Friday, August 27, 2010

Hunt&Gather Interviews Sarah Joncas

Numb, 12x24", oil on canvas
Hunt and Gather interviews Sarah Joncas, checking up on her latest show entitled "Siren" at the Thinkspace Gallery and gaining some insight into the artists life and latest adventures.
Sarah Joncas depicts a lone, sultry woman in each of her paintings, who either seem to be in thought or caught in a moment, which she captures almost cinematically, particularly her pieces “lingering” and “Mother of Pearl”. But the most striking thing about Sarah Joncas’ work is how immensely this artist has improved over the past three years; each painting demonstrates stronger technique and more diverse subjects, Joncas is scheduled for a solo exhibition entitles “Siren” at The Thinkspace Gallery in L.A on September 3rd..

Many Artists claim that having studio space in art school was more valuable to them than the actual lessons. You have become immensely stronger in style and technique over the past three years. Are the lessons you learnt in art school valuable to you now as a working artist? Or have you become stronger on your own?

I was taught very little technical skill at OCAD. The schools focus was much more on the academic and conceptual aspects of our work, which wasn’t so much a problem for me. I did take figurative life and portraiture classes that gave me some experience painting from a model though, and were probably what I enjoyed the most in all my classes. I’ve always learned more on my own, but you always will in practice! Even with OCAD as a 4 day schedule, it was still such a small percentage of my painting time. It’s the same with every art though – the lessons only go so far if you don’t practice at home.

Mother of Pearl, 18x24", Oil

Could you wa
lk us through your creative process, do you ever use photo references or live models
whilst working on a piece?

I work almost entirely from my head, drawing anime/cartoon like girls in my sketchbook, and then transferring them on the canvas to paint. I’ve used photo references before, not of life models, but from magazines or the net. I’ve even used myself at times when I get stuck – though not to confuse, as most people think my work is self-portraiture based – these aren’t auto-biographical paintings. Rather, I think of them like alter egos or putting on a character. Usually I’ll be working on a piece for 2-4months, depending on the size and working on 6-8 of them at a time because of the drying delays with oils.

So did you just graduate.?

Yeah. Went through all four years and earned my BFA... Though I did stay an extra year for a 0.5 credit course.

Can you explain why the name of your upcoming show is called “Siren”?

Well, I’ve wanted to make a music themed body of work for awhile now, which may not be so surprising. The title felt suitable as this show is about the seduction and romance of music, as well as linking to my usual subject matter of dark, solitary women. I wasn’t entirely certain that this would be my direction in the beginning, but after starting on a couple pieces – a dancer and a quiet geisha holding a guitar – everything else just flowed out naturally and without hesitation.

The women in your paintings often possess a sort of seductive, smoky-eyed facial expression that reminds me of old Hollywood actresses, do you ever have any actresses or films in mind, for example whilst working on the piece, “western eyes and serpents breath”?

Cinema has been a large influence on my paintings, more specifically noir. I’ve never painted with a celebrity in mind though. I just love the drama and mystery of film and how they use lighting and shadow to create mood. I also enjoy that my girls can be confused as actresses, playing a role – it gives them that power of voyeuristic knowledge, like they know their being watched. At the same time, they look as though they’re ignorant and unaware, caught up in their own world. It’s an interesting tug-o-war!

Who would you like to collaborate with, do your have any such plans for the future?

I haven’t really thought about that one, to be honest. I’d want it to be someone I got to know well enough to feel comfortable painting alongside though, and someone whose work I enjoyed. No plans for one yet!

Seeing as women are the dominant subject matter in your work, who, as you’ve said, “mature with you”, how do you see the subject matter of your work evolving, would you ever move on from women?

I don’t know! That’s the beauty of it though, you just keep painting and they keep changing. I may get tired of the girls once I’m older, and I may not. I do know that whenever I paint on paper, the works are completely different though – I seem to turn in a more Ralph Steadman kind of way…. But, we’ll see!

Inter mission, 20x24", oil on canvas

Can you explain the relationship between the women and their environments in your paintings, for example in your piece, “Lingering”

The environments are just meant to compliment the emotions and atmosphere of the women in my paintings, as well as give more understanding to why she’s feeling that way. If they seem sad or lonely, the room encasing them might be bland or alienating. In ‘Lingering’, this is what I was going for - the generic-ness of the room, geometric and ‘empty’, the solitary light beaming downward…

What was growing up in Canada like, what kind of kid were you?

I don’t feel like my childhood was anything out of the ordinary, but not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could go back! I had a great time as a kid, mainly because I had a brother and sister to play with back then too. I was a pretty shy/quiet kid, kept to myself a lot. Already knew I wanted to be an artist back then, too.

