Saturday, 24 March 2007

Interview with Ellen Groth Reddie (Artoony)

q)Tell me something about yourself..What's your background...?

a)I'm a Norwegian but now living in the UK.I grew up in Norway, mostly in Oslo but I also spent some years in the north of Norway.I started painting drawing and very early and I tried to sell paintings to the local shops from the age of 10. I think the buyers were being polite!I left home quite young as I wanted to explore the world - always looking for the unusual and exotic.I travelled slowly across most of Europe and on the USA for several years, taking whatever work I could find which all adds to the fun of life!I was in Berlin for quite a while - a very exciting city with lots of art and inspiration.

q)When growing what was the greatest force pushing you towards art?
a)Escapism! I think the cold and darkness of the long Norwegian winters inspired me to create my own colourful fantasy world.Norway is a beautiful country but rather too quiet for me!

q)Were you inspired/encouraged by any one person to pursue your craft?

a)My parents were always proud of me and showed off my drawings to friends and relatives but my inspiration came mostly from dreaming.Later on when I went to art school in Oslo I was inspired and encouraged by my teacher - a lecherous sod but aren't all artists!!!

q)How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?

a)I tell them it's surreal pop art, or maybe cartoon style pop art with a touch of surrealism in some cases.

q)Are there certain colours, shapes that you're drawn to?

a)I am definitely a blue person, I love blue and use it a lot but I use all colours to create a happy positive feeling.I like smooth shapes and I always use a black line around the shapes, which gives the cartoon effect of course.

q)What other talent would you like most to have?

a)I really wish I had a musical talent and also that I had much better technical skills, but I never stop learning!

q)What are your favourite mediums to work in/on?

a)I have been painting with oil and also on silk which I really enjoyed, in fact I was painting individual dots with a very fine brush - pixels as they became when computers arrived!I also used to make large "sculptures" with papier-mâché which was messy, but great fun.More recently I have moved to my Apple Mac as my main tool, though I do still paint on canvas too.I currently create most of my pictures as free hand drawings on the computer and I then print them up on canvas or paper.

q)What artists influence or have influenced you(these need not be visual artists)and how have they done so?

a)Lots of artists - Chagall, Nolde, Gauguin, Dali and Magritte to name a few of the big ones.I am of course also a big fan of Lichtenstein and the whole pop art movement appealed to my rebellious nature.

q)What non-visual art interest you and does this have an impact on your art?

a)I love experimental theatre, and dance, film noire and animations.Music like Bjork and Nina Hagen and dark or twisted books - Roald Dahl's being an obvious example, another Norwegian who escaped!!!

q)What do you think about artists using the Internet as a forum for sharing their work?

a)If you are not very famous it's the easiest way to get exposure, but I sometimes regret that I can't get the size and vigour of my work across on a small screen.I use the internet to share my work all the time, it is part of modern life.

q)What is your favourite toy,game or other artefact from your youth(and do you still own it)?

a)My play-dough - though long gone.

q)Got any new projects planned?

a)My current project is to sell enough to get all of my pictures printed on large canvasses so I can exhibit a collection of them together at full size.

q)What advice can you give to other artists to help them improve their chances of survival in this global village we call our home?

a)Just don't give up keep on working and enjoy what you are doing. But I'm new to all this and not really the person to speak from experience...

q)Favourite books/authors?

a)I have enjoyed so many books and it is hard to choose a favourite but the one that recently impressed me most was The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri.

q)Favourite music?

a)I really like a lot of different music from classic to electronic and experimental.But as I mentioned somewhere else in this interview I like Bjork and she is somewhere on the top of my list.

q)What do you fear most?

a)In general I think the effects of global warming, with endless words rather than global action, are pretty scary. Maybe not for us but for future generations.I used to be impressed by the USA, but not any more...
q) Your contacts.


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