasi’ made me explore traditional elements, which touched the cords of my spiritual streak. This series has a collage of Holy Scriptures supporting the elements of ‘ghats’, ‘kalash’, ritualistic red and orange shades with scribbles of Mantras in the background. ‘Memory bag’ consists of a collection of memories of the time spent in Chandigarh and Varanasi. ‘Nostalgia’ shows cassette and tape recorder depicting my memories of the time which will never return in this era of technology. I love my latest work ‘unfinished story: you & me’. It is a therapeutic expression for me, which expresses the experience of a miscarriage of twin babies. Infant mannequin installed along with two small paintings reflecting symbols of a baby adds another dimension to the story where no words are needed to understand the theme. The infant has been painted in pink and blue shades with a few wordings written over it. The butterfly is the symbol of flying in dreams, a wish!! 79


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STAR : What are you working on now? And what are your plans for the future? ALKA.C : I usually work on my feelings, experiences and memories. My current series is ‘WE’ – which includes the elements from my life after marriage and bonding of the phase. It is a reflection of love, friendship, motherhood/ conception of a baby and even little mementos of this new twist in my life. As the world of imagination and creativity is boundless, I would like to merge boundaries of different mediums and introduce installation more often along with my paintings to support the theme. I want to engage the emotions of the spectator, by inviting them to dwell imaginatively by delimitation of any line between them and art, so that they can reach out and identify with the objects surrounding them. . Like Vincent Van Gogh said: “As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward.”

STAR : What mediums do you work in and why? ALKA.C : I love working in mixed media – acrylics, dry pastels, drawing inks, markers, collage etc. Varied mediums trigger my imagination and coax me to explore myriad possibilities in my expression. I sometimes install a related object along with my paintings to create a visual dialogue between object, painting and spectator. STAR:What do you love about life and what do you hate? ALKA.C: I believe in the motto: “Take life as it comes.” Instead of grumbling about something which I don’t have, I believe in counting my blessings.I hate hypocrisy and deception.

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STAR: What is your inspiration for this series of painting? ALKA.C: Nostalgia, memories, ‘something or nothing’, love, friendship etc. - all the reflected separately or even together in one frame at a few places in my paintings. My own experiences – positive or negative, events in my life, and simple things around me – all inspire me to express myself through my art which is an amalgamation of images and calligraphy that acts as a design in the background. My paintings are like a pictorial diary to me, in a way, where each page reflects similar or varied thought and stimulates the imagination further. My current series ‘WE’ is an articulation of numerous ideas, which crop in my mind from my bond after marriage. The act of putting things on paper is a psychological or emotional effort for me. What I draw or paint is what I feel. In this series one can see love birds, dates of the calendar which matter, house number plate, self-portrait, sand watch, a reflection of miscarriage through an installation of a baby mannequin with painting etc. The love, companionship and good and tough experiences inspire me. Like Alwin Nikolais said: “I like to mix my magic’s.”

STAR: What style of art would you classify your art? ALKA.C: It’s really difficult to classify one’s work in a particular style, especially in this era of experimentation. I think I can term it to ‘Expressionism’– where for an apt expression I use mixed media to integrate my sensations into coherent painterly forms, where one can see intensification, clarification, and interpretation of experiences in various degrees. The brushwork is a declaration of my personal freedom where mixed media supports me in creating visual variety. In a few words, it’s a correspondence between feeling, form, and technique, where my painting continues to change and grow at every step. The whole essence is to work the subject down to simplest form despite reflecting complex emotions or experiences. Like John Berger said- “Drawing is a way of coming upon the connection between things, just like metaphor in poetry reconnects what has been separated.”

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STAR: How did your art become so famous? ALKA.C: I’m an Assistant professor in a Postgraduate College. My field kept me continuously involved in seminars, workshop, exhibitions, symposiums etc. In the process, my work started getting recognized due to uniqueness with my personal symbols, mixed media and use of script and collage in my paintings. Gradually my poetry became a part of the visual representation. The text became the element of design in composition. Studying in Art colleges paved out a way to come in touch with renowned artists and working with them in workshop and participations in various exhibitions with them gradually helped me in forming my own signature STAR: Could you tell us about some interesting facts about your life? ALKA.C: My life has been a journey. I studied in Chandigarh and Banaras and then got a job also in Meerut. I had to travel frequently to my hometown Ludhiana. Not to forget to go to different places for attending seminars and workshop. I used to call myself ‘Alka on wheels’.

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ST RTISTS STAR: Tell us something about your studio. ALKA C: My studio is a small unit full of cozy corners where everything placed has its own story. The books and brushes angled in pottery adorn the base of the wooden console with technology reflected in form of laptop over the table top with my calligraphic pens. The painting adds color to the wall and a board always has one or the other paper fixed it with some unfinished work. The sliding windows bring in perfect ambiance when it’s cool and rainy. The air gets charged with the earthen fragrance. For me, there is no compulsory paraphernalia needed. I can work anywhere where I feel comfortable. In my studio “there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place.” Next, to one window, my studio has two small Ottomans and a string with photographs fixed by wooden pegs. I like the ethnic setup blended STAR: What is your average day like? well with the contemporary. ALKA.C: I’m an Assistant Professor in Meerut but on leave right now. I’m working from home, writing STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? e-papers and doing content writing of demonstrations by renowned artists for an MHRD project of Dayal bagh University, Agra. My day passes managing reALKA.C: While I was pursuing my Ph.D., I had search work with sketching, doodling a exhibited my work in Banaras. It was highly apprefew ideas for painting and sometimes reading and ciated by Randy Williams, Head of painting dept., Manhattan Ville College, New York and his wife Julie writing poetry too. In short, it’s a contented creative day. Broglin. He being an artist himself didn’t hesitate in buying my painting. That gesture touched my heart STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get estaband encouraged the artist in me. Another amazing lished? experience was an artist camp in Nainital. It was ALKA.C: My only advice is not to make art a fad. organized by Aurobindo Society. I didn’t have any Usually, upcoming artists look for a short cut and lose experience with the meditation and the routine followed by them. But it was a blessing for me. The rare their identity by following the styles of established artists. Their motive should be to be original, by abexperiences like this enlighten one and force one to look inwards. Everything looks pious and I could feel sorbing the ideas from the artists who inspire them and bring out those inspirations in their own style and not an aura where minor things were not troubling me vomit them out exactly the same. and I could handle them in a balanced way. The spiritual aspect got awakened in me.

