Artist Interview: Beanie Kaman

Artist: Beanie Kaman
Discipline: Visual Atist
State: California
Website http://www.beaniekaman.com

What is your current state of mind?
I am always hopeful, tho in this political climate I am more like an ostrich with my head in
the sand for sanity.

What is your greatest fear?
I don’t like small spaces.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“There you go”

When and where were you happiest?
My childhood home in Simsbury Connecticut was an idyllic farm that I loved, but my time in
Santa Fe, NM was my happiest ever.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish that I could play music well – piano, guitar and singing.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to be less shy and afraid of people.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I consider being an artist all my life a great achievement.

Do you have a “greatest regret”?
nope

What is your motto?
Always try to do your best with compassion and kindness

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Did you have a mentor? How was that?
William Wondriska – He was my first boss when I got out of art school. He is a graphic
designer, who went to Yale, and crossed both worlds of design and fine art. He encouraged
and understood my desire to be a painter, even as I was working in a graphic design
capacity for him It was through him that I was able to gain enough strength and self
confidence to push myself to do the work of finding out who I am as an artist/painter.

What makes you uniquely you as an artist and person?
Geez, what a tough question. I should like to think that my way of observing the world and
representing it in multiple forms of artwork back to the viewers, with compassion and
beauty, is distinctly mine.

What 5 words would you use to describe your artwork?
Beauty, nature, joy, spirit, and mystery would be my words to live by.

What is your dream project?
At this point, I would love to fill a large room with fabric pieces that hang both from the walls
and from the ceilings too.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be true to yourself.

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and Why?
A cat of any sort. I love their agility – to climb to high places to observe. To be playful and
loving, but also to be removed and on your own as you see fit.

Describe your favorite color to somebody who is blind.
Blue is etherial. It can be dark as night, or pale as a whisper. It is our universe, our sky – the
air around us.

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What was your most memorable aha! art moment?
Seeing Jackson Pollack’s “Autumn Rythmn” for the first time and knowing this was what I
wanted to do. Painting big, loose and wild.

Tell us about your current body of work?
My current body of work involves multiple media. I am working on a base of linen fabric,
hanging as a scroll. Using collage as the primary structure, I incorporate papers and fabrics
that I have collected all my life to create an overall image that can reference our natural
world and lives. I paint, embroider and sew the elements together in an effort to make
images that we can all recognize, to remind us of how similar we are together.

How has your style and practice changed over the years?
The practice of making art is continual and ever changing, with the only constant being the
actual “doing”, the making of art. I am always trying to find the ability to combine what my
mind is imagining with what my hand is capable of doing. I think only after years of work,
can one begin to see who they really are – of how certain images and movements reappear
consistently and unconsciously. I don’t think that my basic style has changed over the years,
just my ability to refine it, finding way to make it clearer. It’s all about the constant work.

Where do you see yourself going from here forward in your artistic explorations?
I have always said that the beauty of being an artist is that you never have to “retire”. It is
your job for life. It is endless, and one idea leads to another. The joy is following the trail.


Artist Bio / Statement

My artwork looks to find the beauty and joy in life. I search for that sense of wonder in nature and how we can exist so tenuously on this planet. I focus on the grace and spirituality of humankind from a desire to keep it alive within the difficult world that we live.  

I work in a mixed media, combining sewing, painting and drawing. Using images as metaphors to represent the eternity of life brings the suggestion of the familiar and ever present in our lives. Flowers, cups, and markings are a part of my vocabulary that reference our being part of life on earth. With collage as a basis for each artwork, I incorporate paper, fabric and maps that I have collected over the years.   Because of the personal elements within the work, each piece could be interpreted biographically, as places that I have visited or references to home and family.

My greatest interest is how we all share the most basic needs despite our cultural differences. We are all the same at the base of our existence. Ultimately, through the sewing, weaving and blending of materials and images, there is a reflection of how similar we all are in the world, a unity that reminds us of the simplicity of life.


Image Specs

1.

Title: New Year’s Day
Dimensions: 36″x24″
Medium: mixed media on linen
2.
Title: Nocturne For G.K.
Dimensions: 50″x28″
Medium: mixed media on linen
3.
Three Upload:
Image Title: Flag For All People
Dimensions: 34.5″x50.5″
Medium: mixed media on linen
Image Three

 

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