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Austin Art Talk

Author: Scott David Gordon

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The goal of the podcast is to facilitate connections with and to learn from the successes, struggles, life experience, and wisdom of the people featured, most of whom live and create in Austin, Texas. The honest conversational flow of these weekly long form interviews lends itself to some really great insights and information that is available to anyone who wants to listen. Join us to explore the origins, stories, lessons, lives and work of those in our community who are at the forefront of creative expression. The podcast is hosted by photographer, art enthusiast and collector, Scott David Gordon.
99 Episodes
“As much as art is about creating an object, it’s also about learning about yourself. My art has always been this tool for which I decipher the world, and my place in it, or who I am and how I learn and what I see. It’s the medium though which I decipher everything.” Artist Tom Jean Webb grew up in England but knew from an early age he wanted to live in America. His mother and grandfather helped to inspire his creativity and if not for a chance visit to a contemporary art gallery as an adult, he would not have realized that what he wanted to say with his own art was valid and possible. After many trips and back and forth from the United States to England he finally committed to fulfill his dream and made the US his home. The work he creates is heavily inspired by the colorful and rocky desert landscapes of the southwest and are explorations of space and his own personal reality. As he consistently strives to create his distinctive artwork he prioritizes being open and present, staying playful, having fun, and letting go of control and preconceived ideas. Together From Afar I & II, 2020 Acrylic on Canvas 75 x 53 in See Tom Jean's work in person at Ivester Contemporary 916 Springdale Rd Bldg 2, Suite 107 Austin, TX 78702 (737) 209-0379 This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
“That’s my ultimate goal. When I’m done here I want to have temples built in a lot of people's hearts. Not, oh Chris was so awesome. But because I gave them something. Because I meant something to them. Because I gave them a piece of my heart” Wow! Can’t believe we’ve made it to 100 episodes. I could not imagine a better guest to celebrate this milestone. Chris Rogers is an artist who specializes in portraits that capture a person's true essence, live painting sessions at events, and large and colorful murals that adorn many walls around Austin with their inviting and galvanizing truths. All of this work hopefully leads to conversations, connections, and a realization as Chris says in the interview, the cure is us. How can we heal our fractured system and relationships, let go of control and give over to the moment, and find our way to truth, honesty with ourselves, and learn to speak from the heart? Chris really brought the vulnerability and bares all as we talk about his lifelong artistic practice, alcoholism and recovery, and the huge impact his late mother continues to have on his life. This conversation was so moving and inspiring to me as I hope it will be to you. We speak about the two murals pictured below in the interview. If He Can't Breate, We Can't Breathe - George Floyd mural at Native Hostel ( Mural at 12th & Chicon ( This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"Out of the million brush stokes on this painting, I like this brush stroke. So it was worth the 20 hours I spent on it to learn this one stroke. Then I would take that stroke into the next piece. Then that piece didn’t feel right but there was a second brush stoke also that I liked. And then eventually I got the point where I liked all the brush stokes on the canvas. That’s when I’m like OK, now I can start making art." Manik Raj Nakra is an Austin Based Artist who creates colorful and mythic-looking artworks influenced by his extensive research of cultures, ancient art, and architecture from all over the world. All that he absorbs through books, travel, and online research gets melded and transformed into his own unique but somehow universal visual language. I’m impressed with Manik’s boldness and commitment to his art practice and willingness to spend years out of view to refine his subject matter, experiment, and learn and improve his creative techniques, taking the quality of what he is producing to the next level, and then back into the world. Please enjoy this interesting and often humorous conversation with Manik and be sure to check out his Big Medium exhibition this month. MOTH, 2020, Oil paint, acrylic paint, spray paint, ceremonial bindis on canvas and wood, 96 x 67 in. Manik Raj Nakra WILDLIFE March 13 – May 1, 2021 Big Medium 916 Springdale Rd, Bldg 2, #101 Austin, Texas 78702 512.939.6665 Appointment hours: Thursday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm To allow for social distancing, appointments will be scheduled every 30 minutes, with a maximum of 10 guests at a time. Scroll down to schedule an appointment with at least 24 hours advance notice. Masks are required at all times. Text courtesy of the BIg Medium Website "Inspired by stories of nature regenerating and reclaiming space during the Covid19 pandemic, W I L D L I F E examines what happens when humanity removes itself from the natural world. The exhibition also introduces a new material for the artist—the ceremonial bindi, worn for centuries on the forehead in Indian culture for spiritual, traditional, and fashion reasons. It can be seen as a third eye creating an opening to infinity or as a symbol of femininity. For the natural world depicted in the paintings, the renewed and rejuvenated flora and fauna are anthropomorphized with hundreds of bindis as wildlife reincarnated with third eyes. The twinkling of the jeweled bindis carry remnants of memory. The severed animal heads from