Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zine Launch Party!

Featured Local Artist: Court Lurie

Court Lurie is an ultra-talented artist living 
and working in Austin. She's a true 
inspiration to us at Jerry's!

When did you first realize you were an artist?

I knew at a very young age that I connected to the world around me differently than most of my peers and family. I was constantly filtering information through my senses, and then needing to interact with what I was experiencing. Whether I was dancing around my living room making music videos, or painting in the basement while my mom worked, or kicking around a soccer ball, or writing poetry into the wee hours of the night, or dancing in the theater, or playing violin, I was always viscerally motivated. I made sense of the world through experiencing the tastes, smells, sensations, sounds, imagery and feelings of the things and people around me. When I recognized this was an innate nature, I realized it is this relationship to the world around me that makes me an artist. It is not that I make my living as a painter that makes me an artist, but that I take in the world through my senses, and I need to respond through my body. I don't have a choice. I am grateful for this and honor the call every day as a gift. 

What mediums do you work in?

Anything I can mix with acrylic paint! I use gel mediums, glue, rubber cement, house paint, modeling paste and spackle. Most of my works are mixed media and on the surface of the canvas you will find charcoal, pencil, pastel, acrylic paint, and maybe a little piece of collage, if you look closely.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

Inspiration doesn't come from anywhere outside of myself, but lies within the process of creating, and the commitment to this process. Being dedicated to my career forces me to be in the studio for many, many hours a week. It is here where the magic happens. The accidents, the experiments, the frustrations, the moments of flow, the challenges that each piece presents, is where the excitement and motivation occur. The limitless nature of creating a painting moves me. There are infinite ways to create space. Living a spiritual life, focused on being as present, awake, and aware as I can be, creates a nurturing environment in the studio where time, attention, joy, experimentation, music, playfulness, materials, and tools dance in an interplay where the process and the experience stimulate me. I don't need anything else. Answering the call to create drives me. Seeing what will unfold excites me. Listening to that which is sacred and divine, guides me. 

What advice would you give a young artist just starting out?

I mentor several young artists and I work with each individual differently, taking into account their goals, ambitions, and skill. First, and most importantly, hone your craft. Take the time to really learn about the materials you use, experiment and push them. Make work that has integrity. Make sure that before you attempt to share your work with the world in a professional setting, you have confidence in it, you can speak articulately about it, and YOU know it is good. Find someone that you admire and trust to mentor you and support your creative and professional goals. When you are ready to begin showing your work, thoroughly research each opportunity before handing your work over to some coffee shop owner or gallerist. Know your market and your venue and have clarity about your commitment. Most importantly, choosing to create a career in the arts is risky, yet can be amazing. You must believe that you can do it. You have to have faith in your work and your ability. If you do not have this faith, it will not work. 

Check back soon for another installment of Featured Local Artist from Jerry's Austin!

Customer of the Month: Honoria Starbuck

Honoria Starbuck, a talented teacher and Austin-based artist, 
often graces the Jerry’s frame shop with her lovely artwork 
and we can’t thank her enough!

When did you first realize you were an artist?

As a little girl I played with oil and watercolor paints with my amazing uncle James McGibbon Brown, aka Uncle Laddie. Uncle Laddie was a well-known artist in South Florida where I grew up. Uncle Laddie and I mixed oil paints together on a palette and dabbed the colors onto a canvas. When the canvas was full Uncle Laddie asked me what I saw in the abstract colors. I told him what I saw in the patterns and he drew contour lines that made what I envisioned come into focus. It was magic! It is a technique that I still use today with my students.

What are the mediums you work in?

I never met a medium I didn’t like. I love art history and contemporary art too. I will try anything if I see something that inspires me to try something new or even retry something from my past. I enjoy new art supply chemistry that is always changing such as interference colors; iridescent colors; matte, textured, and glossy mediums; acryl gouache; water soluble oil paints; Intense blocks; Yupo paper, and many more. I love traditional mediums too, and especially love Arches 300 lb paper and Frederick’s watercolor canvas.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Art history and contemporary art inspires me. I am an active participant in the mail art network so the many themes of mail art inspire me to do small works to send out. Seeing the work of others, going to museums and galleries is inspiring. On my vacations I try to hit great art. Last year I got to go to the Biennale in Venice. Now THAT was inspiring! Also I am always learning from other artists at Naked Lunch and Dr. Sketchy and I learn much from my students too.

What is your favorite thing about Jerry's?

The best part of Jerry’s is the people. The people who work at Jerry’s are also artists with a treasure of collected knowledge. I sometimes come in to the store just to be around other artists. I advise my students to shop at Jerry’s so they can get real information and artist-to-artist opinions on art supplies for any given project.

Check back soon for another installment of Customer of the Month from Jerry's Austin!