Featured Artist: Camille Gerrick

Featured Artist: Camille Gerrick

May 2019 Featured Artist - Camille Gerrick
Featured Artist: Camille Gerrick

This month’s featured artist is Camille Gerrick! We were instantly drawn to Camille’s vibrant, colorful art and positive affirmations she incorporates into many pieces and had to learn more about her. Visit her Instagram as well as her website to see more uplifting art! Add some color and positive vibes to your life by purchasing her art on her Etsy page.

Website: https://www.camilovescolor.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cami.loves.color
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/camilovescolor

From Camille: "I’m Camille, and I live in Virginia with my husband and two children. My artwork is heavily inspired by nature – from the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and starry nights, to the sunny days and thunderstorms of my childhood home in Florida. Above all, the rainbow holds a special significance for me as a symbol of hope and love. I discovered Royal Brushes years ago because they are readily available at many local art stores. I initially purchased them for the price-point, but have always been pleased with the quality. I continue to buy Royal brushes because they have held up so well over the years in comparison to other brands."

Q: When and how did you start out as an artist?

A: To be honest, I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything else. From a young age I was always drawing and creating. My mom is a retired teacher, and she had boxes of special markers that she used for making illustrations for her classroom. I would sit with her at our kitchen table and make my own drawings while she worked. In elementary school I started a little business making and selling macramé friendship bracelets to other kids on the playground, and later on in high school I was involved with art club. Life took me in a different direction for many years. My daughter Ember was born in 2017 and she was just the happiest and sleepiest baby. While I was home with her on maternity leave I rededicated myself to art and started learning watercolor and lettering. It’s been a growing obsession since then.

Q: Who are some artists that inspired your work?

A: When I was in high school, I was fortunate to see an art glass display by Dale Chihuly at a local museum. I was completely in awe of the wild shapes, bright colors, and size of his work! Another of my favorite artists is Josie Lewis. She inspires me because she is so liberal with her use of materials. From her I learned that there is no such thing as wasting paint. Even a “failed” painting is part of your learning process as an artist. Amanda Evanston is another artist that I look up to, she is also so fun and free with paint application and uses a lot of splattering to create interesting backgrounds for her work. She even has an online workshop on using spaghetti to paint florals!

Q: Can you describe your painting style and why you pursue it?

A: Over the past two years, I’ve been on a journey of discovering my artistic voice. I’m realizing that painting is a way for me to relax and reset and I really crave that playtime in the studio. I love experimenting with different mediums and techniques like water coloring, abstract acrylic, alcohol ink, you name it. I’m inspired by nature – but I want to capture that in a fun, whimsical way.

Q: What is your dream project?

A: I’d love to work in larger scale! My dream project would be to do a massive installation of hundreds of pieces on a big blank wall! Rainbow-themed, of course!

Q: What is your preferred medium to work with?

A: Oh, that’s a tough choice between acrylic and watercolor. I love watercolor because it’s so portable and I love watching the pigments push each other around in unpredictable ways on the paper. But I enjoy acrylic because I like experimenting with different mediums, application techniques, and textures.

Q: Can you describe your creative process?

A: My studio time is my self-care time to chill and relax. I like to get some wine, put on music, and loosen up by painting gradients or patterns in watercolor. I use these pieces later for fun lettering backgrounds. Lately, I’ve been experimenting a lot more with acrylics, a medium I once found impossible to work with. A unique part of my process is that I paint on palette paper. I feel there is less of a mental hurdle to create something “good” when I’m working on paper vs birch panel. If I don’t like the painting, I paint over it, no big deal! When these paintings are dry, I peel the dried paint off the palette paper. The underside is always a fun surprise of swirling colors. I’ve been doing a lot of work lately with cutting up the acrylic films to make new works.

Q: What road blocks (if any) did you overcome to get to where you are now?

A: I feel that overcoming my introversion and fear of rejection has been a hurdle for me. I’ve always been kind of shy and secretive about my art, which of course isn’t conducive to building an art business! Last year, my friend encouraged me to run a booth at school craft fair to sell my lettering pieces. I did a LOT of research on how to create a successful display and engage shoppers. I ended up really enjoying myself and felt that my strategy worked well. I’ve come to realize that actively seeking opportunities (and getting turned down) is just part of the process. I remind myself that a rejection isn’t personal and it really just means that you are taking advantage of available opportunities.

Q: What one piece of advice would you offer to an artist just starting out?

A: Make an artist friend, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. My best friend, Kelly, is also an artist (www.ksnartistry.com), and we work together to hunt for opportunities. We’ve connected with local businesses and had success in scheduling solo exhibits with restaurants around town. I was surprised to find out how many artisan shops and galleries are around the area where we live, which host open calls to sell work or participate in group exhibits. Its great to have a friend who speaks the same language so that we can brainstorm project ideas and provide each other with constructive feedback.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

A: Show up and practice! Try to create something every day, even if it fails. Experimenting with your materials is the best way to learn what works.

Q: What are some of your favorite Royal & Langnickel brushes?

A: I’m a huge fan of the Zen series. I like the variety of shapes and bristles offered, and the sleek silver design. I do my best to take care of my brushes but every once in a while, I slip up. I appreciate a brush that can take a beating or get left in a water cup overnight without the ferrule rusting or the handle splitting. My kids also have a set of Soft-Grip brushes, which have held up well to their scrubbing and stabbing painting techniques!

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