which the new nature grows are depicted upside down to represent self-sabotage and the mistakes of the past. Influenced by the architecture of ancient forts and palaces of Indian Mughals, Iran, Oman, and Pakistan, the paintings are installed in window frames handmade by the artist. The pieces look out onto a world from isolation with new wonder, new honesty, and new beauty. At first, the viewer encounters these windows from the “inside looking out” but with bindis all over functioning as eyes, they equally become the “outside looking in” giving the paintings an existential feel to reflect on these uncertain times and space. Manik Raj Nakra’s work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas and San Francisco, a member of the 2019 Crit Group program with The Contemporary in Austin, TX, The LINE Residency with Big Medium in 2020, and a client list that includes Converse, The Oxford American, The LINE Hotel, Facebook, Urban Outfitters, amongst others." This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"I used to think I had all the answers. I believed it. I don’t believe that at all anymore. I have all the questions. I’ve got all of them. And I don’t really need answers anymore. I’m in it for the questions. And that pretty much rules my day, every day. Just endless questions." This is part two of my interview with artist Brian Daly. If you haven’t heard Part One I would recommend going back and starting with Episode 97 where we cover his epic life story before he got sober nineteen months ago. Part Two goes more in depth into his current life and practice as an artist. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Sometimes it can take a lot to ask for help. Artist Brian Daly realized nineteen months ago that even though he had already survived hitting bottom a few times before, this time might be his last. Through years of ups and downs, Brian acquired the skills to create almost anything as a fabricator while also from a young age continuing to further his drafting and artistic talents. In this first part of two episodes, he shares in vivid detail, reminiscent of his drawings, the epic and tumultuous journey he has been on, up until getting clean and sober and focusing his energy and recovery into his art. The paper and ink drawings he creates as a literal meditation, are beautiful and precise in their rendering, allowing him to share a glimpse of his inner world, imagination, and lifelong fascination with tools and the mechanics of objects. The second part of our conversation, Episode 98, goes into more detail about his current life and artistic practice. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"Let’s continue to make beautiful things. Let’s respect ourselves and think about the future. Let’s make some money. Let’s be generous with our money. Let’s protect ourselves and the planet. Let’s be more responsible. Let’s be more grateful." Nick Schnitzer is very passionate about art and helping artists thrive. That's in addition to his love of architecture, woodworking, teaching and mentoring young people, travel, his family, and most of all living an aware, considerate, humble, and generative life. He's a talented and capable craftsperson who can design and create almost anything he puts his mind and body into. His public art and exhibitions often highlight environmental and political challenges and strive to build community and connect people and ideas towards a goal of improving their lives and raising awareness of important issues in our culture and society. I love Nick's energy, focus, integrity, and the way he strives to improve himself and those around him. He has a big heart and it's very obvious in the interview. Please enjoy! Nick with his daughter Edie Rose. Nick's website about text "As modern technology leads to increased connection to the world, we’ve never been more disconnected from each other. I create sculpture and site-specific architectural works that seek to create new modes of empathic communication – to use technology to augment the way we interact; to break down the barriers that exist between people; and to provide an emotional overlay so we can more deeply understand each other as people. By subjecting objects and people to various scientific and relational processes, I construct a dialogue that questions our relationship to the material world, our internal psychological landscapes, and our very dynamic planet. I’m most interested in the things we hide, repress, and deny, as I believe these to be our greatest gifts. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung theorizes that in order to become fully engaged with ourselves, each other, and the world we live in, we must learn to incorporate things that can be difficult to grasp. I appeal to our vanity and curiosity, often through the use of reflective surfaces, interactive technology, and traditional construction techniques. In an increasingly complex world, the minimal nature of the work is tailored to create a focused experience for the viewer, resulting in a contemplative moment of careful consideration amongst the surrounding chaos." This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
