Category Archives: interview

People Who Inspire Me: Scott White

Scott White is a phenomenal furniture maker based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I first met Scott when we represented Scott’s work in our gallery. I had seen his work around town for at least a couple years before we opened Chroma Gallery and when I started filling our huge 4,500 square foot space, I knew Scott’s furniture would complement the art perfectly.

Once I met Scott, what struck me immediately was his positive outlook on life. Like Aaron and I, he had experiences similar to ours with serendipity, and he knew he was following his heart by making things with his hands. This is what first struck me and still inspires me about Scott. He is living his soul purpose.

Scott uses recycled metal and wood in his craft, as well as plywood and other woods. His chairs are just plain gorgeous and comfortable to sit in. Though he doesn’t like to consider himself an artist, his furniture is sculpture and therefore, Art with a capital A!

Scott’s Statement about his Craft:

In the current environment where ‘disposable’ is practically shoved down people’s throats, my longing is to make objects that will outlive the owner. This culture needs to revive the art of craft wherein the pieces that reside in your space will effect you even when you aren’t physically there. They possess the energy of the maker where the hand touches everything and they think about every line. My technique has evolved predominantly, to that of sculpture, where the object appears to come out of a single piece of wood. I collaborate with the material and rarely make sketches, paying attention and sensing how the form will resolve. The process is conscious and deliberate.

Paula: If you had the power to change one thing in this world, what would it be and how would you change it?

Scott: I have the power to change many things in this world simply by opening my mouth…..or opening a door. Many have said “you’ll never make a difference,” but to those I say, “wait”. One never knows what a kind word or even gesture will do for someone else. I think we are all here to plant seeds…

Plywood chair by Scott White

Plywood chair

Paula: What or who inspires you?

Scott: People who are passionately authentic inspire me. Those who are willing to be vulnerable….anomalies in a culture that stresses uniformity.

Paula: Who has had the biggest influence on your craft?

Scott: In the realm of furniture, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof are my go-to people. I lean towards George’s aesthetic…….. “luscious utility”. I came across Sam years ago before I started building furniture and he was etched in my mind from day 1. He once told a story about the mailman being all worried that his mail contained some bills, knowing Sam and Freda, Sam’s wife, were struggling. Others include Rebecca Solnit, a force of nature who eloquently talks about real change. The natural world is huge for me….not that I get out a lot but to see the genius everywhere is invigorating.

Paula: What do you want your art legacy to be?

Scott:  I don’t use the word ‘artist’ to describe myself. That’s such an ethereal word and employed by a lot of people (on the outside) who deem what is or isn’t ‘art’. I make objects yet wouldn’t even go as far as to call myself ‘maker’. That said, I hope my ‘legacy’ is that I helped more than I hindered, and that I’m remembered occasionally.

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany by Scott White

Three Tiered Round Table, Mahogany.

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People Who Inspire Me: The REAL Aaron Lewis!

Aaron Lewis with his Taylor Guitar

The Man and his Guitar

Now that I’m blogging 5 days a week, I’ve had to work on planning my posts. It’s not easy to come up with a post everyday of the week! I’ve decided to write a series of posts for different days of the week. Mondays are “Living in the Land of Enchantment”, Tuesdays and Thursdays are “Creativity”, Wednesdays are “People Who Inspire Me” and Fridays are “Friday Funday”.

Today is the first of the “People Who Inspire Me” series, so I decided to start with the person in my life who inspires me most. My husband and soulmate, Aaron Lewis. Aaron inspires me to be the best person I can be. He leads by example. Sometimes it gets on my nerves because I can’t imagine how someone can be so authentically nice to everyone he meets. He rarely has anything bad to say about anyone. He is a determined musician who has followed his heart and makes his own style of music with no excuses.

Me and Aaron at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens

Me and Aaron at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens

Aaron was the one who convinced me that I could be a singer and perform in front of audiences. He encouraged me and pushed me and I’m so grateful for that. He has helped me achieve so many of my dreams and stood by my side through it all. I won’t get into all the ways that he has inspired and stood by me in my personal life too. That’s a whole other blog post of it’s own! 🙂

Aaron began as a heavy metal guitarist at the age of 14. That’s how we met! Aaron and my brother were in their first band together. He switched to the Blues for a couple years in his early twenties and then went to college and earned his BA of Music with a concentration on composing and classical guitar. He has released 3 CDs of solo guitar music, 1 CD of electronic “alien” music. In 2012 we started playing folk music together as “Sunlight” and Aaron’s songwriting talent came full circle from the first song he wrote as a teenager. He also composes for guitar and multiple other instruments/groups of instruments.

