Beaches Art Exhibit – Artist Interviews…paula cloudpainter & Mireille Jenvieve

As we wrap up this series of interviews, we want to say what a pleasure it has been to interact with this group of artists and to learn more about their individual processes – their hopes and dreams as they move into the future. In celebrating their collective and individual successes and explorations over their careers – and in the BEACHES Art Exhibit – we have been inspired by their creativity and energy. Each one has a specific focus, an overall message, if you will. It’s been an enlightening and enchanting experience, and we are grateful for their time and focus.

Last night’s BEACH PARTY was a fitting closing celebration – exuberant and joyous! Even though the exhibit remains open through the American Labor Day, we thought it time to pause for another celebration of beauty! BAZ was on-target with his fantastic beach music, ANJ brought his A-game (as always!) with an array of very danceable tunes, and Nuvolino rounded out the night with a rousing hour (plus) of CHILL music that had us dancing under the stars! Over the course of the evening, artists Dolph Beornssen, Skyspinner Soulstar, Olyvia DeCuir and paula cloudpainter joined in the fun!

We will have more parties coming up, as new art exhibits and special events come along this autumn…

As for the remaining two artists from the BEACHES Art Exhibit, I must begin with myself. I have one piece in this exhibit, and it is a favourite: Ruins at Eventide. This photograph was taken at Ce Soir Arts, and it captures for me the lovely intersection of dark and light that strikes its perfect balance at dusk…eventide. My work in SL focuses on this meeting of contrasts, and you will see the tension between two opposite elements in all my work – photography, mosaics, and writing; for me, this focus is inescapable. I am so pleased to be part of exhibits at Ce Soir Arts, and when I am, I usually hold it to one submission. This pleases me, as my role is really to curate the presentation of art from others – one of the greatest joys of my Second Life®  experience. Visit my small gallery space at The Oracle Parlour in Ce Soir Arts.

Our other remaining artist – the lovely and gifted paula cloudpainter – has shared a magnificent and wonderfully unique painting for the BEACHES Art Exhibit. The title is perfect, as it describes the work beautifully: cloud essay – storm at the cape is comprised of two main depictions of cloud formations and environmental conditions as a storm at the cape takes shape. Each of these paintings could stand alone in beauty and wonder; they are powerful, in and of themselves. However, this work has a story to tell that is quite complex and innovative. In addition to the two central works, three other paintings are placed along the side to further illustrate the storm in its development. We can observe the gathering of weather energy, feel the flow of air across the ocean’s surface, and see it as it reaches land. The eye is drawn to each segment of the work, in turn, but the beholder also experiences the piece in its moving totality. cloud essay – storm at the cape is a fascinating piece of art for the story it tells – and for the beauty of it. The white background allows the elements to flow beyond their borders and escape into the atmosphere…and the viewer can feel that. Truly, I seemed to have felt a change in the air just by gazing at this beautiful work. You must come stand before it and feel the wonder that paula has created. She is represented in SL® by the Visions of Beauty Art Complex / Whinlatter Galleries. Do visit to enjoy more of her work!

THE INTERVIEWS…

Mireille Jenvieve:

M: What started you off on the adventure of creating art in your life – in-world or otherwise? Was there a specific moment or experience that sparked your creative energies?

M: My first artistic effort was in an art class in elementary school. Our teacher, Miss Marsh, asked us to gather leaves from the playground or home for a project. I love autumn and remember meticulously choosing about a dozen leaves of varying type and colour, and laying them out in a circle on my desk. Miss Marsh seemed to be interested in my arrangement (and the fact that I had so many leaves). As we made wreaths, gathered clusters of leaf bouquets, and traced the leaves on wax paper and parchment to paint them, I felt happy and focused. It was a feeling I wanted to experience again, so I pursued artistic expression with passion. I enjoy that rewarding feeling when I write, create a mosaic from various media, or work with a photograph.

M: What do you like best about the Second Life® experience? How has it enriched or otherwise informed your artistic work – your process, perspective, choice of media?

M:  Æon and I learnt about the platform at a conference in 2004. We were interested, but did not pursue it. After the New Year in 2007, we checked it out personally and were instantly engaged. We loved the visual and almost tactile nature of SL® and the emotions that rose and fell as we wandered, exploring freely – even though we had few skills. Soon, we had a home to decorate, and it was not long after that we discovered live music, art exhibits, classes for building, and groups for all kinds of interests including health and education. This exploration continues and we are constantly learning about the technology and how to use it to experience the expressions of others – and to express ourselves. I fell quickly to the camera and to writing, which I have always done. My RL work (called “Words & Pictures”) has found its way here, and I love that.

M: Inspiration is important to us at Ce Soir Arts. Where do you most often find the inspiration for your work? What about for your work in the BEACHES exhibit?