As an adult, after working many jobs in the business world and raising her daughters' artist Joyce Howell decided to go back to school to study art and eventually achieved her master's degree. She started out painting in a very representational style but in graduate school found the encouragement and a strong desire to create abstract works that expressed more of her internal reality and how she processed everything in her world. For the last almost 25 years Joyce has been committed to her studio practice and has participated in many solo and group exhibitions. She creates colorful and often atmospheric abstract paintings that without a doubt contribute to the joy and beauty experienced through art that we all need in our lives and our homes. She has been represented in Austin by Wally Workman Gallery for over 10 years and has a solo exhibition there from March 6th -27th, 2021. Mujer Pintada, 2021, oil on canvas, 42x42 inches Joyce Howell: Solo Show March 6-27, 2021 Wally Workman Gallery ( "Howell’s palette is informed by nature and its flux between calm and chaos. She describes it as an ongoing conversation. Each color and the mark by which it is applied to the canvas informs the next. Colors give the impression of physical weight. Colors become instruments, much as in a musical composition. As the work progresses, the painting becomes a collaborative, a dialogue between Howell and the canvas. This is her 8th solo show with the gallery." This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"For us, as artists, the pandemic certainly economically was hard for many people but I think we are probably better equipped because can we invent something that has not been done before. If somebody is used to having a routine and a certain structure and not used to inventing their life it’s harder when something like this hits. For us it’s like OK, it’s this, let's see what we can do with it. Let’s learn something new and create something different." The podcast guest this week has had such an interesting and diverse life. Artist Valerie Chaussonnet now works full time as an artist and teacher but previously spent a big part of her life as an anthropologist, studying Russian, and raising her two sons. Now her two primary mediums are watercolor and sculptures made from raw pieces of welded steel. A lifetime of influences in the realm of art and many diverse cultures all culminates now in the stories she tells with her colorful paintings and spirited sculptures. I love the joy Valerie brings to life and I’m inspired by her adventurous, playful, and rich way of life. Please enjoy this very fun interview! Photo by Scott David Gordon Current & Upcoming Found February 26 - March 27, 2021 Georgetown Art Center ( "Found presents recent artworks by three area artists. Each artist relies on random discovery and found materials as a starting point. Chaussonnet recuts recovered industrial scrap steel, then forges and welds stylized busts, landscapes, and abstract sculptures. Rolfe is an assemblage artist whose narrative relief sculptures and shadow boxes are composed primarily of reclaimed vintage household furnishings. Webb faithfully uses acrylics to portray abandoned trash piles left at the curb for bulk collection." This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Lauren Hunt is one of the rare artists who works with glass, and she has been at it for over 10 years. After college she worked for 7 of those years at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York with the Hot Glass Show, on land and traveling all over the world on cruise ships doing live and educational demonstrations. Eventually she made it to Austin where she has continued her practice making functional, whimsical, and sometimes purely artistic works of beauty out of molten glass. Lauren is a hoot and we had such a fun conversation. I’ve always wanted to learn more about glass blowing and what it’s all about and Lauren did not disappoint. Check out the shop on her website and see if there isn’t something there that strikes your fancy. Support local artists and fill your house with beautiful handmade objects by people you know. Photos by Scott David Gordon This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"I think that we are all striving towards the same goals. People are making artwork, galleries are showing artwork, and we all want to be seen. We all want to be making a positive impact somewhere. How do we move forward? I think collaboration is key ” What does it take to open an art gallery and frame shop in Austin during a pandemic? A lot. For Kevin Ivester, owner of Ivester Contemporary and Eastside Picture Framing, these businesses are the culmination of a long-term dream and years of working in all aspects of the art world including, galleries, auction houses, restoration, conservation, handling, framing, and appraisal. Now with the potential of both endeavors and his well-rounded years of experience, Kevin wants to help artists further their careers, sell their work, and raise the profile of Austin as a town where you can buy great art and from any of the numerous talented people that call it home. We talk about what it took for him to get to this point and his intentions going forward. He’s genuinely interested in adding value and helping to further the awareness and understanding of visual art and the artists he represents. What a great mission and now he has the means to see it through. Ivester Contemporary ( 916 Springdale Rd Bldg 2, Suite 107 Austin, TX 78702 (737) 209-0379 Make An Appointment! ( About The Gallery Ivester Contemporary is an Austin-based contemporary fine art gallery committed to connecting people with leading local and regional artists and ideas. Rotating exhibitions are focused on creating a context for contemplation, deepening appreciation for the visual arts, and facilitating a dialog between the artist and their viewers. Ivester Contemporary is located within the Canopy Creative Complex in East Austin, a central hub for artists, gallerists, and other creative types. East Side Picture Framing ( 916 Springdale Rd, Bldg 4, Suite 105 Austin Texas 78702 (512) 520 8031 Open Monday - Friday 11am-4pm and by appointment Photo by Scott David Gordon This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Elizabeth Hendley is an art therapist at Dell Children’s Medical Center and a part of what is called the Expressive Therapies team. We spoke back in March of 2018 and went in depth to explore her origin story, how she became a therapist, and some of her experiences working with children that illustrate how powerful art therapy can be. If you have not heard that episode I highly recommend checking it out. It is my second most listened to interview at just over 1300 downloads. In