I titled this post “The REAL Aaron Lewis” because he has been told he’s not the REAL Aaron Lewis. This guy is more real than anyone I know. He keeps it real for me everyday! He is true to himself and his music. I love him for that. Who cares about that “other” guy.

Sunlight Superman photo by Karl Horodowich

“Sunlight Superman”, this is a great photo to show his sense of humor, he’s always making me laugh! Photo by Karl Horodowich

I asked Aaron several questions for this post so you can learn more about him straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. 😉

Paula: If you had the power to change ONE thing in this world what would it be and how would you change it?

Aaron: I would alter the way we look at our prison system. We have always viewed our prison system as a way to protect society. I would change our prison system to be a positive environment or as I like to say they should be “love factories”. What do I mean by that? All crimes are committed because of a lack of love. People steal because they see no other way to get the finer things or make it in this life because their dreams were crushed at one point in time. People murder because of fight or flight instinct, jealousy, it gives them a rush. I think all of them can be reformed except for those who do it for a rush(serial killers). All people who are in prison because of addictions need to be in rehab centers not prisons. Those who were caught selling to minors need more time and help but really all a drug dealer is is a misguided entrepreneur. I would change the programs at the prison to fast track people back into society because we are a stronger society if we can help one another as opposed to lock ’em up and throw away the key. I would also lose the drab grey paint and fluorescent lights that are used and replace with skylights, colored paint, and positive affirmations on the wall and mandatory guided meditation for 30 minutes a day.

IMG_3346

Aaron Lewis

Paula: What or who inspires you?

Aaron: What inspires me is music itself. It is a fascinating language made up of 12 characters and has been interpreted in so many ways both for the good and the bad of mankind and both approaches are fascinating and inspiring.

Paula: Who has had the biggest influence on your music?

Aaron: The biggest influence on my music would have to be God or Universe or whatever you may want to call it. Sometimes I write music for classical guitar. Sometimes I write songs. Sometimes I write electronic noise soundscapes. When I start to write I have an out of body experience and when I come back one of the above styles is written and I have to admit wholeheartedly that I don’t have any idea how that music came about but here it is.

Paula: What do you want your musical legacy to be?

Aaron: I would like to be someone who is remembered for changing people’s minds about music. That music is not something a few privileged people are able to do but it is a gift for our souls so lets all belly up to the table together with our voices, our instruments and feed each other’s souls with the universal language that has been such a gift for centuries and will continue to be such a gift.

Thank you Aaron for submitting to my questions, I must admit it was cool to read your answers! 🙂 Check back next Wednesday for my next post of “People Who Inspire Me”.

Artist Interview

Pulling this one out of the archives. This is an interview video I did back in 2010 when we were still running Chroma Gallery. The first half of the video is about me and the second half is about Chroma. While Chroma still exists, it’s now studio spaces only, no more gallery. After a couple of years running a gallery, I decided that was NOT what I wanted to do. I’m an artist and will always be an artist. 🙂 Enjoy!

Paula's Blog

This video interview was part of a project we did here at Chroma Gallery starting in December. Reinhard Lorenz is the film maker who filmed and edited the work for us, so a big thanks to him for everything!

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Sunlight on KUPR

Cd cover for Life is Good by Sunlight

“Life is Good” cd cover by Sunlight

A couple of weeks ago Aaron and I recorded an interview for a new local radio station out of Placitas, New Mexico. It aired last Thursday and I now have the link to share it with you all here! It’s about a 30 minute show with an interview and 5 of our songs played in between. Please give it a listen and let us know what you think. Thank you!

http://nmsunlight.com/track/990787/kupr-radio-interview?autostart=true

FYI, I’m a singer in a alternative folk group with my husband, Aaron Lewis. We play original songs, written mainly by Aaron. If you would like to hear more of our music and know more about Sunlight, check out our website at www.nmsunlight.com

The Interview

I have been visiting Andrea Pratt’s blog, Coloring Outside the Lines, for some time now. She recently posted an interview of her with questions she was asked by another blogger. So, I commented on her blog and she sent me these questions. Thanks for the great questions Andrea!

