Next up in our ArtWalk Ventura 2016 Artist Spotlight series are is a mother & daughter team, Phyllis Gubins and Jen Livia. For this year's event, they will be exhibiting their own PODS Gallery. The exhibit is titled "Synergy" and is a collaboration of watercolors and acrylics.
This is a series where we highlight some of the many talented artists participating in this year's event. It is your chance to sit with an artist and learn about their medium, how they find their inspiration and get a quick glimpse of some of their work. It doesn't matter if they are an ArtWalk vet or if this is their first year; a painter, a poet, or a photographer- these brief Q&A's will cover it all!
So take some time and get to know Phyllis and Jen...
How did you both come to be artists?
Phyllis: We have both been creative throughout our lives. When Jen was a kid we would make quilts together, designing patterns and playing with color, when she got a little older we created stained glass windows together (over 200 in total). It was the moment we held the window up to the light that it really came to life, there was a magic in the not knowing how it was all going to look and the beauty that happened when it all come together that continued to inspire us to create more.
In your eyes, what does ArtWalk Ventura bring to the community?
Phyllis: ArtWalk highlights the diversity and vibrance of Ventura’s art community and the many working artists that call our town home. The event brings a community focus to the magic of art and its importance in our lives.
What are your favorite memories from the past years of ArtWalk?
Jen: We came to a Ventura ArtWalk back in 2005 before we decided to open a gallery and before we moved to Ventura. We were inspired by the passion that the Ventura community has for the arts and the diversity. It was after we saw the vibrant art scene in Ventura that we realized this was the place we could call home. We decided to open our own art gallery to share our art and the other talented artists work with the community.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Phyllis: This is the first year we have decided to create a series of works that speak to each other. We have chosen a common theme and over the past year have been creating pieces of work that plays off of one another while holding our own style. We usually share our space with a wide variety of artists, but by having a PODS Gallery we are able to focus on just the two of us and our relationship as artists and a mother/ daughter team.
How would you define your creative process?
Jen: I love painting in acrylics and find my inspiration everywhere, I am always looking to the clouds, the colors of the sky and the shapes of the shadows and everything around me to find my next painting. When I sit down to design my next painting all of these moments come into play and mix into my new adventure in paint.
Phyllis: Some of the ideas evolve out of past projects, from the world around and from looking at what others are doing. When I sit down to paint I like to design my painting before I begin and then let the magic of the watercolors do the rest. I leave some of the painting to chance exploring a variety of techniques and let the medium dance across the page, it is in these moments of randomness that the real life of the painting comes together.
When do you know when a work is complete?
Jen: Once I think my painting is complete I like to leave it on my easel which lives in my kitchen and walk by it for a few days to see what catches my eye as good or bad. I like to live with the pieces seeing it in a variety of light to decide how I feel about the piece.
Phyllis: You never really know a painting is complete until you take it away from everything else around it and separate it from the creative mess. Once I put a mat around the paining I can crop and modify and move it around until I see what I was trying to create, it may not be what I initially thought it would be but that is when the magic becomes its own and I know it is done.
If you weren't working in your current medium, what type of artist would you be?
Phyllis: We have both explored a variety of mediums from photography to various forms of paintings to glass and fiber and have found our passion in what we do now.
What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
Jen: We are excited to focus on the various passions we encounter along the way, having time to paint from the heart and constantly share this passion with our students. We are both on a constant quest to learn something new and push our creative/ painting passions to a new level.
How else are you involved in the Ventura/805 community?
Phyllis: We help create about 15 different large community events within the 805 community each your. We started with our art gallery and after 4 years we created Paint Ventura, an art festival featuring 40 artists each Spring. We are a part of the Ventura Marathon and Beach Party planning/ production team, working with over 4,000 participant and the whole community to create a weekend event beyond a traditional race. Our lives are intertwined with the community working on projects that impact and inspire our community.
We also work with the kids at Ventura High and the Boys and Girls clubs to paint utility boxes around town. We teach with the Children’s Celebration of the Art and have been teaching in the community both adults and children since 2007.
Where do you want your work to take you in the next year? And beyond?
Jen: I love to learn new techniques and am constantly exploring something I have never painted before, I love the challenge of learning so I am always picking something new to challenge myself with. The next project I plan on exploring paintings dancers focusing on movement, rhythm and a balanced between abstract and the realistic.
Phyllis: I love exploring how watercolors work and their interaction with one another, currently I am working on new techniques that I can imagine being applied to a verity of subject and I plan on exploring where they take me next.
Found out more details on Phyllis and Jen's PODS Gallery here.