Pointillism (/ˈpɔɪntɪlɪzəm/) is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism.
Jerk of All Trades met up with Syracuse artist, Autumn Wood recently and gained some insight into the mechanics of being an artist and what art means to her.
What type of art do you do?
Autumn Wood- I like to do pointillism (dots in ink). It helps me when I focus on doing the dots to settle down my completely self-diagnosed OCD. As a disclaimer, I should add that I’m a Virgo so some would call that perfectionism, but I’m going with the OCD.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
AW- I make more money doing pet portraits in charcoal, although I’m relatively new to using them. I love the way they make the fur look. So I guess my aesthetic is really nature-based, as the pointillism is usually scenic, and I prefer not to do people portraits.
How long have you been doing your art?
AW- I’ve been doing art for as long as I can remember. As a child, I always wanted to do some kind of art-related job. At the tender age of 4, I wanted to be what I call an “archaeological artist.” I wanted to go to the pyramids and just make paintings of the artifacts found so they wouldn’t have to be removed from where they belonged. I have great respect for history.
Where are you from?
AW- I moved to a small place about an hour north of Syracuse, New York in 2001, right before 9/11 happened. At some point, I moved to North Carolina and opened a small gallery for about a year and a half but moved back to New York for family reasons. I’ve bounced around the country a little bit since being born in Tucson, AZ and moving to Cheyenne, WY? And living there for the next 22 years of my life. I was born on a military base and continued to live on one until I was 8 years old in Wyoming. My mom was a native New Yorker and she moved back to New York later following my high school graduation where she raised my then 13-year old sister. Five or six years later I joined them.
Where do you sell your work?
AW- Most of my commissions are through friends, word-of-mouth, and a few have been sold through Facebook connections.
Do you also have a non-art job? What is it?
AW- I was a bartender for quite a few years and when I lived in LA I did theatrics for a cover band but I have always done my art no matter what job I’ve had. Fortunately, I’ve had a boyfriend who is extremely supportive of my artistic endeavors and encourages me to do my art full time.
Upcoming art shows?
AW- I just wrapped up two simultaneous shows in November and my next one is scheduled for May 9, 2020, at The Gear Factory in Syracuse. I expect that more shows will come up before that to fill in my Spring calendar. Fellow artists help keep me in the loop as far as shows go. I do, of course, have to create a completely new lineup of work for the May show so I will be working on that in between.
What artists have informed your aesthetic?
AW- M.C. Escher is the artist who inspired my interest in pointillism.
The hardest part of being an artist?
AW- The most stressful part of being an artist is not knowing when the next commission is coming in. The other thing is just coming up with something that people want. I really struggle with wondering if it’s good enough or if it’s as good as the artist’s work that’s showing next to mine. The self-doubt is a killer.
AW- The best part of being an artist is creating something that inspires someone’s happiness. I did a show in the Spring, done a drawing of my cat and did pointillism for the background. I titled the whole show with Tarot Cards and that particular piece was titled with the Strength card. This girl wanted it. She told me she was a recovering addict and that picture is something that would remind her of her own strength. I almost cry every time I tell someone about it because this is exactly what every artist wants their work to do – inspire someone.
Are you a cannabis user and if so does it influence your art?
AW- Yes, I partake in the Devil’s Lettuce. It’s another tool I use to calm and focus myself. It also motivates my imagination for my art. I don’t overthink it as much.
Where can we find you?
Interview by Sara Culver-Provencio