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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 073117 Alice Gould

We welcome our friend Alice Gould to the #sparkchamber today. Alice received a BFA in 1993 from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in 2000 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, both in the field of Painting. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, has lived primarily in California's Bay Area, and often spends time exploring wilderness areas. Nature informs her work. Large oil canvases, spirited gouache works-on-paper, and nature photography are homages to life forces, weather, and plant dynamism. Design, craftsmanship and the materiality of art-making are important considerations in her work. She now lives in Oakland. Check out her portfolio here.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

My ideas come primarily from nature and natural phenomena, be it tree, thunder-shower, or the look on someone’s face. They also come from art materials that mimic nature (fluid, pliable, colorful, damp, smoky, etc.) and my own playfulness that together make me want to handle them and create my own version of plants, weather, and creatures. They can come from things around me, through the human history of made objects, art or otherwise — so if I see a gorgeous table-leg, I might just want that thing in my universe. Humor, love, fear, and freedom are always present and always interacting in my universes. 

2.] What is the itch you are scratching? 

The itch is the magic of manifestation. When I see the paint emerging from the end of the brush, or see finished paintings on walls, talking to each other, the itch is scratched. Or rather, I am getting a lifelong massage, which includes gentle scratching and hair-pulling (scalp massage)

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare? 

I am confused by time and don't always know when art is going to happen. Usually it's after a culmination of time spent in thought, then slowly I begin to unwind the actual physical process. I have more energy in the morning, and nighttime doesn't seem right to Begin. So I'll say I'm a day owl, but one that flirts with the moon and stars.

I am definitely a tortoise, but my mind is a hare. I am in constant battle with patience. I am developing a way of seeing through the eons, so this is not so bothersome.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I am Done when I feel the nagging sense that I could destroy the thing I am working on. If there is an element that is Off, I will work on getting it back on track, but look closely for signs of beauty in the off-ness. Once I catch a glimmer of it, I let go, and say “that is how it is meant to be.” I have had issues with doing too much on one canvas, and have learned to have more surfaces on hand where I can take my ideas and energies to new fields.