We are pleased to announce artist Barbara Schilling as the first place award winner of the Spring 2018 Golden Apple online exhibition titled Still Life and juried by Stefynie Rosenfeld of New York.  Barbara's entries can be seen below (beginning with the winning image) along with an interview conducted with Barbara by Golden Apple Art Residency Director Shelley Stevens.  Additional information about Barbara and her work can be seen on her website www.barbaraschilling.com.

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Tell us about yourself and your artist journey:
I grew up in a very small farming community and had very limited exposure to art, but I loved to draw and my parents encouraged me in it.  When I graduated high school I moved to Grand Rapids to pursue an education in Art.  Life took control and landed me eventually as a single mother of two starting my own business and self study in Art Restoration.  I spent 30 years in art restoration and didn't have a lot of time to practice my own art although I did what I could, painting in the evenings and on weekends.  In July 2017 I retired from art restoration and am finally focused on doing what I set out to do over 40 years ago...I'm painting!

What inspires you or your work?
I am deeply in love with nature.  It fascinates me at every turn.  Whether flower, tree, bug, bird or mammal...I am drawn to see it closer, touch it, be a part of it.  Painting is a way I can try to communicate that passion with others.  It is a way that helps me to better see it and become more than just a casual observer.  To paint something honestly, emotionally, one must really invest the time to understand it.

What is your artistic process?
I love oil paints.  I have interests in other mediums, but oils draw me in like none other.  To master the art I believe one must practice it regularly.  Whether an artist chooses to paint abstractly, expressionistically or realistically, they need to understand and master the fundamentals.  I find I need to work in a variety of methods and subject matter to keep my excitement alive.  I see myself as a cross combination of representational, impressionism, expressionism.

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What has been one of the biggest struggles for you as an artist?
Finding a balance between marketing and creating.  I think artists today must be willing to assume a degree of their own promotion.  The days of leaving it all up to a Gallery to promote your work just isn't enough in this technology-driven world.  I'd rather just paint, but the need to pay the bills makes selling somewhat of a priority.  Sadly, that can create a lot of stress that is not conducive to the creative process.

Among your works, which one is your favorite and why?
I'm fickle.  What I loved yesterday I don't love today.  Sometimes I change my mind about how I feel towards a painting several times during and after the process is complete!  I often "rework" older paintings because they just are no longer satisfying me.  Today I'm particularly proud of my piece "Inner Glow" (www.barbaraschilling.com).  It is a painting that I feel I accomplished very well.  It has good drawing, design, color, technique and emotion.  But by next year, I might be entirely bored with it.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given, either personally or professionally, that has helped shape your artistry?
"Nothing replaces practice"  and "Brush miles"

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What do you see next for you in terms of studio work?
I am really excited about doing more with the highly textured impressionism I've started recently.  I have been studying some Contemporary Russian Impressionists and I just love their use of broken color and textures.  I want to find how that fits to me personally as an artist.

Thank you, Barbara, and congratulations on your first-place award!

 

We are proud to announce artist Alina Poroshina as the first place award winner of the Fall 2017 Golden Apple online exhibition titled The Intimate Portrait juried by Stevie Rose of New York.  Alina's entries can be seen below (beginning with the winning image) along with an interview conducted with Alina by Golden Apple Art Residency Director Shelley Stevens.  Additional information about Alina and her work can be seen on her website www.alinaporoshina.wordpress.com.

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Tell us about yourself and your artistic journey:
Alina Poroshina has a Masters in Fine Arts from the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she studied painting, illustration, and art history. Her artwork focuses mainly upon expressions of the human form through themes of religious imagery, folklore, and elements of fantasy. Marc Chagall, Lucian Freud, and Leonardo Da Vinci are counted among her many artistic influences. She has been featured at several galleries and exhibits in New York, California, Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Baltimore.   Alina now focuses on art education, portfolio development, and commissioned artwork.

What inspires you or your work?
Art allows me to take memories, dreams, and sensations and make them tangible. I’m inspired by people and events in my life and I tie them in the context of art history and human spirituality.

What is your artistic process?
I was inspired to paint the glassblowers when as an emerging artist I was offered a residency by Ben Birney who co owned Global glassworks in Lansing,MI.  I was the only painter in that building and I frequently went down to the torch room to observe glass artists doing their magic.

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What has been one of the biggest struggles for you as an artist?
Finding your own voice as an artist – I was lucky to develop a painting style that was intuitive and expressive early on than for a few years I was experimenting with different media and styles until eventually I went back to my own voice.   I think its a normal process for a painter to explore different techniques, until you settle on the one that is your true to your own voice.

Among your works, which one is your favorite and why?
Abduction of New Orleans
A year after hurricane Katrina I painted a very interesting and symbolic painting.   I am attached to that art on a visceral level, having experience loss and displacement myself.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, either personally or professionally, that has helped shape your artistry?
The world that you live in creates enough impediments – do not become your art works road block.  Art will find its audience.

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What do you see next for you in terms of studio work?
Working simultaneously on figure painting and still life where I will be exploring different textures and color theories.

Thank you, Alina and congratulations for your first-place award!