Artist Interview with Bonnie Graves

Artist Interview with Bonnie Graves

Purchase fine art for sale by Bonnie Graves.

Welcome to AllArtWorks Featured Artist Series!

1. What other profession is similar to being an artist and why?

A writer is a profession similar to being an artist. Both can be lonely professions. I know this because I used to work with a lot of writers when I was a book publicist in NYC. My authors would call me up and all they wanted to do was chat! You have to do the work — writing or artwork — on your own. Both use imagination and creativity. Also, both a writer and an artist tell a story - one in words, the other visually.

2. What’s the nicest thing you can remember someone said about your work, or an individual piece?

One of the nicest things I can remember someone said about my work was when a lovely woman who purchased a painting of mine said, “When I see your paintings they give me such a warm feeling and happiness. It’s truly amazing. It touched me so much that I was absolutely smitten.” Also, a fellow painter said to me, “What I like about your art is the total freedom of expression. It inspires me. I am about to produce something dull and then I think of your paintings and I’m saved.” It makes me happy to hear that my paintings make other people happy and inspired. It's a good feeling all the way around!

3. What’s one thing you’d like everyone to know about you as an artist?

One thing I’d like everyone to know about me as an artist is I try to paint without thinking, just feeling… the music I’m listening to, how I feel on a given day, how I feel about my environment. If I’m moved by something — it could be a tree, a flower, a face — it usually shows in my painting. My motto is: No thinking, just feeling.
4. What was the last piece of art that you saw that blew you away?

The last piece of art that I’ve seen that blew me away is a difficult question to answer because I’ve seen so many works of art in art museums that have moved me so here are a couple: 1) The Princess de Broglie by Ingres at the Met, the blue dress was striking and details of her jewels were amazing. 2) Shoes by Van Gogh at the Met, I saw this painting vibrating. I was wondering… do other people see this energy?

5. What’s something you haven’t done but you want to do in art/painting?

I’ve tried almost everything in art - oils, watercolor, pastels, gouache, charcoal drawing, sculpture, pottery. Something that I have not tried yet and would like to is printmaking. It seems very complex to me!

6. Which artist do you like better - Ingres or Delacroix, and why?*

I have a soft spot for Ingres. When I first learned to draw a portrait, I bought a book of Ingres' portrait drawings and spent time copying them. I’m moved by his work. I love the facial expressions on his portraits and how his faces are highly detailed. His portraits are lovely. I’ve seen several of his paintings in real life in art museums. There is one special portrait by Ingres of the dashing traveler Pierre-Francois Bernier at my local art gallery and every time I go I stop by to say hi! It was the very first portrait I copied!

*The reason we ask about Delacroix and Ingres is because they were contemporaries with wildly different styles!