Interview: M. Allison

M. Allison

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Describe the time you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? How old were you? Who or what inspired you at the beginning of your art life?  Who or what inspires your art life today?

I was brought up in a world of creativity.  My mother’s gourmet cooking, Bawmaw’s professional sewing, Granny’s fine art painting and best of all, my sisters.  We travel in a pack and live creativity.  Art, always art, in any form.  I love it!  My self worth, to an extent, is measured in what I create.  I have a need to be productive.  My children will never remember my cooking but they will always remember me with a paintbrush in my hand.

Why do you make art?  What are you trying to communicate with your art?  What element(s) of your inner spirit is reflected in your art?

I make art because it puts me in a very pleasant ‘nothing can touch me’ zone and it’s a great place to be.  Probably, in all honesty, I try to communicate peace and wonder in creating, or a wonderful peace.  I find this especially in my figurative work, my figures without features, and possibly my inner spirit is reflected in them as I see myself in hem all – dancing, reading, posed…

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Is the atmosphere or design layout of your creative space/studio an important element in your creative process—why or why not?  Is there something—a keepsake, an inspirational quotation, a photograph—you keep in your studio for inspiration or motivation?

My creative space can be anyplace I’m creating.  I’ve been in many garages (including my studio now) and it seems as though wherever I plant myself becomes my creative space. 

What kind of routines or rituals do you incorporate into your creative time? If you have one element or principle of art you enjoy working with the most, please describe it? 

I always find that when I get in the studio I must do some kind of ‘warm-up’ work to relax me enough to paint.  I teach this to my students.  Little sketches, painting solid backgrounds on canvas with a roller, moving things around – just about anything to get me in the mood.  I never can just jump in on a painting.  We have to become friends first.

Currently, which creative medium do you work in? What, if any, other creative medium would you love to pursue?

I currently work in oils and that is what I teach.  Lately I’ve been doing figures on paper in neutral colors and this seems to be a good warm-up too.

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What is your most important artist tool?  How does this tool factor into your art making?

And…this brings up my favorite tool.  I can’t live without my 9B graphite pencil.  It’s so dark and soft!  I probably love to scribble more than anything!  So fun!

For what one thing would you like to be remembered?

Of all the things I would like to be remembered for, it would be a good mother and grandmother.  I have triplets and a single and am expecting my eighth grandchild and there’s nothing better in the world!  I want them all to have my best art.  The road is a winding one so I give it up to something greater than myself and happily accept what’s around the corner.

Susie Kelly FlatauComment