THE ARTISTS: Eileen Blodgett
What is your career and your current job title? I am a painter-printmaker and teaching artist. I have also worked for years in multicultural settings. Right now I’m coordinator of a school mural project.
Describe in a sentence or two your art. I combine the painting and printmaking processes to create vibrant, water-media, one-of-a-kind prints. I also continue to paint in watercolor and acrylic.
How long have you been working in this discipline? For 25 years, I’ve worked with watercolor, aquarelle crayon, and various forms of printmaking such as etching, collograph and monoprint.
Why do you do it? I am happiest when I create and when I can share my experience with others.
What do you hope to accomplish? I express what I see to be the energies of objects in everyday life. Because of my multicultural life experiences, I have come to see the arts as a way to share our similarities and differences and create a deeper understanding of our humanity.
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? I believe my art message shifts, depending on what I am experiencing. For example, recently I’ve been working on interior settings and still-life images where the objects hold meaning or pay homage to an idea.
Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time vs. full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? My art is a full-time occupation, or as much as any job can be when you are also raising children. It is important to me to be as active as I can in their education and to offer what I can to support arts education at their schools.
What kind of special training did you take? If not, how did you learn the art techniques or processes? I have a B.S. in art education, M.A. in education and lots of postgraduate work in the visual arts. I’ve also studied abroad.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? Learning more ways to express myself and sharing my passion with others.
What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? It is very difficult to shift from right-brain activity to left-brain chores – from painting, for example, to balancing a checkbook or locating my daughter’s ever-disappearing retainer. It is a whole transformation of energy.
How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? Most days I spend five to six hours in my studio, but I also have school arts projects in process a couple of days a week.
Do you consider it hard work?
Sure, but I love it. I’m fortunate to have the freedom to do this.
Any other comments you’d like to include? Yes. Never underestimate the power of the arts. The arts are huge. They are central to being human. No matter how we progress as test-passers or techno-wizards, we need to stay human. I encourage everyone to stay connected to your humanity by creating. Make your own valentine, sing a love song, dance. Support creative arts and give financial support to groups like the Nevada County Arts Council. They help bring arts and educational programs to you and your children in your own community, so you can learn about and revel in the best of what humans are capable of creating, even while you are being served daily with fears about the tragedy that mankind can bestow on the world. “You Gotta Have Art …”
“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.
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