this update we talk about how the pandemic has affected her job at the hospital and she shares some new stories of the types of work she is doing now. Again I am so impressed with her and what she does and I’m so glad to know someone like her is doing what she does. Elizabeth facilitating a game together with the music therapist. This collaborative self-care staff project is mentioned in the interview. Elizabeth mentions donations of art supplies in the interview. Here is the list and contact info if you want to donate anything. Josie Day 512-324-0146 Small/medium canvases (or canvas boards) Watercolor paper Watercolor brushes Acrylic brushes (stiffer) Tube watercolors Paper plates Small plastic cups Stamp pads Model magic (small pkgs., white or color) Scrapbook embellishments (flowers, stickers, gems, washi tape, etc.) The banner image consists of on the left a 6”x6” square for a large Covid-19 collaboration facilitated by ArtAustin. Kevin Ivester at Davis Gallery asked Elizabeht and many others to contribute. It’s supposed to be a light blue color palette, to honor healthcare workers. The image on the right is a Covid stamp-carving. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. ( This post could contain affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
"What’s the thing that people turn to when you are in the middle of this confusing and terrifying time, and whats the thing that brings relief? It’s Art. It’s music, it’s seeing films, it’s watching TV shows, it’s looking at visual art. These are the things that can bring us out of all of these feelings that can be really overwhelming, and can bring us into the current moment. Which is really where a lot of peace lies. I think the arts are essential, especially during this time.” Elizabeth McQueen is a singer-songwriter and the host of NPR’s This Song ( podcast. Growing up in a family of visual artists, she eventually found her own creative practice and voice in the pursuit of performing and creating music. For over eight years she was the lead singer for Asleep At The Wheel until she retired in 2014 to focus more on her kids and eventually start her radio career. For the last six years she has had the chance to interview some of the best musicians in the world and hear their stories. A few of the subjects we cover in our conversation are the importance of art right now, her aggressive positivity, her sisters artwork, the origins of This Song (, and some great lessons she has gleaned from various artists about their own creative practices. We finish with the question she puts to every guest on her show. Can you share a story of a song that has transformed your life? What a powerful and moving answer she gives! I was so happy to finally interview Elizabeth after knowing her for so many years. She is a super talented musician, interviewer, and very positive force in the world. Elizabeth playing at a JBG potluck in 2014 This Song From KUT 90.5 ( Musician, composer and radio host Elizabeth McQueen wants to hear about transformational songs. In conversations and interviews with fellow musicians and artists, McQueen talks with them about life-changing songs, inspiration, creativity and so much more. This is the transformational song Elizabeth shares her story about at the end of the interview, the version sung by Nina Simone. See link below. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) My baby never treats me sweet and gentle the way he should; I got it bad and that ain't good! My poor heart is sentimental not made of wood I got it bad and that ain't good! But when the weekend's over and monday rolls aroun' I end up like i start out just cryin' my heart out He don't love me like i love him nobody could I got it bad and that ain't good! Like alonely weeping willow lost in the wood I got it bad and that ain't good! And the things i tell my pillow no woman should I got it bad and that ain't good! Tho folks with good intentions tell me to save my tears I'm glad i'm mad about him i can't live without him Lord above me make him love me the way he should I got it bad and that ain't good! The banner image behind the title was taken as a part of Scott's Panorama 365 series, of Elizabeth and her family next to the Four Seasons around 2011. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"Anytime I am stuck in life, I will usually do a project on it. Trying to understand, and just to try and move through it. It really helps me move through something. All of my work is basically things I am trying to figure out and move through in my own life" This interview is with Suzanne Koett (, who’s ongoing photo project captured on film, PANDEMIC, is a series of portraits of quarantined families and individuals in the places they reside. I could relate to so many of the ways that Suzanne thinks about and lives her life and what impressed me most is her very intentional dedication to self growth through her art creation. Be sure to visit her website, to see all of her various series, and the obvious, and not so obvious path she has been on for the last decade. Please enjoy this conversation with the very talented and thoughtful Suzanne Koett. About text courtesy of Suzanne's website Suzanne Koett ( is an artist, contemporary photographer, and art educator from Austin, TX. Her work centers around the human condition and the shared collective experience. Through her art she aims to demystify life experiences and shows what it means to be alive and to bravely exist. Suzanne holds a BFA in Studio Art (concentration photography) from San Francisco State University. Metaphysical Libertarianism - from the The Study of Aloneness series. LInks to some of the specific subjects we discussed: PANDEMIC series on Instagram ( Suzanne's blog post from Jan 2020 ( Suzanne's series The Study of Aloneness ( Suzanne's series dedicated to her father after his passing ( What is Reparenting and How to Begin ( Suzanne's series To Record Only Water for Ten Days ( Suzanne's morning affirmations: "What great thing is going to happen today?" "I am here for you when things go really well. I am here to help celebrate you. And I am here for you if things don't go well" Track 6: Remain, Digital collage & Vandyke brown print on archival watercolor paper, 8"x"8, 2019 from the series To Record Only Water for Ten Days Image from PANDEMIC series. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Ways to support this podcast. (
