The Norcross Art Fest is just around the corner for Oct. 6-7, and Norcross Patch is profiling different vendors for the 2012 festival.
Emmy Dudley is a returning Norcross fest artist who creates mixed media pieces that are sepia-toned, yet colorful. Before the fest, Patch asked her about her inspiration, pieces of work and heroes.
Under what genre is your art classified as? Honestly, I'm not exactly sure the technical genre... maybe someone else can tell me. I paint mostly acrylic on wood and consider the majority of my work mixed-media paintings as I also use in many of them newspaper, wax markers and an oil-based finish.
Most of my work is figurative in nature. I especially enjoy painting people (women in particular) and animals. I notice lately that I'm drawn to painting couples, whether it's a pair of pandas, cats, antelopes, a man & woman, two friends, a girl with something… a flower, a bird, kite or balloon. Two of something seems to be a theme in my work right now. It was interesting to step back and see this happening without conscious intent on my part.
How would you describe your art to a complete stranger? I would add to what I said above that my art is finely crafted, whimsical, sepia-toned, yet colorful, stylized and unique. I'd give them a card and invite them to check out my website- emmyart.com.
I paint art that makes me happy. And to hear from my collectors that they feel the same way when they look at their emmyart everyday is so wonderful and exactly the point... the mission of my art [is] to make other people smile and feel good.
How long have you been producing art? For about 20 years.
How did you first get started in art? After graduating from UGA in '92 with a bachelor's in Fine Arts & Journalism, I worked many odd jobs and wasn't quite sure where to focus my energy until I quickly became obsessed with painting. I spent all my extra money on paint and brushes, did some dumpster diving for things to paint on, friends began giving me things to paint on… then I attracted a full-time job as an artist assistant. This three-year job was in a sense my art school in the real world. I fell even more in love with creating art and spent all my extra time painting at home and developing a unique style of my own. I began showing successfully in galleries around town and was able to start making a living as a self-employed full-time artist. I've been at it ever since, and have exhibited in New York, L.A. and throughout the South… Birmingham, Boca Raton, and Blue Ridge, with only two other jobs along the way--I was briefly the co-owner of Talialou Gallery in Savannah and worked part-time at the Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta in the King Plow Art Center for a couple years after I bought my house in Kirkwood, where I live now & have for four years.
Who are your art heroes? My art hero is Dr. Seuss. His images and messages have always inspired me and I can't wait to write and illustrate some children's books in the future. Look out for (working titles)--"Flowerpeople Unite The World." The flowerpeople are characters of mine that symbolize unconditional love. Also, "Cats Aren't Pink!" Something an art professor shouted at me in my only painting class at UGA. The book will be full of pink cats. At the festival this year, I'm excited to say that I will be exhibiting the first of my pink cat wood cut-outs.
What inspires you? Nature inspires me ... It's beauty, textures and colors. Birds in flight and the freedom this represents has inspired me to paint wood cut-outs of birds this year. Love inspires me … the love between couples … the love between friends and families… Love for animals… that also inspired me to become a vegan, which I've been for 12 years (vegetarian for 10 years before that). This leads me to yet another children's book that I've begun: "I'm A Carrot." I'm also inspired by the concepts of unity and oneness and I'm creating a new series of paintings to reflect this.
How many times has your art been featured in the Norcross Arts Fest? This will be my fourth year in the Norcross Arts Fest.
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