Category Archives: Redux Studio Artist

New Studio Artist: the Lovely World of Kate Waddell

Kate Waddell, Blush

Kate Waddell, Blush

You would like Kate Waddell.  She has a serene, focused smile and a great handshake; her palette could have been shaken from a box of Tropical Mike and Ike’s.  

Her studio is tiled with happy canvases: glossy roosters sprawled in bold, contented shades of punch and berry; breakfast settings and bowls of fruit with backgrounds blocked out in shades of pink and blood orange.  Even the rich blues of Waddell’s figure studies have a warm, street-lit quality.  One can’t help assuming that the world of her mind must be a pleasant place to be.

“I’m just trying to bring some joy to the art world,” she says, peacefully dabbing at a rooster-in-progress.  Turning to smile at me, warmly tanned, her hair pulled off her neck in a loose ponytail.  “There are people who try to be so difficult by doing this offensive stuff, but I’d rather paint what is beautiful,” she says, and the galleries- Bee Street Studios, Brown Dog– are lining up.  

She’s fresh off a show held at Candlefish earlier this month,  and had worked hard on having ‘cohesive palette and subjects’ for that, making everything all of a piece.  “I rely on brushstrokes and line to help everything go well together.”

Kate Waddell, Curtis.

Kate Waddell, Curtis.

Her next show is back home in Columbus, Georgia- “I’m going to do more fruit stuff for that-” where she attended the same high school as Teil Duncan and Lulie Wallace, who’ve also limned out successful painting careers here in Charleston, creating similarly happy, comfortable canvases that make you smile.  

Is there something in the water back home?

Waddell pauses.  “The arts were really big at my high school,” she says.

I was intrigued.  “Seriously?”

“It’s a smaller school, so they were able to really nurture us, fostering everyone to do what they liked best.”  

We’re talking about brushstrokes, appealing lines, and I mention Wayne Thiebaud, one of my favorites.  About a painting of his, Around the Cake, which hung for many years in my hometown museum.  How’d I’d stand there and stare at it, transfixed, even when I was young- those thick, glossy strokes-!

“During my freshman year, we had this assignment.  We had to paint a portrait of an artist and also of his work.  I did Thiebaud!  His lipstick tubes- that was when I fell in love with painting.”  Waddell smiles privately, remembering the moment.

About Cofc- she “loved it, loved Charleston.”  She worked for Teal Duncan, who is five years older.  “There’s a stigma, you know, around arts majors at college”- but Duncan’s success as a painter here in Charleston made for a reassuring friendship.  Waddell thought she could make it here, too.  “I’m never leaving.”

There’s a comfortable pause as she paints, and I glance around at her studio.  Stray pink balloons left over from a recent photo shoot, a tiny white wheelie cart with a cosmetic bag, a tiny pink moleskin.  Waddell works next to a larger stainless steel cart lidded with glass.  It makes for a big, roomy palette- generous dabs of those Mike and Ike colors- and on the shelves underneath I spy a spray can, a dog eared palette, a green toolbox.  

The paints she isn’t using are arranged on a large wooden board brightly quilled with brass hooks, each one rolled up tidily and clipped in place with black binder clips.  It’s a lovely system, made for her by a young architect friend, Dixon Prewitt.

“I’m not naturally a neat person.  But I’m trying,” she says.

I ask Waddell about her process, if she works from photographs.   “I take one image and then do variations on it,” she says, decisively, and then pauses, thinking. “I see the fruit stuff in my head, though.  I do a lot of portraiture, too.  From photos.  That’s my favorite.  And I usually play music- Young the Giant, Motherfolk.  Chill music.”  

She talks about using color to depict a mood.  

“Sometimes you get a sense of color in being with people and objects.  What’s that word-” Waddell says, hunting for it-

“Synesthesia.”

“Yes.  That. But not dramatically,” she says.  That small private smile again as Waddell turns back to her punch-colored world, where joy itself provides all the drama she needs.  

Follow Kate on instagram at  instagram @katewaddellart.    


-article by Pauline West, a novelist and writer for Redux Contemporary Art Center.  Her novel Evening’s Land  won the 2014 Helene Wurlitzer Fellowship Award and 2015’s Carol Marie Smith Scholarship for Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency.  West is represented by Natalia Aponte of AponteLiterary.

