Getting to know you: Serrah Russell

Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Samantha Malay. This week: Serrah Russell!

WHY ARTSYO DIGS SERRAH RUSSELL:

Serrah Russell’s collage work can stop you in your tracks. Appropriately, we discovered her work at a juried exhibition titled “Arrest Me” last year. Serrah’s piece “She cried for stars she had never seen” was on view that night and, despite its seeming simplicity, we couldn’t stop looking at it.

"She cried for stars she had never seen." (collage, 16 x 12)

 

ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

Where is your studio?  Since my work is fairly contained, I don’t have a studio exactly but make my work at my home, in a condo in Belltown. Most of my work takes place at a beautiful drafting table that I received as a gift from my husband on our first Christmas together. I work with a view of the water and particularly enjoy watching the changing weather and the ferry’s journey back and forth to the islands. This view of nature from within the city has really influenced the direction of my work.

Native Seattleite or transplant?  Native

What’s on your studio soundtrack?  At this current moment, I’m listening to The Smiths, but typically it’s a rotation of albums by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, The National, The Head and The Heart, Macklemore, The Weepies, and Mumford and Sons. But if it’s a long day, I’ll definitely throw on some episodes of The Office or This American Life to make me feel less alone.

Who is your art history crush?  Most of my art crushes are writers rather than visual artists. I’m pretty in love with all works by E.E. Cummings, Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck and J.D. Salinger. For visual artists, I really wish I could spend some time with Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and Moyra Davey.

What is your favorite Seattle fall activity?  My birthday is in October so I have always felt a kinship with all things Fall. Unlike Summer, I feel that the fall season ends up being cozy, chic and a bit more minimalist. It is focused, clearer, calmer. I don’t try to pack so many activities into my day, but I feel more at ease with taking time, allowing for resting, relaxing and moving more slowly and thoughtfully. So for me, a great day would include a morning walk to get hot tea and a maple bar at TopPot, some time working in the studio, making work or reading and writing, catching a matinee movie, and a dinner with friends or family, finishing things off with a whisky cocktail and a cheese plate at Clever Bottle.

Where is the best coffee in town?  I might be the only person in Seattle who isn’t a die-hard coffee drinker, but if I’m ever at Cafe Presse, I always have a cappuccino. And Bauhaus makes a great iced coffee.

What is the last book you read?  Currently and slowly making my way through a few books, including The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

What is your most treasured possession?  I don’t know what I would do if I lost all (or any!) of the Polaroids I have taken over the years. Also, I adore my wedding ring. It’s a beautiful daily reminder of love.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  I don’t think I’ve really had any really terrible jobs. I’ve worked at an antique store, a floral shop, a postal store, and right now as a photo editor for a wedding blog, but I have to say my favorite job was during one summer in college when I worked at a gelato shop in Fremont. It’s hard to be unhappy when your main task is serving rose and pistachio gelato to sun-kissed people in the city.

What super power would you like to have?  Time-travel. I just want the idea to be possible. I wouldn’t go back or forward to change anything, just to be a witness. (And probably try to take some photos!)

What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  I couldn’t pick just one. Although I am excited for the fall, I am still trying to hang onto this gorgeous Summer so my picks are reminders of the perfection of a Northwest summer:

Oyster and Lemons - Rachel Maxi
They call it way too rowdy, we call it finally free - Susanna Bluhm
Summer Birthday (Seattle) - John Armstrong
Untitled 1 - Rachael Lang
Wood Corner - Jennifer Zwick

Thanks Serrah!

See more of Serrah Russell’s work on Artsyo.

"Carbon Copy" (Oil on Found Photograph, 8 x 8)

"Everything At Once" (Archival Inkjet Print of Digital Collage, 12 x 16)

    Getting to know you: Samantha Malay

    Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Daphne Minkoff. This week: Samantha Malay!

    WHY ARTSYO DIGS SAMANTHA MALAY:

    Samantha Malay is one of the artists involved in the super cool project that is the Art Lending Library. It works just like a regular library: you sign up for a library card and then “check out” a piece of art from the collection for up to 4 months (and it’s free!). That’s where we first discovered Samantha Malay’s beautiful metal tiles crafted from vintage postcards of poolside scenes. Like the tiles, much of Samantha’s work combines elements of nostalgia (a postcard, an old movie scene) with reclaimed fabrics and materials.

    You can catch Samantha and lots of other local artists at the Art Under $100 holiday sale on December 7th at South Park Arts.

    "Poolside #9" (recycled metal, resin, detail from vintage postcard, 5 x 5)

     

    ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

    Where is your studio?  My kitchen in South Park.