M: Inspiration abounds in this virtual wonderland – and, we hope, at Ce Soir Arts. Inspiration is the centrepiece of our work, and we aim to provide an environment of peace and beauty that will allow souls to rest and reflect. Whilst inspiration can come as a flash of bright light, striking instantaneously like lightning, it can also unfold more gently…and uniquely for each individual. It is that intensely personal – as well as the more open and shared – aspect of inspiration that we so value and wish to foster. I feel inspired at Ce Soir regularly – something will catch my eye as I turn a corner or take flight. Like the music, poetry, art, and theatre that are shared here, inspiration comes readily in this playground of dreams. The theme for SL12B was “What Dreams May Come”; you can see my work for it at The Oracle Parlour at Ce Soir Arts. When it comes to the joy I experience sharing art in SL, I must give thanks to artist Owen Landar who exhibited my work at his gallery and in his SL12B location that year. He encouraged me and, well, the rest is history!

M: How about the future? What do you forecast or dream for yourself in regards your artistic vision and other creative endeavours?

M: I will always make and acquire pretty things. I am a Libra in search of harmony and balance – and that includes every aspect of my life, in-world and out. I am so pleased that we were able to purchase one of the astounding artist Bryn Oh’s beautiful sculptures as a bronze in RL. The Dancer captures so much that I love about beauty and movement; it is a treasure indeed! (See more about this at Bryn’s website.) As an artist (and I finally do see myself as an artist), I will continue to write, take photographs, and share my work. I may bring some of my RL work in-world in future, but I’m pondering just how I wish to accomplish that, if so. I plan to continue to create spaces in SL for the artistic expression of myself and others, and have a couple of collaborative projects percolating in my mind and spirit. I don’t know what direction(s) all this will take, but I am eager to learn – and learn more about how to accomplish what dreams may come.

M: I enjoyed this process…it reveals some interesting things about myself I need to know and examine.

paula cloudpainter:

M: What started you off on the adventure of creating art in your life – in-world or otherwise? Was there a specific moment or experience that sparked your creative energies?

paula: I grew up around art and my very earliest memories involve creating art and feeling the joy and celebration in art. My mother was a painter and father an engineer who created mechanical drawings, so I was fortunate to have those influences in my life from the very beginning. As a child I drew every chance I could, and that has never changed. I studied painting, photography and design in college and I’ve been searching for amazing clouds and landscapes ever since. When I came to SL® and saw all of the wonderful art being created and music being played here, I wanted to join in and share my artwork with everyone.

M: What do you like best about the SecondLife® experience? How has it enriched or otherwise informed your artistic work – your process, perspective, choice of media?

I enjoy the immediacy and flexibility of working and showing my art in SL. I can create a painting in the morning and show it in a gallery in the afternoon if I choose. I can create art without being concerned about gravity or cost of materials or size. And my favorite part is sharing my work with the SL® community and the warm reception I’ve received. People seem to enjoy my clouds and my vision of the world. Part of my mission as an artist is to share with people different ways of looking at the sky.

M: Inspiration is important to us at Ce Soir Arts. Where do you most often find the inspiration for your work? What about for your work in the BEACHES exhibit?

paula: The sky provides endless inspiration for colors, textures and ideas. I watch clouds for hours to understand their movement and form. I find inspiration all around me … in the way light plays on a leaf or the way shadows fall on a mountainside. I also read a lot of philosophy and art journals and incorporate those into my work. The clouds in my paintings are often a metaphor for something that is going on in my life. My work often speaks of change. The watercolor featured in the Ce Soir BEACHES exhibit looks at the change involved in a couple of hours at a Cape Cod beach and utilizes a map, weather satellite imagery and several sketched views to speak to that change.

M: How about the future? What do you forecast or dream for yourself in regards your artistic vision and other creative endeavours?

paula: I will continue to explore color, light and movement using clouds as a vehicle. I’ll keep working in any medium that will convey what I want to say with my art….oil on canvas, watercolor, gouache, pastels, conte crayon, graphite, and ink…in addition to digital works on my computer and iPad. I’ve also played around with animations and will continue to do that. Through my creative expression i try to send out positive energy and by doing so, try to make the world…or at least my little corner of it…a better place. : )

M: paula, we have been so pleased to host your work in this exhibit. We love your expansive subject – clouds – and the very specific and lovely ways in which you express their beauty and import. Thank you for being part of the BEACHES Art Exhibit!

This series of interviews with the 12 artists exhibiting at the BEACHES Art Exhibit at Côte de la Mer Galerie & Lawn has been a true pleasure. We thank you for reading – and learning along with us! The BEACHES Art Exhibit will be open through Labor Day in the US; we will be happy to see you visiting as summer comes to a close itself. There are many events planned for autumn, and we look forward to that.

Come…and be inspired tonight!

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