I caught up with Missy two weeks ago and bemoaned how far away her studio is and what a terrible friend I am for not having visited. In the meantime, I asked her to text me photos of what she was working on in the studio. She had told me about these massive panels she was working on covered in train tickets from when she lived in Salerno, Italy and I was dying to see a sneak peek. Once she sent the pictures, (a very happy surprise in the middle of a mundane work day), I started asking her questions. Then, the spark of an idea: what if we did a micro-interview all via text !?
And so we did.
This is just a transcript of our conversation. Although I did flirt with the idea of actually including our screenshots, I decided to spare the general public from our inability to use autocorrect correctly and typed our exchange.
Do you listen to music when you paint? If so, what?
Absolutely I do! I listen to a pretty wide variety ..! Used to get into the old-school classics like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, or Johnny Cash while I painted, but now Pandora keeps me pretty entertained.. My favorites today are Blind Pilot and Wild Sweet Orange. You like them? I adore them, so deeply.
I’ve never heard them! Will put that on my list.
Oh do it — it’s comfort for my soul. It’s the cosy flannel and warm cappuccino of the music world for me, you know?
Do you have to prepare at all before you start? Or do you just pick up a brush…
I change into a paint shirt, shoes, leggings, and prepare to get nice and dirty. Then I pick up a brush. Sometimes I sit and stare at a piece for a good ten minutes and just think first. It really is like a conversation, actually … gosh this sounds so lame .. but I feel like I have to listen well before I start talking.
Is it always a continuum from the state of mind you were in where you left off? Or do you approach it with a new prospective every time?
Usually a new perspective emotionally, but not mentally. I usually can check in or out mentally, but my emotional or spiritual state can help but affect my painting and studio time. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes super detrimentally. Ha.
Do you find that your work develops an emotional tint based on that? Would you look at a work and feel a specific emotion?
Hmmm — yes. That’s a hard one, because I know what I was feeling when I made the thing. I remember the emotional status of my life when I made the piece and it is hard for me to detach that from the work itself sometimes. I do wonder if I ever really see my own work like someone else would.
Okay this is a vague and potentially difficult one. Do you have a specific message in mind ? And if so.. who are you trying to reach ? Is the goal to communicate something ?
No, I don’t have a specific message in mind in terms of how I hope my work to be perceived. But I do have a specific thought and process in my own mind as I am working and experiencing the piece in process. I think my goal is just to enjoy and take pleasure in what I make, and hope that it engages the minds and imaginations of others as much as the inspiration at hand has entertained mine. So I guess the goal isn’t to communicate something specific, the goal is to simply communicate.
text : vv
photos : Missy Cargo
date : March 2013