Art of the State Artist Interview: Drew Zimmerman

The Ruth Kligman Story ©2014 Drew Zimmerman newsprint, newspaper, acrylic, mixed media 24 x 30″

I first met Drew on Facebook the year when we were both in Art of the State. His piece had won second prize that year in the craft category and there was an interesting debate about whether his work is art or craft. I’m sure as an artist whose medium is paper mâché this is a common situation. I’ll let you be the judge (or you could just say it’s both!) as he’s my first featured artist interview for this year’s Art of the State interview series. Aside from his two(!) pieces in this year’s exhibition, you can see more of his art on Drew Zimmerman‘s website.

How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)
I started making puppets and masks to use in theatrical occasions when I got hooked on paper mache.

What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?
I am inspired by the way we live in a world of abstractions, negotiating pure ideas and money, and are out-of-touch with the real planet.

Atlas ©2010 Drew Zimmerman mixed media 5 X 4′

Who are your favorite artists in your field?
I love Alexander Calder who worked in similar ways to myself. He could basically draw with #16 wire. An absolute master.

What is your favorite customer quote or story?
When I was supervising an opening at Muse Gallery in Phila., Olde City, some folks came in with color swatches, looking for a couch painting. It was hilarious.

What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?
I love my own “Houdini” and the labyrinth I made that hangs in my wife’s yarn shop. See my site drewzimmerman.com for pictures and biographical statements.

Penelope ©2014 Drew Zimmerman mixed media 49 X 42″
Extra bonus points because he also is a Temple alumnus.

Art of the State Artist Interview: Eleanor Day

Girl In The Yellow Dress ©2013 Eleanor Day, 36"x27"
Girl In The Yellow Dress ©2013 Eleanor Day, 36″x27″ oil on canvas
This week’s Artist Interview is with painter Eleanor Day, whose piece Girl in the Yellow Dress is in the same area as Tether in the Art of the State exhibition. Her realistic painting have an interesting outlined technique that I find makes them a little more interesting than if they were strictly true to life. The people in them have a quiet, solitariness to them that helps to draw the viewer in. You can find Eleanor online at her website, EleanorDay.com and of course see her piece at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014 through September 14th at the State Museum of PA in Harrisburg.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I got started working in oils when I went to CAPA and studied under Phillip Corey, who helped convince me of the special qualities of oil paint. Besides, all of my enamored artists worked in oils.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

The fact that I live with my two teenage daughters has me frequently turning to them as models and inspiration. Apart from being available to work from, needless to say, there is

St. Bridget, Patron of Ireland ©2010 Eleanor Day, 12" x 12", oil on masonite $350
St. Bridget, Patron of Ireland ©2010 Eleanor Day, 12″ x 12″, oil on masonite $350

also an emotional depth and intensity in working from your own children, especially as daughters, they are bringing directly to that place of my own adolescence–a phase of life that I’m drawn to exploring.

The subject of the human figure has always been prominent for me–is a never ending source of exploration and discovery. And then on a purely abstract level, color is very important to me, and I love to use varied patterns and textures in my work.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

I have so many favorite artists from history. I am very much drawn to religious paintings from the Renaissance, as well as the stained glass images in cathedrals from that time. I also love more recent work from muralist, Diego Rivera, of course Frida Kahlo, Violet Oakley and Henry O. Tanner. Those are just a few.

Summer Morning ©2012 Eleanor Day  oil on canvas 36" x 48"
Summer Morning ©2012 Eleanor Day oil on canvas 36″ x 48″

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

A favorite compliment “Your paintings glow like jewels”

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

A favorite piece of art would be a line drawing portrait by an unknown artist of two of my sisters when they were young teens, done on the boardwalk. It’s so simple, and so strong–it’s really good!

Art of the State Artist Interview – Susan Schulz

The fourth installment of the Art of the State Artist Interview series is PA Guild of Craftsmen member and jeweler extraordinaire, Susan Schulz. You can see from her work and her list of influences why I would want to feature her here. To see more of textured, super gemstoned work, visit her website, Schulz Studio, and of course, visit her earrings at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania until September 14th.

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susan schulz dreams of australia
Dreams of Australia ( the piece in Art of the State ) ©Susan Schulz opals, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds,18 & 14k gold, sterling

1. How did you get started in your craft?
As an Art major, I took classes mostly in drawing and painting. I wasn’t able to take a jewelry class until my senior year, but as soon as I picked up the saw and started making my first piece, that was it. I knew I had found what I wanted to do. Metalwork has an enormous variety of techniques and materials, and I continue to take workshops to expand my knowledge.

2.What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?
Seeing the amazing variety of gemstones, minerals, and fossils at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show has been inspiring. Every year there are new materials I’ve never seen before, with unusual patterns and textures I can’t wait to incorporate in my designs.

Twilight pendant ©Susan Schulz fossilized palm wood, sterling, sapphire
Twilight pendant ©Susan Schulz fossilized palm wood, sterling, sapphire

3.Who are your favorite artists in you field?
There are so many amazing metalsmiths- it’s really difficult to choose a few. I really like Alexander Calder’s forged jewelry- simple, direct, and whimsical. Michael Boyd’s amazing lapidary work and elegant designs. Claudio Pino’s outrageous, flamboyant rings, David Huang’s beautiful chased vessels.

4.What is your favorite customer quote or story?
My favorite customer quote is “I love it!” as they’re giving me a hug after they see their finished piece for the first time.

5.What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?
I can’t pick one! My favorite pieces remind me of a trip or the person who made the piece. A dot painting from Australia that inspired a series of pieces with opals and gold dots, a batik of the patron saint of Salvador, Brazil, a print of rock formations from a family trip to the Grand Canyon, and some funny ceramic animals my children made.