Being a portrait painter interested in the old traditions I can’t say abstract art has ever really appealed to me. Sure I found one interesting piece here or there but never a series of paintings. Then I came across the works of Molly Schwartz and could no longer say I disslike abstract art. Instead I instantly started following her work on (@mollyschwartzstudio) genuinely likeing every post that followed.
Molly is a nice person with a beautiful style all her own, so much so I thought I’d send her a few questions for an interview. So without further ado here is the interview with Molly Schwartz.
Interview with Molly Schwartz
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started in art?
Grew up in Seattle, the oldest of two girls and I continue to live in the area with my husband, a couple of pre-teens and two Pit Bulls. I don’t have any formal art training but I try to make up for it with grit and persistence. I make art because I love the way it makes me feel. It’s meditative and addicting and through the highs and lows, I feel powerful for creating it – or maybe that’s what pride feels like but at any rate, I like that feeling so I put everything I have into making it.
Molly Schwartz, THREE DEEP, Reverse Painted Glass, 36 X 48″
2. Dead, alive, artistic or not. Who are some of your influences?
This may be weird to say but I am definitely influenced by my 10 year old daughter. She is quite artistic herself and full of strong attitudes about art! I don’t allow her opinion of something I’m working on to redirect my hand but that girl can get in my head! I am influenced by her opinion and I’ll tell you why; a child’s judgement of art is not based on whether or not the perspective is correct or whether the brush strokes are in line with the particular movement or genre. A child judges art in a pure and raw way through their emotions. Plus, don’t forget, I have no formal training so, that’s the kind of judgement I’m going for. 🙂
Molly Schwartz, PUNK, Reverse Painted Glass Silver/Black Floater Frame, 96 x 48″
3. Give us a glimpse into your art process, how do you go about working with glass and paint?
Usually, I work with Tempered glass which is glass that has been heated, creating lots of internal pressure which makes it a lot safer, if and when it breaks. I paint the backside of the glass as I am looking through from the other side. It’s called Reverse Painting. I glue the painted glass to a piece of wood and then I shatter it. It always cracks differently and it’s always exciting to see how the painting changes. I don’t really have much of a plan when I begin a new piece. It’s more of a feeling. I’ll have a particular color palette in mind but I really create as I go. As my work has started to evolve over the past couple of years, I have really enjoyed the multistep process of painting a piece, shattering it and then reworking the broken pieces. I love bringing in epoxy and additional paint and then manipulating the glass to add more depth, texture and intensity.
Molly Schwartz, EPICENTER, 60×60, 1/4 inch Tempered Glass Reverse Painted Glass, Silver/Black Floater Frame.
4. Do your hands ever resemble a glass porcupine, from the glass shards? Or have you got a system to help that?
Without failure, I cut myself every time I work with shattered glass. There are so many teeny tiny shards that it’s impossible not to bleed when working with it. I try to wear special food grade, safety gloves as much as I can but honestly, they just get in the way. So, yeah, the backs of my knuckles as well as the pads of my finger tips are almost always cut up. At dinnertime, I’m constantly trying to wrangle someone into the kitchen to chop the tomatoes or squeeze the lemon because all my micro and not so micro cuts are pretty unforgiving about coming into contact with acidic foods! Oh, and sometimes, a little shard finds it’s way ALL the way under my skin. Occasionally I can’t budge it out and so I’ll have a little hard spot under the surface for awhile.
5. What are you currently exploring in your art?
I just finished a piece called Pacifica, where I used regular annealed glass, not the tempered stuff. I think it turned out really cool. It’s a sculptural piece and I think you can really feel the movement in it. I’m probably going to expand on that piece and make it the middle piece in a triptych.
Molly Schwartz, PACIFICA, Hand Cut Annealed Glass, 7X25
6. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making art?
Hmm… when I’m not making art, I love eating carbs and watching TV.
7. Where do you find motivation and inspiration, how do you fight the lack of?
looking back on the pieces I’ve created, I think I am most inspired by elements in nature, particularly water and earth. Lately, it seems like I keep getting drawn to water. I don’t know where it’s coming from but I’ll follow until I’m ready to move on. To fight a lack of motivation, you just gotta get in there and push on. To fight a lack of inspiration is trickier. When I’m feeling uninspired, I try to remind myself that it’s normal and not to sweat it. Otherwise, my painting seems forced and that’s never good. Sometimes you just need a break
Molly Schwartz, BREAKING POINT, 22 x 22, 1/4 inch Annealed Safety Glass, Reverse Painted Glass Silver/Black Floater Frame.
8. Lastly Have you got any advice for beginner artists just starting out?
Cool, Thanks again to Molly for taking the time to answer the questions. I hope you all have a good week:).
And for another great Artist interview Click Here