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artist from Canada.She was born in the Summer Solstice during the early fifties in Montreal, Quebec and has lived in Toronto the past thirty-two years. She was always interested in fashion, design, and art.After a twenty-year career in the design field, She resumed her painting which had become dormant while She was raising her two children .”My husband of forty plus years is very supportive and helps me cart my gear from place to place I have four grandchildren and a well-traveled cat.”She says. She is inspired by the French and Russian Impressionists and especially fond of her Canadian Group of Seven.(Artists) . A majority of her work is gathered from memories of her travels.She paints what she feels and sees mostly.

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She also enjoys the creativity, meeting, talking and sharing ideas with other creative people. She is currently working on some larger artworks and plans to develop what she has been working on and hopefully expose her work to much more people.She is a self-taught artist. She attended a few workshops to get the fundamentals. She works exclusively with a palette knife. She learned to absorb and experiment with Observing, adapting and evolving her own way of painting. Her Favourite work includes painting the land, sky and the sea. She belongs to a wonderful Plein Air artists Group in Florida called “‘The Light chasers “on the Sun Coast and also the Ontario Plein Air Society while in Canada.

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March Thaw STAR: Thank you for taking out your precious time to talk with us.Enlighten us more as to why are you so passionate about ART? JANE BOYD: I enjoy the creativity, meeting, talking and sharing ideas with other creative people. STAR: An Artist is exposed to many demanding and absorbing situations in the artistic journey.What do you love about life, and what do you hate? JANE BOYD: I love the adventure, the discovery of what life has to offer.I try not to waste a day and live in the moment.I dislike that the older one gets the shorter the time seems and the days just fly by.

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STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? JANE BOYD: I am currently working on some larger pieces...most of my work is on a smaller scale.At first, I found the large blank canvas quite daunting but am feeling more comfortable now.I am getting used to putting out much more paint on my palette.I plan to continue to develop what I have been working on and hopefully expose my work to many more people.


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STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work?

STAR: What are your favorite works you have created so far ?

JANE BOYD: I have been fortunate that I haven’t run into anything too unpredictable probably because I haven’t been “out there” that long.

JANE BOYD: I enjoy painting, the land, sky, and sea.I just love being outside painting. I belong to a wonderful Plein Air Group in Florida called The Lightchasers of the Sun Coast and also the Ontario Plein Air Society while in Canada.I would have to say those Plein Air paintings make me happy even though sometimes when I return home I scraped them off. The day is not wasted… just the paint!

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Bloomsbury Bouquet _12x10 STAR: Please tell us about your training in painting.

STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like?

JANE BOYD : For the most part I am selftaught. I have taken a few workshops if only to get the fundamentals. I work exclusively with a palette knife. There are not many teachers out there giving workshops.I seem to learn from osmosis, absorbing and experimenting by watching and adapting what I see to my way of painting.The Internet has a wealth of information.

JANE BOYD: I am also an Artisan Doll Maker. Currently, I have been commissioned to make dolls for the rooms in the Devonshire Drake Inn, Wellington, Ontario.These dolls are anything but your typical doll.They have an attitude about them.I love creating the “Merrill Collection� and enjoy watching their personalities emerge. Some of them express themselves with tattoos and body piercings making them truly individual.

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STAR: What are you currently working on? JANE BOYD: I just finished a large commission for a client so am currently working on my own stuff.Before I leave for Florida this fall I would like to deliver the new larger pieces to the design showroom that represents my work at the moment.I am also gathering thoughts and ideas for an upcoming Spring Show

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STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? JANE BOYD: To name a few artists...I enjoy the work of G.Hargreaves, Lita Cabellut, L.Balaam, D.Volkov and R. Schuring, Cindy Phenix, Bradley Wood‌ all for very different reasons.


ST RTISTS STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? JANE BOYD: I first started out working in Acrylics but found when I went out to Plein air paint especially in Florida they dried too fast for me.I like to work Alla Prima”wet into wet” so switched to oils.I sometimes drift back into Acrylics to create thank you notes on card stock for clients.I prefer to work in oils.I like the buttery feel of them and sometimes I add a little gel to create an Impasto effect.I find this works well with my palette knife.Just like frosting a cake. I am currently experimenting with a product called Cold Wax.You add the wax paste to your paint mixture and the best part is that you don’t have to heat it like Encaustics.The feel of the finished piece is very different in that it dries to a matte finish unlike oil, but one can buff it with a lovely satin shine...not unlike polishing furniture!