“Don’t lose your authenticity. Keep honing your skills to become a better artist. Don’t just copy what someone else is doing, go beyond it. Find what really speaks to you in your soul as an artist and start doing that.” After I started reading An Artful Life by John P Weiss (, I just knew that I had to try to interview him. The stories are inspirational and have been helpful to me during this time of stress and the unknown. Our conversation was everything I hoped it would be. John's thoughtfulness and life experiences put him in a position to be able to share the kind of perspectives and wisdom that are sorely needed in the world today. Hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to check out his artwork, cartoons, book, and other writings online. All of the artists and books that are mentioned are listed at the end of the show notes along with links to John's work. Enjoy! About text courtesty of John's website John P. Weiss is a former police chief and editorial cartoonist who retired early to become a full-time artist and writer. John studied landscape painting extensively with American painter Scott L. Christensen. Using a limited palette and strong abstract designs in his representational work, John captures quiet scenes of land and nature. Wisdom from a 26-year law enforcement career and lifetime of reading informs John's poignant short stories and insightful articles. John writes about life lessons, personal growth, and the creative arts. John's written work appears in: The Guardian, NBC News, Becoming Minimalist, Thrive Global, Goins Writer, Elephant Journal, and more. Read John's full biography here ( Over 38K followers enjoy John's weekly articles, which he illustrates with his whimsical, fine-lined cartoons. Click here and subscribe ( to get on John's email list. You'll receive the latest creative work. No spam, always free, privacy respected. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Click on this affiliate link or the ones below before making purchases on Amazon. An easy way to support! (
For over 15 years the Fusebox Festival has been delivering an amazing array of curated performances and artists from all over the world and bringing them right here to Austin. Since the festival will not be able to go on as planned as a live event, the organizers had to pivot the whole event online into what they are calling the virtual edition. Join me for a conversation with Executive & Artistic Director Ron Berry and Associate Artistic Director & Curator Anna Gallagher-Ross to talk about how that played out and what we can look forward to experiencing this year. Instagram @fuseboxfestival ( Youtube ( Below text courtesy of the Fusebox website The Festival In light of the COVID-19 crisis, it is not possible to hold Fusebox Festival as we originally planned. Our Festival isn't canceled, it's re-imagined as a virtual space where our community, both local and global, can come together to experience the work of Fusebox artists and participate in an exciting array of virtual events and activities. Fusebox Festival 2020: Virtual Edition is a weekend-long broadcast taking place April 24-26. Think public access TV meets international block party meets live performance! We see this as a platform to explore what it means to gather together and celebrate adventurous art, online. This Virtual Edition will feature: Live-streamed performances Conversations Artist Studio Visits Interactive Activities Happy Hours Cooking Shows Exhibitions and much more! Please mark your calendars for April 24 – 26, follow us on social media, and we will be in touch soon with our artist lineup and schedule. Thanks to you, our Fusebox Family, we are able to bring our artists and community together in a much needed time for celebration. We appreciate your support! This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
Becca Borrelli ( is an illustrator, teacher, story teller, and part of The Lemon House ( where she has her art studio, which will also be hosting an upcoming Process Over Product Art Series. ( Becca also just launched her own podcast Secret Sauce (, and I highly recommend you check it out. We talk about her journey as an artist, teacher, and small business owner, and talk a lot about how sensitivity can be reframed into a strength instead of a weakness. The following text is courtesy of Becca's websites Becca Borrelli is an admirer of doodling, and art teaching. Since graduating with a MA in Art Education from The University of Texas, she has been working as an art teacher at The Contemporary Art School in Austin, and establishing an illustration business. She is inspired by the invisible connections between all things, and her work aims to be a playful, bright, and hopeful interpretation of the world's whimsical and magical sides. She has fallen in love with her hometown in Austin, TX where she spends free time exploring the town with her husband and their super-pups Layla and Rose. Becca's new podcast "Secret Sauce" Welcome to Secret Sauce (, a podcast about the secret ingredients in life and work, hosted by Becca Borrelli. Secret Sauce explores artistry as a helpful framework for inspiring meaning and understanding in our everyday lives. ( The Lemon House The Lemon House ( is a working studio for three Austin based artists: Katherine of Bliss Kid Yoga (, Allie of Stampworthy Goods (, and Rebecca of Rebecca Borrelli Illustrations. We are of the mind that just because you are a solo entrepreneur does not mean that you can’t have the same community of co-workers you would in an office. We work along side each other in our studio, but also open our studio for open house shopping events, potlucks for makers, and other community events. 