May 19, 2016

Creative Foundations: Interview with Gloria Muriel

Gloria Muriel painting at Sparks Gallery

Gloria Muriel painting at Sparks Gallery

Gloria Muriel’s fine art is available for purchase on our Gloria Muriel Artwork page.

Gloria Muriel, notable artist, muralist, installation artist, and graphic designer, currently exhibiting artworks featuring goddesses spanning cultures and time periods in “Xanadu” until June 5th. Muriel’s characteristic style using brilliant colors and symbol-rich iconography is prominent is numerous murals across California, Florida, and Mexico.  Sparks Gallery speaks with Muriel about her creative processes, “Xanadu”, and future projects.

Gloria Muriel will also speak about her work at Sparks Gallery on Weds, May 25, at 6pm – details here:

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April 3, 2016

Foundations of an Artist: Duke Windsor

Duke Windsor in studio

Duke Windsor in studio

Duke Windsor began his artistic career photographer while serving in the Marine Corps as a combat illustrator/photographer and later served as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. After his tour of duty was over, Windsor competed in professional rodeo, with amateur standing, as a bull rider and steer wrestler.  Wanting to return to his studies, Windsor auditioned and gained admittance in the San Diego State University Music Department as a classical voice major.

Windsor’s range and versatility is apparent due to his traditional grounding and foundation in classical drawing, color theory, and form and composition.  His love of “true draftsmanship” spurs back to high school. “If the drawing isn’t quality, and the composition is unbalanced, then the painting fail,” stated his first art teacher.  Windsor’s belief in Foundation still hold true today.  From abstract to figurative, watercolors to Terra-cotta sculptures, Windsor has explored and mastered a variety of subjects and mediums.  Sparks Gallery speaks with Duke Windsor to understand his artistic perspective.

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March 14, 2016

David Fokos on “Book Pages Project”, Inspiration & Photo Tips

David Fokos has been a photographer for 40 years, mastering and strengthening his uniquely minimalist artworks.  Fokos speaks with Sparks Gallery about his solo photography show, “Book Pages Project” and delves into the creative and technical process behind his work.

David Fokos

Sparks Gallery asks: How has your background influenced your creative process?  How has your work developed?

Fokos: With regard to my minimalist, black and white landscape work: My parents live on Martha’s Vineyard island, and I have been photographing there for nearly 40 years, making my relationship with the Island the most enduring connection I’ve ever had with a specific place.

There is a peaceful, rejuvenating natural beauty there that remains largely unspoiled. It is the inner peace and calm that I experience there that I have tried to express through my work.

During the first 15 years I was photographing with a view camera, I photographed exclusively on the island, struggling to make images that expressed what I felt.  Eventually my own style began to emerge as I drew upon my technical background in science and engineering, and my decades-long interest in Japanese aesthetics to develop a personal theory of how we perceive the world and a method for expressing that through my art.

With regard to my Book Pages Project: I feel that my austere book page compositions were informed by my longtime interest in Japanese aesthetics. Additionally, the Japanese concepts of wabi (rustic simplicity, freshness, quietness, an appreciation of imperfection), and sabi (patina and an appreciation of the ephemeral nature of things) speak directly to my love of the texture and patina of these old books.  My background in engineering was helpful in conceiving and executing the imaging process I used for this work.

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January 21, 2016

Interview with Alexander Arshansky

Alexander Arshansky

Alexander Arshanksky’s works convey messages through a vivid array of bright colors and spatial elements. Arshansky reveals his process and influences to Sparks Gallery:

Sparks Gallery asks: Describe your creative process when creating a new piece.

Alexander ArshanskyArshansky: I turn on the music, I take a blank canvas and I let my hand free to do what it wants. I don’t think about liking it or making it likable. I just become an observer who watches how the hand glides over the canvas. Once sketched, I move to the color. When it comes to the painting part, I love to play and not follow any rules. Sometimes I randomly pull out tubes of paint of random colors that I will use. Sometimes, I only use a color a certain number of times in the artwork. Every piece is a product of game-like unpredictable process which brings about unexpected results. This is essential to keep my art making process exciting, I never know what the painting is going to look like until it is done. I trust the inner voice more that a color wheel. I don’t try to please the observer or match the furniture in the house. I have learned that the best work comes through when you don’t care about results, and have no boundaries and no self-doubts. I strongly believe that I am just an instrument of the universe and the less I think about appeasing others, the less I interfere with what the universe wants me to express.

I work as an interpreter, and a lot of painting takes place during the interpretation on a phone. I may be interpreting a medical or legal situation, sometimes dealing with tears, human drama, pain, and joy. My mind is completely engaged by the interpretation and the painting becomes almost automatic, retaining feelings and emotions from the call I had at the time. It also gives me a lot of time to do things – so the painting process is daily. When I stop painting, I start getting health problems and feel down. Continue reading

January 7, 2016

Notions of an Observer

David Wing wall

David Wing in front of Retrospective Show at Sparks Gallery

Photo Credit Bernd Reinhardt

Photo Credit Bernd Reinhardt

San Diego photographer and professor, David Wing, has been capturing the life and landscape of the American West for the past 50 years.  His illustrious career includes fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial foundation.  In addition, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Getty Research Library have acquisitioned Wing’s photographs for their collections.  David Wing’s San Diego Retrospective was exhibited at Sparks Gallery from October 2, 2015 – December 6, 2015.

Wing highlights his inspiration on subject matter, processes, and thematic values of his photographs.

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September 14, 2015

Interview With James Hubbell

Gallery Owner Sonya Sparks with James Hubbell and the opening for "Together" at Sparks Gallery

James Hubbell, seated alongside Gallery Owner Sonya Sparks at the opening for “Together” at Sparks Gallery

Sparks Gallery recently interviewed renowned San Diego artist, sculptor, and architect, James Hubbell to learn more about his background and thoughts on his work shown at Sparks Gallery.

Sparks Gallery: You use a lot of natural materials in your pieces.  Are they all found locally?  Do you have a material that you most prefer to work with?
James Hubbell: For me, almost all materials I use I think of as friends, they are found locally.  I prefer wood, glass, copper, iron, some plastics, and clay.

Sparks Gallery: What was it like to work with your son, Brennan, on the current exhibition at Sparks Gallery?
J. Hubbell: What Brennan does is always a surprise for me.

Sparks Gallery: Coming up, what can we expect to see from your two organizations: Ilan Lael and the Pacific Festival?
J. Hubbell: Pacific Festival has been canceled for this year, but the Llan-Lael Foundation is currently building a center to help have a place to hold our programs and meetings.

Sparks Gallery: What advice would you give to a young artist?
J. Hubbell: Discipline is important, but without trust, it cannot take you anywhere.

Sparks Gallery: Did you have a mentor when you were young?
J. Hubbell: The artist, Bruce Richards.

Sparks Gallery: Do you collect art, and if so, what kind?
J. Hubbell: I collect art that I love with my heart.

Sparks Gallery: What is next for you in your creative journey?
J. Hubbell: Living each day.

James and son Brennan Hubbell’s current exhibition “Together” is on view at SG until September 22, 2015. For more information about the show, please visit the exhibition page.