Kate Waddell

Kate Waddell, Palmer.

Kate Waddell, Citrus City.

Kate Waddell, Citrus City.

Kate Waddell, Vendue Blue.

Kate Waddell, Vendue Blue.

Kate Waddell, Guac

Kate Waddell, Guac

Darkly Dreaming: Photographer Mariah Channing

Lock and Key, by Mariah Channing.

Lock and Key, by Mariah Channing.

Ten minutes ago I was supposed to meet photographer Mariah Channing at Barsa, the stylish tapas place on King.  I’m working on a project and don’t mind that she’s late- but when my phone rings, and its her, we discover we’ve both arrived early and have been waiting separately.  Channing waves across the restaurant, and comes over carrying her laptop and glass of water.

With her winged eye liner, bow shaped lips, cat-eye glasses and a scattering of tattoos winking out from under her charcoal colored tee, Channing could be one of those mischievous sylphs on the cover of an alternative magazine.  Her cameo necklace swings on a long thin silver chain as she sits, looking dreamily distracted, like a cat that’s just woken from a sunlit nap.

“I’ve been working on website stuff all day at the studio.  Then I was at the Orange Spot- have you ever tried their cayenne tea?”

“ I haven’t,” I say, and she tells me its to die for.

She places her laptop between us and shows me her photographs.

“This one here, with the magnolias, that was an adventure.”

Flower Portrait, by Mariah Channing

Flower Portrait, by Mariah Channing

“I bought this kiddie pool without really thinking about how I was going to make it all work.  On the day of the shoot, I had to blow the whole thing up by myself and then run back and forth into the photo room with a pitcher to fill it up before my model came- and all these art students are sitting around outside Redux, sketching away and staring at me, wondering out what I was doing.  I picked all the flowers by hand from trees by the side of the road.  The model was from Model Mayhem.  She was great.”

Channing crosses her hands over the back of her laptop, resting her chin over them with a sigh.  “This cameo shape is hard to fit a picture inside.  The shape is just so busy to begin with- I think maybe it just doesn’t work.  I’m going to move towards using a circle frame.  But this one,” she taps a cameo, “was in the Piccolo Spoleto exhibition.”

Magnolias, by Mariah Channing

Magnolias, by Mariah Channing

We talk about round frames, and those beautiful antique photographs you can find sometimes at thrift stores with the domed glass.  “Those are the best,” she sighs.

Where do her ideas come from?

She keeps a sketchbook.

“Words or doodles?”

“Both! and if a symbol comes to mind, I’ll define it for myself, too.  Writing stuff all around it.”  She scribbles in the air.

“Making kind of a mind map?”

“Yes, exactly.  And I write down ideas for costumes and postures too.”

Channing sources her costumes from antique and thrift stores, and also uses found objects.  “When I moved into Redux I found a super little-teeny-tiny hatched egg outside on the sidewalk.  It seemed like a good omen, you know?  So I kept it, I still have it.  I’d like to take more walks in the woods and find stuff…”

I tell her a rambling story about a pig’s skull I acquired (we ordered a pigs head for dinner one night at The Green Door, which was delicious albeit exceptionally porky), how I put it in the yard to be cleaned by ants.  But a raccoon or something ran off with it… my friend was going to put me in touch with some witches he knew who said they would let me sit in on a ceremony in exchange for bringing the skull.  But the skull had been my ticket, so without it…

Untitled.  (Channing hates naming her photographs.)

Untitled, by Mariah Channing.

Channing laughs. “I follow this guy on Facebook who finds these great bugs. He builds moth traps, with this great big white sheet…”

Occasionally she does boudoir photography.  “In college I became fascinated with classical nudes.  And Venus, Venus was my favorite.  I just think its neat, especially in this generation when women they they have to look a certain way.  This is a way they can fall in love with themselves again.”

Eventually, she says, she’d like to open a photography business.  She tilts her head on her hands to catlike effect.  “I have an idea, a kind of a two pronged approach as to how to do it, but I’m going to keep it under wraps for now.”

One of her pieces won best in photography at the Salon de Refuses, a show that was coincidental with the Young Contemporaries at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and recently participated in a group show with the Charleston Female Photographers at the North Charleston Arts Festival.  

Memento Mori, by Mariah Channing.  Best in Photography, Salon de Refuses.

