Friday, September 12, 2008

Artist Profile - Sister, Sister

When choosing an artist to be the first profiled on this blog, there was only one choice for me, my sister, Lynn McGovern ( Lynn is many things--a fantastic sister, dance partner, friend, mother, and AMAZING glass artist. Besides all that, Lynn is the person that has most inspired me in my life to persue my interests in art and jewelry design. I have learned so much from her, and we have collaborated and partnered for many years. Lynn lives in Traverse City, Michigan with her son Ben, and is the original founder of Beadkeepers. Lynn creates amazing beads and jewelry from lampwork glass and is currently exploring architectural/sculptural glass. Thanks, Lynn, I can't wait to see what you do next!

KM: When did you know you wanted to be an "artist"?

LM: I can't remember a time when I didn't find it extraordinary to learn how to take something and turn it into something else. I'll date myself here, and remember how much I loved "Tot-Lot", a program held at a local park. Bored teenagers would teach us how to make pot holders from fabric bands and flowers from tissue paper. I think that you look at the world differently when you have that creative streak. Driftwwod, stones, feathers, and beach glass become ingredients or a palette for an expression of your heart. I do remember my third grade teacher asking me if she could keep a still life drawing that I did to show to future students. It was defining for me to be told that I had a talent, when at that point I just thought everybody loved to draw.

KM: What inspires you?

LM: My inspiration comes from so many sources, but my message is always to honor "all our relations". To express my love and energy for all of creation. This changes with the seasons, the times, and my own place in the universe today.

KM: What is your favorite medium and why?

LM: Glass, glass, glass. For many years now I have been involved in some sort of a relationship with glass. Stained glass in the 70's, glass beads in the 80's and 90's and then I found out how to melt and form my own lampwork glass beads. Glass is light. It reflects, refracts, and transmits light. Like a painter who will tell you that painting a picture is painting light, working with glass is dancing with light.

KM: Who are your favorite artists and how do they inspire you?

LM: My favorite glass artists are my beloved teachers. Loren Stump--a true master of the flame. Kimberly Fields, whose beads mimic the natural world she loves with astounding acuracy. Sharon Peters, who manages to bring her wonderfully twisted sense of humor into her glass creations. Emile Galle' has managed to put his dreams into glass in the 1800's, and his work takes my breath away. My sister Karen's work continues to amaze me. She takes me back to my initial wonder of taking something and turning it into something else, limited only by imagination.

KM: What does the term ART mean to you? Expression? Interpretation? Therapy?

LM: All of the above and I would include to honor and explore.

KM: What are you working on right now?

LM: I recently purchased a condo in a historical 19th century insane asylum that is being redeveloped into an incredible village of residents and retail. This "Kirkbride" building was built with the idea that "Beauty is Therapy". The architecture is stunning, full of mosaic marble floors, 20 ft. ceilings, and--my personal favorite--peaked spires that were included in the building design to intake fresh air. I am intriqued by the spires and spend as much time as I can up inside them, mesmerized by the fantastic views of Northern Michigan. They have inspired me to create "spire" beads. Tricky architectural details challenge me technically, and I love that challange.

KM: What is your studio/workspace like? Neat? Controlled chaos?

LM: My studio space is a place where most would wonder how I manage to accomplish anything! But, it is a place where in all the mess, I know where everything lives.

KM: What is your favorite tool/gadget/gizmo? You know, the thing/tool you love to use, that makes your work easier, better, fun, etc.--could be anything, even music. For me it's my ridiculously oversized electrical repair soldering gun.

LM: I love my oxygen/propane torch. My torch is an extention of my hands. Music is a constant, can't work without it.

KM: Tell us a little bit about your perspective on the link between art and nature.

LM: I looked up the definition of nature to answer this. ( I love my dictionary). Webster's says that nature is the "realm of the living". Art reflects that. Art honors that. There isn't a day that Nature doesn't offer me an inspiration to create. There isn't a day that I am not grateful for that.

KM: What advice/encouragement can you give to struggling artists in the world?

LM: Keep struggling!!! If you have the urge, need, inspiration to create then you will not be happy unless you do.

1 comment:

allison strine said...

What a super interview! Your work is beautiful, both of you!