Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Five Minutes with Artist GraceAnn Warn


I discovered GraceAnn Warn's art by means of a Twitter contact, James Day, whose Art of Day blog is designed to introduce readers to other artists of various mediums. GraceAnn's work immediately captured my attention. I was thrilled not only by the pieces themselves but her personal career path as well. Originally from New Jersey, she has been creating and teaching art both nationally and internationally.

Ennyman: How did you first come to take an interest in making art?

GraceAnn: I have made some form of art since childhood. It’s been a part of my life as long as I can remember.

Enny: You mention an experience with one of Mark Rothko’s paintings. Can you describe what happened, how it made you feel, why it so moved you that you changed your career direction?

GraceAnn: I was a landscape architect sent to an urban design conference in Minneapolis. I was at the Walker Museum to see the architecture when I happened upon the late works of Rothko on exhibit in one of the galleries. The emotional impact of these paintings on me was profound and unexpected. In retrospect I understood that the design work with which I was engaged could not match the import of a life in art. Not long after that I rented a very small studio space for making art in my free time. Eventually I began to see my work and made a break from landscape architecture to pursue an art career full time.

Enny: It’s hard to tell how large your assemblages are from the website. What is your preferred work size and why?

GraceAnn: Most of my work falls within a 40” x 30” to 40” x 60” range. I’d like to work bigger but at this time my studio doesn’t allow for it. I like larger scale sometimes because I like the feeling of getting lost in a work- as a viewer and as a painter.

Enny: I love the texture, subtle colors. How did you get into creating this kind of work?

GraceAnn: I guess the simplest answer to that is that I am intrigued by architectural surfaces and by walls.

Enny: How much did living in proximity to a large city with major galleries influence you?

GraceAnn: I’m not totally sure about this except that it maybe made art seem accessible and ‘normal’.

Enny: Do you have a favorite gallery or museum?

GraceAnn: Museum of Modern Art, hands down favorite.

Enny: What was it like teaching in Greece and Italy? How did that come about?

GraceAnn: I believe a friend told me about it and so I applied. It was a lot of work of course- teaching in a foreign country and traveling with encaustic equipment, dealing with foreign electrical situations- I don’t recommend it to the easily rattled! But thinking about art and making art out of my own comfort zone is healthy and it forces you to stretch.

If you like the pieces displayed here, I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.graceannwarn.com/

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