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ST RTISTS STAR: What is your average day like? JANE BOYD: To be honest nothing out of the ordinary. I try to paint every day. Sometimes travel and family commitments change all that. STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? JANE BOYD: I would say experiment until you find”your voice”, develop a niche and above all have fun. Beyond The Woods STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression?

STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work?

JANE BOYD: I try not to get involved in politics.Living in Canada we are a country that is homogenous, building community identity and pride which includes diversity, tolerance and free expression.We are very supportive of the arts.

JANE BOYD: I like moody and unpredictable colors. I enjoy mixing my own maybe starting with a tube color then tweaking it to my liking...thus never the same twice. I like the discovery of a “new shade” and I think that is what sets my work apart. STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? JANE BOYD: I do try to paint every day even if it is just thinking about a color palette for my next body of work.Sometimes I need to take a break and work on my dolls.

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STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? JANE BOYD: I like being part of a creative community. I enjoy participating in shows and talking with other artists.I have made wonderful and interesting friends. I do feel blessed. STAR: What is your inspiration behind the series of paintings? JANE BOYD: My goal is not to render the subject exactly but rather to explore it with paint and happily getting lost in the moment.A suggestion of the subject, a buildup of paint and exciting strokes with my favorite painting knife.At some point, the painting itself takes on a direction of its own and I follow its lead and hopefully recognize when to stop..

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STAR: How have you been so successful with marketing and selling your art? JANE BOYD: I haven’t been painting that long so I am still getting “my feet wet.”I try and get exposure by participating in shows and social media.

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STAR: What style of art would you classify your work? JANE BOYD: I find it hard to describe one’s own work. I would have to say Contemporary Impressionistic. A creation of an abstracted version of what is actually there but with the suggestion of things that are not seen but felt.My landscapes are more about my impressions of these natural spaces rather than a description of these geographical places and how I felt while being there.


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On Golden Field STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? JANE BOYD: When my husband and I are not traveling we share our time in Canada between urban Toronto, Ontario, our island in the Muskoka Region of Ontario and the winter warmth of the Gulf Coast of Florida, USA.These vastly different locations keep my creative thoughts and passions fresh. STAR: What’s integral to the work of an artist? JANE BOYD: Discipline, a sense of humor and a thick skin…!! STAR: What role does the artist have in society? JANE BOYD: Art takes us out of ourselves.It can make one think, lift one’s spirits when one is unhappy or create controversy. There is nothing like a trip to a gallery, a theatre, a movie or a concert hall to brighten one’s day!

STAR: Can you give suggestions to an upcoming artist? JANE BOYD: Follow your dreams, be passionate about your work and participate. “Don’t compare your work to others...there is no comparison between the moon and the sun...they shine when it is their turn.”

Artist Jane Boyd creates a vibrant impact on the

minds of the viewers. The technique she adapts emphasises more upon the artist’s use of colour with the palette knife giving a sense of movement and serenity to the whole painting with the interesting range of textures. Like her Blue flowers are for inspiration and they stand for desire, love, and the metaphysical striving for the infinite and unreachable. It symbolizes hope and the beauty of things. The semi-abstract artwork calls upon the healing powers of pastel colors to invoke calm ,happiness and the spirit of joy!!! 101


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Kaoru Kushima is born and brought up in Hiroshima, Japan.She has been drawing and painting since her childhood. She has been influenced by Japanese subculture especially Manga.She stopped drawing for a period of time and entered University, majoring literature.While in the University, she read novels, poems, especially influenced by English culture.In those days, she admired Aubrey Beardsley and some great artists. After graduation, she began to draw again.Because she had a medical condition which she fought against. However, she didn’t let it get to her.She had to heal herself by drawing. She found that drawing helped to concentrate her mind.Drawing circles are characteristic of her style.They are her important motif and it comes from her inspiration.She had a solo exhibition at Tokyo in 2016.She hopes that her drawings can give someone comfort. Kaoru Kushima is a well-known artist from Japan.Her intricate drawings are beautiful as she explores different possibilities of thoughts, fantasies and inner expressions. She made all the more impressive by the fact the artist does not have a studio and makes all her work rolled up on her bedroom floor. I was keen to find out more about her, one of this most dedicated to art, how the journey could be.Her drawings are full of energy and excitement, fuelled by an insatiable appetite for exploring new possibilities in drawing and sketching.She delicately leads us into the depth of the mind through her drawings.Kaoru Kurshima is an amazing and talented woman and one of the most significant contributors to the field of Art.

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ST RTISTS STAR: Tell me about your background. Where did your life as an artist begin? KAORU KUSHIMA: I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. When I was a little child, I was crazy about drawing anime and comic book characters. At my grandfather’s house was a book which was a collection of great artists from around the world, I spent hours and hours buried in this book. When I was a student I majored in literature, not art, but I had never lost my passion for drawing. So after I graduated from University, I started drawing seriously by myself and became an artist.

STAR: How do you go about the planning and beginning work on a painting? How important are balance and tension? Do you use any form of dynamic symmetry or similar? KAORU KUSHIMA: That pattern already has balance & tension.But I do like things to be slightly asymmetric, slightly off balance. My main motif may well be central. STAR: What artists inspire you. What is the source of inspiration? KAORU KUSHIMA: I was inspired by many artists, for example, Aubrey Beardsley and Edvard Munch, but also by many impressionists and not forgetting Japanese comics. The source of my inspiration is from nature around me and music which I love.

