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FAA Spotlight An Artist Interview with Laura Krusemark

January 6th, 2021

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with another deeply talented artist: Laura Krusemark! I find Laura to be a deeply talented artist. After reading her interview, please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:


Question: In your own words, how would you describe your art?

Through my artwork and the creation process, I strive to capture the beauty and magic that I find in so much of life. The fascination with that space of 'awe' when you see something that stops time and pulls you into another world, is what I'm hoping to capture in my artwork. I also love light and working with light in my artwork so luminous, radiant, mysterious, or magical would be some works I would describe my art as being or creating the feeling of such.


Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

I love the idea of creating the illusion of form on a 2 dimensional surface or creating worlds on a paper or canvas that you can enter - to me that's a fascinating and magical concept! I'm inspired by the infinitely beautiful patterns in nature, the idea of energy, light, and movement and the human form, esp. the face and hands I'm drawn to as they are so expressive!

For the creative process, it starts with the inspiration and then I imagine ideas around it, sometimes I play with images in Photoshop to collage a piece together (I do that esp. for clients with commissioned work as it gives them a better idea and easier to change than a sketch). Then I decide what medium would work best for the idea as I love to play with so many different ones and they all give a different feel and expression...sometimes mixing a few together is great too! And from there I usually do a quick sketch underneath of the idea and then start the painting/ drawing process.

I like to work the whole piece at once instead of little sections as it gives a more connected and cohesive feeling to it. I paint/ draw in larger to small and get into the details later, but most important is the foundation and structure, and composition in the beginning. If that's off, the whole piece will be off of which no amount of beautiful detail can fix, so I keep it fairly loose in the beginning. I find when the artwork has become 'alive', I feel a conversation with the being in it ... then I am feel complete for the most part, but it is still hard for me to know when exactly to stop as I feel I could always do better.
Recently I've realized it's wise to not muddle too much with things as the energy and spontaneity are so important and keep the freshness in the artwork. With too much refinement, the piece can start to be come to still and not interesting for the viewer to 'dive' into as they don't have an opening for where their imagination can take them :)


Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

I love Gustav Klimt esp. for his style and subject - the beautiful mysterious women, the textile like patterns with gold leaf and the feminine softness that he captures so beautifully are some of my favorite aspects in his work.

I also love Swedish artist Anders Zorn for his paintings, but his etchings are esp. magnificent in their form created from the line work.

And John Singer Sargent has been a favorite of mine for a long time in the way he is able to capture all information such as light, color, fabric or skin, movement and feeling in a single brush stroke. The balance between the painting looking very painterly and realistic at the same time has always fascinated me about his work.

There are so many that inspire me it's hard to stop haha! I also love Maxfield Parish because of the luminous paradise feeling he created using so many beautiful layers and details. And I love many of the Pre-Raphealites and Symbolist artists (John William Waterhouse, Odilon Redon, Fernand Khnopff) at the turn of the century for their subject matter but the ethereal and beautiful way they expressed in their work.


Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?

I love working with charcoal as well as oils and watercolor and have also recently found a love for chalk pastels. I also enjoy adding gold
and silver leaf to my oil paintings to give extra dimension and luminosity as well as energy :)



Question: How long have you been an artist?

My earliest memories are about the ago of 4-5 years old, I remember watching my mom paint and do different craft projects. I always enjoyed creating something with my hands and loved replicating things to understand them. I remember thinking how great it was that I could create my own little worlds using line and color! I would draw everyday on a big old chalkboard in my dad's woodworking shop before I was old enough to be in school and was always finding rocks that I could split open (at the time have my dad split for me with a sledge hammer since I was too little) to observe their patterns and the way the light would come through them.


Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

I have my work with quite a few private collections in the US and around the world including the Netherlands, Poland, England, and Austria. I've also been in exhibitions in Los Angeles, CA and other CA areas including Dunsmuir and Thousand Oaks. And I currently have my work in an upcoming exhibition in Pratt, KS at the Vernon Filley Museum. For online, I have my website: laurakrusemark.com and also have my instagram and Facebook - artist page as well as Pinterest- artist page.


Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?

I'm also a classical pianist and started training at 9 years old, and currently create my own compositions and have 2 albums out world-wide on itunes, Spotify, Youtube, and more. You can find them on my website as well under the 'Music' tab.

I love nature as well and hiking mountains - I'm always inspired by the beauty of nature from the large expansive skies to the tiny delicate flowers and insects.
I also really enjoy researching on healing modalities and quantum physics, energy and esoteric subjects as well and finding the common thread between all things and bringing them into my artwork as everything is connected.


Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Yes, I'm lucky to have the support of my family and friends in my creative endeavors! However, I wasn't sure of myself right out of college and didn't feel supported fully at that time by my family in being an 'artist' because of the belief that artist don't make money (I know they just wanted to make sure I would be okay and supported in what I chose to do)...but in so many people's minds, the whole 'starving artist' thing exists and still does but I feel that old belief is dying and needs to, so I felt conflicted at the time and decided I would go into fashion design as I could see different jobs where I could earn money and that I would enjoy within that field, so I studied fashion design in Chicago and was in that field for about 10 years, before returning to the fine art world.
I don't have a primary supporter but my biggest supporters would be friends who love to collect my artwork :)


Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Art is everything to me, it's not only a beautiful painting or drawing, sculpture, or even music, but a way of expressing the human spirit alive in the body, seeing and appreciating creation from the Divine all around and finding ways to mirror it back through my own unique perspective. It's another level of communication that speaks directly to the heart and can bring so much to the viewer as well as the creator.
I enjoy inspiring others when I share my artwork or music creations... to see the spark of light that brightens in them and the knowing that they can also create something magical and amazing! We are all by our very nature creators, and I love seeing the expression through others as well....this interconnected communication and creation that we are capable of weaving as a human family is truly beautiful and inspiring!

End of interview.

Please click the link below to visit Lauras wonderful gallery. Also, feel free to leave your thoughts on the interview in the comments sections. Make sure to show Laura your support by leaving comments on her amazing artwork! Thank you so much for the interview Laura, and thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this.

FAA Spotlight An Artist interview with Lenore Senior

January 1st, 2021

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with another deeply talented artist: Lenore Senior! Not only is Lenore a creator of wonderful, thought provoking artwork, she is also the moderator of the highly respected "Our World Gallery" group here at Fine Art America. Please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:

Question: In your own words, how would you describe your art?

Lenore: Eclectic in media with commonality in spirit and mood. My intentions are generally positive, idealistic, beautiful and/or a statement about the world as it is vs. how it could be.

Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

Lenore: Nature, injustice, geometry, beauty, and my inner world and inner vision. I love minimalism, accidental creations, and letting the process create for me. Most things I plan are seldom my best work! Life inspires me to create because it is healing and the world is a beautiful place, which gives me joy.

Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

Lenore: Of course, Van Gogh is the first artist to come to mind for most everyone! Rembrandt, of course. Color, mastery, mood. Frida Kahlo. In modern times, I love some lesser known women artists. An example would be Mary Whyte. On FAA, there are too many to list. One very profound artist and philosopher is Ayan Ghoshal from India, several Native American artists, and a multitude of others, including my father, Willoughby Senior (graduate of the Art Students’ League, NYC), sister, Dawn Senior-Trask, and brother, Thor Senior.

Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?
Lenore: Acrylic paints, pencil, digital arts (Photoshop, ArtRage, and Smart Photo Editor), and photography.

Question: How long have you been an artist?

Lenore: I believe artists are artists from birth. There is a certain sensibility that artists have—whether they actually sit down and do art or not! As artists, we improve by doing. I was raised in a family of artists and writers so I’ve always been around it and appreciated it! In college, I only took one course (design) and am basically self-taught in everything. For me it’s about moods and feelings more than technique.

Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

Lenore: My family had an exhibit at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. I have exhibited in Saratoga, Wyoming (my home town) at a gallery as well as the Saratoga Historical Society.

Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?
Lenore: Social justice, human rights, animal rights, and the protection and preservation of the land.

Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Lenore: Yes, I find great support by family and friends. And from so many members of FAA who continue to support my work, even though I’m unable to comment on their work due to caretaking and other responsibilities. I am so appreciative of them all!

Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Lenore: Sometimes, to see art that is so masterful and powerful just “blows me away”! Art is meant to enrich our worlds, bring us connections we hadn’t expected, enlarge our world, and heal us. It’s all about experiencing life at its fullest. To be without art would be like eliminating all the songs of the birds.

End of interview.

Please click the link below to visit Lenores wonderful gallery. Also, feel free to leave your thoughts on the interview in the comments sections. Make sure to show Lenore your support by leaving comments on her amazing artwork! Thank you for the interview Lenore, and thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this.

FAA Spotlight An Artist interview with Debora Lewis

December 26th, 2020

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with another deeply talented artist: Debora Lewis! Debora is a wonderfully talented artist with a gallery filled with fantastic creations. Please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:

Question: In your own words, how would you describe your art?

Debora: My soul is full of the masters, da Vinci, Raphael, van Gogh - I have many pieces of artwork similar to many of them. I believe I express a blend of pop art with the bold coloring and styles, with the elegance of the masters.

Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

Debora: Life makes me create. If I see a person whose features appeal to me, I will sketch or paint them. If I see the free spirit in an animals eyes, I will sketch or paint them. I recently moved to Florida. I have sketched and painted some of the people I have met as they made an impression upon me with either their laughter, their ability to sing, or simply being good company. If I watch the news, at times, I will immediately pick up a paper and pen and document my thoughts in art. There are times, someone's company or voice gives me an inspiration for something else. And if I see a 'how to' video, I am all over it trying to do it. (Pouring paint truly has no talent in my books.)

Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

Debora: Any master. At times I think I was born in the wrong era of art. I marvel at the skills of the carvings, the sketchings, and the paintings that others have done. I become curious and I attempt to try their style of drawing or painting. I think my favorites are the sketches of da Vinci, Michaelango and Raphael. Their ability to show facial expressions from love to horror and everything in between is fascinating to me and I want to be able to show expressions in my work. I recently did a series of my great nephew, The Adventures of Grady. My niece has sent me videos, pictures and has told me the stories of this young guy. Her husband sent me a video of Grady crawling in their room with a tampon in his mouth and wrote 'boy, he's going to be disappointed when he finds out that isn't food.' I had to paint it. I was sent a video of him sucking on a fish bone like it was the best thing he had ever eaten. I had to paint it.

Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?

Debora: Watercolor and sometimes an ink or acrylic paint blend mostly - I do sketch with a plain ole #2 pencil daily.

Question: How long have you been an artist?

Debora: I was born an artist. I took color theory classes from a college outreach professor when I was 14. I painted my first mural at age 17 - in a cemetary of all places. I could not make money on it. My desire was to run a gallery or simply paint - there was no money ever in it- still very little. I dropped painting all together at age 20 and I did not paint again until age 65. I pursued and still am working for Super Lawyers in personal injury. I love helping people, and the profession I picked has been very rewarding. I still receive emails and cards from clients years after their case, or their family member's case has concluded. It's quite a reward that they still thank me for my help.

Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

Debora: I was on display at The Surfing Pig Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii for a total of about 9 months prior to the Pandemic.
I was also on display at Windward Mall in Honolulu last Valentine's weekend.
Fine Art America has used my work (it is whatever is in the '0' position on my profile page, in the flipping canvas front page since May. About a year ago, Fine Art America used my Keitch Richards caricature (which I have in position 1), to advertise for the site. They have since used about 8 of my works for the site's advertisements. I made a collection for artwork utilized by FAA.

Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?

Debora: I love to cook. In my collections you will see my Bitchin' Kitchen. I do competetitvely cook a few dishes - still reigning champion at Waikiki Yacht Club for my salsa. I love to sail, the ocean, the beach. I'm a music lover and I listen to it all.
I love my day job.

Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Debora: Yes. My primary supporter, believe it or not, is my employer and co-workers. They are enjoying following me.

Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Debora: Art sets me free. I write my thoughts down as well. In my biography area, I write down my own quotes.

End of Interview

Please click the link below to visit Deboras wonderful gallery. Also, feel free to leave your thoughts on the interview in the comments sections. Make sure to show Debora your support by leaving comments on her amazing artwork! Thank you for the interview Debora, and thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this.

FAA Spotlight An Artist interview with Anthony Mwangi

December 23rd, 2020

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with another of my absolute favorite artist: Anthony Mwangi! Hailing from Nairobi, Kenya, Anthony brings the culture of his homeland to us in brilliantly colored detail. Please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:

Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

Anthony: I’m inspired by nature and the love to utilize my artistic talent/gift. I believe art is first free and then monetary. Sometimes I get ideas from dreams and day-to-day experiences. Other ideas come from things people do or say. I then put sketches on canvas and create. Most of the time the final work really looks different from my imagination or dream. It just gets a life of it’s own.

Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

Anthony: David Shepherd, Herbert Rudeen, Russell Harlan and Pablo Picasso. They’re all dead but were great artists. They did incredible works of art that show a lot of talent.

Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?

Anthony: Oil, acrylic, water colors and digital medium

Question: How long have you been an artist?

Anthony: Since I was in grade 5 in primary school. I have also been an illustrator, graphics designer and 3D animator as a way to subsidize my income.

Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

Anthony: Apart from Fineartamerica, I have also featured my work on Displate.com, Society6.com and redbubble.com

Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?

Anthony: Music, Dancing and listening to my kids

Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Anthony: Yes they do. In my younger days, my mother was my main supporter and cheerleader. Without her encouragement, I doubt I would have pursued my art to the level I have. Today, my main supporters are my wife and children.

Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Anthony: A lot of joy and satisfaction. Art is my way of expressing gratitude for all the beautiful creation around me.

End of Interview

Please show Anthony some love and visit his amazing gallery by clicking the link below. Also, it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts. Share them with us in the comments section below. Thank you Anthony, for both participating in this interview and sharing your fantastic artwork with us.

FAA Spotlight An Artist interview with Ramesh Nair

December 23rd, 2020

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with another deeply talented artist: Ramesh Nair! Ramesh joined our community in 2020 and is already showing how deeply talented and devoted he is as an artist. His artwork is thought provoking and intellectual. Please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:

Question: In your own words, how would you describe your art?

Ramesh: An artist’s personality is reflected in the way the art is expressed. As an artist, I personally believe in a touch of creative and distinctive input in the artistic expression. I have always been dedicated to my art and followed the thought process in continuously shaping a style of my own. Being born in the traditionally rich state of Kerala, India, I have been really close to nature, Indian mythology, spiritual aspect of our country and people. My art explores our connection to nature while living in a world that constantly attempts to sever us from it. These observations and learnings have a great influence in the creative aspect of my line artworks and paintings. I have exuded the idea of deconstructing physical spaces, playing the role of a bricoleur, finding beauty and recreating it through the technique of Cubism. This series of paintings focuses on different kinds of architectural spaces in an unconventional manner, finding aesthetic essence in their deconstruction.
A continuous passion towards artistic fantasies, observation and learning regulates my thought process in transformation of creativity.

Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

Ramesh: I have been passionate about art from a really young age, habitual to scribbling portraits back then, inculcated a certain thought process of continuously observing, deriving meaning to those peculiarities in creation of art. Being passionate about the process kept me going and seamlessly integrate and enhance my art. My creative process starts with a mere thought or idea which comes through different spaces of my observations and analysis. With different variations of nature and people around, such thoughts are often processed through various such analogies. I then spend my time in studying and reading about the deep aspects of the topic and immerse myself into it till I get a powerful blueprint of my creation. The studying process goes on with my work to grab every thought of enhancement. As an artist, there are days you get completely stuck and be out of the process. In such times I do take a break from the artwork on that date and start the next day with a fresh mind. I have been lucky enough to have always got answers over my stuck thoughts on the next day!

Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

Ramesh: One of my favorite artists is Ram Kumar, he has an incredibly unique way of creating a fine mix of representational landscape and abstract. The tones and textures are quiet exquisite. Another favorite is S.H. Raza. This form of art has been always beyond comprehension and is soothing at the same time. His artworks have a catchy color dispersion and beautiful texture and strokes.

Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?

Ramesh: I have worked with almost all the mediums. Personally, the most preferred and favorite mediums would be pen& ink and acrylic. Most of my artworks are in the same medium. I also love experimenting with mixture of various mediums in my paintings. I believe the accuracy in the mixture of medium can do wonders to the complexion and the color aspect of the artworks.

Question: How long have you been an artist?

Ramesh: I have been passionate about art since a young age. I started drawing when I was in 7th grade. It all started with constant scribbling of portraits and natural figures that I used to observe. Gradually I started studying various forms of paintings and artworks. I completed my diploma in fine art in 1987. My learning process is still going on. In my journey, I have learned a lot about art from renowned artists and creators and put all my persistence and knowledge in creation of my art form. Now it’s been almost 39 years I have dedicated to my form of art.

Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

Ramesh: I have displayed my works in group exhibitions nationally & internationally, conducted in various cities. Few of them are “Revived Emotions” An International Art Exhibition, at Ratchademnoen Contemporary Art Center, Bangkok organized by S C Foundation India & Ministry of Culture, Thailand; The Art Society of India, 99th All India Annual Art Exhibiltion, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; “Amalgamation 2” Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai; “Kerala state exhibition”, Durbar Hall Art Center, Cochin.

Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?

Ramesh: I am passionate about my art and my life revolves around it. In my professional career, I’m an Art Director in an advertising agency, which is also closely related to art. Apart from these aspects of my life, I like teaching. I conduct weekend drawing classes for young kids which keeps me motivated and reliefs professional stress. It allows me to interact with young kids and its quiet fun and refreshing.

Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Ramesh: Yes, my family and friends have been supportive of my art. They have always been supportive and encouraging in my artistic career. One thing I have been blessed with is having great and supportive teachers throughout my young student life. It is because of them that I have been able to be where I am today. I am still in touch with them and share a beautiful mentor student relationship, they are my primary supporters of my career as an artist. I appreciate all the efforts they took in my upbringing as an artist. My art school friends are equally inspirational. We have a similar upbringing and have been together in throughout this journey by encouraging and motivating each other to bring out the best form of ourselves. I’m also a part of various art groups and art societies, which assisted me in connecting to like-minded and dedicated artists. It helped me explore new ideologies, art forms and enhance my space of thinking.

Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Ramesh: I have been associated with art all my life. I find solace in art in such a way that all my works are an expression of myself and what I feel.

End of Interview

Please click the link below to visit the remarkable gallery of Ramesh. Also, feel free to leave your thoughts on the interview in the comments sections. Show Ramesh your support by leaving comments on his amazing artwork! Thank you Ramesh for the interview, and thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this.

FAA Spotlight An Artist Interview with Reynold Jay

December 21st, 2020

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with my good friend Reynold Jay! Reynold has been a very good friend to many in this community and it is an honor to have his participation. Please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:

Question: In your own words, how would you describe your art?

Reynold: Most of the art is created by my staff of artists for my children's books. They have a lot more talent than me. I think of myself as the director and on occasion will make up a rough sketch or two of how I envision a scene.


Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

Reynold: It is the story that begins the art process. I begin with the story and then we create the most important scenes that make the writing come to life. The Wurtherington Diary is a fantasy for adult readers and then I figured we needed to add the art for the younger-reader editions. The adults love the art and it simply enhances the stories for them too. In all there are around 400 works of art in the eight-part series. All the novels are created with the intent to see them on the big screen one day. Whether that will ever happen is a long shot, of course.

Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

Reynold: I like all the artists at FAA. Each and everyone one of them has an enormous amount of talent. Many are 'world class'( including you, John) that compete with the great historical artists that we see in art texts. When I see this level of talent, I always mention it when I make comments. In that the art community at FAA has accepted me as a fellow artist means a lot to me. Most often I feel humbled when these talented artists give my gallery their attention with flattering comments!.


Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?

Reynold: I always love the appearance of water-color and quite often digital art give the appearance of water-color rendering.


Question: How long have you been an artist?

Reynold: I must have had it when I was born. I won a lot of local art shows when I was in high-school. My art teacher encouraged me to continue with it. I obtained an art degree and taught art classes all my life.

Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

Reynold: Only a few local art shows over the years. I figure everyone can view it at FAA ( and other art sites) and in my children's books.


Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?

Reynold: Art, music, writing novels, and performing arts are what I do. I've performed with my musical groups over the years, released an album; then went on with a one-man DJ format for decades. 4,000 performances all total for most everywhere in Michigan. I formed my first band at the age of fifteen and was performing in clubs ( alongside Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Aretha Franklin, and others) while I was still in high-school. My management skills became apparent as I ended up owning many of the clubs where I performed! I discuss much of this in my 'Born to be Rich' video (based upon one of my first books now in its 35th year) that can be viewed at You Tube.

Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Reynold: Yes they do; however, they have no idea of the fame I enjoy in the writing world. In that I entertained many of them over the years at the various events (weddings and parties) they all have first-hand knowledge of my creative side. I remember being excited to see 1,700 sites on the internet when I searched 'Reynold Jay' about ten years ago. Last time I looked it came up with 19 million. FAA art is a big part of it while the novels dwarf everything else with best-seller status with most everything.

Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Reynold: It is one of those things where 'You will never need to work for a living when you are doing what you love!' I very much earned my living simply being involved in various art endeavors all my life. One can take a look at my gallery and see at a glance that I follow no one but my own creative endeavors. We could say the same of you, John. You could show me any work of art created by yourself and I and everyone else knows that it is 'John hard at work again.'
Thank you, John for this opportunity to do this interview. I has been a pleasure!

End of Interview

Click the link below to visit Reynolds amazing gallery here at FAA!

FAA Spotlight An Artist interview with Laurie's Intuitive

December 20th, 2020

Fine Art America Spotlight is an opportunity to get to know some of the fantastic people creating and sharing artwork within this community. As artists, we must support each other. Each of us possess an intimate understanding of the creative process. It is this intimate understanding that allows us to truly appreciate the work of our fellow artists. I have taken it upon myself to interview some of my personal favorites here at FAA. I am deeply honored to present these interviews as they occur. Having said that, I am very excited to present my interview with the very talented Laurie's Intuitive! Please feel free to leave comments. Without further ado:


Question: In your own words, how would you describe your art?

Laurie's Intuitive: My art is simply my attempt at turning the negatives I see and feel around me into positives within myself. I would say my art is a mix of Expressionism, Magical Realism, Geometric abstraction, and Naive art. I like to use vibrant colors that pop and subjects that allow me to do the introspective inner work that I believe keeps our minds healthy and positive. My interests in the Universe,The Healing Arts,The Metaphysical World, and the Mind, Body, Soul Connection influence and inspire my art.You will see a lot of circles and geometric shapes, hearts, eyes, spirals, flowers, wings, fairies, abstracts, sparkles and moons in many of my creations. I also like to add inspirational text to some of my creations.

Question: As an artist, what inspires you to create? How does your creative process work?

Laurie's Intuitive: The creative process is therapeutic and sacred to me. It is like meditation and sometimes a form of prayer. It soothes my soul. It is relaxing to me and allows me to let go of that which does not serve my highest good. There is a rhythm from the pencil or paintbrush to canvas that settles my mind. Inspiration can be from anything such as an experience, an emotion, the environment, or a memory and much more.
The creative process for me is always evolving and sometimes simply begins with a shape and a color. From there, it keeps building often with many layers. I seldom have a vision or sketch out how it will turn out with most of my creations. If I am creating an abstract, I may turn the canvas clockwise and counterclockwise many times during the creative process to help me place the next color or shape. Sometimes I listen to music while creating, sometimes I like the silence. Paul Cardall, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Sacred Earth Radio are some stations I enjoy when creating.


Question: Can you share a few of your favorite artists? What is it about their work that draws you to them?

Laurie's Intuitive: Wassily Kandinsky is my favorite artist. I love his use of color, lines, and shapes. “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.’’—Wassily Kandinsky

Another favorite is Salvador Dali for his striking and bizarre images. I love his quote: “Have no fear of perfection-you’ll never reach it.’’

Another favorite is Paul Klee. Love his use of color with his masterpiece “Red Balloon’’ I love Klee’s quote: “Color possesses me. I don’t have to pursue it. It will possess me always. I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter.’’


Question: What are your favorite mediums for creating artwork?

Laurie's Intuitive: I enjoy working with Pastels, Watercolor, Acrylic, and Charcoal traditional mediums.
I am now using these mediums in the digital world with an iPad and pen and doing some work with photo edits. Always learning. Love that.

Question: How long have you been an artist?

Laurie's Intuitive: I have enjoyed the creative process since early childhood. I guess when you sell your first piece is when you can really say you are an artist? That was in 2004. I like to say I am a creative. I have no formal training in art except for a basic drawing elective class while I was in nursing school. I also took some private lessons in watercolor for about a year.

Question: Have you displayed your work elsewhere? If so, where?

Laurie's Intuitive: Yes.
The Artful Phoenix 21 N. Washington St. North Attleboro, MA.
New Hope Art Gallery 1070 Cranston St. Cranston, RI
Hughes-Donahue Gallery, Taunton, MA


Question: Aside from artwork, what are you passionate about?

