Tag 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.

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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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Docuart and Healing Series

original oil painting on board

Healing Hands, work in progress, 18 x 24" oil on board

Today was a fun day! Not only did I get to spend several hours working on two new paintings, but I had a visitor while I painted. Justin Thor Simenson of Imagination Included Photography is a friend and an amazing local artist here in Albuquerque. I first met him through my gallery when he came in looking for a place to show his work. I was so impressed by his work and later with all the wonderful ideas he came up with. He earned the nickname the Idea guy during the two years he was represented at the gallery because he always had the best ideas for different projects.

One of the many ideas he had is “Docuart”. Last year he got together with my husband, guitarist Aaron Lewis, and shot a series of photographs along with audio recording an interview about his music making. Justin then edited the photos and interview into a slide show/video. We have been discussing doing the same thing with my art, and finally got around to doing just that today. It will be a little while before I have the finished “Docuart” to post, because now he has quite a bit of editing to do. I promise to post the finished video as soon as it’s done!

original oil painting on canvas

Healing Heart, work in progress, 12 x 12" oil on canvas

During this process, I started a new series of paintings. This new series is based on healing arts, massage, reiki, etc., and revolves around my hand prints. The photos in this post are progress pics of the two I started today. They are still works in progress. I’m really excited about this series! It was fun getting my hands covered in paint and I think they will be pretty awesome once they are done.