Memento Mori, by Mariah Channing. Best in Photography, Salon de Refuses.

She’s offering special edition matted photographs through Charleston’s Supported Art program, which offers glamorous baskets of art from six local artists to shareholders- sign up today to support local art!- and can be reached through Facebook or her website for questions and commissions.

-article by Pauline West, a novelist and writer for Redux Contemporary Art Center.  Her novel Evening’s Land recently won the Helene Wurlitzer Fellowship Award.

Lulie Wallace: The Sweet Life

Spiky Flowers, by Lulie Wallace

Spiky Flowers, by Lulie Wallace

Lulie Wallace is scrolling through designs she’s fashioned into patterns on her laptop: “There’s a million of them, there’s tons,” she says, smiling.

“I’ve licensed things before to places like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters- but what I’ve really been wanting to see is whole patterns [based on her work]- and it turns out there’s this whole field called surface design.  It turns out a lot of illustrators are in surface design.  And a lot of artists.”

We’re sitting in Redux’s classroom at two wooden tables tucked together just shy of the center of the room.  Big boxes of Wallace’s goods are stacked to one side, ready to ship out.  The AC blows down to one side of us warmishly, and if we turn to one side we can see into Wallace’s studio.

The burlap doors are still pinned back from her recent show, and from here I can see walls filled from floor to ceiling with cheerful canvases: flowers in patterned pots and pitchers, cheerful tablescapes.  One shows a table strewn with flower cuttings and a pair of scissors.  Wallace’s work is whimsical and folksy, with a largely pastel palette; each one beachy and full of sunshine like Wallace herself, who is wriggling in her chair beside me, happily vibrating in flip flops and cut offs as she scrolls.

“I love seeing art come off the canvas.  I mean, you look at a blouse, you look at a bedspread- they’re forms of everyday art, art you can actually use.  So my idea is to approach people who are already working with fabric and have them use my patterns.  There are five collaborators I’d really like to work with- I call them my dreamweavers.” She smiles when I ask who her dreamweavers are.  “Let’s call them a local clothing company, a kids clothing line, maybe a badass stationary line.”  A friend of hers comes into the classroom wielding a box of cupcakes;  Lulie dives in delightedly.  “Fabric is so nice because it doesn’t take a lot of money to see the art form to fruition.  And I can do fabric to order.  I can do it by the yard.”

Pink Flowers, by Lulie Wallace

Pink Flowers, by Lulie Wallace

 

So how does this work, turning one of her canvases into a pattern?

“I sketch with a very fine illustrator pen and then I scan into an ordinary printer.  I use Adobe Illustrator and photoshop.  I applied to get a UGA fabric design student to come in and intern here this summer, and she’s teaching me all the technical stuff I wouldn’t have known.  She’s super proficient in photoshop.”

Machinery whines from a studio on the other side of the gallery.

“It’s like a giant carpenter bee,” I say- and then wince as the whine gives way to hammering.

Wallace laughs.  “That’s Kaminer.  [A jewelry designer.]  We call her Haminer.”  Something on her screen suddenly catches her eye, and Lulie Wallace leans into her computer, concentrating.

I excuse myself for a few minutes to explore her studio, leaving Wallace to work. Behind the burlap doors I find a large wheelie cart piled high with brushes, paints, used palettes.  A pair of old-fashioned sunglasses perch owlishly above a small carton of maple almond butter in squeezie packs.  An emergency stash?  More palettes, paints, brushes.

Underneath all this is the aforementioned printer; ordinary, as Wallace said, and on the other side of the cart is a jumble of shoes, some tupperware, and a beach towel.  The walls are covered with canvases, and a tall metal chair sits in one corner, splattered with paint.  It is facing her newest piece, featuring a brightly colored table setting. When I come back out into the classroom, Wallace is scrolling again.

“Its so fun to scan your stuff in,” she says.  “There’s so many color manipulation possibilities.  Things you could never do ordinarily with a canvas- you can change the color palette in an instant, completely changing the personality of a pattern.  Same design, but with a different color.  We call that ‘color-ways.’”

“Beautiful word.”

“It is.” Wallace looks up as her intern, Brooke Davidson, sails into the studio.  Davidson’s sunny blonde hair is tied up and smoothed back by a wide black headband.

Davidson explains she primarily works in photoshop.  “You try to create a repeat where you don’t notice the tile.  When I look at fabric I can see if its’ got a good repeat or not.”

