Thursday, October 21, 2010

Interview with Alyson Dells

Alyson Dells from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in Michigan was the Second Place winner of the $600 Scholarship Award in the 2009 Fine Art Finals Midwest Regional Scholarship Competition with her oil on salvaged window painting Alana pictured above. Alyson was kind to take part in a brief interview. Here is what she said:

Fine Art Finals: Why do you create art?

Alyson Dells:
I create art because it is a way to communicate. I paint a view of the world around me so people can see and hopefully understand something differently.

Fine Art Finals: What are you trying to say with your art?

Alyson Dells
: Right now I paint people on salvaged windows that have been used in a home and I play with the transparency of the windows with the paintings. This visually expresses a dichotomy between feeling permanent and impermanent.

Fine Art Finals: How long have you been creating art?
Alyson Dells: I have always loved to create, formally I started taking classes in high school.

Fine Art Finals: Are your family and friends supportive in your decision to pursue art?

Alyson Dells: My family and friends are very supportive of my decision to be an artist, better than I could ever ask for.

Fine Art Finals: What is your area of concentration in art (commercial art, fine art, art history, etc) and why?

Alyson Dells: I concentrate on fine art and art history because I think it is important to understand why and how people have always created art. An understanding of this pushes me to create

Fine Art Finals: What was the deciding factor in choosing the school you are attending (attended)?

Alyson Dells: The deciding factor for choosing Kendall was the cost and location.

Fine Art Finals: What is your major?

Alyson Dells: I am a painting Major.

Fine Art Finals: Why did you choose the specific art program you chose at your school?

Alyson Dells: Originally I wanted to be an Art Education major to help others understand and appreciate the value of art. As I continued to paint I realized that I wanted to pursue it as a career. I also realized that if I could make art and support myself, eventually I could continue my education and teach others to do the same.

Fine Art Finals: What is your favorite medium(s) to work in and why?

Alyson Dells: I work mostly with watercolor and oil and I like to experiment and work with collage as well. Also I tend to work in waves so the mediums somewhat work together. For example, when I have been painting with watercolors for a while and switch to oils, the process of making every mark matter with watercolor effects how I handle the oil paint. This is my favorite part of painting and being able to explore different mediums.

Fine Art Finals: What is your philosophy and work ethic in creating your art?

Alyson Dells: In creating my art I try to stay grounded in technique and craft because I think that they give a work of art validity. Also its important to me to understand where I find my motivation because it explains why I am creating a work of art and keeps me driven.

Fine Art Finals: Who is your favorite artist(s) and why?

Alyson Dells: I have many favorite artists! John Singer Sargent inspires me because of his brushstrokes and the way he defines the figure. Michael Borremans is also great with the atmosphere he creates within a painting. Jerome Witkin is also a favorite because of his compositions.

Fine Art Finals: What artist most influences your work and why?

Alyson Dells: The previous three influence my work because I admire the way they paint. More importantly I am influenced by my peers and artists around me. I have been fortunate to be in an environment of very talented artists that have helped me to learn valuable skills.

Fine Art Finals: Do you have any other interests beyond art; what are they and do these interests influence your art?

Alyson Dells: I love to hike and be outdoors and this influences my work because I am constantly inspired when I am in nature. I am inspired by the pure beauty that exists outside of human industry.

Fine Art Finals: Is there a specific career path you wish to follow utilizing your artistic talents, and if so, what is your plan for utilizing your artistic skills in the future?

Alyson Dells: I hope to have studio and create art as my career. I also plan to complete a masters program and eventually teach.

Fine Art Finals: How do (did) you support yourself financially while attending college?

Alyson Dells: I worked part time.

Fine Art Finals: Have you received any other financial assistance (Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, etc) to pursue your education?

Alyson Dells: At Kendall I received a Portfolio Scholarship and the Kendall Merit Scholarship.

Fine Art Finals: How did you hear about Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions?

Alyson Dells: Through my friends and other students.

Fine Art Finals: How has winning or placing in Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions helped you?

Alyson Dells: Winning this has made me more confident in my work and motivates me to create more.

Fine Art Finals: What advice would you give other student artists?

Alyson Dells: I would tell other student artists to keep working at what they love. If they feel that art is important and what they need to do, then do it. There is no specific career path in art so I think as long as you make sure you are staying true to what is motivating you to create than as an artist you will find a way to make it work.

Fine Art Finals: Thank you Alyson. Congratulations again, and we wish you continued success!