Monday, May 9, 2011

TAG Gallery Interviews Anne M. Bray

Anne M. Bray
Yummy Macaroon 2011
Prismacolor pencil + graphite
5 x 3.5"

Anne M. Bray with Small Pleasures: Sketches Drawn from Everyday Life.

How is the work in this exhibition different from your last exhibition? Also, what does it have in common – if anything?

My last exhibition, Road Work, was of my roadscape pastels - the big open highway. This is a more intimate show: 5 x 5" drawings in pen and prismacolor pencil. I think the only thing they have in common is me.

Is your working method the same for both? What’s different? (i.e. working directly or with reference photos?)

Again, very different approaches to the work. I use photo reference for the roadscapes (see process described here). These sketches are drawn from life.

I see that you keep several bodies of work going at the same time. What goes into deciding, on any given day, which to work on? Why?

Yes, I get easily bored working on only one thing and juggle a variety of projects. Once I start seeing a series develop, I'll get focused on that one theme and go deeper with it. Some will fizzle out, but may pique my interest years later. The yearly TAG shows give me concrete deadlines and help spur me into getting a body of work done.

What attracts you to the objects you sketch as subject matter?

I started this latest burst of sketching in May 2008. I was inspired by Danny Gregory, author of Everyday Matters. In it, he explains how sketching the everyday things of life (and sketching every day) can help one better connect with the world. And ever since my student days at OTIS, I've been envious of artists that maintain visual journals. So I have been trying to keep at it.

I've been working on a bunch of themed sketch journals, from a monthy series instigated by ArtHouse, a collective based in Brooklyn. I completed "mini" (tiny objects I found around the house). In progress are "In these shoes" (shoes) and "incoming!!!" (a day in my life through cropped objects).

The drawings I’ve seen, on your blog, for example, seem like a visual journal, telling the details of your day to day life. Is this what they are meant to do?

Sometimes the objects scream out to be sketched, such as the cupcake on the Magnolia pastry box:

Anne M. Bray
Magnolia Box 2010
Ink on pastry box
8.5 x 11"

Other times I've used the Weekly Challenge list generated by the Everyday Matters Group (I do well with assignments).

I’ve seen a lot of drawings of paint tubes and food - interesting combination - can you comment on that? (yummy paint and icing?)

My choice of exhibiting paint tubes and cupcakes came from having more sketches of those two subjects than anything else.

The first paint tube sketch derived from the Weekly Challenge list "#180 - Draw something in your favorite color." I thought of my cadmium colors and the orange tube was the most squished.

Anne M. Bray
Cadmium Orange 2008
ink + prismacolor pencil
3.5 x 3.5"

I had such fun rendering the tube's contorted shape, I decided to do the rest of my palette. I also came to realize I liked the tubes better with the caps off.

Anne M. Bray
Cadmium Orange 2010
ink + prismacolor pencil
2 x 3"

The subject of cupcakes evolved out of a dessert project started in 2004. I experimented with media a bit before settling on prismacolor pencils. In both sets, the composition of one isolated iconic object is directly inspired by Wayne Thiebaud's dessert paintings, which I greatly admire.
I've had a lot of fun doing these drawings (eating the cupcake models wasn't too painful either). It is very liberating to do quickie sketches that don't require a lot of set-up or messy materials. I highly reccomend grabbing a sketchbook and a pen or pencil and giving it a go.

Anne's Sketch blog:

Anne M. Bray in the studio.

Anne M. Bray's exhibition begins May 24, 2011.

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