Works on LPP
★ MEET N‘ GREET ★
1. Hi Erika, I know next-to-nothing about you except that you live in New York, went to SVA, and have made many beautiful light-saturated, tree stocked paintings. With this question I’ll let you choose what you want to first volunteer about who you are.
I’m just like my paintings.
2. You obviously have great technical finesse with water-based mediums, and I wonder how you came to them, how long you’ve been working with them exclusively, etc. You’ve mastered the semi-transparent layerings that make many of your works look so lavishly rich, and I wonder how that process of discovery went as well.
Thank you. It’s kind of funny, after art school I stopped making art for about a year. I was really confused and living in a tiny apartment with a lot of people. I had no privacy or personal space. One day I found a small travel watercolor kit. I got a pad of bristol and started making drawings and paintings using the coffee table as my workspace. They started out pretty sparse, figures on a white ground with pattern around them. It’s been about 9 years or so since then and as for development and technique it’s just time and practice. We are not exclusive.
3. What steps do you undertake to make a work (or many at once) from beginning to end? Are you someone who plans ahead, and/or articulates a concept from the get-go? What is the source of your inspiration and/or source images? And how do your poetic titles occur to you?
I plan ahead and let things develop naturally. As I work on a piece the idea becomes more developed or changes completely. Working helps me think and sort out my ideas. A huge source of inspiration for me is the natural world. I like to go hiking and a lot of my imagery comes from trips I’ve taken.
4. What is a typical weekday for you like? Also, what are some of Brooklyn’s finer points, in your opinion, and how does living where you do inform the shape of your life and work? I’m also about to spend a month in Brooklyn and have never been, so what would you tell someone like me?
These days have not been so typical because of the recession. An ideal day for me would include time for painting, running over the bridge, meeting up with friends and cooking. My favorite aspect of New York is the people who live here. Brooklyn is best experienced by bicycle. I’ll be riding my bike down to Breezy Point beach this summer.
5. Two of my friends used to ask every visiting artist to their school "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" during the Q&A period. So...what kind of tree do you think you might be?
6. Lastly, I wonder if you could share both your biggest challenge right now, and what you’re currently most excited about or looking forward to.
Right now I’m looking forward to some time to myself. I’m just about to start two big projects. One is watercolor based and the other is animation. You can see my first animation in a long time here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIE3pvMR7Bw
Also in the works are some oil paintings and hopefully a trip to Shenandoah National Park.
Thanks again for your time and responses Erika, and for being a part of Little Paper Press.
Erika Somogyi makes paintings, sculptures, amulets, and animations. See more of her work at throughthetrees.net. Send her an email firstname.lastname@example.org