1713 E 12th Street Austin, TX 78702 Instagram: @lemonhouseatx ( This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"I think art for me has always been about giving someone an image that they can get absorbed into, and that takes them to a place that is sort of hyper-real. You know it’s not reality but you also can’t quite pin down what it is or where it came from. I see that in the tintype process as well. It’s quite arresting as a modern person to be photographed in a tintype because it puts you in this other world where you know it’s you and you know it’s modern photograph. But you’ve never seen anything like it and it breaks you out of that pattern of being so well versed at looking at imagery." Adrian Whipp is a passionate and driven photographer who has chosen to pursue more rare, challenging, and unconventional ways of making images. He is probably best known for his family heirloom level of portrait making in the form of tintypes that he captures in his custom mobile photo studio at the back of the French restaurant Justine's Brasserie here in Austin. When not doing that he is full on pursuing the creation of his own version of stereo photography, manifest soon in something called The Daydream Society ( What I see is an inherent fascination and generosity in what he creates and shares that is really intriguing and inspiring. I encourage you to tune in and keep and eye on what he is up to. If you make it over to have your tintype made, which I highly recommend, make sure to let Adrain know you heard the podcast. And definitely check out the beautiful work on his website, (, and be sure to specifically check out the daydream society and sign up to get email updates. Please enjoy this wonderful conversation with Mr. Adrian Whipp. Lumiere Tintype portrait Lumiere Tintype Photography ( Studio located behind Justine's Brasserie ( 4710 East 5th St, Austin, TX, 78702 Hours - Thursday - Sunday, 6pm until 11pm Lumiere Tintype portrait Some of the subjects we discuss: Photography Cathedral of light Fixing images Preserving time Slowing down Finding photography Discovering tintype Portrait studios Ease of digital Losing analog Quick turnaround Lumiere tintype Family tradition Justine’s clients 15,000 so far Out in the world It’s not about me Portrait photogs My domain It’s an experience Stereo photography Mostly forgotten The Aleph 3D images Making glass slides Looking at things Breaking the pattern Cave paintings Translating experience The art world Banksy shred Miami banana Co-creation Generosity The cookie Look at this John Coffer Mexico trip/travel Daydream society Making slides Where to find him Stereos - The Daydream Society Adrian's bio couitesy of his website. Adrian is a photographic artist based in Austin, Texas. Born in the UK, Adrian received his Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication before moving to the US in 2007 to pursue photography. In 2013 Adrian founded Lumiere Tintype, the world's only traveling tintype portrait studio. Lumiere serves as an attempt to make honest, timeless portraiture that helps people to reconnect with the lost alchemy of a handmade photograph. In the past six years Adrian has shot over eleven thousand tintype portraits, images that he hopes will be cherished for generations to come. Outside of Lumiere, Adrian’s photographic work plays with the idea that our notions of photography are beginning to detach from the rules of perspective. As digital technologies continue to reshape our understanding of what a photograph can be, we are discovering immersive new ways to become transfixed by the power of an image. For example, in Adrian’s cathedral of light, we see that a photograph can be elusive and ephemeral - impossible to capture or ‘fix’. It can exist only as a luminous play of light and color across ground glass - we meditate upon the image in the same way that we watch time pass. A photograph can also exist without a single, fixed viewpoint. Inspired by Chinese scroll paintings, Adrian built the Aleph - a projected photographic landscape that can never be viewed in it’s entirety, only in sections. Each viewer charts a different course as they explore the image plane, leading to very different interpretations and memories of the same work. Adrian’s latest endeavor - the daydream society, explores the aperspectival realm of stereo photography - a technique that uses the viewer’s own visual cortex to blend two fixed perspectives into one fully dimensional image. These fascinating, three dimensional (four if you include the duration of exposure!) images can only exist in the imagination of the person viewing them - in the material world they are merely two flat photographs, sitting alongside each other on a two dimensional plane. Photo of Adrian by Jonathan Canlas This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"I think it’s ok to be in a space of feeling lost at points in your life. That’s actually a great place to be." Two years on from our first interview, Episode 18 (, which I highly recommend listening to before you proceed with this one, I recently had the privilege of a tour of the new home and art studio of Roi James ( It was great to have the chance to further the dialogue and talk more about Roi’s successful career, where he finds himself now, and where he might be headed. And just like in our first conversation there is no lack of vulnerably on Roi’s part, as he shares his thoughts about being in an in-between place, recuperating and settling into the rhythms of his new space, finding inspiration, and contemplating the necessity to take his whole life and artwork to the next level. We also notably discuss the likely reasons for his success, pricing artwork, portraiture, art market challenges, and we go a little more in depth