Friday, February 28, 2014

Britt Bass Turner is a Georgia girl. 

Having grown up just north of Atlanta, graduated from UGA, married her high school sweetheart, and begun her career as an artist in Athens, "the South is all I've ever known," she says.

Her inspirations have always been close to home. 
Britt's mother is an interior designer with artist friends, so she grew up surrounded by color swatches, paintings, and proof that careers in art and design are attainable and fruitful. "Being an artist was never this big, scary thing," Britt says.

She is still finding much of her inspiration in nearby sources. "There's a saturation of art and culture based here in the South," she says. "A lot of the artists and designers I love are based here. There's pride in being an artist here, you're part of something!" 


Armed with this confidence, Britt "soaks up" aesthetic inspiration everywhere—from blogs to retail stores to art history and contemporary art books—fresh color palettes and creative vignettes are her springboards as she approaches her abstract work. Having graduated in 2011 from UGA with a degree in Art Education and Painting, Britt feels she entered the art and design world at a time of great energy. The web was just bursting with new creative blogs and visual stimulation found on sites such as Pinterest, and the retail market at large had begun to fully embrace modern design. "Walking into West Elm can be just as inspiring to me as opening an art history book," she says. 

Inspired by the same zeitgeist, her creative peers also provide inspiration, especially a stylist friend who creates color palettes for Britt to use in her work. 

Britt holds these catalysts in her mind for just the moment in which begins a piece. From there, though, she lets go of the specific point of inspiration and begins an intuitive, materials-driven process of layering gauche, acrylics, and pastels to create compositions that feel verdant and that will ultimately "look beautiful in a space," she says.

She owes her current abstract work and introduction to GIFA to the local artist and UGA art professor that has served as her mentor—GIFA artist Erin McIntosh.

 Britt says taking classes with Erin helped "free her up" in her work.

It was in learning about Erin's work that Britt found GIFA and made it a goal to become part of the gallery. "Once I saw the other [GIFA] artists, I loved their work too. It became a distant dream to have my work there." 

GIFA is ecstatic to welcome Britt into our cottage of contemporary stars!

Britt and Gregg

Britt and Gallery Manager Sallie

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Eileen Power

Hi, all! Prepping for our upcoming traveling shows, we've been receiving an amazing array of drop-offs and shipments from each artist we feature in the Gallery. Their new creations never cease to amaze us, the thrill of opening a new package of art is the same we felt as kids on Christmas morning. We pride ourselves on how each piece is so unique, never the same and always surprising us with its shapes and colors. 

Eileen's work space at her home in Atlanta, Ga.

For this Artist Spotlight post, we've decided to share with you a more in-depth look at the amazing Eileen Power and her most recent drop-off. We've included her newest paintings in the Gallery, a Q&A, and a behind the scenes look at her work space. It was so fun for us to pick her brain and discover what makes her paint so beautifully. We hope you enjoy learning more about Eileen! 

"Sailor's Delight" 48" x 48"

"Seaside 2" 48" by 60"

Question and Answer with Eileen Power: 

What is inspiring your work most at the moment? 
For more than year I’ve been working on a way to interpret the low country of coastal South Carolina (where I spend a good deal of time) in my own energetic, abstract voice.   The area is at once, serene yet teeming with life.  Shrimp, literally, jump in your kayak when you’re paddling across the marsh.
I also make at least one trip a year to NYC with a group of talented artists for the sole purpose of seeing great art.  

At what time of day do you feel the most inspired, and why? 
I try to get any personal business out of the way in the morning allowing me to walk into the studio by 10 am.   I tried leasing a studio space for a year or so, but found it didn’t work for me.  Fortunately, I have a good space at home devoted to art.  I work for a couple of hours, then walk away from it for an hour or so.  Because the work space is so convenient I go back to work in the afternoon and may paint until 6 or so when the natural light disappears.

If there is one place in the world you could sit and paint, where would it be?  
I’d love to travel to Vetheuil, France to paint so I could see the same color and light Joan Mitchell experienced when she painted her fabulous abstract paintings.

What book are you reading at the moment? I’m reading a biography of Lee Krasner, wife of Jackson Pollock and a fine painter in her own right.

If we opened your purse, what would we find inside? 
 An Iphone and a wallet… I travel light.  
I once made a weeklong trip to China with only a carry on.  

For artists striving to find their own personal style, how long did it take you to find yours and what made it click? 
There was a time when I consciously asked myself, “What is my voice?”
Moving away from representational painting made it easier for me to recognize my voice.   I’ve always had a “painterly” style and am happiest with layers of color and strong gestural marks.

Send us an image of one of your favorite paintings! 
Eileen sent us this beautiful abstract of a Joan Mitchell. See how this piece inspires one of her paintings below, "Centered." So beautiful! 

36" by 36"

We hope you enjoyed reading as much as we enjoy featuring this amazing artist! 
Until next time...
-The GIFA girls! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Michelle Armas in House Beautiful Magazine, February Issue!

We were so thrilled to see one of our featured artists, Michelle Armas, in House Beautiful Magazine for their February issue, 2014! They paired her vibrant piece with a gorgeous bouquet and an perfect array of rich paint colors. Which is your favorite? 

We took some of Michelle's paintings that are currently hanging in the gallery and paired them with the same colors! They work just as beautifully!

"Jessica" 48 x 48, $1800

"OK Great" 48 x 48, $1800

"Joie" 48 x 60, $1900

Hope this inspires you! And thank you to House Beautiful Magazine for featuring Michelle's work! Pick up a copy today and turn to page 14 to see this!

-The GIFA girls!