Author Archives: leynalightman

Five Questions: Brynda Glazier


Occupation:
Artist, sculpture instructor at San Francisco Art Institute, and bookstore clerk at SFMOMA Museum Store.

If you could invite any artist living or dead to be your studio mate, who would you choose and why?
A cave painter, cavewoman, because we could learn a lot from each other, and we could do it without words.


What do you play on the radio when no one else is around?

Fiction audio books, the Carpenters, Norwegian Black Metal, word jazz by Ken Nordine, Japanese koto compositions, Old Dirty Bastard, off kilter experimental electronic stuff like The Organ Transplants Volume 1 and 2, and Disco.

Brynda Galzier, studio space


Favorite piece(s) at the SFMOMA?

My choice actually has to do with a piece I saw via Scott Hewicker & Cliff Hengst’s Open Space Collection Rotation where they provided a musical paring to various paintings and photographs.

Ilse Bing, Cureglia, Press Lugano, Folio I, Europe, 1934
Hubert Laws: “Crying Song” from Crying Song, CTI 1969

My reason: This poetic companionship felt like it was breathing, regarding no real division within its photo-musical paring. It seemed to project a profound simplicity with the same rawness that birth and death hold hands within a life’s time. Their contrast becomes invisible like the indiscernible rise or set of the sun in Ilse Bing’s image.

Brynda Glazier, I Found Her in a Field

How do you find you balance your work life at SFMOMA with your art production life?
I have a uniform for work and a uniform for studio, when I come home from work I immediately peel off my work person and slip into my real person. Then I go to my studio and dance like crazy for a half an hour to complete the transition. Also never sleep, love your creations, and eat a lot of fruit.

If you had to name one book to give someone insight into your artwork (and life), what would it be?
Geek Love, and I would also like to add The Secret Life of Plants.

www.bryndaglaizer.com

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Five Questions: James Gouldthorpe


Occupation:
Conservation Technician

What’s your favorite tool? Why?
I would say my IPod. I need a soundtrack as I work.

How many breaks do you take when you’re working on a piece? What do you do on your breaks?
Many, I am easily distracted. Sometimes minutes slip by and I realize I’ve just spent it petting my cat or staring at a bird in my yard. My studio is full of old books and magazines I have pulled from dumpsters and the dump; I’ll spend hours looking through these trying to find ideas to work with.


Have you ever accidentally ruined one of your works by dropping/spilling/ripping?

Frequently, I don’t have the most orderly of studio habits, so spilling ink or dropping my painting on the floor then accidentally stepping on it is not an uncommon occurrence. Though in many cases it creates an interesting mistake which I can work with and hopefully make something interesting.

James Gouldthorpe, Growing Up, 1941


What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your process?

That I’m never sure what it will be. Over the years I have stopped trying to create with one consistent process in mind I prefer experimenting these days with many mediums. I’ve come to realize that I really enjoy making things whatever form it takes, painting, photography, video, sculpture.

Has working at SFMOMA influenced your work in any way?
Working in conservation has allowed me to have a very intimate relationship with a number of artists and artworks. Part of my job is photographing the artworks and often on a near microscopic level.This gives me a view into technique and artists intention that many people don’t get to see.

Frequently we get scholars through the labs who are researching specific artists and as I eavesdrop on their conversations with the conservators I learn all sorts of fascinating information concerning materials, techniques as well as the historical bits. I’m not exactly sure how this all effects what happens in my studio but some kind of processing must be going on.

www.jgouldthorpe.com

Five Questions: Dragana Monson


Occupation:
I’m senior project manager in an architectural office, presently leading design team working on Affordable Multifamily Housing project in San Francisco. I have been practicing architecture in Bay Area since receiving graduate degree from UC Berkeley in 1982, and have variety of projects in my portfolio (housing, institutional and religious facilities).

If you could use any special or rare material in your work, what would it be?
My work often contains original, one of a kind materials, personal documents, mementos, photographs, unique wallpaper etc. collaged into it. One of my next pieces will include more than 60 year old wedding “wreath” my mom wore. I would also like to try to use leather, its tactile quality and durability offers great possibilities for juxtaposition with more fragile, paper like materials…. I’m inspired by stories embedded in those found materials, often they are intensely personal, containing family history, forgotten events …

Do you ask anyone to give you feedback on a work in progress?

I receive feedback from my teachers while attending evening Extension classes at CCA, as well as occasional weekend workshops. If so, why did you chose that person/people? Since art is not my vocation and I never attended an art school, I feel I have so much to learn from artists who are teaching these classes and workshops. So far, in the last 4 years, I have been working with only 3 women artist and each one of them offered me very valuable and generous advice and helped me grow and open new tracks for me to explore.