Laurie's Intuitive: I am passionate about always being able to learn something new every day. I practice mindfulness and a positive attitude with gratitude no matter what life deals me. Daily practice is important and when I miss a day, I feel off kilter a bit. I am a Reiki level II practitioner. I am passionate about advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Lastly, I am passionate about helping children in palliative care with complex medical conditions. Proceeds from all my sales are donated to these children.


Question: Do friends and family show support for your creative endeavors? Who is your primary supporter when it comes to your artwork?

Laurie's Intuitive: My primary supporter for my artwork was my Dad. He was a jewelry designer and tool maker in the 1960’s. I would watch him sketch out a beautiful Bald Eagle while he was on the phone. It was like he was doodling. It came very easy to him. Then it would come to life in gold or silver once he made the mold. I was always mesmerized to watch him work.


Question: What do you get out of art? Can you describe what art means to you?

Laurie's Intuitive: Creating art is like practicing daily mindfulness and meditation for me. Creating art is a part of me that I let out to the world from deep within. I recently retired from being a registered nurse three years ago. I had a wonderful journey as a nurse for 32 years. During my career, creating art was mainly on my weekends off. It was a great way to rejuvenate myself for my next stretch of shifts as a nurse. Creating is now part of everyday life for me. It is something I can’t imagine myself not doing.

End of interview

Huge thanks to Laurie's Intuitive for taking the time to do this interview! Click the link below to view some of Laurie's spectacular work. Once again, please feel free to comment below as well. Stay tuned for more interviews from our fellow artists here at Fine Art America!

The Gift Of Music In Life.

February 28th, 2020

The Gift Of Music In Life.

In 1983 I was a troubled fifteen year old kid in a dysfunctional home. My family was very poor. As such, we lived in a very poor housing project, which meant that all of my friends were poor as well. Each of us were dead end kids with very little hope of a future. At the time, every phase of my life was filled with extreme adversity. There is very little from that time period that I recall to be positive. However, I can remember one of my very first escapes from the tribulations of my difficult childhood... baseball. At the age of eleven, I had discovered baseball cards. I was immediately hooked on collecting them. Looking through my baseball cards took me away from the problems that I was forced to deal with in my life. I loved them so much that I would often walk the two miles to school every day just so that I could spend my bus money on baseball cards.

I was an amazing wheeler dealer when it came to collecting baseball cards. I had a knack for finding kids who had old cards sitting forgotten in shoe boxes in their bedrooms. I had a very natural instinct for finding kids who had older siblings that had moved on to bigger and better things than collecting cards. These cards would be left behind, collecting dust. I would trade whatever toys I could to acquire those forsaken treasures.

By the time I reached the age of fourteen I had nearly 10,000 cards. I had cards that were worth ALOT of money at the time that I owned them... and I was absolutely fanatical about their care and upkeep. Every single valuable card was treated with utter reverence and kept in protective plastic. Never once did it enter my mind to actually SELL any of them. Collecting those cards was simply too important to me to let any of them go. It was the one non destructive escape that I had.

Baseball cards were an obsession that lasted until I turned fifteen. It was at that time that things seemed the most difficult for me as a child. My home life was... bad. The adversity of my life at home caused severe repercussions in every other phase of my life. I was constantly getting into trouble. I struggled everywhere I turned. My friends were not much better off than I was. It seems that poverty creates many brands of adversity, and each of us were dealing with something or another that kids should not have to deal with. Then, one day I heard about an upcoming baseball card show at the local mall. Normally, I would have been excited to go. Card shows were rare... and when they did happen, it was better than going to Disney as far as I was concerned. The opportunity to look though so many rare collectibles was something that always made me excited. However, I was excited this time for another reason. A plan had formed in my mind.

On the day of the card show, I packed up my entire collection (which was no small feat) and loaded it into my best friends car. He could not believe what I was doing. When I explained what I had in mind, he tried talking me out of it. He did not know that I had not told him the entire plan yet. Accompanied by several of our core group of buddies, we packed into my best friends car and drove to the card show so that I could sell my beloved collection. Despite the many inquiries as to what we were doing, I would not fully divulge what I had in mind. It probably seems like I should have been conflicted by what I was about to do, but I can assure you that I was not. I had too many problems with too much complexity to enjoy the simple pleasures of collecting anymore. The escape they had provided simply lost its luster.

When I arrived at the card show, I found a baseball card dealer and showed him what I had to sell. Now, I have to tell you... not only was I meticulous... I was EXTREMELY knowledgeable when it came to baseball card collecting. I KNEW what I had. I KNEW the value of every single card in my collection. I also knew how badly the dealer was trying to rob me with his incredibly lowball offer. But... I was young, eager, and I had a plan. Despite the fact that I probably received one tenth of what the collection was worth... I took the deal with a smile.

