We love art! We love how it makes us feel, how it beautifies and how it evokes emotion. Artists are often asked by the public how they became artists and their process. We asked ceramic artist Bev Andrews, acrylic and mixed media artists Ellen Delaney and Gail Spencer Saour, and photographer Jo Ann Tooley from the next Associate Artist Pop-Up show in Studio 12 why they love their crafts.
Fine art photographer Jo Ann Tooley specializes in black & white film preferring to use a medium format camera to capture remote areas in and around Washington, DC and West Virginia. The themes of isolation and solitude run through many of her images.
“Certain scenes, especially ones from my youth—flowers growing wild in open fields, empty roads with sun filtering through the trees, or a lone tree sitting in the middle of a field—evoke strong feelings that I try to recapture with my camera,” says Jo Ann.
Gail Saour is an abstract artist who works with acrylic, collage and encaustic. Gail’s work is inspired by nature and the human figure, however, her artistic process is mainly intuitive, creating her paintings with an emphasis on color, energetic line work and collage.
Ellen Delaney’s abstract landscapes in acrylic and sometimes watercolor have been influenced by her career as an architect and passion for design.
“I have always been interested in experimenting with color and texture,” she notes. Rural landscapes with endless skies have been the subject of her focus. Her paintings strive to distill the feeling of a place, rather than an accurate recreation with manmade forms interjected into the landscape providing contrast to the natural forms.
Bev Andrews loves clay because it is flexible and allows her to construct unique forms. Her pieces are generally wheel-thrown, but altered in some way or combined with hand-built slabs.
Her newer forms have more edges, “lots of edges,” she says, “hopefully cutting edge and not over the edge!” She enjoys the beach and the mountains and you will sometimes find wood, stones or even lava rock in the handles of her lidded vessels. “My goal is to create unique pieces that have simplicity and grace that in some way reflect nature.” She is an accomplished student of Ikebana, a Japanese form of flower arranging, and has exhibited at the National Arboretum. She designs and makes containers for these arrangements.