Artist Amy Guidry grew up and currently lives in Louisiana. Some of her arresting works have a wonderful Western movie feel, with a surreal kick. Kind of like Clint Eastwood meets Georgia O’Keeffe, at the O.K. Corral. The clean, stark desert backgrounds have that white light that speaks so clearly of the desert climate – dry and expansive. For someone who doesn’t live there, she captured it incredibly. Other works place people in surreal yet everyday situations, altering and twisting our perceptions. One of Amy’s series “New Realm” is composed of dreamy elegant, almost floating self-portraits – sometimes juxtaposed with not-so-pretty realities and emotions.
“My work stems from two loves- Psychology and Art. With Surrealism being the grand marriage of the two, I was naturally drawn to every aspect behind the movement. Using images conceived from dreams and free association that I catalog in several sketchbooks, I stitch together whole series from countless thumbnail sketches. Themes I explore involve the human psyche – who we are and how we interact with each other, including our relationship with other animals and the natural world. “
My favorite art memory from my childhood is…
Playing with oil pastels- such a big change from the crayons and markers I was used to. I loved the vibrancy of the colors.
My interest in art/painting started …
Since childhood. I can’t even remember working on many of the drawings saved from my childhood since they were done at such an early age. All I knew was that I loved to draw and apparently mass-produced so many my mother couldn’t keep them all. I would blow through an entire package of paper in no time so there were always packs of paper kept on the ready for me. I started off with crayons, obviously, but as I became more advanced, I really enjoyed charcoal, graphite, and pen & ink. Then I became more interested in oil and acrylic, the latter being my preference today.
I am often inspired and motivated by….
Dreams. As of late, I’ve been getting a lot of my ideas from dreams or free association exercises where I just block out everything else that clutters my mind and let my imagination wander. Usually at night when I’m just starting to fall asleep is my most creative time. I’ve read about this and in my experience, it’s true. When you relax and stop worrying about all your to-do’s for the next day, you mind is better equipped to tap into your creativity. I’ll sometimes just think of a concept, or even just a word, and see what images come to mind. Even imagining what my next painting will look like conjures up some useful ideas. I keep a sketchbook nearby for these moments so I can jot down anything that comes to mind.
If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be…
Probably Salvador Dali.
And we would….
Well, first, I’d love to hang out in his studio just to watch him work and pick his brain. I’m curious about his process. Other than that, it would probably be interesting to attend a party with him – “interesting” being an understatement.
The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is ….
To learn more about marketing/business. I read anything I can get my hands on about the subject, scour the internet, listen to podcasts, etc. As a full-time artist you are now a small business owner. One of my design professors said that artists fail not because they are bad artists, but because they lack business skills.
If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …
Oh, this is such a hard question! I think I’d have to go with Hieronymus Bosch’s “Temptation of St. Anthony.” His work is so rich with narrative as well as detail. For me, he is THE pre-Surrealist and actually, if you were to ask me to name some of my favorite Surrealist artists, I include Bosch in that list.
My favorite piece of my own art is….
Another tough question- it’s like picking a favorite child. I guess I would say “The Wild West” (above)
Of the challenges it posed. I was working on a different series of work at the time when the concept for “The Wild West” came to mind. I sketched it, made a few notes, and put it away for several months, maybe close to a year. When I felt ready to work on it, I knew that it was going to be a challenging piece technically speaking, but also conceptually. I’m always looking for ways to improve in both of those aspects, so that usually involves getting out of my comfort zone. I had to play with my technique a bit, I also started using gel medium which was a first, and I wasn’t really sure what my collectors and galleries would think of the change in subject matter. My work has always been surreal, but I upped the ante on this series. The response has been really good, though, so I would say this painting is a “favorite” in that it reminds me of that personal journey.
My ultimate project or fantasy is …
Collaborating on a project to promote global awareness of animal cruelty and promote the humane treatment of animals. Also I’d love to be commissioned for a piece to raise awareness of the plight of stray animals and increase pet adoption- which would have to be done on a massive scale through a large organization like the Humane Society.
The last song I choose to listen to was…
“Just One of Those Things” by The Rat Pack. Technically Pandora chose it for me on my Big Band station, but I did give it a thumbs-up.
The last book I couldn’t put down was ….
Wish I had a more exciting answer here, but “The 12 Million Dollar Stuffed Shark” by Don Thompson. It’s an interesting look into the art market- the how’s and why’s behind art auctions. Though I have to admit that reading about people that buy art solely as an investment/trophy is a bit depressing. I try not to focus on that too much and just glean whatever information I can from the book.
My favorite word is …
Probably my cat’s name, “Baby.” Seems like I use it a lot. I work alone in my studio all day and he’s usually the one to come greet me or follow me around, so I’m always talking to him or I’ll sing his name. That’s probably too much info…
I can’t live without …
My husband and my animals.
It’s not hip, but I really love ….
Hmm, well, these days I think it’s hip to like things that aren’t hip. That said, I guess it’s probably still not hip to like watching exercise/diet infomercials. On the occasion that I find an infomercial on tv about exercise equipment or diet junk, I’ll actually watch it. The more outlandish they are, the better. I find them entertaining, especially when they have someone giving a “testimonial” and crying. It’s all so fake, I can’t help but watch.
My favorite motto (or quote) is….
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson. I actually wrote this down on a post-it note that’s been stuck to my easel for a few years now.
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