about loving more deeply and how that manifests in his life. Portrait of Roi on the roof of is new home. Photo by Scott David Gordon Bio courtesy of Roi's website The Story Of My Work I was 28 when I realized I wanted to become a painter. Until then and to this day, I had never studied art nor had any formal training. I’d always had the “gift” and recall my kindergarten teacher showing my mother my drawings and expressing how advanced they were for my age. But art was not a realistic occupation as I’d been indoctrinated into the “tragic artist” mythology, that to become one was to lead a sad and ultimately unfortunate life. So quite by accident, at 28, I attended a life drawing class and within the first 30 seconds of the first drawing, in the most supernatural way, I was was transformed. It would be another seven years before I had my first gallery show. Between then I poured over books of the techniques of the old masters and immersed myself in tens of thousands of images, slowly developing a rich visual vocabulary. I became enamored with the painters Titian, Vermeer, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, among others and with the romantic landscapes of Claude Lorrain, J.M.W. Turner, and Caspar David Friedrich. It was the majestic beauty and drama in these artist’s paintings and the long tradition of disciplined study and technique that attracted and inspired me. It would become the holy grail of what I would hope to find in my own work. And so my early paintings were infused with the dramatic play of light on human bodies and landscapes. I achieved a degree of success with this early work which in 1998, allowed me to quit my full-time job as a graphic designer at Dell Computer and focus entirely on painting. Though I continued to work in the traditional style of layered glazing in oils, I was already feeling a pull away from convention and a desire to explore painting’s greater possibilities. Where it had been a hunger for tradition and discipline that established my foundation, I was now compelled by a meditative thoughtfulness in being present and a desire to release myself into the uncertain world of abstract and conceptual painting. This began a ten year transition away from one style and method and into the new. However, my interest in form and beauty never wavered. Even the method of applying layered glazes continued to instruct my new work, though from a very unique and self invented process. My new paintings are spontaneous and abandoned Meditations, appearing as quiet spaces or joyful dances on the canvas. My Constructs are architectural explorations of color and surface, simultaneously both painting and sculptural relief. Fundamentally, despite their dissimilar surfaces and the contrast to my earlier romantic period, this new work remains true to my commitment to beauty and form. Architectura 01.14.20, 2020 Oil on Panel 30 x 30 in Current/Recent Exhibitions Spectrum New Work by Roi James JANUARY 18th - FEBRUARY 22nd, 2020 Davis Gallery ( 837 West 12th Street Austin, TX 78701 512-477-4929 Davis Gallery is proud to announce Spectrum, Roi James' first solo exhibit in Austin in nearly a decade. In this new collection, James presents works ranging from brilliant, undulating polychrome constructs, to delicate oil paintings contemplating the expanses of the open sea. Over the course of his career, James has boldly shifted his artistic vision, reinventing himself many times over and enjoying consistent success along the way. His mastery of several mediums and styles has attracted national attention and local fame. Spectrum, represents his latest triumphs, and delivers a complete series of diverse, significant work. This exhibit will be on view from January 18th through February 22nd, 2020. I Am Forever -framed, oil on canvas 35.25 x 27.25 in. Not for Sale Some of the subjects we discuss: The last two years Getting used to new space Arriving and landing Confronting voices Parasite movie Not one or the other Talent from the start Marketable work Driven to learn and grow Getting help Selling work Leaving a gallery Changing landscape Connecting in new ways Democratizing art New collectors How to price work Current prices Spectrum at Davis Portraiture Self portraits Fonda San Miguel Working in new space Feeling lost Feeling empowered Unsure about interview Thinking about cancer Loving more deeply Creating moments To the next level Getting rid of things Different choices The gift of song Violon D"ingres Roi looking at the view from his new studio. Photo by Scott David Gordon Roi looking at the view from his new studio. Photo by Scott David Gordon Contact Roi ( This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
“You don’t just believe in yourself, You behave in a way that you can believe in yourself, trust yourself. You have to show up. You have to show up everyday in the studio. You have to put in your time to make this unreal thing real.” Naomi Schlinke is an visual artist who after many years as a professional dancer, decided to shift her energy primarily to painting. But dance and movement still inform the spirit of her work and the way it is created. As Naomi says in the interview, she provokes the conditions where her work comes to life through many specific choices, but also leaves much up to chance and strives to push the elements of each piece until the whole is activated by the limitations of the extent of the chosen frame. Her most recent body of work, Being Mobile, expresses the movement and iconic form of entities and symbols that seem familiar but also mysterious, elusive, and timeless. Naomi was just a joy to speak with and we laughed quite a bit. I love talking with artists who are so thoughtful about their work and who have such an interesting life journey and experiences to share. Big Blue 2019 60” x 48” ink on mulberry paper collage mounted to panel Bio courtesy of Naomi's website In the 1970’s and early 80’s, Schlinke danced