“Can you look at fabric and pick out the tile?”

“Kind of, sometimes.  There’s also this thing you can do called a half drop repeat, where the pattern kind of continues down, and so the next one fits into it a little lower.”

I ask her how she likes her internship.

“It’s been really fun, I love Charleston so much!  I wish I could stay, but I have to go back and student teach.  But maybe someday!”

We talk about the possibility of her getting a studio here, and of further collaborations with Lulie. She’s been working with Wallace to help her develop “a portfolio of a ton of repeats.  And I’ve been painting a lot this summer, I’m been so inspired by,” she sweeps her hands around us,  “all this!  I’m doing abstract stuff, playing with layers.  It’s cellular, almost.  And Lulie gives me so much good advice.  She said next week maybe I could even bring my stuff in, we can play around with it in photoshop.  Have you seen the lunchboxes she does?”

Davidson takes me around to the side of Lulie Wallace’s studio; more canvases, more boxes of product.  She pulls out an old fashioned metal lunch box coated in one of Wallace’s cheery design.

“How fun!”

“Yeah, she’s great,” Brooke says, grinning.

But cupcake break is over, and now Wallace and Davidson seem itchy to get back to work.  We hug goodbye, and I leave them still happily chattering and scrolling away under the air conditioner.

-article by Pauline West, a novelist and writer for Redux Contemporary Art Center.  Her novel Evening’s Land recently won the Helene Wurlitzer Fellowship Award.

Peaches and Cream, by Lulie Wallace

Peaches and Cream, by Lulie Wallace

Open Studios is May 29!

Redux_OpenStudios_2014_webOur Open Studios events are a way to get to know all of the Redux studio artists who call our space their creative home.

While we welcome the public into Redux year round, this is your exclusive opportunity to look behind the curtains, meet the artists, learn about their techniques and practice, renew your Redux membership, sign up for classes, and maybe even take a new piece of art home!

Current Redux Studio Artists:

Alizey Khan
Brian Stetson
Camela Guevara
India McElroy
Joshua Breland
Kaminer Haislip
Karen Ann Myers
Kate Long Stevenson
Kate MacNeil
Kate Mullin
Kevin LePrince
Lindsay Windham
Lulie Wallace
Mariah Channing
Paula McInerny
Raven Roxanne
Taillefer Long
Teil Duncan
Thomas Ozmore
Todd Anderson
Trever Webster
Whitney Kreb

Redux’s Alizey Khan

alizey

Alizey Khan in her Redux studio, 2013

Redux Studio Artist and staff member, Alizey Khan is currently exhibiting her astronomical paintings and prints in her first solo exhibit, Interspatial, in the Saul Alexander Gallery at the Charleston County Public Library. Her exhibit will be on view from July 2 through August 17. There will be a opening reception on Tuesday, July 2 from 5 pm – 7:45 pm. During the reception, Alizey will give an artist talk (at 5:30pm) and give away a limited number of free linocuts!

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Alizey about her work. Here’s what she had to say.

Congrats on your new solo show, Interspatial. Tell us a little about your yourself and what you do. I am a recent graduate of CofC. I double majored in Studio Art and Arts Administration. During my last semester at CofC, I interned at Redux. Now I am a part-time staff member as Membership and Media Coordinator. I also have a studio at Redux where I make most of my current work. I have another job at Artist and Craftsman Supply, where I see Redux artists buying stuff all of the time. I spend most of my time working but I use much of  my spare time to make art.

Describe “Interspatial” in three words. Ethereal. Meditative. Nebulous.

Why do you make art? I know my time on this planet is short, and I want to leave something tangible behind to be remembered by! 

What inspires you? Beauty in nature; recurring patterns in physics; good design in our culture.

What do you find most satisfying about your artistic process? I use subject matter as the unifying theme in my work rather than style or medium. This allows me a lot of freedom to experiment with different techniques and materials with the images I make. I like to do a lot more than just paint, so I’m glad I have the opportunity to include printmaking and resin layering techniques in my portfolio.

Have you always been interested in astronomical science? I have visited NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day almost daily for the last five years. I’ve always been interested in images of nebulae, galaxies and other beautiful celestial bodies; but, I never took the time to research them until I started painting them. Now I feel like I have learned a lot through this series.