    Native Seattleite or transplant?  Transplant from Germany by way of Onion Creek, in rural northeastern Washington.

    What’s on your studio soundtrack? Highway 509, birds, trains, early Freakwater, traditional Arabic music, radio documentaries.

    Who is your art history crush?  I would have liked to watch Larry Sultan create his intimate and melancholy family photographs in Pictures from Home.  I wish I’d seen Margaret Kilgallen’s murals in progress, because I love the way she integrated found materials and archaic hand-lettering techniques into them.  I’d like to learn the secret pattern-making math used by Ottoman-era Turkish tile artisans.

    What is your favorite Seattle fall activity?  Putting summer clothes in a suitcase like a promise of midwinter travel; afternoon walks to look at brilliant rosehips and smell wood smoke and rain.

    Where is the best coffee in town?  A tie between Via Vadi Caffe in South Park and Dubsea Coffee in White Center.

    What is the last book you read?  Here On Earth: A Natural History of the Planet, by Tim Flannery; The Innocence of Objects, by Orhan Pamuk.

    What is your most treasured possession?  A 1967 Random House unabridged dictionary, a collection of old motel postcards and vintage domestic textiles.

    What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  In high school an elderly woman hired me to clean her decaying summer cabin, where tree roots grew into the plumbing, cats lived behind the piano, and dust enveloped books, bedspreads and dishes. I felt like I was getting in the way of the inevitable.

    What super power would you like to have?  The ability to instantly put people at ease.

    What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  Shaun Kardinal’s embroidered postcard Connotation No. 32.

    Thanks Samantha!

    See more of Samantha Malay’s work on Artsyo.

    "Night Bloom #35" (reclaimed fabric, beeswax, photo, 8 x 8)

    "Night Bloom #20" (reclaimed fabric, beeswax, photo, 8 x 8)

      Getting to know you: Daphne Minkoff

      Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Jeremy Kronbach. This week: Daphne Minkoff!

      WHY ARTSYO DIGS DAPHNE MINKOFF:

      Daphne Minkoff’s work is about the places we remember and the marks we leave behind. With impeccable craftsmanship, she uses encaustic, painting, and collage to juxtapose letters from a grandfather she never knew (he died on the Russian front in WWII) with urban graffiti that she photographs on her travels.

      "Mercy" (mixed media, 32 x 40)

      ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

      Where is your studio?  My detached garage in back of my house

      Native Seattleite or transplant?  I’m a transplant from Memphis, TN

      What’s on your studio soundtrack? Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, or Beastie Boys

      Who is your art history crush?  Frank Auerbach

      What is your favorite Seattle fall activity?  Probably having all my kids back in school and time for me to get back in the studio!

      Where is the best coffee in town?  Lighthouse Coffee in Fremont

      What is the last book you read?  The Great Gatsby

      What is your most treasured possession?  My 3 kids

      What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  Painting dorm rooms all summer

      What super power would you like to have?  Super healing powers. And I would also love to have a real time “Control Z” button so that I could easily undo life’s little and not-so little embarrassing moments.

      What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  Springhill by Harold Hollingsworth

      Thanks Daphne!

      See more of Daphne Minkoff’s work on Artsyo.

      "Dearest" (collage and encaustic on board, 41 x 32)

        Getting to know you: Jeremy Kronbach

        Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Sonya Stockton. This week: Jeremy Kronbach!

        WHY ARTSYO DIGS JEREMY KRONBACH:

        As these gray Seattle days roll on, we’re enjoying the colorful exuberance of Jeremy’s work all the more. We also love the fact that he’s not afraid to roll with unexpected turns in the painting process. When Jeremy discovered that a resident spider had been weaving webs over his paintings as they dried in the studio overnight, he didn’t curse the spider and scrap the canvas; instead, he played along and took advantage of the serendipitous collaboration (see the spider’s contribution here and here).

        Jeremy’s solo show opens at Gallery AXIS in Pioneer Square this Thursday.

        "Unicycle" (oil and alkyd on canvas, 65 x 113)

         

        ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

        Where is your studio?  I have a studio at my home in Shoreline. If I don’t have a studio at home, I can never get anything done.

        Native Seattleite or transplant?  I was born in Seattle but I have lived all over including New York, Quebec and Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. I moved back here in 2000.

        What’s on your studio soundtrack?  Usually an eclectic mix of West Coast Hip Hop like Living Legends and Heiroglyphics, Electronic music like Tycho, Washed Out and Boards of Canada, and lots of Neil Young. I listen to a fair amount of African music as well.

