People who Make and Do Neat Things is a monthly interview in which each interviewee is asked five basic questions (who, what, where, when, why) and asked, not only to find an answer but also the question they wish to answer.
This month we get to hear from Kathleen Ryan, a senior painting major at Ball State University. Kathleen’s highly personal paintings combine elements of abstraction and image as well as tactile,textile elements, exploring the space between painting and sculpture.
WHO are you?) I’m a work in progress.
(WHAT do you make?) I make greeting cards and wall warmers/decorations, or so it’s been suggested, I prefer the term ‘art’ though. My work varies a lot from representational to abstract. I enjoy experimenting with ways to abstract the figure, but mostly I use materials in different and “crafty” ways [i.e. sewing/weaving paper or fabric, suspending a painting with thread within a painting, or using materials and textures to trick the eye about the surface of the work.] I think it really lets me experiment with materials, color, form and texture, which are some big things that draw me into other artist works.
(WHERE do you go when you’re sleeping?) When I do dream I often forget them so I don’t really know. Sometimes when I wake up [or right before I fall asleep] I have solutions to my works I’ve been trying to resolve or new ideas. I’m glad that some part of my brain is always working, even if its in my unconscious.
(WHEN do you work (on your art)) I’m always working! The content of my work often comes from personal experiences. So I guess even when I’m not physically working on a piece (which seems rare), I’m preparing for future work by living… or looking/reading about art related things… or planning, I’m usually a big planner but I always leave room for “happy accidents” or complete change of direction in a pieces.
(WHY did you go into art?) I started to make art because that’s what every little kid does. Some how the school systems/society beats it out of us probably because they don’t support the arts as much as they should. I think I loved art and kept with it because I had a difficult time as a young child processing what was said to me and speaking coherently; art was a way for me to express myself and my frustrations which I would do for hours at a time after school usually refusing lunch. Yeah, I was that serious about my art, even at the age of 4. I guess it just became a part of me, and how I processed things, so I’d still be making art even if I didn’t got o school for it.
If you are an artist or person who makes and/or does Neat Things and would like to be interviewed, email your name, what it is you make or do and a sample haiku* to crlynch2 (at) gmail (dot) com.