Friday, April 23, 2010

Joan Vaupen Interview

Barbie House
sculptured acrylic with applied images 9 x 7 x 9"
Joan Vaupen

Joan Vaupen explores color, form, and meaning, using unusual materials achieving elegant results.

Where did you grow up Joan? Did that surrounding environment during those years (emotional and/or locational) contribute to your art making?

I grew up in Seattle, Washington, almost never out of sight of some body of water. Being an only child in a neighborhood with zero kids, I drew, painted and read - a lot. Every summer I’d travel to Canada with my father to visit his mother in Nelson, BC. She lived close to the Kootenay River which eventually becomes the Columbia flowing out to the Pacific Ocean in Oregon.

My uncle would bring home beautifully cut scraps of wood for his mother to use in her wood-burning stove and I used them to build temporary cities on her back porch. She had a blind friend who gave her many publications in Braille which I used for drawing and painting. Nelson is a beautiful little city surrounded by forests and water. Seattle is also a beautiful city, when it isn’t raining and you can see it.

What propels you to art making? What medium/mediums do you like to work with and for what reasons?

I make art because I can’t not make art. I love to experiment with all kinds of materials and continually explore them. I enjoy experimenting with color on metal, unusual translucent materials and light in many different formats. I work with titanium, printmaking, acrylic, aluminum, paper, ink etc. I use anything that can be used to make art. I love to experiment - developing new ideas and techniques.

Falling Clouds
sublimation dye print on dacron, acrylic with image baked and folded 60 x 21"
Joan Vaupen

How important is selling your work? Do you (or would you if you could) purchase other peoples artwork? If so - what kind of work do you or would you purchase and why?

I enjoy selling my work. It seems to sell mostly to artists. I purchase a lot of other artists work. I admire, respect, and support work that appeals to me. Some of the artists are famous and others not as well known: Bridget Riley, Claire Falkenstein, Sue Keane, Heather Lowe, Laddie John Dill, Richard Bruland. And many others.

What are you thinking when you make art?

I think about solving problems and searching for different ways to extend and enhance perceptions.

What do you feel are your greatest strengths as an art maker?

Exploring, researching and attempting to push the limits of my materials to reveal new concepts and different ways of looking at the world.

Joan Vaupen's exhibit at TAG Gallery begins on April 27, 2010.

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