How do you want the viewer to feel when they look at your work?

Inspired would be the best feeling, at least it’s the feeling I enjoy getting from artwork the most… Like you just want to run home and grab a brush yourself.

Night owl or early bird? When’s your favourite time to work?

I can do both, but I like the night more than the day. I often paint during the day though because that’s when I get the most time to myself, uninterrupted.

A day in the life of Sarah Joncas. What is your average work day like?

I sleep in till about 10am, feed the cat, get myself cleaned up, answer emails, then start painting at around noon. Then I’m painting for about 6hrs till my boyfriend gets home from work. After that, it’s all relaxing, going out or getting other chores done. It’s pretty awesome! No other jobs needed right now.

Above ) Lingering, 18x24", oil on canvas

Thanks Sarah!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dabs Myla video and upcoming exhibition!

Watch the above video from Jetset Graffit!

"In July, Dabs and Myla brought their incredible talents to the LA Freewalls Project in DTLA. We were there to capture the action and catch them in the act… The LA Freewalls Project is sponsored by Lahoda Fine Arts and

In this new artist profile of the incredible Australian Duo, Jetset talks about Earthquakes, Street Art vs. Graffiti, and their favorite food, Vegemite! (It’s actually not that bad)."

Dabs Myla have a solo show coming up at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, Los Angeles from September 3rd-24th. Don’t miss it! Titled Tokyo Deluxe the show features all new work from the talented duo.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Decked Project

Last night I attended the opening of The Decked Project held at The Coningsby Gallery in London. The exhibition featured all hand painted long Boards, short boards and old antique skateboards. The majority of the artists were from London, so it gave me a good chance to check out the local talent that seems to keep coming out of the wood work. The exhibition was curated by Vicky Newman, an illustrator and recent art graduate who just wanted to do something for her fellow illustrators in the UK. It was a very successful opening night and I couldnt resist getting one of the handpainted decks for my collection.

show these guys some support by visiting:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mini Raffy, a painted toy by Scott Belcastro

Scott Belcastro recently took a break from painting and customized a Munny toy for
ainted Vision ( )
He will be making a couple more.....A white deer and a fox, If you are interested in one head over to Tainted Visions . They are $ 175.00.

I think he is super cute :)

Nathan Ota "An Unforeseen Homecoming"

For years, Nathan Ota has been pursuing new worlds, both dark and fantastic, to explore in his paintings. Ota has used his stand-ins - a blind bird, a drunk monkey, a one-eyed robot lost in the woods - to travel through dreamlands that hold fantasies and tragedies. In "An Unforeseen Homecoming," Ota's first solo show at La Luz de Jesus, the artist sets out on an expedition which lands him in the unlikeliest destination - the world inside the artist's own studio. The questions that greet him, and the answers that he finds, are at once simple and impossible, hopeful and heartbreaking, permanent and fleeting. "My paintings will always leave little clues to what I'm thinking, some I can share, and some may be too personal, but all in all, I think that the paintings stand alone" states Ota.

Working with acrylic on panel, the process of creating "An Unforeseen Homecoming" took Ota roughly a year to complete. Ota lives in the Los Angeles area and currently teaches at Otis and Santa Monica College.

Opening at La Luz de Jesus Gallery 1

September 3 - 26, 2010
Artist Reception: Friday, Sept. 3rd; 8-11 PM
Print Release & Signing: Friday, Sept. 3rd; 7-8 PM

Yumiko Kayukawa at La Luz de Jesus Gallery II

Yumiko Kayukawa "49 Days"
In Buddhism, the numbers 4 and 9 are bad luck.

The Japanese phonetic pronunciation of 4 (shi) is also that of death, and 9 (ku) is also pain. After death, the dead are believed to wander the earth for 49 days as spirits. Part of the cremation ceremony involves the passing of the ashes via chopsticks from one mourner to the other. They are ultimately collected into an urn, which is taken home and kept for that same 49 days, until they are buried in a grave reserved for the wandering spirit -who is then free to be born again into new life.

The paintings in Yumiko Kayukawa's "49 Days" all carry a feeling of existing between life and death, and in these pieces, images of food and chopsticks can pertain to either. One of Yumiko's great passions is eating, which she views as the symbolic opposite of death. She has a marvelous knack for infusing her paintings with that appreciation for fine food and dining, and the figures in her work seem to enjoy flavors that convey unbelievable delight -leaving the viewer with a slight bite of wistful envy.

Exhibition is on display from September 3 - 26, 2010
Artist Reception: Friday, Sept. 3rd; 8-11 PM
Print Release & Signing: Friday, Sept. 3rd; 7-8 PM

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