While spreading the word about my interview series with artists I like on Twitter, I got lots of new followers there who are artists too. And checking one of them more closely through her website I got to know Lelija Roy whose technique of using paper and paint on canvas I find very interesting. So I asked her to be part of this interview series too.
Please introduce yourself:
Lelija Roy, age fifty-something going on twenty-five. My home and studio are located in Denver, Colorado, USA, but I create art wherever I am. My work expresses my interactions with the landscape – observed, remembered and imagined. Primarily I work with acrylic paints and mediums, combining color and textured collage on canvas. The result is a complex integration of visual layers.
What is your definition of art?
What an artist chooses to share from the passion of his/her soul with the rest of the world.
Why have you become an artist?
For me living is about “being” the artist that is becoming. I deliberately choose art as a path of study. Circumstances required a different avenue of work for many years – but did not change the artist within. I am extremely lucky to be able to pursue art 24/7 and intend to have a long life.
What is your favourite artwork of your own and why?
Each piece I work on and complete is a next step. At the moment of completion, that piece becomes my favorite artwork. This favorite status is short-lived because the next blank canvas or almost finished work is ready to take over the spotlight.
How do you work?
I work in series, currently Aspenspaces and Desert Dreamscapes command 90% of my focus. Although these two series are technically related in materials and expression, they focus on two very different energies.
Aspenspaces celebrate the organic collective of the grove. These pieces have musically titles (Aspen Jazz, Aspen Sonnet, etc) and express the rhythms of light and sounds in changing seasons.
On the other hand, Desert Dreamscapes concentrate on the time, space and ancient spirit of the southwestern desert. Almost all capture the transition between light and dark at dawn or dusk when the line between land and sky blurs.
All of my work is created in layers–requiring extended drying time between layers. Consequently I have more than a dozen pieces in various stages in my studio. I take hundreds of photos and make many sketches on location–but once I saturate my mine and eye with the shapes and color I start with a blank canvas and allow the finished piece to emerge.
So you’re wondering what about the 10%–that is for a new series, Webs of Time.
Who is your favourite artist?
If I must pick one, it would be Van Gogh. In the 1970s the Van Gogh collection toured the United States, including the Brooklyn Museum in New York. As a high school student, this was the first large body of work I had experienced and I was smitten with the passion of expression (so much so that I almost missed the school bus). That day was a turning point in my first decision to pursue the study of art. More than twenty-five years later (at the time I had declared that “my next fifty years” would be lived as an artist) I found myself in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum viewing this same collection. Any doubt of starting a renewed career as an artist evaporated.
What is your favourite material to work with and why?
I work with acrylics and other watermedia. This combination gives a wide ranging palette of both color and texture. As a mixed media artist, I am very careful to create archival permanent work and acrylics allow me to do that. I am also very concerned about using non-toxic art materials
Could you live without making art (and why/why not)?
NO! Exist maybe – but not live.
Where can others find you on the web?
- http://lelija.net is for my larger fine art work–and catalogs available work at galleries and public exhibits.
- http://www.zibbet.com/Palmeta is the sales website for my miniature paintings and small works.
- http://www.zibbet.com/wearableart is a second sales website for wearable art pins and a new line of art scarves made from my artwork printed on fabric.
- http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/lelija-roy.html is a print-on-demand webstore for prints on canvas and/or paper and customizable greeting cards.
I post new work to several blogs, including these daily painter collections:
Please come follow me @lelija on Twitter for all my latest art and art news.
All images (c) Lelija Roy
Thanks for the interview, Lelija!