        Who is your art history crush?  By far and away, Richard Diebenkorn is my art history crush. Though I love his early abstract work and the body of figurative work from his time in the bay area, his return to abstraction late in his career produced the Ocean Park series, which remains to this day my favorite body of artistic work. I would have loved to watch him paint.

        What is your favorite Seattle fall activity?  Posting up in one of Seattle’s many awesome pubs for a few pints of beer with friends.

        Where is the best coffee in town?  For me, the best coffee in town is undoubtedly Slate coffee. It takes 5 minutes to get a cup, but it is delicious and unlike any other coffee in town.

        What is the last book you read?  It sounds nerdy, but the last book I read was The Proud Highway, a collection of Hunter S. Thompson’s correspondence over a 10-year period. He wrote a lot of letters.

        What is your most treasured possession?  My most treasured possession would be all the inherited art gear from my grandfather that I use in my studio to this day. He painted and sculpted for 60 years and was my greatest art teacher in many respects. When he died, I got most of what was in his art studio.

        What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  My best and worst job was as a professional blackjack player. The years I spent traveling around the country counting cards were great, but when the job got difficult, it had a way of getting really difficult.

        What super power would you like to have?  I would like to be able to turn stone into food.

        What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  Sight Distance or Architectural Detail by Counsel Langley

        Thanks Jeremy!

        See more of Jeremy Kronbach’s work on Artsyo.

        "Shoreline I" (oil, latex, alkyd and paper on canvas, 24 x 24)

        "Shoreline II" (oil, alkyd and cut paper on canvas, 24 x 24)

          Getting to know you: Sonya Stockton

          Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last time, Susanna Bluhm. This week: Sonya Stockton!

          WHY ARTSYO DIGS SONYA STOCKTON:

          We discovered Sonya Stockton’s conceptually driven work at her Gallery 110 solo show “Am I Woman?” last November. We approached Sonya with a few questions about the ideas behind her work, and she was incredibly open and warm and just plain fun to talk to. We’ve been following the evolution of her work ever since, and these new mixed media pieces (ink and paper over dictionary pages) are our favorites to date.

          "I don't want to talk right now" Ink and paper over dictionary page, 11 x 8, $65

           

          ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

          Where is your studio?  A shed in my parents’ back yard in Bothell. It’s only about 10 feet by 12 feet, and tends to look a lot like something from a show on hoarding rather than a studio. But when the weather is nice I can keep the door open and have a beautiful view of trees, ivy, and the small creek that line the back of their property.

          Native Seattleite or transplant?  I was born in Palm Springs, CA, but I’ve lived in the Seattle area since I was in first grade.

          What’s on your studio soundtrack?  Many times I just put my iPod on random, or cherry pick out things like Ministry, Neil Diamond, or Blind Melon. I do have two CD’s that I seem to alternate between regularly, The Beatle’s Abbey Road, and Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits. Mainly I just need good rock n’ roll.

          Who is your art history crush?  While I am instantly indecisive about this, I will say Sarah Lucas (If the YBA era is bygone). I think that she was one of the first female artists that I really connected with conceptually. Her work was so simple, raw, and meaningful. Of course, Hannah Hoch, Duchamp, and Jasper Johns are up there too. Once again, I just can’t pick, it’s too hard.

          What is your favorite Seattle fall activity?  Watching the Seahawks win!

          Where is the best coffee in town?  Whatever is closest to me at the time.

          What is the last book you read?  All the way through?…The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir.

          What is your most treasured possession?  My cat.

          What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  I’ve been relatively lucky in this area, I have worked at the same restaurant for 12 years, bar tending for most of it, and I love it. But I’d have to say that when I used to work at this pasta factory type restaurant in Mill Creek, my co-workers were all jerks.

          What super power would you like to have?  To be able to clean and organize things really, really, really fast.

          What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  Anything by Jennifer Zwick

          Thanks Sonya!

          See more of Sonya Stockton’s work on Artsyo.

          "It's hard to keep your head up" Ink and paper over dictionary page, 12 x 8, $65

            Getting to know you: Susanna Bluhm

            Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Fab Rideti! This week: Susanna Bluhm!

            WHY ARTSYO DIGS SUSANNA BLUHM:

            We love a good title, and Susanna Bluhm chooses exceptionally interesting names for her paintings. Sometimes she borrows lyrics from feminist electroclash band Le Tigre (“they call it way too rowdy, we call it finally free”), and other times she draws from more traditional texts (“your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil” from Song of Songs). The paintings that go by these names are lush, colorful, abstract landscapes, based on a combination of photos from Susanna’s travels and scenes from her Seattle neighborhood.

            ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

            Where is your studio?  3rd floor of Inscape (old INS building in International District across from Uwajimaya)

            Native Seattleite or transplant?  Transplant from Los Angeles.

            What’s on your studio soundtrack?  Lately it’s Le Tigre, Ibrahim Ferrer, Peaches, Beirut, Daft Punk, Eydie Gorme, The Black Eyed Peas and Yacht.

            Who is your art history crush?  Sonia Delaunay

            What is your favorite Seattle summer activity?  Gardening and swimming/playing at the lake with my family.

            Where is the best coffee in town?  The Shack in the Luna Park neighborhood of West Seattle makes a great Mexican mocha. It’s not sweet at all.

            What is the last book you read?  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (a story about slaves on a plantation in Virginia in the early 1800’s). 4 stars!

            What is your most treasured possession?  The first thing I’d pick up and run with in a fire would be my life’s collection of photos because they remind me who I have been. Next would be two clocks my uncle made. Then my plum colored Trippen shoes I got in Paris.

            What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  After undergrad I sold beanie babies to middle-aged women for minimum wage at a little store in Bellingham.

            What super power would you like to have?  To only need 4 hours of sleep. I’d have so many more hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. Or, to be able to shoot colored beams of light from my fingertips.

            What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  “A day without lesbians is like a day without sunshine” by Joey Veltkamp.

            Thanks Susanna!

            See more of Susanna Bluhm’s work on Artsyo.

              Getting to know you: Fab Rideti

              Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Kelda Martensen. This week: Fab Rideti!

              WHY ARTSYO DIGS FAB RIDETI:

              Fab Rideti uses photography to comment on our perceptions of what’s worth paying attention to, and what’s not. Her unusual juxtapositions of toys in various Seattle settings are often thought-provoking and always hilarious.

              ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

              Where is your studio?  On Mercer Island

              Native Seattleite or transplant?  French, from Paris, settled in Seattle in 2010

              What’s on your studio soundtrack?  The sound of deer eating flowers, of peacocks on the roof, the sound….of silence most of the time

              Who is your art history crush?  The French photographer Robert Doisneau for his capacity to seize incongruous, tender, playful moments

              What is your favorite Seattle summer activity?  Watching people on Alki beach

              Where is the best coffee in town?  I just drink tea…or wine!

              What is the last book you read?  The old man who didn’t want to celebrate his birthday by Jonas Jonasson

              What is your most treasured possession?  My 2 kids, but are they my possession?

              What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  Being the trainee of a famous photographer, who asked me…to paint his frames

              What super power would you like to have?  Being able to read people’s minds

              What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  The photo “This is How a Suit Rolls” by Constance Brinkley

              Thanks Fab!

              See more of Fab Rideti’s work on Artsyo.

               

                Getting to know you: Kelda Martensen

                Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Brian Britigan. This week: Kelda Martensen!

                WHY ARTSYO DIGS KELDA MARTENSEN:

                Kelda Martensen’s collage and print works are like dreams about travelling to places that are part familiar and part fantastical: a motel en route to Alaska, a floating house full of birds, an inviting path of stepping stones that leads into thin air. They make us want to drive on snowy roads, or walk through a giant redwood forest, or casually stroll through outer space.

                ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

                Where is your studio?  Basement of my house in West Seattle

                Native Seattleite or transplant?  I grew up in the south sound and moved back to the Seattle area in 2009 after 11 years living outside of Washington

                What’s on your studio soundtrack?  Podcasts, my husband’s music blog: freedomsoundsradio.blogspot.com, Rickie Lee Jones, Neko Case and other nostalgic favorites

                Who is your art history crush?  Though not that bygone but definitely a big crush, Nancy Spero…also Kathë Kollwitz

                What is your favorite Seattle summer activity?  Taking our dog swimming in the sound, canoeing and being on the beach

                Where is the best coffee in town?  Such a hard call! Our local Bird On A Wire coffee shop

                What is the last book you read?  Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons and currently reading Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich

                What is your most treasured possession?  Besides my dog? My etching press! And my the art of my friends in the house

                What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  Shaping cabinet doors on an assembly line

                What super power would you like to have?  Time bending

                What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  Also so hard to answer! I know I haven’t seen all the work on Artsyo but I love Rachel Maxi‘s work on there, and I just saw this piece by Susanna Bluhm that I like a lot

                Thanks Kelda!

                See more of Kelda Martensen’s work on Artsyo.