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ST RTISTS STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work? KAORU KUSHIMA: I use the colors of nature .. a lot of,Blue, green but all colors, usually bright!! STAR: Why are you so passionate about ART? KAORU KUSHIMA: I always doubt and question myself about the reason for living, “Can I really survive even though I have many weaknesses?” I express my deep concerns through my pictures and feel relieved when other people admire them. My pictures are a part of me, when people admire them I am sincerely glad that I am alive! I couldn’t live if I couldn’t draw.

STAR: What do you love about life, and what do you hate? KAORU KUSHIMA: What I love about my life is making people smile, spending time with my family and enjoying every day peacefully. What I hate are conflicts and discrimination. STAR: What are your favorite works you have created? KAORU KUSHIMA: My “Circle Series” It expresses mental scenery through the use of many circles.

KAORU KUSHIMA: These days seem occupied with a mixture of creativity through my art and a never-ending supply of chores to be done around the house, but every day I’m discovering more of my own unique style of drawing. Moving forward, I hope to hold several solo exhibitions in Japan with a goal of someday exhibiting overseas.

STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? KAORU KUSHIMA: I tend to use pens and colored pencils mainly due to their convenience as I can take them wherever I go. Pens are suitable for my drawing style which is very detailed. Coloured pencils are very useful as I can mix them easily developing new colors very well. STAR: What is your average day like? KAORU KUSHIMA: After I get up I have a cup of coffee and do yoga in the morning sun. I do housework and then usually draw. I try to spend as much time as I can drawing while sometimes taking a walk around my home to soak up the feeling of nature, this helps me to relax in the evening. Have dinner with my family, and my day finishes.

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STAR: Please tell us about your training in painting. BHAGVATI NATH: I had great art lessons at school, where we all covered the various mediums, from clay to paints and printing (we also did woodwork and making clothes). I specialized in drawing and painting from ages 14 to 18, and went to St. Alban’s College of Art, Herts., for one year. We learned all the techniques and ‘rules’ for landscapes, portraits, and figures, perspective, color etc. I learned ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels in art. But I didn’t paint from when I was in my early twenties until I reached 40. STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? BHAGVATI NATH: I’m working on a large piece – 120 x 100 cm – and it’s a commission, entitled ‘The Garden of Delights’. I’m finding it very difficult as he has given me many ‘things’ he wants to be included and it’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle, trying to fit everything in and keep (some) perspective. It’s taking a long time as I’m doing other things too.

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ST RTISTS STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? KAORU KUSHIMA: I like flower arrangement, interior coordination, and cooking. STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? KAORU KUSHIMA: Don’t copy others, be honest with yourself about your inspiration, try not to be overly perfect and trust yourself.

STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression? KAORU KUSHIMA: None of these world issues has an impact on my artistic expression. Only nature provides the inspiration that I require.

STAR: What are you currently working on? KAORU KUSHIMA: Another “Circle Series” using pens and colored pencils. STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? KAORU KUSHIMA: I like to see other contemporary artist’s works whenever possible. I like many of them, but my work is not influenced by them directly.

STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work? KAORU KUSHIMA: I follow my inspiration to draw using many colors unconsciously. I think my inspiration requires many colors. STAR: How do you plan your daily work and schedule? KAORU KUSHIMA: I sometimes draw all day, usually 3 to 6 hours before and after lunch. I sometimes have long breaks, about two weeks without drawing anything.

STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? KAORU KUSHIMA: My favorite experience as an artist is the communication I have with people from around the world regardless of their gender or status when my pictures connect us, there is no greater experience.

STAR: What is your inspiration behind the series of paintings? KAORU KUSHIMA: The source of inspiration for my work behind the “Circle Series” is the world of my subconsciousness. Inside is everything that I’ve learned, experienced, touched, saw, read and listened to. Also, inspiration comes from seeing and feeling the natural environment.

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STAR: How have you been so successful with marketing and selling your art? KAORU KUSHIMA: My success is still relatively very small, most of my work is purchased by friends and family. In the future, I hope this changes as my work becomes more recognized. STAR: What style of art would you classify your work? KAORU KUSHIMA: I don’t know, perhaps “abstract?” STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? KAORU KUSHIMA: I have never used easels to draw. To concentrate deeply, I like to lay on the floor with my cat to draw. STAR: Can you give suggestions to the upcoming artist? KAORU KUSHIMA: Please trust yourself. Please keep drawing whatever happens. 114


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Jaya Bakshi is a highly imaginative artist, Born in Karwar, beautiful stretch bordering Goa and Karnataka ,she grew up in a loving atmosphere, watching many artists around. Encouraged by her family and enthused by the teachers and friends increased her love for art which was a natural blessing,Although she did not have any technical knowledge in fine art and was a commerce graduate, her love for art did not reduce rather it grew more when she did fashion designing. Her passion for art and motivation by her daughter finally gave her the name of an artist. This self-taught award winning artist has got a unique style of working, a wonderful mix of glorious colors and brush strokes, craft combined a combination of talents.She has a natural way of working which gives her pleasure.She has developed her own style and works in all possible mediums like water, oil, acrylic, mixed media, pencil etc. Jaya’s art doesn’t limit here it extends to craft work like wedding boxes, candles, trays, platters etc. all hand crafted.She held up exhibitions as well as participated and has won several awards.She also believes in working for a noble cause. For her art is a celebration, a journey made by the artist to enjoy the creative process.

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STAR: What artists inspire you? What is the source of inspiration?

STAR: Why are you so passionate about ART?

