Enjoy the rich decorative surfaces and surprising materials in the portfolio of artist Alise Loebelsohn. She shares her inspiration and advice.
ABI: How has the progression of your art career led to the work you are doing now?
AL: I have always wanted to be an artist, ever since I can remember. When I graduated from art school, I thought it would be more responsible to have a more marketable skill. I became a mural and decorative painter. My work took me all over the country. My next job was painting large billboards throughout New York City. I worked on scaffolds and learned about craftsmanship, how to use materials and how to complete projects. I was always fascinated by the use of new materials and somehow these techniques stuck with me.
During this period, I continued to work on my own art. I started manipulating the materials in new and exciting ways. I love the richness of surface and textures and I found my own work grew out of the density of pattern, color and texture. My career and my artwork are deeply intertwined. I am grateful that I have been able to paint on one surface or another for my entire adult career.
ABI: Please share your techniques and what makes them so special.
AL: My work is about the patterns and images that randomly appear in nature and all around us. The shapes are built up through different layers, using marble based plaster as a base. A line from one layer may come through another and a shape is formed. By using line, color and surface texture images appear, much like memories that can fade but come to the surface when a memory is triggered.
I am interested in those murky areas where there are no clear truths. It is here where I try to imagine the laws of imaginary worlds and how I can make sense of the universe in which we live.
ABI: You have had quite a lot of success during the past year. How did you do it? What would you recommend for another artist?
AL: One year ago, I was sitting at an Arts Business Institute workshop and daydreaming about the year to come. The workshop had a lot to offer; I continued by meeting with one of your guest lecturers at “Kind Aesthetics”. There is a lot of help for artists out there but you need to believe that you are worth it and follow through with it. On that day I envisioned my work in a particular show. I was very surprised a few weeks ago to be invited to be part of that show.
So, I would say to other artists: follow your dream, find your own voice and keep your standards high. Do not be distracted by rejection, inertia, or anything else that might keep you from achieving your goals. It is important to stay true to yourself, and most of all, find joy in the process of doing the work. Do not work in isolation; part of the process is showing the work. It’s good to get feedback and also meet other artists to share ideas with.
Success will come. For myself it has taken half of my life and I feel I still have a very long road ahead, but at least I am moving in the right direction.