                 

                  Getting to know you: Brian Britigan

                  Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Wesley Mayer. This week: Brian Britigan!

                  WHY ARTSYO DIGS BRIAN BRITIGAN:

                  We first came across Brian’s work at the SOIL show Beyond the Western Lands, and his impossible-to-miss painting Golden (see below) sparked a long conversation and subsequent post-show research about the origins of the myth that beehives can be spontaneously generated from a cow’s carcass (Bugonia - it’s a thing). Brian’s work will get you going like that. He weaves powerful stories by using animals as stand-ins for humans, and by peeling back what appears to be a scene of normal Americana to reveal the weirdness beneath.

                  ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

                  Where is your studio?  I’m currently working out of a rather cramped apartment on Capitol Hill, but I also have a habit of commandeering my boyfriend’s dining room table in the Central District.

                  Native Seattleite or transplant?  I was born and raised in Iowa City, IA, I’ve been living in Seattle for about 7 years now.

                  What’s on your studio soundtrack?  Lately I’ve been drawn to talk more than music, so my soundtrack includes a lot of NPR and art/illustration podcasts.

                  Who is your art history crush?  I have a strong affinity for early 20th century illustration, and J.C. Leyendecker is the cream of the crop.  That guy could paint like nobody’s business.

                  What is your favorite Seattle fall activity?  Halloween!  I’m a sucker for just about anything involving costumes and I always end up spending a couple of October afternoons scouring Capitol Hill’s secondhand stores for supplies.

                  Where is the best coffee in town?  Whatever’s closest when I wake up, I’m useless without it.

                  What is the last book you read?  The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente.  She’s a favorite of mine and her way of writing always gives me an itch to go draw something fantastic.

                  What is your most treasured possession?  My sketchbooks.  I’ve come to realize that they’re my best link to memories of everything that was going on while I was filling up their pages.

                  What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  I was a checkout clerk at Target when I was 19, I think I worked there for only three weeks before I simply stopped showing up.  It was dreadful.

                  What super power would you like to have?  Shape shifting!  It would be so helpful for drawing animals – instead of gathering photo reference I could just turn into whatever and take some selfies.

                  What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  I really love Levi Hastings‘ small dinosaur paintings, we showed together back in June and I was so happy to snag one of them.

                  Thanks Brian!

                  See more of Brian Britigan’s work on Artsyo.

                    Getting to know you: Wesley Mayer

                    Each week we ask a Seattle artist to answer 11 personal questions. Last week, Julie Alpert. This week, Wesley Mayer!

                    WHY ARTSYO DIGS WESLEY MAYER:

                    We first saw Wesley’s giant spray paintings at Bauhaus on Capitol Hill, and we were immediately drawn in by the nostalgia for the American road trip — the rest stop, the roadside motel, the collect call at the phone booth. Fittingly, Wesley just embarked on his own cross country road trip, and you can read about his adventures in a ’77 Chevy Nomad van here. (That’s Wesley in said van, pictured above.)

                    ELEVEN PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

                    Where is your studio?  I work out of a Garage in the U District.

                    Native Seattleite or transplant?  I’m a native of Seattle; I grew up on a boat near Gasworks Park.

                    What’s on your studio soundtrack?  Flying Lotus, Dam Funk, G-Funk, Devin Tha Dude, Currensy, Boogie/Disco of all sorts! On the flipside, 1960’s and 70’s Psychedelic Rock, the Nugget’s Compilations, The Creation, The Sonics, Wheedles Groove Compilation, Cold Heat Compilation, Death, Jimi Hendrix, Fathers Children!

                    Who is your art history crush?  Michelangelo, he went above and beyond.

                    What is your favorite Seattle summer activity?  Road trips.

                    Where is the best coffee in town?  Free Caffe Vita.

                    What is the last book you read?  I reread Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins most recently, but the last book I read that was new to me was Jock of the Bushveld by Sir James Percy Fitzpatrick.

                    What is your most treasured possession?  My 1977 Chevrolet G10 Shorty Van, as yellow as butter.

                    What is the worst job you’ve ever had?  Dealing mock casino games at church group functions.

                    What super power would you like to have?  I would like to be able to expand my consciousness to fit any space, whether it be a room or a wide valley, and be able to assume the roll of good luck or good charm over that area.

                    What is your favorite piece on Artsyo (that’s not yours)?  I’m very impressed with Karlito Bonevie’s designs. His Stacked Ring Table is pretty sick.

                    Thanks Wesley!

                    See more of Wesley Mayer’s work on Artsyo.