JAYA BAKSHI: I don’t follow any artist, I have a different attitude to inspiration, I seek it from all sorts of sources, anything that allows me to think about how culture comes together, I see people in the street, I watch films, I read I think about the conversation that I have, I consider the gestures people use or the colours they wear. It’s all about taking the little everyday things and observing them with a critical eye.

JAYA BAKSHI: It’s a natural love, it’s a stress buster, art gives happiness, and it’s the best way of expressing feelings.

STAR: When did you become an artist?

JAYA BAKSHI: I love challenges and life is full of it. I hate when I am unable to do all that I have thought of, but its ok

JAYA BAKSHI: I was passionate about art since childhood but since I was born and brought up in a business family could not pursue it. As art was inside it was triggering me now and then finally took it as a profession since 2012. 118

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STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? JAYA BAKSHI: I regularly work and keep learning from my own mistakes .presently working on a series of abstracts with textures. No specific plans for future but creativity will definitely go on. STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? JAYA BAKSHI: I work with all possible mediums, like oil, acrylics, pencil, charcoal etc. because sometimes the creativity needs the mix of different mediums and we cannot stick to a particular medium.

STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work? JAYA BAKSHI: If we are creative obstacles don’t disturb us from making the art work but exhibiting the work depends on the place and the people’s reaction .everyone cannot understand art STAR: What are your favourite works you have created? JAYA BAKSHI: The gurdwara in oil I created in 2012 is my favourite Hope, the blooming series, the desired series etc. are the top and among my favourites, although all my creations are my babies.

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STAR: What is your average day like? JAYA BAKSHI: I start my day at 6 am after sending my girl to school I plan my artwork for the day, then I go and look after our family business till my child is back from school .after lunch spend some time with her then get back to my artwork at least 2 hours in the evening.

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STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? JAYA BAKSHI: I am involved in craft work too like I make handmade mirrors, holders, hangings, platters, frames, candle stands etc... I appreciate all forms of creativity which don’t harm anyone. STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? JAYA BAKSHI: There aren’t too many dos and don’ts in the art but at the same time art is not exempt from moral responsibility.We shouldn’t do anything that is illegal or can hurt someone. It’s important for young artists to be clear about what they want. STAR: Please tell us about your training in painting JAYA BAKSHI: I am a self-taught artist and don’t have any technical qualification. STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression? JAYA BAKSHI: People who are creative can make art wherever they are, I don’t believe in a particular kind of economy, culture, context or a unique space or have specific items to make art. STAR: What are you working on? JAYA BAKSHI: Currently I am working on a series of abstracts with textures.

STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? JAYA BAKSHI: I do appreciate others artists work and look at to get an idea of what not to do. All the creation of God has always been my inspiration .the sky, the water, the mountains, birds, trees, the colourful people etc.

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STAR: Why did you prefer the color palette reflected in your work? JAYA BAKSHI: My color palette is always a happy palette and that reflects in my work I work on happiness. STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? JAYA BAKSHI: I paint 1 to 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. STAR: What is your favourite experience as an artist? JAYA BAKSHI: Self-confidence, recognition, and tremendous love. 124

STAR: What is your inspiration behind this series of paintings? JAYA BAKSHI: Ups and downs of life! STAR: How have you been so successful with marketing and selling your art? JAYA BAKSHI: It didn’t happen overnight, life as an aspiring artist is an endless sea of precarious arrangements, commercial demands, and cutthroat competitiveness .but I have been lucky to have friends who helped me in exhibiting and selling my work.


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ST RTISTS STAR: What style of art would you classify your work? JAYA BAKSHI: I would say Contemporary, abstract STAR: How did your art works become famous? JAYA BAKSHI: By exhibiting, participating in competitions and winning through. STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? JAYA BAKSHI: I’m graduate studying fashion designing and finally taking up childhood passion as a profession is the interesting fact of my life. STAR: What’s integral to the work of an artist? JAYA BAKSHI: Being focused and perseverance is important to work as an artist.. STAR: What role does the artist have in society? JAYA BAKSHI: An Artist is one who can express feelings without speaking so an artist plays a very important role in the society. The role of an artist plays in society is largely dependent on the personality of the artist and the artist’s chosen subject matter .An Artist can lead, follow, uplift or provoke with their art work, art is often a reflection or extension of personality. STAR: Can you give suggestions to upcoming artist? JAYA BAKSHI: Don’t be scared of failure ,forget the idea that inspiration will come to you like a flash of lightening ,routine is really important ,reveal yourself in your artwork , be open to your surroundings ,keep it simple and most important don’t restrict yourself . STAR:Thankyou! That is was a very interesting discussion .It is a very positive ,inspirational and energetic feedback from your side . 129


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D O E R F L I N G E R

MARZ

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Marz Doerflinger was born in the golden valleys of Southern California. As a young child she was fascinated by animation and would play in the studio of her best friend’s father, an animator for Hanna-Barbera. Her early exposure to art lead to a lifelong love of values, shadows and carefree expression. Ms. Doerflinger received a BFA in painting and animation from Washington State University in 1983. She has enjoyed careers in television set design, graphic design and internet multimedia. In addition to her creative work, Marz is a long-distance runner completing over 140 races with distances ranging from 26.2-150 miles. She currently splits her time between the lush rainforests of Olympia, Washington and the arid desert mountains of Fountain Hills, Arizona.Originally working in watercolor, Doerflinger turned her practice towards oils, cold wax, and pastels. She finds the richness of pigment and the interactions between the three mediums allows her to speak fluidly about the landscapes around her. Marz strives to communicate mood and atmosphere through value shifts in a limited complimentary palette. Her approach brings a sense of serenity and order to an increasingly chaotic world. Marz Doerflinger recently returned from an artist residency in New Mexico and is preparing for a residency in Venice, Italy. She is currently working in her Olympia, Washington studio and is accepting a limited number of commissions. Marz is represented by Gallery Boom in Olympia, Washington. Recent Shows and Juried Events Artist in Residence, Truth or Consequences, NM, February 2017 The Art of EBLAR, Rio Grande Gallery, Truth or Consequences, NM, February 2017 Olympia Art Walk Spring Juried Show, Olympia, WA, April 2017 Little Gems, Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA, June-August 2017 NWPS Annual Show, Portland, OR, August 2017 133


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STAR: When and where were you born? an artist begin?

