I have decided this will be the summer of creativity.
I find myself drawn to more artists than ever in the summer heat. The wild abandon upon which they create is inspiring in so many ways. You will not find me languishing away the hours of summer but soaking them up and creating something (not sure what yet) but I plan to let me creative juices rage this summer.
Expect lots of Artist Spotlight Series’ this summer. I am on art overload.
What is your training?
I have a BA and MS in English from Indiana University; however, I’m self taught as an artist—working professionally as a sculptor for 25 years
What inspires you and your designs?
I’m inspired by literature, poetry, travel—wandering and wondering; but equally so by clouds and stars and patterns in nature.
What is your favorite piece?
One of my favorite pieces of new work is Growing Herself. It is symbolic of my interest in how we shape and are shaped by ourselves and our world.
How has the your area influenced your work?
I live in Nashville, TN, which is very lush and green and temperate, so there’s great opportunity for being outside in nature. It is also very entrepreneurial and culturally lush with art, music, good food, a number of universities; so there’s lots of intermingling of ideas and talents—fertile ground for creating. I also live part time in St. George Island, FL—simplicity, quiet, sea, stars , birdsong….
What is your favorite restaurant in Nashville?
Margot Cafe. It was the first farm-to-table restaurant in Nashville; and Margot herself worked under Alice Waters of Chez Panisse.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I like wines— pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc.
How do you balance personal life and work?
I don’t try to balance them, but I am committed to my marriage, work, and self, so I try to nurture all as fully as I can.
As an ex Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone West Africa, I have a great love for Africa and Africans. To be able to do an art project involving and benefitting the people there would be a dream.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Something handmade or home grown to me is the best. I keep bees, so jars of honey make a nice gift.
Who is your style icon?
Emmy Lou Harris. She is a little bit hippie, a little bit cowgirl, elegant, and natural.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
Jesse Shaw—a printmaker —very intricate, thought provoking prints.
What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possessions are the drawings and ceramics my children made for me.
What are you reading?
I just finished reading The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David Haskell. It’s ecology, biology, poetry, riveting!! . I have given away a dozen copies, it is so good.
I also just read London, by Edward Rutherfurd. It is an epic historical novel about London from 64 BC to post WWII. Excellent!!
What are you listening to?
and Ray LaMontagne
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
The blogs: My daughter, Brooke, designs and makes swimwear and handbags, and she has a blog on her website—Bone Feather.
Feast your eyes on a few of the intricate and outstanding sculptures by Johan…They are captivating to say the least.
You can see more work on Johan’s website and Hidell Brooks Gallery in Charlotte and online.