As soon as the cash was in my hand, my friends followed me to the Radio Shack at the other end of the mall, where I bought the biggest Boom Box radio in the store... along with the eight D-Cell batteries needed to run that behemoth. Next, we went to the record store. I bought an entire stack of heavy metal cassettes. As long as I live I will never forget the excitement on the faces of my friends. They were my true family. They were just like me... kids with nothing. Kids with no hope of ever HAVING anything. When we left the mall with my brand new radio (which was the meanest radio you ever laid your eyes on), along with all of our favorite heavy metal tunes, each and every one of us felt a hope that we never had before.

It was the ultimate sacrifice for that fifteen year old version of me.

Recently, I decided to check up on the value of that old collection. Me and a buddy looked online at card after card from that amazing collection of my past. The dollar value would have been a staggering thing to tally up. I have never once regretted my decision to sell those cards. Not even after seeing how valuable they are now. You see, the music that I bought on that day... it saved me. Time and time again, it saved me. It saved my friends too. We were dead end kids. We had nothing before I made that sacrifice. After, we had the music and all of the joy that it could provide. Everywhere we went, that music went with us. We took turns carrying that monstrously heavy radio... volume cranked up the entire time... and it made all of our lives that much better.

In the decades since, music has never lost its importance. No matter where I am. No matter what I am doing. Music is with me. It is a gift beyond value.

As always, thank you for reading. -John Alexander

The Bitter Taste of Defeat

April 13th, 2018

The Bitter Taste of Defeat

When I was nine years old, my art teacher told our class about a special contest that was being held. The school was having a painting contest for the fourth and fifth graders! Each student would do a painting of their own choosing and put it on display in the gymnasium. The gallery would be left standing for two days so that each class from every grade could view the paintings and vote for their favorites. At the end of the second day, the whole school would gather in the gymnasium and the winner would be announced! It was going to be a very fun thing for everybody.

At the time, I happened to be a rather creative (but extremely misbehaved) fourth grader. I was very good at drawing things like tanks, airplanes, and cars... old roadsters happened to be a specialty of mine. For my painting, I thought very hard on what I wanted to do. I finally settled on what I thought would make a really cool thing to hang on a wall... I painted an old car ( it looked like a roadster from the 30's ) driving down a road. The sun could be seen hanging in a cloudy blue sky with snow clad mountains in the background. An airplane could be seen flying in the distance. I worked very, very hard on this painting and was quite proud of it.

When the gallery was set up, I simply could not wait to get into the gym to see how my painting looked hanging up next to everybody else's works. When I found it, I was very excited. I had taken the time to look at each and every other painting in the gym and honestly liked mine more than any other. Finally, it was time to hear who the winner was. I waited with nervous anticipation as the principal stood up and prepared to read the winners name off of the little card he held...

Well, before I can tell you what you may be already guessing at, I have to tell you about a little something that happened a few months prior to this contest. Some of you may have heard of a little movie called Star Wars. No? Well... it was a snazzy little space movie that literally every single child in the known universe worshipped in a positively biblical way ( myself included of course ). It had just hit the movie theatres. You may be wondering, why would this have any relevance in a story about a painting contest held a long time ago in an elementary school far far away? It's simple... nearly every painting in the building had to do with, you guessed it... Star Wars.

So. There I sat with bated breath as the principal read the name that was written on his little card. I closed my eyes, so nervous about inevitably being thrust into the spotlight. When he read my name out loud, I had no idea what I was going to do! As you no doubt have surmised, the name on that little card did not sound anything like MINE. I opened my eyes first in bewilderment, then with utter shock at the realization that everybody was clapping loudly for another kid instead of me!

I sat in stunned silence as the principal was joined by our art teacher in front of the winning painting. The boy who won was a fellow fourth grader from the same class as me. While the student body continued clapping, he was asked to join the principal and art teacher before his painting. When the clapping began to die down, the principal asked him to describe the painting for everybody. I will be happy to describe it in my own words...

The painting depicted a heated space battle between the evil empire and the heroic rebel forces... one of the many space battles depicted in the gymnasium that day. Imperial star destroyers ( lopsided triangles ) shot at x-wing fighters ( lopsided flying x's ). Lopsided stars could be seen in the convoluted background, along with the 'death star' ( a lopsided circle with another lopsided circle inside of it ). Triangles, X's, and 'shooting lines' covered the entire painting. It was a big hit... a REALLY big hit.

I was not impressed.

Not only was I not impressed... I was angry. I felt my cheeks color red with rage. I felt my hands tighten into fists. 'How can you people not see that those are just triangles and X's??' I wanted to shout. C'mon man... a SECOND GRADER could have painted that! Look at my CAR! It has doors... it has spoked wheels that look like they are spinning! Look at the AIRPLANE! It has wings. It has a propeller and a cockpit! The mountains even have SNOW on them for crying out loud! My god! There are at least fourteen other paintings just like the one he did! I demand a recount! YOU PEOPLE ARE BLIND! YOU... YOU... ER... oops... sorry... this is just a story about something that happened a long time ago in an elementary school far far away.