Tell me about your background. Where did your life as

MARZ DOERFLINGER: I was born in San Bernardino, California in 1961. My father raced sailboats so I spent most weekends outside playing on the beach and in the surf. My family moved to Olympia, Washington in 1970. It was a huge change, both culturally and environmentally. Instead of sunny beaches, I now played in lush rainforests. Instead of the hip surfer culture, it was hiking muddy trails. I loved it. I felt like I could really breath when surround by evergreens and moss. I always loved drawing, really from the moment I could hold a crayon. I was the kid that teachers would pick to make the school posters. I doodled constantly in my books and homework papers. I made the decision to limit my efforts to pencil drawing. Even as a teen, I felt I needed to learn structure and value before moving on to colour. For me, a painting was something that could wait until I had a solid foundation in drawing. 134


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STAR: Tell us about your college education and how you developed your skills over the period of time. MARZ DOERFLINGER: I went to college at Washington State University, earning a BFA. My first year was all about drawing, it wasn’t until the second year that I finally picked up a paintbrush. From that point on I’ve been a painter. My first love was watercolour. I spent my early adulthood painting, teaching and exhibiting watercolours of flowers, bones and reptiles. I felt like I was on my way to becoming a successful artist but life had other plans. I stopped painting when my son was born, I couldn’t paint to be a good mother. I get too lost in my work and nothing else mattered. I packed my studio and walked away from art. I didn’t think I would ever feel the call to paint again. Twenty years later I was passing through a small gallery and it so happened. I saw a painting that touched me so deeply…. I knew at that moment it was time to dust off the brushes and get back to work. That was two years ago. I have been painting every day since.

STAR: What artists inspire you. What is the source of inspiration? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I’m inspired by the modern artist who is abstracting the landscape. I also love the Tonalist movement. I have a few favourites but I find inspiration in all of them – from successful artists in the finest galleries to the beginners who show up at our local painting nights. They all have something unique to say that influence my work. STAR: Why are you so passionate about ART? MARZ DOERFLINGER: It’s part of me. It’s what I am. I do not paint to enter competitions or sell lots of work, I paint to discover myself.

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STAR: How do you go about the planning and beginning work on a painting? How important are balance and tension? Do you use any form of dynamic symmetry or similar? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I paint in large series so the most critical step for me is deciding on the subject. Once the subject it was chosen and the first painting started, ideas start free flowing. I work quickly and don’t over think. I mix my colours first which gives me plenty of time to focus in on my subject before I pick up the knife. Once I start I let myself react to the process. I don’t do thumbnails or sketch out the composition on my panel… I just start. I work dark to light, quickly! As I am painting I do pay attention to values, temperature, edges, and focal point: good composition is a must.

STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I’m currently working on colour relationships and colour mixing skills with a palette of yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, ivory black and titanium white. I’m striving to develop and more subtle, sophisticated and harmonious colour story. I’ve always been a “shout with vibrate colours” kind of artist and I would like to move away from that. My current series of atmospheric-ocean paintings use this palette and is executed with a painting knife. I’m continuing to work on moving from realism to abstraction, all within the parameters of landscape and seascape. 137


STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Oil paint and cold wax medium are my love. I like the traditional roots of oil paints, the vibrancy even in a subtle palette, and the luminosity. Cold wax medium adds an extra dimension of texture, translucency and depth. I also work in soft pastel and gouache. Pastels are fabulous for working out ideas when I don’t want to worry about mixing colours – I just want to react to my subject. Gouache is fun for quick little studies and also as an underpainting for pastels. My favourite plein air technique is pastel over a gouache underpainting.

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STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Painting is a top priority for me, so I always find time even if just 10 minutes. I keep an easel set-up just for pastel and another one for oils. Everything is out and ready for painting. All I have to do is show up and lay down a marker. Making is a priority for me: I find it hard to step away and work on the business end of art. I frequently miss exhibit deadlines because I don’t take the time to submit entries.


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The marsh series STAR: What are your favourite works you have created? MARZ DOERFLINGER: It’s usually the last thing I’ve been working on. Last week I did a series of quick little ocean paintings. They’re my current favourites, but next week or next month it will be something else. I love when I can strip a subject down to their essence and it’s successful. I think I am getting there with my Pacific Rim series. STAR: What is your average day like? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Up before dawn for a walk with the dogs, coffee and contemplation about the days work. I start with 15 minutes or so of writing practice then head to my day job (digital media producer). I try to squeeze in a good workout at lunchtime. After work it’s another walk, dinner, then studio time. I try to paint every day. Weekdays it’s just one or two 20 minute paintings. Weekends I work on my larger pieces.

STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I love fashion. I fill my closet full of colours, textures, and silhouettes that inspire me. Choosing my outfit is a favourite part of my day. STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Practice every day. I know it’s been said a lot but it is crucial to advancing your skills. You don’t have to paint a masterpiece every time you set up to the easel, a practice can be as simple as mixing colours or laying down random brush strokes. Use social media. Join online artist communities. Participate in online challenges. Promote yourself even if you don’t think you are worthy. Be a lifelong learner. Seek out opportunities to watch other artists, talk about art or take workshops

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Pacific Rim series STAR: Please tell us about your training in painting MARZ DOERFLINGER: I have a BFA from Washington State University. I have studied painting with Chris Brown, Stefan Baumann, Mitch Albala and Albert Handell. STAR: How does the social and political climate in your country and around the world impact your artistic expression? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I tend to stay away from extreme social commentary in my work. That said, I have been playing around with a series about environmental impact in my abstract “Low Tide” series. My series “The marsh before the forest” plays with the beauty (and sometimes darkness) of urban wetlands. “Low tide” is about abuse of natural resources and the earth’s ability to heal.

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STAR: What are you currently working on? How much do the subject and composition evolve during the painting process? Could you say something about your painting process? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Pacific Rim” is a new series that explores the Pacific Ocean and its many moods. With every painting I am inspired to tell my story in a slightly different way: this is what makes painting a series so appealing to me. It’s the opportunity to fully explore a subject. I’m painting this series quickly to capture the mood and energy of this massive body of water. (20 minutes for small paintings, 2 hours for larger work) My process is fairly simple. I premix my colours (or choose a limited number of sticks if I’m painting pastel). I start by laying down a note directly on my surface. From that point it’s just a matter of defining my shapes, creating a few accents and calling it done.


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STAR: Who are your current art inspirations? Do you look to other contemporary artist’s work during your artistic process? MARZ DOERFLINGER: My most recent “favourite artist” is Icelandic landscape painter Georg Gudni. I also love the work of Mitchell Ababa, it’s so subtle and sophisticated. Jane Boyd is an artist I look to daily for inspiration. Landscape minimalists fascinate me. STAR: Why did you prefer the colour palette reflected in your work? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Its limited in its ability to produce a full range of vibrate colours. Using this palette forces me to focus on colour relationships instead of the colour itself to achieve the effects I’m after.

STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? You seem to have tremendous self-discipline. MARZ DOERFLINGER: I’m up before dawn, walk the dogs, enjoy a cup of coffee, check social media. After breakfast, I spend 15 minutes working on my cursive writing skills. I have terrible handwriting and am trying to improve. I find a few cursive writing drills help me warm up my hands and sharpen my focus for painting, even if I don’t get to the studio right away. I head off to my day job as a digital media manager. I try to sketch and doodle whenever I have a chance. I always have my sketchbook with me. In the evening I head up to the studio: now I get to paint! During the work week, I do 15 to 30 minute timed paintings. On the weekends I work on my bigger pieces.

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STAR: What style of art would you classify your work?

STAR: What is your favourite experience as an artist?

MARZ DOERFLINGER: Contemporary landscape

MARZ DOERFLINGER: I was fortunate to be selected for a month-long artist residency in New Mexico in 2017. Spending a month with 11 other artists in a secluded location was transforming. Every moment was dedicated to art: supporting fellow artists, seeking inspiration, formulating ideas, discussing concepts and executing paintings.

STAR: How did your artworks become famous? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Social media! I’m very active on Facebook and trying to get more involved on Instagram. STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I’m an endurance athlete. I have cycled from coast to coast across the USA and run 135 marathons and ultra-marathon with 5 races that were over 100 miles. Running and cycling super long distances gives me lots of time to think and lets creativity flow.

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STAR: What is your inspiration for the series of paintings? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I live on the shores of Puget Sound. The salt water feels like it’s part of me. It’s constantly there: the sounds, the smells, the rhythm of the tides. I am striving to capture that presence in my series “Pacific Rim”.


ST RTISTS STAR: What is your daily painting schedule like? How does our culture help in your artistic process? PRATIMA.S: As it relates to self-discipline, I think passion drives the discipline and helps you to stay focused and committed. India’s culture is my passion and has been a constant source of inspiration in my artistic process.

STAR: What is your favorite experience as an artist? Have you contributed to society any other way? PRATIMA.S: My favorite experience is when young students and children visit my gallery. I spend the great amount of time with them. I give them the context and background of my paintings. It’s a real pleasure to see the wow struck faces of these children as they hear and see the artistic impression of our rich heritage.

STAR: What is your inspiration behind the series of paintings” Virasat”? PRATIMA.S: As mentioned in earlier answers and suggested by the name itself, “Virasat” is inspired by India’s cultural heritage.

STAR: How have you been so successful with marketing and selling your art? PRATIMA.S: Honestly, there has never been a focused effort from my end, most of the name that I have earned is through word of mouth praises about my work and theme. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my co-artists and well-wishers for helping me on my journey. STAR: What role does the artist have in society? PRATIMA.S: I think artists have an integral role in the society to translate the past, capture the present and shape the future through various forms of art. STAR: Can you give suggestions for the upcoming artist? PRATIMA.S: An artist should try to give some social message to people in particular & to society in general thru his artwork.

Artist Pratima Singh has recently exhibited her solo show of paintings “Virasat”at Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi ,India.She has many solo and group shows to her credit.

