Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Pick: Judith Bryony Farr

Acrylic on Canvas
Acrylic and Pencil on Paper

Acrylic on Paper 
Acrylic and Pencil on Paper 
Acrylic and Pencil on Paper

This Sunday's pick is one I have been looking forward to sharing.  Judith Bryony Farr's work is wonderful.  She is the new painting friend I mentioned in my post about Albert Irvin.  We have been corresponding about our lives as painters in our different cities (she's in Lleida, Catalonia) and the trials of the studio along with sharing influences and new finds.  

Out of a personal curiosity I asked Judith if she would be willing to send some photos of her bike ride to the studio and inside of her studio, as well as respond to a few questions.  Her poignant reactions and beautiful pictures are below.  Check out the light in that studio!  I think its time I start making studio visits a regular part of this blog...

1. We have discussed a bit about color and how living in Spain vs. England may have impacted your work, can you talk a little about that?

This question has really made me ponder the impact of moving to Catalonia (still officially part of Spain, but we'll see...).  I must admit I've never considered Spain to have had a direct impart on my art, although after 10 years here it undoubtedly must have.  The light here is startlingly different from Britain and the weather conditions are also much more extreme.  One thing that always delights me is that magical hour just before sunset when everything turns bright pink, orange, yellow or violet.  The truth is that I find so many things about where I live very moving just because they're so different to where I grew up.  The culture, language, landscape, and food for example, often thrill me, when maybe I should be pretty used to them by now.

The truth is bring intense colour has always moved and inspired me since I was a child.  I remember my mum's art poster and postcard collection, her love of colourful silk scarves, the flowers in our garden and the art of  British artists such as Patrick Heron and Howard Hodgkin, and the French Fauvist painters.
e of colourful silk scarves, the flowers in our garden and the art of British artists such as Patrick Heron and Howard Hodgkin, and the French Fauvist painters.  When I use colour with absolute abandon I feel like I'm really being myself, I think that's part of what my process is about; struggling through the build up of emotional crap inside my head to reach a place of joy and optimism.

2. When you begin a painting, is there a certain impetus?  Is it a color or something you see or a pattern?  Do you have any sort of preconceived picture of what you are going to paint regardless of if that is the actual outcome?

I just need to get painting and making and take myself and my thoughts out of the equation as much as possible. I’ve tried planning, I’ve painted from photos and from life but so far these processes don’t inspire me. So when I start painting my aim is to just mess up the white surface, or start with a coloured background and work into it. I need to throw myself into the work to get past the fear of failure. There’s almost always a struggle throughout the work and sometimes I come away from the studio feeling really disappointed but it’s always worth it for those times when something magical emerges from the mess.While I’m painting an image from something I’ve seen may pop up and it’s normally a pattern like a textile pattern or something organic. However, despite these influences I know I can’t get too attached to any marks I’m putting down because they may need to be covered over in order to allow the final image to appear.

3. Your work is made of beautiful marks.  Do you find yourself searching for new types of marks all the time or employing marks that are familiar sort of characters in your arsenal?

Pattern and rhythm are an important part of my visual vocabulary, the word arsenal is fantastic! I’m not sure I have an arsenal of marks as yet but I think that’s what I’m aiming for. It reminds me of learning Spanish or Catalan; I’m just building up my skills on a daily basis and trying to express myself in more complex and imaginative ways.

I tend to go back to dots and stripes when I’m not sure where to go with a piece. I’m always trying to surprise myself and not repeat anything or do anything that’s too easy. So I’m mostly trying to find new combinations of marks, colours and compositions. I think that’s why I feel so comfortable working on paper, because I can just get it down as quickly as possible and move on to something new, I’m very impatient!

4.  What else is on your 'painting mind' presently?

Recently I’ve been dreaming of making much bigger and splashier pictures, I’ve been thinking about my process as including journeys through the pictorial space, and I’ve been trying to incorporate more drawing. I’m enjoying not knowing what I’m doing but just doing it anyway. I’m also feeling quite excited about a MFA I’m starting in September.


katie said...

I love Judith's work and appreciate the boldness with which she paints. Her paintings seem like they come about from equal parts restraint and wild abandon. Thank you for the interview and the glimpse into her studio life.

annamaria potamiti said...

Thank you for this peek into Judith's studio life, and thinking. Such inventive, fresh work.

Aubrey Levinthal said...

Yes -- all the thanks are due to Judy --

'equal parts restraint and wild abandon' I love that...

Anonymous said...

Thanks ladies!! It's great to get feedback and I'm so glad you like my interview. Big thanks to Aubrey for being a star!

maureen nathan said...

I've come late but enjoyed reading about your life and approach none the less Judith! As you know from 'internet world' I love your work. yours too Aubrey so this is a lovely pairing!

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