THE ARTISTS: Stephanie Boyd
What is your career and current job title? Fine artist – the starving variety. I use acrylic, oil, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, graphite and ink to give visual expressions of life.
Describe your art in a sentence or two: My techniques and styles include impressionism, cubism, expressionistic pieces, as well as many surreal and abstract works.
How long have you been working in this discipline? Since 1984, or 18 years.
Why do you do it? I ask myself this question quite often, since making a living isn’t easy. Gee, if I were a lawyer or a doctor with the amount of hours and work I’ve put in, I’d have made a comfortable living. I feel frustrated and depressed often, for what I intend to express doesn’t come out the way I want it to or I don’t like what I’ve done. Most everyone expresses interest and positive views of my work – I guess that’s what keeps me going. It is also a substitute for my first love and means of artistic expression – dance. I had a very promising career, which was cut short by an accident. At first I used visual art for its therapeutic qualities, but then I discovered that my powerful creative impulses had an outlet.
What do you hope to accomplish? I’ve had a variety of goals over the course of my career. I thought to leave the artistic profession and seek out a normal living and life, but my heart wouldn’t let me. I felt as if I were giving up and that I had a responsibility to art in itself. Art is a visual communication of ourselves, our everyday culture and lives. I feel and know I have something to offer.
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive? I have a wide range of messages. I’ve done many pieces concerning recent world wars and political strife. These pieces express the horror, pain and insanity of recent world events. Some works are concerned with social issues: inner- city violence and decay, environmental issues, depression and alcoholism. Then I have another focus which expresses the joys of life: love, friendship, beauty, tranquility.
Where do you want to be with your art? I’m in recovery from a serious medical condition (copper toxicity). I’m just now getting my life back together, and am looking forward to continued creative production in a variety of media. In the past, I’ve shown in many U.S. cities, Europe, Canada and the former Russian Soviet state and bloc countries. I plan to get back to where I was before my career was derailed.
What kind of special training did you have? My first experience with art was part of my therapy and rehabilitation program after the abrupt end of my dance life. I then went to a junior college, where I was strongly encouraged to pursue a career in art. I then went to the University of California at Santa Cruz, but I never completed my degree. Instead, I traveled Europe in order to directly study and learn from the great works of art.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? Manifesting beauty and a higher aesthetic. I have a platonic world view so I believe that a work of art exists metaphysically and eternally, and that the artist brings a work of art into material existence.
What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? The money. I’m having a hard time making a living at it, at the moment.
How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? Oh, I wish it were much more. I’m a mother, and I’m still weak and fatigue easily. I actually spend more time on various research projects, cataloging, photographing and promotion, than actual art production at present.
Do you consider it hard work, and could anyone do it? It requires intense concentration, clarity of thought and intention, discipline and courage. I strongly encourage everyone to explore the visual arts as a means of self-discovery, emotional expression, and psychiatric and spiritual therapy.
Any other comments you’d like to include? I painted for the Wynton Marsalis jazz concert last November. This was my first big production since 1992 – REALLY! I’ll continue to paint for other Wynton Marsalis (concerts) and other jazz concerts -one in Toronto in the next few months.
Some of Stephanie Boyd’s paintings are on display at Northern Mines Gold Works, 105 Mill St., Grass Valley.
“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.
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