Thursday, December 31, 2015

Interview with Helen DeRamus

The Wild Wild West by Helen De Ramus

1. Who are you and what do you do, and what is your background?

Atlanta is my hometown. I graduated from Emory at Oxford in the extended program and then from Emory University in history and art history. My art history concentration in Asian art set the tone for my career in art. I taught in Savannah after graduating then moved to Englewood, New Jersey, where I taught and began studio courses. Returning to Atlanta in 1979, my interest in photography (my dad’s influence) took me to the SE Center for the Photographic Arts studying with Buck Miller, Larry White and Neil Chaput de Saintonge. I created a commercial photography business which I ran for the next ten years. When I began critique sessions with Joseph Perrin, he encouraged me to combine paint and photographs, so here I am. I continue to combine photography and paint.

2. What's integral to your art and or art career?

Experimentation is integral to my art and I think of style as eclectic.

The Storm Warning by Helen DeRamus

3. What themes do you pursue and what medium do you use?

I am on a journey and the idea of “moving focus” in Chinese art informs my work with the landscape. For me to be successful means combining three important elements: hand, eye and heart. The odd shapes in nature always call to me, realizing that in nature, there is always the infinite. I use a variety of mediums including encaustic, oil and wax, lith crayon and India ink working on wooden panels, canvas, and paper.

4. What makes you angry, what makes you happy?

Intolerance makes me angry and working in the studio makes me happy...many things make me happy..too many to list.
A Thin Red Line by Helen DeRamus

5. Who and what inspire you in your work and or in your life in general?

The natural world inspires me. I experience intense pleasure through my eyes and sense of touch. There is something new to see everyday.

6. What superpower would you want?

X-ray vision, no doubt.

7. What is your favorite artists and or other person?

I admire and get inspiration from so many artists many of whom I know well. But I can point to Giacometti who inspires me to value process, Annie Dilliard for her capacity to see the whole landscape and appreciate the tiniest creatures. Robert MacFarlane describes the landscape in a way that helps me appreciate the history and “feel” of the landscape and Julie Mehretu whose large complex works inspire me to imagine the possibilities of a new way to see.

8. What advice would you give to other artists?

Value your work. Make connections with artists you trust to keep you honest. Work as much as you can because your inspiration comes from working. Be open to learning from other artists you admire.

9. Contact details 
And Then Into The Sky by Helen DeRamus