What artists do you admire and why? I really love Yayoi Kusama for her lifelong fanatical dedication to the motifs she uses – her installation work with mirrors and lights is my favorite! I also love Julie Heffernan’s ethereal brushwork ,and her masterful use of strong colors and lighting effects in her paintings. Locally, I really admire Karen Ann Myers and her ability to juggle working as a professional exhibiting artist, a curator at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and as an instructor at CofC. She’s my hero.

kusama_800_626

Yayoi Kusama

What do you hope your viewers learn/gain from your work? Most of all  I hope they gain a sense of curiosity, wonder and scale. It’s amazing how small you start to feel once you start looking into how big the universe really is. It really puts all of one’s minor worries into perspective.

If you could live anywhere in the world – if time and money were not an issue – where would you go? I would really love to live in Florence, Italy one day. The weather is perfect there, there’s tons of art, and the food is amazing.

reduxphoto5

Khan’s “Interspatial”, on view July 2 – August 17, 2013

Last great book you read. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It’s a bit like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, only it’s written for an older audience who has already read all of those books. It deconstructs the genres of magic-school and magic-world books.

If you are not painting/working, you are….hanging out with friends, usually playing Settlers of Catan. I actually plan to make my own Settlers of Catan board soon.

Tell us about your upcoming class at Redux. I’m teaching an intensive four-week Resin Painting Workshop. I’m really excited about it. I plan to give students a lot of freedom and show them several techniques that they can choose to incorporate into a finished painting, including working with dry powder pigment and glitter, working wet paint into wet resin, incorporating photos and collage elements, and painting in 3D with successive layers of resin. 

alizey4

Opening Reception & Artist talk, Tuesday July 2, 5:30-7:45pm

What do you love about being involved in Redux? The community! There are so many great artists here. Even our interns are talented. I really love being at Redux – surrounded by the amazing art in the main gallery, and the other studio renters. They are so helpful and friendly.

Favorite music to listen to while working in your studio? I’ve been listening to a lot of Alcest, Grimes, Daft Punk and Sigur Ros lately. I also like playing Gustav Holst’s The Planets to rev up my painting mood.

Future goals/aspirations. I would really like to have more solo and group shows locally, nationally and internationally. I’d also like to be represented by a gallery somewhere.

 

Friends in the Dark: Redux + CCP

Mariah Channing & her film camera collection.

Redux Artist: Mariah Channing & her film camera collection.

Have you heard the buzz….there is a resurgence in film photography in Charleston! Even though we are living in a fast-paced digital age, more and more people are being lured to the tactile, sensory, and magical experience of film processing.

Recently, The Redux Contemporary Art Center and Charleston Center for Photography (CCP) joined together to meet this desire and growing passion. Together, we will be offering traditional darkroom classes in Redux’s revamped darkroom. Thanks to Douglas Carr Cunningham and Redux Studio Artist/Intern, Mariah Channing for all of their hard work in cleaning, organizing and restoring the dark room into its beautiful new state. It looks absolutely amazing, but don’t just take our word for, come see it yourself! Redux offers the only public access darkroom in Charleston. >>Learn More

New beginner black and white classes with Douglas Carr Cunningham begin next week. There is also an upcoming pinhole camera class with Kevin Parent. These photography classes are filling quickly, so be sure to sign up soon.

Also, the Center for Photography is now exhibiting the Polaroid work of Redux Studio Artist, Jen Ervin. The exhibition will be up through the end of June, and  is part of the CCP’s 2nd Monday Lecture series.  Don’t forget to check the CCP’s website for more details on upcoming lectures.

Announcement for Land & Family by Jen Ervin

Announcement for Land & Family by Jen Ervin

Austin Grace Smith @ The Art MECCA

Whirling Notions by Austin Grace Smith, 10x10", Wood panel.

Whirling Notions by Austin Grace Smith, 10×10″, Wood panel.

The Art MECCA, a new gallery on 427 King Street, will be showcasing the work of  Redux Studio Artist, Austin Grace Smith, on Thursday May 9  from 6-9 pm. Austin, whose slogan is “…the adventure continues”, intuitively paints on wood panels, allowing the wood grain to direct her brushstrokes. Austin will give an artist talk on her process and inspiration at 6:30pm.  For more information please call 843-577-0603.
 The Art MECCA