We’re proud to present our brand new weekly artist spotlight series. The series will focus on painters, sculpters, musicians, designers, and all around creative individuals who we feel are pushing the boundaries of their respective fields. This week we bring you the artwork of Amy Guidry.
Amy has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. including the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, the Alexandria Museum of Art, Brandeis University, and the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Her paintings are in public and private collections including the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Schepis Museum, the Zigler Art Museum, and the Alexandria Museum of Art. Her work has also been the subject of articles and online publications including American Artist, Studio Visit, Adbusters, Beautiful/Decay, and Juxtapoz Art & Culture.
Tell us about your process, how does it start, from inspiration to execution. I keep sketchbooks full of past ideas and I’m always adding to them. I usually just make a small thumbnail sketch, very rough to say the least, and make a few notes so I can refer to it later. Some of my ideas come to me as I’m painting something else, but lately I’ve been using ideas that come from dreams and free association exercises. I use my sketches to help formulate a series and comb through them to find images and concepts that will form a cohesive body of work. Once I’m ready to go from paper to canvas, I’ll work on one painting at a time and do a quick sketch onto the canvas in pencil. Then I immediately move to paint, working in thin layers, adding more detail each time. My initial layer is really rough, then the second layer will build the colors and add some refinement, so on and so forth. I use very small paintbrushes- the bristles are not even 1/4 of an inch long- and go through one every day or two because of the detail I do.
What are your views on art school? There’s a lot of debate over how much influence professors should have over their students since there is a fine line between guiding them and allowing them to find their own style. Once artists are out in the “real world” they are going to be directed and critiqued by galleries, art critics, artists, etc. I think it’s best to just take in the constructive criticism and use what you can and just ignore anything that is useless or hurtful. Some schools include business courses as part of their curriculum, but many do not. I think everyone should take as many business courses as they can while in school because they will need that education later as an artist, i.e. small business owner.
If your work had a soundtrack what would it be? I think it would be appropriate to say the soundtrack to “Edward Scissorhands” (which all but one song is Danny Elfman’s work) since I often listen to it while I am painting. It’s beautiful and poignant- which is something I strive for in my work.
Top 5 music playlist: Ugh, this is a tough question! If I have to choose, I’d say “Misery is a Butterfly” by Blonde Redhead, “The Pilgriming Vine” by Basia Bulat, “Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley, “Ur” by David Byrne, and “On Call” by Kings of Leon.
Top 5 visual artists: Another tough question because I love so many artists! So in no particular order, I would say: Kiki Smith, Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, James Ensor, and Jenny Saville.
What do you hope to achieve through your work? I hope to inspire, amuse, enlighten, and create positive change through my work. I take on different social and sometimes political issues through my work, so art is my platform to communicate with others regarding these issues. I hope that my work will inspire others, but I also hope that it will get a dialogue going, and encourage them to reflect on what they can do to make a difference in the world.