In the Studio with Yvonne Jongeling
What does a day in your art practice look like?
A day in my art practice starts with a pot of black apricot tea and loud music playing from my computer’s speakers, usually the Pet Shops Boys. I prefer having a few art works in progress and I bounce in between them all, especially when I need to wait for paint or glue to dry. My pieces are multi-media, so I am constantly using all kinds of materials. I continue to paint/draw/sculpt/research on them all until I feel I can do no more for the day. In between studio work sessions, I think and think and think about my pieces. In my head, I ask myself all kinds of questions like, “Where can I find a x-ray film?” “What color order should I use?” “How can I sculpt a waffle?” All in order to figure out how to make a successful piece that works with all of its parts. More often than not, my thinking will result in solutions to the daily problems I experience in my studio. How’s that for happiness?
What would life be like without art?
There wouldn’t be any life if life is without art. Art is all around us from how your glasses are designed to the color of the sky. Art is impossible to escape from and all one can do is live in art’s celebration, moment to moment. Life is art. Your life is art. My life is my art with all of its beauty. Art is simply everywhere.
What is the hardest part of creating your art?
Honestly, the hardest part of creating my art is getting down into my studio without distracting myself from life’s daily chores or other things I love to do like stitching or hanging with my family, friends and dog. I am very graced and cursed to have a fabulous art studio at home. Once I am down there, I am good to go and usually stay focused and make a big splattered mess.
What inspires you?
Going to museums and galleries, and artist talks inspire me to think about, write about and then create artworks. I live in Los Angeles where there are more galleries, museums and lectures than I can ever possibly visit or participate in. Oftentimes, I bring a fellow artist friend with me to discuss and analyze what we see and experience. I love art history, and seeing how art history influences current artists and their practices is very exciting and influential.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
Creating my artwork, watching it evolve and transform daily inspires me and keeps me interested in my artwork. If I am not physically creating my art, I am constantly thinking about it. Many of my pieces evolve from a list of some sort. Completing the list is very satisfying and motivating because it means an artwork is finished. Some of my pieces take months to complete, so when a list is done to my satisfaction, it’s time to have a party.
How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
Many of my artworks are all about moments in time that I personally experience and have written about in journals or lists. Moments are reconfigured or recreated in a variety of mixed media including paint, clay, nail polish, recycled materials, wood and photographs. A quote by artist William Baziotes reflects on my art philosophy, “My paintings are my mirrors. They tell me what I am like at the moment.”
How do you make the leap from an idea in your head to the action you produce?
Ideas in my head become actions I produce by writing down lists of memories and personal experiences. Sometimes I will journal about experiences in my life, which will later become artworks. Once a list is completed, I look it over and pick the moments that are the most interesting to me and start laying out those ideas on a grid, which will later become a mixed media painting taking many months to complete.