The artist that I chose to feature in February's "Feather Your Nest" E-zine was Nancy Kremiller, a Portland artist who sells primarily mixed media art on Etsy. I fell in love with her paintings as soon as I saw them. What I really love is how she incorporates sheet music in each and every piece. As a musician myself, I really appreciate the beauty that sheet music has - not only on a visual level, but the beauty it represents on an audio level as well. And then, of course, the images that she paints are simple and sweet and very appealing. Nancy was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions so we could have a chance to get to know her a little better. Enjoy my interview with her below:
1."Do you earn a living as an artist, or do you have a day job?"
Presently, the paintings are part-time. I started the etsy site last March 2007, to the encouragement of my daughter. I am slowing building up towards being a full-time artist. I do housecleaning during the day. It doesn't sound real glamorous, but has allowed me freedom to be home in the afternoons.
2."What inspires you as you create?"
I am always on the look out for new ideas. When I take walks, ride a bike, or just driving in the car, I will see something or a thought comes to mind to explore in the paintings.One time, I saw a young ornamental cherry tree on my walk. I thought,"what if" I try painting that tree with its limbs all turning down and put birds on the limbs as if the limbs were lines like sheet music and the birds as notes. Another time, my husband and I were driving over a bridge in Portland in the evening, and the city lights reflected in the water. The scene looked so beautiful as if music could be heard. I was compelled to paint a city light reflection on sheet music. Art work is a means of exploring and learning for me.
3."Do you have a favorite subject/object to paint?"
The idea of using the most of our senses within each painting really delights me. The variety of mediums available today are wonderful. I love using rich textures so that you can touch the paintings with your fingers as you eyes play with the colors.I am exploring the use of sheet music in my paintings. The amazing realm of music itself-is a universal language that we share all around the world. You can't hear the sounds from the sheet music, but I like to tease the ears of the viewer when they look at the painting. The beauty of many musical instruments is sometimes a source for subject matter, as well as the great outdoors; trees, birds, and various landscapes. Simple shapes such as an umbrella with drops on rain that become musical notes also appear in my paintings.Recently, I am taking the sheet music itself and using it for the subject of unique shapes and design.
4."What is it like being an artist in the Portland community?"
I think Portland is definitely growing as an art community. More galleries are opening up. We have a terrific art museum that has enlarged over the years, and many more very talented artists are emerging from this area. In the Pearl District, there is a "First Thursday" of the month where many galleries open their doors in the evening for a wonderful way to connect art with the community.
5.Where can people view and purchase your work?
The etsy site is the best way to view and purchase the paintings. (www.nancysview.etsy.com)