Name: Amy Greenan
Location: Niagara Falls, NY -- just minutes from the famous falls themselves!
How would you describe your work?
Mysterious, though at times quite colorful. Thoughtful, nostalgic, hopeless.
What are you currently working on?
I have a few things going on, some still just in the thinking stages. There's a series of grisailles that I call my ghosts (see above image as an example) that include not only ghosts of people, but ghosts of things as well. I will be making a series of small paintings based on some old, beat-up "cutter" quilts I've recently purchased -- the way the patterns of fabric have been juxtaposed is fantastic, as are the colors. Some are very faded, some still quite vibrant. I've been trying to get back into sketching in my sketchbook regularly again, and I want to make some of my own (bookbinding is another passion of mine).
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
In so many places. I know that my observational skills have improved one hundred fold in the past few months since I started teaching drawing again. My students inspire me to try new things, and to see the beauty in the everyday -- whether they realize it or not! I'm really attracted to architecture, though more in the sense of buildings that are comprised of basic shapes, pretty bare-bones, not necessarily "pretty" stuff. I live in a city that still has a lot of factories operating, where the atmosphere does funky things at sunset. I love to see how light plays off of those big boxes, too. If I stopped at the side of the road to photograph everything that caught my eye, I'd never get anywhere.
My own nostalgia has always inspired me. I'm always looking and thinking back for ideas.
3 artists/designers you love and why!
1. One of my idols (yes, I truly mean idol) is Richard Kegler, who is the founder of P22 Type Foundry (http://www.p22.com/) and of the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative (and its physical home base, the WNY Book Arts Center -- http://www.wnybookarts.org/). He has done so much for the arts community in my region, and is tireless in his efforts to try to make things better for everyone, on so many levels. Not to mention, he makes really cool stuff -- typefaces, books, letterpressed artwork... I interned for him at P22 back in 2000 and have been pestering him on and off ever since. I'm now teaching at WNYBAC regularly, and always so happy to work with him and his amazing wife, Carima El-Behairy.
2. Tae Won Yu has been a huge inspiration to me for many years now. He is not only an incredible artist and designer, but he is also a musician and was in the band Kicking Giant back in the 90s, part of the Olympia, WA scene. He also has a Tumblr account (http://taewonyu.tumblr.com/) where he posts a new image each day as a challenge to himself. It's just gorgeous, sensitive, smart stuff.
3. Sonja Ahlers is a super-talented Canadian artist I have known since I first started making zines. We traded ours for many years and hers are among my real treasures. She's just coming out with her third book, The Selves (Drawn & Quarterly) (http://www.amazon.com/Selves-Sonja-Ahlers/dp/1770460101) that will surely be a must-have. She also has an Etsy shop.
3 things that make you smile:
My gardens (vegetable and flower) -- for which of course I have a blog, my little family (three cats and my partner, Casey), and being able to take time to make art, in whatever form it takes at any given moment.
Do you have any other upcoming exhibitions/shows etc.?
Yes! In May, I will be having a little solo exhibition in Buffalo, NY at a restaurant called Betty's . Normally I might not be so inclined show at a restaurant, but Betty's not only has great food at their openings, they also have a wonderfully discerning curator for their exhibitions, Kathy Sherin. Nice clientele, too.