Back to the story:

I did not demand a recount. Nor did I accost anybody regarding their choice to vote for the epic star wars battle scene. I did feel deeply upset though. In my young mind I had won that contest. I have to wonder though, if I were able to see those paintings side by side today... would I feel the same way? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I cannot say for sure what I may think now. What I CAN say is that as a nine year old boy, I did not like The Bitter Taste of Defeat. I did not feel like congratulating my fellow classmate on his victory. Nor did I feel the need to compliment his painting. I sulked. I pouted. I acted like a big, fat, baby. When I realized how I was acting, I felt deeply ashamed of myself. I wanted to be better than that... more than I wanted to win the contest in fact. Losing felt miserable. Acting like a loser felt even more awful.

Until today, I had not thought about this life event for many, many years. When the memory of it hit me, it brought a big smile to my face. It was my very first art contest after all. Despite all of my hard work, I fell short of victory. At the time it seemed like winning that contest was somehow an important thing. I do not even know why I felt that way. But The Bitter Taste of Defeat taught me something about myself. It taught me that losing sucks, but acting in a way that makes you ashamed of yourself is worse.

Luckily, the lesson has carried on in life.

(Originally posted October 31, 2014)

Once upon a time in a Factory Near You

June 29th, 2017

I began my factory career in September of 1996. When I first began, I often said that I had no intention of becoming a thirty-year man… but if I did become one, there are far worse things that I could have done with my time. During those early years, there were more than 2000 people working in our facility, which had been a pillar of the community for the better part of a century. In those days, finding a decent parking space was almost as difficult as finding an open seat in the cafeteria.

At the time of my hiring, all eight floors of the massive structure were alive with activity. There was not one corner of the facility that was not being utilized for something. Everywhere that you looked, people were bustling their way from one place to another, frantically trying to keep pace with the tremendous amount of production that we were responsible for. It was hard work. Every day was a concentrated blast of activity that left me exhausted by the time I punched the clock to go home.

Despite the often grueling nature of my day to day routine, the people always made the efforts worthwhile. Many were the people who left an indelible impression upon me. First, we became friends. We worked hard together, struggled together, and always laughed together. No matter how hard we worked, we made sure to have fun while we did it. Day after day, year after year, we fought side by side in the trenches, until finally, we became family.

In those early years it was easy to laugh. There were so many of us who became close friends that the tremendous rift between upper management and production workers such as ourselves did not seem to matter much. Despite a recurrent theme of blatant disrespect, and a clear and present “us and them” mentality lorded over production workers, we still managed to work hard and have fun while we did it. However, nothing lasts forever. As the years wore on, we watched production dwindle as line after line left the facility, never to return. Where once we were the crown jewel of the corporation, our plant began to degenerate at a steady pace. While we watched our products leave, so too did we watch the labor pool steadily decline.

As the years of decline slowly passed, the facility became more and more empty. Entire floors became gutted out ruins with only the sound of air handling units to give them a semblance of life. Walking through these areas invoked the ghosts of past activity. The mind could actually see the ghostly shadows of equipment long removed, operated by faces long gone. Only the sound of near silence could break the spell before the actual voices and sounds of the past became a reality. As more and more portions of the plant took on these sepulchral qualities, the writing on the wall became more and more pronounced. The inevitable conclusion would not be a good one.

On November 5, 2015, the entire labor force was suddenly gathered together and herded into a remote warehouse that most people did not even know existed. As we all chatted nervously, shuffling from foot to foot in anticipation of what was to come, a man stepped up to the front of the crowd and called for silence. After some jostling about, he was granted a nervous quiet which allowed him to read the edict which he had come to deliver. Flanked by our plant manager, as well as various other higher-ups in the corporate hierarchy, the man read the announcement that our plant would be closing permanently in the early part of 2017. Our careers were ending. Our jobs would be sent elsewhere. It could be said that we had been running on life support for quite some time. After that man read the edict, it was obvious that the plug had been pulled. So began the slow and agonizing death of what was once the centerpiece of the organization.

Fast forward a little bit to the end of June, 2017:

Today, as I cleaned out my locker, I found a funny note that I had written to a friend who is long since removed. Yellowed with age, the note which had been tucked away for over fifteen years nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was a joke letter supposedly written by one of my fellow coworkers to another. It was merely one in a series that I had written once upon a time. These joke letters would circulate amongst our group on a regular basis, and we would laugh hysterically at each other as we read them. Part of what made our days so special was the fact that we teased each other incessantly. It was all in the name of fun, and a necessary part of who we were as friends and teammates. As I read the note, I remembered all of the joy that it brought to us. I recalled how important it was to each and every one of us that we be able to laugh with each other… and to laugh at each other in turn. No matter what we were going through either at work, or at home… we could always count on each other to make the day full of laughter.

Now, all of those friends are gone, my locker is empty, and all that I have left is a note that I had written once upon a time. Not long after reading this note, I found myself sitting alone in the very cafeteria where once no seat could be found. As I sat there alone, whiling away the last lunch break that I would ever take in that facility, I could not help but think of the isolated feeling that I had when I very first was hired. Despite hundreds of people surrounding me, I knew nobody and felt alone. If one of the strangers had gotten up from his or her seat, walked over to me and said “One day you will be the last man standing in this plant”, I would have laughed out loud at the utter absurdity of the whole thing. For some reason… I cannot seem to laugh right now. The laughter will return, it always does. But… somehow I know that it will never be the same.

 

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