Get to Know a Member
interviewed and written by Jen Walls
Georgia McGraw: The Artist Unplugged
Last year’s Florida Focus On Art winner took some time out to give us a little peek into her life for our first ever monthly member interview article. This elusive artist is not found on the internet or social media, and does not have a website, so the information you’ll be treated to here is EXCLUSIVE to G.C.W.S!
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Georgia: Any flavor, as long as it is in a cone. Ice cream cones take me back to my childhood, when you could get ice cream all over yourself. I recently had a key lime gelato in a square form. It was divine.
When did you begin painting?
Georgia: I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Art from East Carolina University. My dad was an architect, and we were immersed in that world as kids. I tromped around carrying a tape measure.
Does this explain the architectural element in your work?
Georgia: There is a strong architectural element. I can see the structure in everything. But I cannot make myself abide by the color rules. I know what they are, but I don’t follow them.
What’s your favorite children’s book?
Georgia: I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, so we mostly played outside. But when someone read to me, it was Nancy Drew, which I loved. Most children’s books scared the hell out of me, though. I had to leave the movie “Alice in Wonderland” when the Cheshire Cat appeared. I was too scared!
If you could be an animal, what would you be?
Georgia: A giraffe. They’re so exotic that it’s a wonder they have survived with those beautiful long legs and necks, and their long black tongues. I’m also wild about Mick Jagger.
What do you want members to know about you?
Georgia: I don’t want them to know anything. The art has to speak.
Do you have any nuggets of wisdom for other artists?
Georgia: My friends and I recently celebrated our tenth anniversary of traveling the world every month. For ten years and three months, we have gone to a restaurant serving food from a different country each month. Whoever is in charge gathers information about the country, so we learn about it while we eat. Ferdos Grill, a local Syrian place, is especially good. This is a great way to get out, do something different and learn something new while spending time with friends.
For art motivation, I recommend creating a deadline for yourself. There is nothing like a deadline to get you going, especially if it is for a show. You go to sleep with forms dancing around in your head, and wake eager to paint. But you are painting.
Validation is important. Your sincere comments on other people’s work helps to validate what they do.
On inspiration: a dear friend who knew of my commercial art background invited me to a birthday party. She said I couldn’t come unless I painted a picture. She knew I hadn’t painted in a while, and she inspired me to pick up a paintbrush again. And it was a very nice birthday party, too.
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