Welcome to AllArtWorks Featured Artist Series!
1. What other profession is similar to being an artist and why?
I approach art not only as being inspired to create something, but also as problem solving. I have experience in troubleshooting computers and technical writing, and sometimes it's similar to creating art as I rack my brain trying to get the right look or visual on paper. It's creative problem solving, because I rarely have an exact idea and end up mixing colors and experimenting as I paint or draw a subject and carve a linocut piece. Then I creatively problem solve as I hand paint added colors to the linocut print or add more paints to the painting. I'm constantly experimenting and problem solving until I'm happy with the finished piece.
2. What’s the nicest thing you can remember someone said about your work, or an individual piece?
AllArtWorks creator Tyler Loftis critiqued my art in the AllArtWorks newsletter in 2019, writing "Clarissa taps into some of our deep reservoirs of visual language which I believe begin even in the womb. I believe this is one of our primary ways to communicate with ourselves and with other people. I also believe that this part of us doesn't change. Even after we learn to speak and write, this language stays the same from the beginning. If you think about it, when you access your memories from your childhood, they are still formatted in a way that you can understand today, as opposed to the way you spoke when you were two years old and the way you are able to articulate today. This gives the artist a lot to draw from and a beautiful way to transcend age, race, and even millennia." And my friend and ex, Mike A. said, "You paint like a child, if a child could paint."
3. What’s one thing you’d like everyone to know about you as an artist?
I don't believe in a cookie cutter approach, so you'll always find my artwork is changing and evolving. I've only recently started making similar pieces of art, but even so, from year to year, they're going to be different. I have to find it interesting or make it interesting. It's taken decades to hone my craft to where it is now, and it will continue to change. I lose myself in the art while I'm creating it. I don't believe in limiting myself to one style.
4. What was the last piece of art that you saw that blew you away?
Jean-Michel Basquiat's painting "Rusting Red Car in Kua." He took a rusted car and brought it to life and the simple, brilliant colors make it look like it is moving. He even put flames coming off the wheels and painted in the engine and steering wheel. A brilliant and dynamic piece, full of movement.
5. What’s something you haven’t done but you want to do in art/painting?
I want to make more linocut prints into individual, colorful, unique paintings and explore this more. Linocut prints can have more brilliant colors by hand painting them, so I want to continue to experiment with this. I've only done a handful of this kind of art and I want to expand on this with large swatches of brilliant colors and a large portfolio of them.
I prefer Ingres. I love looking at his paintings and drawings. He captures the personality of his subjects like they are in the room with you, chatting like a close friend or family member. He evokes a pleasant feeling in his art. They are masterfully executed with perfection, too. He influenced Picasso and Matisse. Matisse said about him, "The composition of paintings, bringing the figures to the foreground and eliminating the traditional depth and perspective of 19th-century paintings, and flattening the figures presenting them 'like the figures in a deck of cards,' were new and startling effects, which were criticized in the 19th century but welcomed by the avant-garde in the 20th century."
*The reason we ask about Delacroix and Ingres is because they were contemporaries with wildly different styles!