Georgia Youngs - Featured Artist for March 2011

Reaching Up, 24" x 36", Acrylic on Canvas

Which artistic media do you prefer to work in and why? 

There are 2 mediums I love to work in. Soft pastels is my first love, as you can draw and used colour all the same time. It is still the medium I use in my drawing classes.  But I discovered acrylics about 20 years ago and now use it exclusively. I find it best suits my style and personality.

With which past or contemporary artists or artworks do you, as an artist, feel a connection? What is it that draws you to them? 

When I teach, I refer to a wide variety of old and contemporary masters, so find that I do not have any particular artist that stands out as an influence. 

What process or technique in art-making interests you?

In using acrylics and to some extent soft pastels, I use a glazing method of overlapping values and tones to achieve an intensity and depth of colour.

What technical challenges do you face in the process of making art?

I have been using acrylics for many years, so there is not too much of the technical aspect that I have not mastered so feel very comfortable using them.

What in your artistic training do you value most at this time?

I am a self taught artist so I would have to say at this time in my life I probably value most the contact I have with my students. They, as I remind them during their struggles, keep me on my toes when I try and find new creative ways to help them. In this way I learn about new methods I can use myself.

How much of a role do accident and control play in your work?

At this time in my life I say ‘control’ plays the bigger role in my work, although there are always those ‘happy accidents’ that make the piece.

What are some of your artistic challenges at present?

My most artistic challenge is finding the time to paint because I am teaching so much.

What are some of your artistic accomplishments at present?

Although there have been many accomplishments during my artistic journey, and I’ve received many awards and accolades, I get the best feeling when someone says those magic words: “I want to buy that painting.” Nothing beats the feeling that a perfect stranger would love to hang your effort on their walls for all to see.

Can you share three things you’ve learned as an artist through your own art?

Oh my, only 3 things. They would be, paint what you love to paint. Be patient with yourself. Never take rejection as validation of your work.

When you need inspiration, how to do you get it?

I am inspired daily as I see the world around me. A germ of an idea is planted in my head and slowly matures into a project. I will think about what I want to do for months and when I feel I have a strong idea of what I want to do, I start drawing and painting.

When you need to learn more as an artist, how do you do it?

This is an awkward question. I don’t think we can consciously know what we want to learn unless we are actively involved in a project. For example, when approached to do a wall mural, I then researched how to go about it.  

What is exciting on your artistic horizon?

Two things. One being involved in the Artist in our Midst for the first time and the other is that I am developing my own art school for children. Besides teaching regular after school art classes, I’ve also developed a successful remedial program that help very young children who have poor pencil grips, lack focus and fidget.

What is it about this artwork that led you to choose it for this feature? What specific challenges did you face in making this artwork?

The piece shown was all about my desire to see if I could create an interesting painting with a main theme of leaves. I wanted to explore the wide variety of green tones and how within a few inches create perspective. After I realized that  the plant I had chosen for its leaves started to sprout white Calla Lily flowers, I faced the challenge to rename the project from the ‘Green project’ to the ‘Green and White’ project. Then I discovered that the lily signifies the rebirth of life, so the whole project was renamed again as the ‘Green Earth’ project. It shows how painting is an adventure with always different surprises.