STAR: What’s integral to the work of an artist? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Living a life full of experiences. An artist can’t fully develop if they are locked away in their studio all the time. While it’s important to establish a good work ethic, it’s just as important to experience all life has to offer. An artist needs that to draw inspiration. STAR: What role does the artist have in society? MARZ DOERFLINGER: I think artists are historians. We record our impressions and experiences of our time. STAR: Can you give suggestions to an upcoming artist? MARZ DOERFLINGER: Practice daily without expectations. Be playful. Be curious. Experiment. Practice. 143


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Marz Doerflinger is an artist with a dynamic approach to contemporary landscape painting. She uses a wide variety to build her paintings up, layer by layer, to a surface which is varied in color, texture, and sheen.The surfaces of your paintings are luminous, heavily-worked and thick with impasto marks. You can know more about her on http://marzdoerflinger.com 145


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SHWETA S I N G H

Shweta Singh is an emergiing artist .She currently lives in New Delhi.India.She is an art enthusiast and feels that the world has many beautiful things to offer us.Her paintings display the simplicity and the love for animals . She holds a Master of Arts (UGC NET), and is a Gold medalist.She has organized many events for social welfare of women and continues her support to the women of society ,through social welfare activities,thus creating more awareness amongst women .She is a passionate artist and today she balances her time between creating art and her family. Her latest series “The Buddha� is unique with serene expressions and touches our soul with the simplicity and ease ,with which she captured the essence and divinity .

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STAR:Thankyou for the talk. Please tell us When and where were you born? Tell me about your background. Where did your life as an artist begin? SHWETA SINGH: I was born in a very small town of Uttar Pradesh, Bahraich.It is near to Shravasti, which is famous for Sahet-Mahet, where Buddha used to come in Shravasti mas(rainy season) and gave his preaching. STAR: What artists inspire you? What is the source of inspiration? SHWETA SINGH: Raja Ravi Verma, Amrita Shergill, and even contemporary Indian, as well as foreign artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali, inspire me.

STAR: Why are you so passionate about ART? SHWETA SINGH: Yes, I am so passionate about art because I am an introvert person and colours become the medium through which I express my emotions. It’s a kind of meditation for me.I feel so contented when I paint It was almost the end of the December 2016 when I suddenly started painting. Before that, I never realised that I have this talent. STAR: What do you love about life, and what do you hate? SHWETA SINGH: Life is precious .we forget how precious our human life is and start wasting it on minor issues. Through body we can express ourselves. We, human beings can write, draw, paint, dance etc. No other living being can do this. We are blessed so much .We should utilise it and give respect to art in our society 151


STAR: Any other advice for artists trying to get established? SHWETA SINGH: Artists trying to get established should pay attention to their inner voice only and concentrate on their painting.Follow a regular practice schedule ,so that they learn faster and develop patience 152


STAR: What are you working on now, and what are your plans for the future? SHWETA SINGH: At present, I am working on Lord Buddha series. Buddha is so close to my heart because, so l was influenced with his philosophy, what he contributed to the world. After getting salvation he didn’t quit the world but tried hard to make easy for every person to get salvation and that makes him great. STAR: What mediums do you work in and why? SHWETA SINGH: I used oil over acrylic in my animal series. STAR: What obstacles do you face in making and exhibiting your work? SHWETA SINGH: I faced a lot of obstacles in making my work because I was a lay-man when I started painting.lt was a new field to me but through my observation, I gradually improved myself and became a self-taught artist.

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STAR: Tell us about your social welfare work .It is very inspiring to know that you wholeheartedly contribute so much to the society . SHWETA SINGH: In the past whenever my exams were over my mother got me enrolled in different courses like cutting and tailoring, handicrafts etc. While doing social welfare activities these courses helped me a lot. I taught the ladies trying to make them self-dependent. I took interest in every activity whether it was food stalls or educating little one (preschool) or organising Mela or inviting doctors for health talk. Because of this ladies (wives of CISF personnel’s) residing at my husband’s unit) started talking part in every event and made it a big success. STAR: What are your favorite works you have created? SHWETA SINGH: I love expression of horses running on the sea water. The expression is so good. Three white horses running on the sand, where l painted the background in oil. I did some experiment there and the result was awesome.

STAR: Could you tell us some interesting facts about your life?

STAR: What is your average day like?

SHWETA SINGH: My life is very interesting always wanted to do some work in academic field. Qualified UGC (NET) in first attempt, married to a government officer, moving all over India, never got chance to complete my Ph.D. tried to do B.Ed. Qualified B.Ed. entrance of Assam, Haryana,U.P but always got transferred before completing it.Started social welfare activities because it gives me immense pleasure. If my actions give some profit or relief to unprivileged one I feel so contented.

SHWETA SINGH: I want to fill my each day with power of positivity. I am really a positive person and try to do some good work for the society. It brings me joy. I spent some time with my pet dog Buddy talk to him. He cannot talk but understands me.Animals are also living beings, we should understand this and be compassionate towards them.

STAR: Why did you choose acrylic as your medium? SHWETA SINGH: Acrylics are only one of many mediums I use. I started with oils, then moved to acrylics..I am a mixed-media artist. I use all mediums such as oil, acrylic, enamel, and alike.I love to experiment with different mediums.

STAR: What other forms of creativity do you like? SHWETA SINGH: I love writing, cooking, and gardening too. STAR:Thankyou ,it has been a wonderful talk .I am sure many would be inspired by your loving spirit and love for art. 153


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Valentine's Day Annual Edition  

The Artists interviewed in this edition are outstandingly creative with unique ideas and styles.They throw light on the ways different media...

Valentine's Day Annual Edition  

The Artists interviewed in this edition are outstandingly creative with unique ideas and styles.They throw light on the ways different media...

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