This week on MEET, I am able to share the amazing work of Ashely Peifer! I was able to see Ashely paint throughout a semester at college and it was such a treat. Her work is phenomenal and I hope to place a piece of her work in my home in the near future. I started this series about two months ago and it is definitely starting to evolve. From this point on, you’ll see more specific questions being asked to bring a greater understanding of what these incredible artists do! Enjoy this interview!
1. You’re an extraordinary painter. Have you always painted? When did you start? My mom would say I was painting faces when I was three, but I didn’t start seriously painting until junior year of college. I had a really discouraging art teacher when I was in sixth grade, so I lost my childhood dreams of becoming an artist until I was a sophomore in high school. I remember drawing a bird with Prismacolor colored pencils, and it looked just like the picture. That was probably the moment when I got my confidence back.
2. I know you, at one point, studied graphic design in college. What made you switch to fine arts? Well, two reasons. One: to get out of the Dreamweaver class that I needed to complete to graduate; Two: because I found something that I was so happy doing.
3. Do you still enjoy graphic design? What types of design projects do you still work with? I do love graphic design! I usually just help my friends and family with logos and business cards, but I still occasionally take on a client. I really appreciate good design, but it’s so nice to sit back and be on the other side of it sometimes.
4. What is your favorite type of paint to work with? I love watercolors, acrylics, oils…basically all of them. I love experimenting so my pieces usually end up being mixed media. If I don’t like the way a painting is going, I usually just cover it in gesso. That’s where my most interesting pieces come from, I think.
5. Do you have any other favorite types of materials? YES. I love collage, so I am always on the lookout for really cool old books to tear apart, antique stamps, and plenty of mechanical pencils for some nice line quality.
6. Your collages are some of the best I’ve ever seen, what does your process look like when you’re creating a new collage? There’s a lot of layering, tearing, sanding,painting, and strategic placement of items. It looks like a disaster zone when I’m collaging!
7. Who are your biggest influences? For inspiration, I study a lot of Cy Twombly’s scribbly paintings, Terry Winter’s collage-like paintings, Robert Rauschenberg’s collages, and the minimalist drawings and paintings of Richard Tuttle. Also, whether it’s subconscious or not, my best friend (Kayla Plosz) and favorite professor (Bruce Campbell) influence my style quite a bit.
8. Do you have goals for 2010 as an artist? What are they? YES. I’m trying to find balance between working 60 hours a week and still making time to paint and build frames. Also, I’ll be applying to grad school for my MFA in the fall, so I need to get everything together and write a killer purpose statement.