How did you first get involved in art?
I’ve have always enjoyed the act of creating and drew a lot when I was younger; however, it wasn’t until my children were older that I chose to pursue art seriously. I was introduced to oil painting in 2012, fell in love and never looked back. I received my BFA at the University of Missouri - Columbia in 2015.
What is it about oil painting that has captured your interest?
I love oil painting in particular because of its forgiving nature. I have a tendency towards perfectionism which can often stifle the creative process, so oils allow me to build the ability to fail and find serendipitous “mistakes” throughout my process.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Whom do you draw inspiration from?
I’m a watcher, and people are fascinating creatures, so it wasn’t a big leap for me to become a figurative painter. I like to use mythological stories and characters as a lens to recognize our own personal “mythologies” - those stories we tell ourselves as we attempt to understand our circumstances and choices, or maybe to hide from the understanding. My inspiration often begins with my own self-evaluation, as I reflect on my own choices and patterns of behavior. I see history repeating itself in my own life and the lives of those around me.
Your award-winning piece "Icarus" is dynamic & eye-catching, both in the figurative portrayal and the colors chosen to convey the mythological story. What is the significance of the mathematical equations within the sunbeams?
The equations that make up the sunbeams are actually the expressions for thermal heat transfer so they are specific to the story of Icarus. They represent how despite our modern scientific understandings we still have a hard time truly discerning how the world around us effects us and how we know things without truly understanding them.
What is your connection with the Foundry Art Centre? How did you discover it?
Since I live only two hours away, I visit St. Louis often. I’ve been impressed by shows at the Foundry Art Centre, and their consistent quality of art exploration. When this show’s prospectus popped up in my news feed, I knew I had to submit something.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a new body of work using the archetypes of Time and Necessity. I’m right in the mix of putting all those visual ideas and themes down on canvas, which is an exciting and somewhat scary place in the process.
How do you connect with people through your art? Why do you create art?
With the tensions and the polarized atmosphere that we live in these days, it can seem hard to connect with others; however, we all have experiences that others can relate to. My goal is not to get people to connect with me, but to truly connect with themselves, to ask themselves questions about who they really are as people. When we do that, we realize we have similarities with those around us, shared struggles. I believe that true change - both personal and social change - comes from that still, quiet place within each of us where we face the fables and mythologies we create in our own lives and, in turn, question our preconceived notions about others.
What do you enjoy doing aside from art?
When I’m not in my studio I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family. I’m also an avid learner, so I’m often found reading or listening to podcasts about whatever has happened to catch my fancy.
Article by Jillian Schoettle.