with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and the Joe Goode Performance Group, both based in San Francisco. At that time, the San Francisco art and dance scene were strongly influenced by new concepts flowing from artists such as Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and Robert Rauschenberg, many of whom emerged from the hot house for avant-garde work at Black Mountain College, North Carolina. Much of Schlinke's approach to painting is founded on the experiences that she absorbed as a dancer in those decades. Before moving to San Francisco, she received a B.A. and M.A. in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently a resident of Austin, she grew up in Dallas, Texas. Since relocating to Austin, Texas from San Francisco in 1994, Schlinke has exhibited her work at numerous venues including the Robert McClain Gallery in Houston, The Dallas Contemporary and the MAC, Women & Their Work, Texas State University in San Marcos, D Berman Gallery in Austin, D. M. Allison Gallery in Houston, the Dougherty Art Center in Austin, and Northern-Southern Gallery also in Austin. Before returning to Texas, she exhibited with the Braunstein-Quay Gallery in San Francisco. Coil Up 2019 48” x 36” ink on mulberry paper collage mounted to panel NAOMI SCHLINKE and JAMES TURNER Steps on Steppes now showing at NORTHERN-SOUTHERN GALLERY ( 1900-b East 12th Street near Chicon / Austin, TX 78702 Phillip Niemeyer, curator Show Run: January 11 - February 15, 2020 Gallery hours Saturdays Only: Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 8, Feb 15 3:00pm - 6:30 pm or for appointment, contact: the gallery: or the artist: Some of the subjects we discuss: Resonating work Creating an environment REM-Gensler Daydreaming Immersion Studio visits Describing new work Religious art Abstraction/movement Beginnings of dance Studying dance Touring and performing Writing and painting European art tour San Fran in the 70’s Dance experiences Mind of another time Foundational influences Slowing down Engaging with materials Print with Coronado Starting to use ink Quoting myself Ink and mulberry paper Creating a life Loft in SF/showing work Move to Austin Adventurous spaces Collectors/prices Chance/choice Making paintings Aesthetically rewarding Arranging the pieces Name and titles Northern-Southern Thanks This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
"You know what, all that matters is that you find a way, however you have to do it, to just keep making your shit. Whatever that is. Just don’t stop. Any creative person. It’s so easy not to. Just find a way. Just don’t stop. You have to give yourself that opportunity. It’s a lot easier now than ever. So by whatever means you have please take advantage of it and go make your stuff, because you’re not getting younger." Rohitash Rao makes cool stuff. Funny stuff. And a lot of it. Lucky for us he recently moved to Austin to take a teaching job as an assistant professor at the Stan Richards School of Advertising. Since childhood Ro has been a prolific creator, drawing and painting on anything he can get his hands on. Studying at Art Center in LA gave him a chance to try all different types of art creation and also learn how to pitch ideas and tell stories. Over the years he has worked as an award winning art director, illustrator, animator, has made a documentary, short films, music videos, stop motion, has co-written seven children's books, has exhibited his art numerous times, and is about to release an album of songs that he will be performing live with his band. Through his art creation he explores his personal experiences and also shares his often humorous commentary on the state of the world, with the belief that comedy and art are therapeutic and can lessen the weight of life. Keep smiling and make your shit. OF COURSE I'M HAPPY Spray paint and acrylic on found wood 38 x 48 inches Bio courtesy of Rohitash Rohitash Rao’s art is a reflection of our culture. His work reflects our over-consuming society, often made on the very things that we throw away. His work is a conceptual (and often funny) take on the way we live. As a friend put it, “Ro's art puts our society up against a funhouse mirror into which the dog of irony continually dives at its own reflection.” Rohitash Rao is an award-winning art director, animator and director. He has co-created and illustrated 7 children’s books published by Harper Collins, made an animated TV pilot for 20th Century Fox and has had 12 solo shows as a fine-artist. He currently works as an assistant professor at the Stan Richards School of Advertising at the University of Texas in Austin. YOUR PROBLEMS ARE NOT CONVENIENT Spray paint and acrylic with cut out eyes from magazines on found fast food cup Roughly 4 x 6 inches Upcoming group exhibition I Picked You A Flower ( Opening Reception Feb 7th, 7-10pm February 8th - March 14th Vault Stone Shop 4361 S. Congress Ave, Suite 103 Austin, TX 78745 FLOWERS WILTING IN GLASS BOWL Acrylic on wood 24 x 24 inches Some of the subjects we discuss: Confidence The 100th painting Very specific/organized Calculated spontaneity Just steeping stones Found objects Being intentional Marlboro box story Art for beer Canopy studio Rancho Cucamonga Interesting upbringing Being American Hobby and Jobby Art as career? Chemistry class Art Center everything Building a portfolio Art director job Move to NYC/filmmaking Directing/storytelling Documentary/spec reel Switch to animation Battle of the Album Covers Poison music video Curious Pictures Move to L.A. Book deals/Studio Commitments Starting to teach Advertising at UT American culture & creativity Working with students 6th & Lamar assignment Talking trash on trash Humor and laughing Early influences More serious work Ro Hit Records I drive and I eat Videos for songs Why stop motion The books Social media Make your shit This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian ( Support this podcast. (
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