Friday, November 14, 2008

An Interview with Kelly Cormack

When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?I've been making things ever since I was little. I remember I used to draw images on paper and create taped-together t-shirts out of the images for my little sister. I also used to draw pictures on all the furniture, which drove my parents crazy. After embarking on different avenues such as journalism (not so successfully), I realized art school was where I should be.
What are your favorite materials to work with?I am mostly interested in texture and layers, and I love digging through different materials to reveal surfaces and colors. I love working on plywood with a router and collaging with different types of paper. Acrylic is my paint of choice as it's very versatile and dries quickly.
Describe a bit of your everything planned or sketched out before hand? Do you work on impulse?I never plan ahead of time. There is a process of discovery as I work, in revealing new layers and seeing what evolves. Sometimes an emotion or visual trigger will inspire me to start painting, but I tend to feel my way through. The very process of working out a problem in my art and discovering new things as I work is healing to me.
Where is your favorite place to work?I recently moved from my rental studio downtown to a studio I built in my apartment and I love it. Home is where my heart is and it makes it much easier to work in my busy schedule.
What inspires you?Emotion, memories, nature, and the stuggles, journeys, and 'coming of age' of people.
What artist, past or present, has inspired your work?An artist from Alberta, Peter Von Tiesenhausen, has always inspired my work. The way he draws upon nature and documents his journey is amazing ( I've also been inspired by artists such as Howard Hodgkin, whose work is based on memory and emotion, Antoni Tapies, and of course the American abstract expressionists. There are too many to mention!
Where do you see your work going in the next 10 years?I am pursuing a career in Social Work, to help people with addictions heal through art. I hope that I will still be focusing on my own art practice and that I will be inspired by the people I work with and by the things in my life. My working process is so unplanned that it is hard to say what the esthetic of my work will be, but I hope it will still be going strong.
What is the role of the Artist in our society?I think art is so personal that the role of the artist can come in many forms, all of which are important. I think that art can be a powerful tool for healing and finding out who you are. This can be a very personal thing, where an artist creates alone and uses their art as a diary at home in their studio, or it could take the form of expressing political messages, or it could take the form as an artist showing others how to express themselves and tap into their creativity. Overall, artists help people see the world in a new way.
Has selling art on-line been a success for you? Why?Selling online has been a great way to connect with other artists that I would not have had the opportunity to connect with otherwise, so in that way it has been successful. It has been a great networking tool, and a way to get my art 'out there'. I think there needs to be more exposure for visual artists online and I am learning some new promotion tools from the online artist community, which has helped me a lot.
How do you encourage people (or why would you encourage people) to buy Original Fine Art?I think that art can provoke such powerful feelings in people, and I encourage people to invest in what makes them feel good and what they connect with. Original art appreciates in value and I also think it's important to support artists.
Your biggest sale or commission was...When I was in school I sold 4 paintings to a well-known Canadian model agent who collects art from all over the world. That was pretty exciting.
Where do you sell your work?In local group shows and online.
See More of Kelly's Mixed Media art at


Mary said...

Very cool.. nice to learn more about other gallery united members :)