Do yourself a favor and check out Andrea’s art, it is fantastic! I hope to someday add some of her work to my art collection!

If you would like me to interview you, read the rules at the bottom of this post and post a comment.

The Interview:

Tell us about your love affair with the circle. Where did it come from and what does it represent to you?

That’s a hard question to answer, it comes from so many different places. Growing up in New Mexico, the circle and spiral are all around. The Zia symbol in the state flag, the mandalas and dream catchers, the circular designs found in Native American pottery, and the geometry of the Petroglyphs. For me personally, the spiral in my art represents my growth as an artist and a person. I started the spiral series as an expression of my inner self and the layers of the spiral represent the layers of my personality.

Your artist’s story reminded me that I heard recently how collectors love to buy “the artist”, not just the art. How has having a blog allowed you to connect with your purchasers/collectors on a more personal level?

It’s allowed me to get my story out there. In the past all a collector had was the bio on the back of my prints. Now they can log on anytime to see what I’m up to on a day to day basis. Instead of getting only a summary of my life from the past, they can read about my plans for the future and see new work before the paint is dry! My favorite part about the blog is the interaction I get with people leaving comments and sending me email. For me, the best part about being an artist is the connection I have with people through my art. I love to hear how my art has brightened up someone’s day!

Why is there such a thriving artist population in New Mexico and how did you end up there?

New Mexico has a long history of artists moving here to experience the “Enchantment”, the light, the colors, the textures….if you have ever been here, you know why artists are drawn here. It started with the Taos Colony of Artists and later came Georgia O’Keefe and I guess the word spread! However, I’m one of the lucky ones, I grew up here. I was born in New Hampshire, but my parents moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico when I was 9 months old. I lived the first 17 years in Las Cruces and after time in the military(Hawaii, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee) and moving to Colorado for college, I ended up in Albuquerque. I plan to make new Mexico my home for the rest of my life.

How did you meet your husband?

Believe it or not, when I met my husband he was 14 years old and my younger brother’s best friend! Nine years later, after being friends for quite some time, we became closer friends and eventually started dating and moved in together. We married 1 1/2 years later.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years and what “art mountains” would you like to climb in the future?

In ten years I see myself living literally in my own “art mountains”. My husband and I have plans to move up to the mountains of western New Mexico once the kids are grown and we are established with our careers. If you have read my art story(here on my blog), you know that I basically had to start my art career over after my divorce in 1995. I have come a long way, but I still have many goals ahead of me. I see myself in ten years having my work in several galleries across the country and even across the world! My youngest son will graduate from high school in four years and then we will become traveling nomads for a while before retiring to our home in the mountains where we will stay in touch by internet and work on our art and music everyday! I can hardly wait!!

DIRECTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW MEME
1. Leave a comment saying, “Interview me.” Cut me some slack — it may take awhile.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Featured Etsy Shop: Jewelry by Tara

Today’s featured shop is Jewelry by Tara

What made you start crafting/designing jewelry, and what was the first thing you remember making?

I have always been crafty, even as a child. The first thing I remember ever really designing from scratch was during 4th grade. Friendship pins were a big thing back then (giving away my age) anyway, I pulled apart safety pins with pliers and put beads on them. My relatives still have a lot of them today! I’ve dabbled in all types of crafts, crochet, knitting, floral arrangement, you name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve been designing jewelry for 7 years now. I just closed my own personal website to come over to Etsy and I have to add that I really enjoy the environment and different types of artists there.

What other jobs have you had in the past?

As for other jobs, I’m still a petsitter and I used to work in my husband’s brokerage firm as the administrative assistant to the C.E.O.


What inspires you?

I’m constantly inspired by the seasons changing and all the beautiful bright colors I see. All of my designs are one of a kind because I always have new ideas and want to create a totally unique image based on my moods.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I consider myself a very liberal, artsy kinda gal. I have 2 children, 6 pets, and a husband who probably wants to move to a quieter house! I’m obsessed with antiques and I have an appraisal certificate. I hate the summer, love the snow, pink is always in, Hello Kitty is my favorite icon of style, and I’m originally from New York City.


Is there a art/craft that you admire and hope to learn someday?

Lately I’ve really wanted to try sewing. I see all of these beautiful bags on etsy and I want them all! So I’m definitely thinking about getting a sewing machine soon.