Dragana Monson, Fear Reduced

What is the longest amount of time you have ever spent creating one work? What is the least?
My working time on each piece can vary between two-hours up to twelve-hours or so. Sometimes I leave piece alone for a while and then come back to it, and in that case it can be a bit longer.

Do you have a funny or unusual technique?
I don’t believe so, I use mixed media, layer materials using medium gel, sometimes build layers one over the other…. Sometimes I draw or write over painted surface of collaged material…. Nothing unusual…

What do you do to get over blocks to creativity?
I don’t paint regularly, I do it when inspiration comes (and I have time), usually I’m provoked by something I find (document, story) and want to incorporate into a piece, or an event that brings a memory that pushes me to do art. It is very spontaneous process and since it is not every day that I work on my art, I have lots of “stored material” in me. Sometimes I just start by putting paint on paper and seeing where it takes me… Element of chance definitely plays a role in my work.

Five Questions: Megan Leppla

Occupation:
Art Maker & Educator

If you could use any special or rare material in your work, what would it be?
I love working with natural materials, but natural usually means ephemeral. I guess it would be nice to find something naturally sourced and archival.

Do you ask anyone to give you feedback on a work in progress? If so, why did you choose that person/people?
I value critical feedback, but since leaving an academic environment I haven’t had many opportunities to share works in progress with peers.

What is the longest amount of time you have ever spent creating one work? What is the least?
I tend to work pretty quick, and often fear I’ll overwork a piece if I go on for longer than a few weeks.

Megan Leppla, Blue Booted Bike

Do you have a funny or unusual technique?
I don’t think so, but other’s might disagree.

What do you do to get over blocks to creativity?
Working as an arts educator has been a great inspiration for me. I find that my students are constantly challenging me, and allowing me to see past creativity blocks.

www.MeganLeppla.com

Art Show Poetry: Michelle Nye

Occupation:
Corporate Art Coordinator, SFMOMA Artists Gallery
Last Call Art Show Co-Curator

Blue Fridge (Bound)
It became necessary
to lay flat my need for you
making due with politely cold edges
dressed up in electric blues
I forgot your subtleties
and feigned forgiveness
closing heavy doors on you

Our woolly touches
and pointed gesticulations
once roaming loose and expansive
are sealed over, painted shut
inclinations are leveled
and movements bound
In this ever shrinking room

Michelle Nye, Blue Fridge (Bound)

Its girth impossible, unassailable
knocks my knees black blue
its persistence formidable
bruises my elbows yellow
stumbling and tripping
I chafe at the effort required
to contain the idea of you

So I will crack a window
and succumb to an insistent inhalation
the tentative fingers of surrender
expose the tracks of the hasty retreat
finding the kicked up dust
of our last knock down crash
settled around the edges of this room

Exhaling into corners and under debris
I will force open this stale structure
prying apart cold shoulders
kicking out locked knees
this lumbering molehill
shuffling, shifting and set upright
will get out of my way
all in order to let go of you

Five Questions: Kelly Parady

Occupation: Associate Registrar, Loans Out (Registration Department)

If you could use any special or rare material in your work, what would it be?
Gold leaf; painting on copper plate.

Do you ask anyone to give you feedback on a work in progress? If so, why did you chose that person/people?
Yes; artists and non-artists as both will reveal insightful thoughts.

What is the longest amount of time you have ever spent creating one work? What is the least?
The longest is two years and the shortest is three hours.

Do you have a funny or unusual technique?
I work in watercolor and gouache out of doors and return to the studio to re-invent these works, in oils on canvas or board.

What do you do to get over blocks to creativity?
Look at Cezanne and Klee paintings; view the unfinished painting(s) in a mirror or through the reversed end of binoculars; turn the unfinished work upside down; sketch in black and white; ride my bike; practice yoga.

www.KellyParady.com

Five Questions: Beth Goodsit

Occupation:
Artist, SFMOMA Visitor Services Employee

What’s your favorite tool? Why?
My favorite tool is a liner brush, as I love detail. I’ve kept my sculpture tools because they remind me of the fifty surreal ceramic pieces I’ve done, including two life-sized men, wing creatures, and three huge pieces. The unicorn, sphinx, and lion weighed approximately 600 lbs each, and had to be cut in half to be fired, then reconstructed. My cost was about $1,500 each; not to mention building bases with wheels, and renting trucks with hydraulic lifts. I did make the newspaper with the S.F. Arts Festivals four times. WHEW!

