Featured Artist Glynis Raisch
Interview by Audrey Sullivan
Glynis Raisch is a painter, graphic designer, wife and mother of two.
AS: I understand that you draw inspiration from your young children’s drawings. Can you describe the process that you go through, both how you see it in your mind and how you execute it?
GR: It started out as a necessity– if I didn’t bring the kids into the studio and include them, I wouldn’t get any art done! I couldn’t leave them to fend for themselves upstairs while I painted away for hours downstairs in the basement (which is my “studio”). But now both kids are in school all day so the process is ever-changing.
Lately, I have been amused by my 6 year old son’s drawings. He just started doodling in a sketchbook. I appreciate the child’s eye view– they are unfiltered and without knowledge of linear perspective and anatomically correct proportions. Kids do things in the moment, they are still unaware of time restrictions and messes and mistakes. His are just little line drawings but he achieves such character in the facial expressions. He also likes to draw 20 fingers on each hand and put octopus arms on his sister! Often I get an idea for subject matter from these drawings.
I like to see the brush strokes. I’m drawn to the more painterly and abstract. I guess that’s where I use my children’s artwork as inspiration. I like their whimsical viewpoint and composition. It’s the “looseness” of the final result that I’m after — I don’t like it when I get too blendy with my colors.
I kind of have this Yin and Yang thing happening! Once upon a time I was a Graphic Designer; I still do occasional freelance jobs (logos, website design, icon design, etc.). These kinds of projects tend to require a more serious approach and a finer detail in the final product. So naturally, I want to be more playful and less rigid with my paintings and my T-shirt monsters.
I want people to be amused by my paintings– if I heard a good chuckle that would really please me!
AS: Two requirements for being in the the original coop are being an artist and a mother. The latter is a very difficult and time consuming job, how do you stay focused on your art and not get side tracked by the every day journey of mothering?
GR: Ha! I’m constantly side tracked! But part of that is a matter of priorities. Sometimes art is way down on the list; it’s just life. The group has been a great motivation for me. I needed the “assignments” and accountability and the friendships to get me back in the studio on a regular bases.
AS: Your artistic style is very unique. What other art form or medium do you admire but have not attempted and why?
GR: Thank you!
This is a tough question! I have dabbled in just about everything — including ceramics and jewelry making. And every medium; the proof is in the amount of unfinished projects laying around my house. I’ve always had a respect for collage. I would like to try to incorporate different materials into my paintings more. I think also collage could help me stay loose and in the moment.
I guess I have not really attempted collage because every time I do I get frustrated! I get too focused in a detail and can’t see the larger piece. I get stalled — “What if I do this? But wait, what if I do that?” kind of thing. I am very indecisive and then I procrastinate. So it goes back to my kids again; to do art in the moment.
AS: What was the last big risk you took as an artist?
GR: Hmmm… I would have to say paper mache. I did a piece for one of our shows last year that was paper mache. It was a depiction of my proverbial hamster wheel: a woman on a unicycle balancing a kid on each arm. The hamster wheel was a colorful ring around the whole thing listing the tasks that I juggle on a daily basis (make dinner, make art, drive kids to soccer practice, fold the laundry, etc.). I don’t see it so much as a risk but a big departure from painting. It was fun! I think I might like to explore it more — I’ve been thinking about a series of paper mache masks…
AS: Do you give yourself “work rules” in your studio? What are they?
GR: No, I don’t have any work rules. I don’t know, maybe they are subconscious rules. I tend to feel as if I can’t do art unless I have a large block of time. Which is harder and harder to find these days. It’s true, you can’t really paint in 10 minute chunks here and there but I need to try to re-evaluate my reasoning. I think I could accomplish a lot more if I wasn’t so practical all the time! And I need to allow myself to make more of a mess!
Rote Memory installed as part of a our group solo show, Re.Collection, at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts. Full info here.