When a crazy person who I never met smashed the unicorn and sphinx to an artist’s warehouse, I quit sculpture. I donated the lion to a KQED auction.

How many breaks do you take when you’re working on a piece? What do you do on your breaks?
For me, art is not a 9-5 job with routine breaks. I work when inspired. I especially like to sketch while having breakfast with my cat.

Have you ever accidentally ruined one of your works by dropping/spilling/ripping?
After approximately 120 shows at galleries, festivals, cafes, and auctions I’ve had to repair broken sculpture, and a ripped canvas. Once after falling on a dragon sculpture and breaking a rib, I remember repairing it immediately after returning from the hospital.

What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your process?
The most unusual thing is that I never run out of ideas, or give up. I love having shows. This is my 14th SFMOMA staff art show. It is my way of letting people know who I am.

Has working at SFMOMA influenced your work in any way?
Working at SFMOMA has been a miracle. The people are amazing, have similar interests, and help me with digital cameras, computers, and conservation. If anyone wants to visit my studio/museum, let me know.

Five Questions: Janet Seifert


What is your occupation?
Artist

If you could invite any artist living or dead to be your studio mate, who would you choose and why?
It would have to be Albrecht Durer, in hopes that a bit of his masterful draftsmanship would rub off on me.

What do you play on the radio when no one else is around?

Classic rock and roll or jazz.

Favorite piece(s) at the SFMOMA?
Wayne Thiebaud’s “Sunset Streets”
Sam Francis’ “Untitled 1974” drawing with acrylic
Morris Lewis’ “Ambi I”
Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Lake George”
Michael Light’s (NASA) “Earthrise Seen for the First Time By Human Eyes”

How do you find you balance your work life at SFMOMA with your art production life?
As an artist who volunteers at SFMOMA, I balance painting at my studio everyday with volunteering for arts organizations and other causes to enjoy the company of art appreciators and makers, and to help out in some small way.

Edge of the World Number 2, Janet Seifert

If you had to name one book to give someone insight into your artwork (and life), what would it be?
It would be Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

www.artSpan.org/artist/janet-seifert

Five Questions: Ray Bussolari

Occupation:
Commercial and Fine Art Photographer

What is your favorite tool?
My favorite tool is a 1955 Linhof Technika III large format camera and Polaroid Type 55 Film.

How many breaks do you take when you’re working on a piece? What do you do on your breaks?
The work can take days and most of the breaks come when the frustration level is too high to think straight. That’s when the music gets turned up. I usually listen to anything from opera to punk. I’ll listen to any music that will get me out of my head. I’ll also get my dog Luna to take me out for a walk. That always helps.

Stained Glass, Ray Bussolari

Have you ever accidentally ruined one of your works by dropping/spilling/ripping?
I have a closet full of ruined works. I keep thinking that one day I’ll make this colossal, all encompassing piece of art that will clean my closet out and it will be the best thing I’ve ever done. It hasn’t happened yet and the door is coming off its hinges.

What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your process?
There’s always some song being played over and over again in my head. In addition to music, I have some pre-visualized image that I’m hoping to capture. The two elements combine and bring about a dance of looking, listening, shooting, developing, and producing the image. Sometimes the dance is a tango and sometimes it’s a manic, flailing jump into a mosh pit.

Has working at SFMOMA influenced your work in any way?
Working at SFMOMA has been the best education in art I’ve ever had. I’ve been given the privilege of seeing and learning about all types of art and artists. It’s also been a blessing to be given the opportunity to meet and work with all the diverse and intelligent SFMOMA people that inspire me as much as the art does.

www.raybussolari.com
raybussolari.wordpress.com

Five Questions: Sara Jennison


What is your occupation?
Artist/Graphic Designer, SFMOMA docent

If you could invite any artist living or dead to be your studio mate, who would you choose and why?
Oh boy, that is always such a tough question! In my current frame of mind, I want to be around the ‘happy’ artist, so let’s invite Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder and my 10 yr old daughter!

What do you play on the radio when no one else is around?

RTL 2 (so I can pretend I am in France)

Favorite piece(s) at the SFMOMA?

‘Lick and Lather’, ‘The Nest’, and the 2nd floor landing by Parra are three of many…

La Pin Up, Sara Jennison

How do you find you balance your work life at SFMOMA with your art production life?
Well, as a docent, my ‘work’ life is mostly outside of SFMOMA, so I view the time I spend at the museum (with the school tours) to be a great source of inspiration.

If you had to name one book to give someone insight into your artwork (and life), what would it be?
As an adult, the entire library of Communication Arts since 1990. And when I was young, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle.

www.bigumbrellastudios.com