Thursday, February 27, 2014

Small... But Not Restricted

Tessa Guzé, Fearless, 12" x 16" 2013
The Galleries at Moore are currently having an exhibition of alumni work titled Small... but Not Restricted. The Galleries at Moore are located on the campus of Moore College of Art & Design in center city Philadelphia, PA. I submitted this small oil painting titled Fearless.
Photo of Small...But Not Restricted Annual Alumni Exhibition 2014
This is one of the first oil paintings I completed after the birth of my daughter. (Besides a children's book commission that was due a month after she was born and barely got finished in time!) It was of course inspired by her, though not a portrait. At six weeks her first bashful and cheeky smiles were already lighting up the room. However time to paint is still something I have to steal during her naps. 

I did the underdrawing for this while she was napping in my left arm, and I did the painting during a second 45 minute nap the next day. Having this kind of time pressure is definitely freeing up my painting and allowing me to be looser and more painterly! Here is a photo of the inspiration itself. 

Four months later and still my greatest source of inspiration, don't think this is going to change any time soon.

To see more of my paintings please visit my portfolio website. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Art Elemento Article

Tessa Guze, Art Elemento Magazine page

My work was featured in the May edition of Art Elemento an arts magazine based in Gwangju, South Korea. To view the entire Art Elemento magazine click here

Here is a copy of the text that accompanied the article with images of the magazine pages:

I am a painter, and like any artist I paint because I have to. I can’t imagine not doing it -  a big part of me needs to paint for some reason. Every professional artist is asked to come up with the reasons why they paint what they paint. Everyone wants the background story. They want a personal connection and a better understanding of the artwork.

  As an artist it is important to know and understand yourself really well in order to be able to give these explanations. The simple, and possibly most truthful answer, “I just felt compelled to paint that,” is not enough to satisfy galleries and keep your patrons engaged and interested. So artists come up with artist’s statements. This is where the more creatively you are able to express yourself in words, the luckier you are. Unfortunately, not all of us are good writers and not all of us are good at making up these explanations.

Tessa Guze, Art Elemento Magazine spread 1
  It can be extremely difficult to reach deep inside yourself and figure out what exactly motivated you to create a particular artwork.  This is where usually truthful artists just give it their best guess, while other more “creative” artists find a good story to match their art. I don’t have a good story (at least not one I’m willing to share with professionals in my field), but I will give my best stab at a truthful explanation of my paintings.

  This is difficult. My paintings are pretty straightforward, and I do have justification for why I paint naturalistically when most galleries shun representational work. Here is the reason: I want my work to communicate and engage as broad a range of people as possible, not only an educated elite who are willing to read tedious artist’s statements to find out why the art is relevant and interesting.  To be honest, while realism is something I like about my work and other representational and naturalistic work, I also paint realistically because I truly love it. I find the naturalistic work fascinating. As fun as playing with abstract colors and shapes might be it will never engage me the way the expression on the face of someone I love does.

  Many fine artists like to focus on their “inner world” and the perspective it gives them as an inspiration and rationale for their art.  However, my inspiration is always drawn from exterior subjects, people or animals,  - their emotions, their situations, and their perspectives. It is always drawn from the outer world,  the world of sight and sound. The world of other people and creatures who can capture my interest, imagination and sympathy.

  A beautiful view or flower can strike me, but when I sit down to paint it is the people that pull me in. If left entirely to my own devices with no painting commissions or portfolios to build, I would probably paint only people and animals, portraits of random people whom no one else cares about or notices.

Tessa Guze, Art Elemento Magazine spread 2
  I love to live in different countries and experience the culture and daily life there, but it took me a long time to realize “travel” was something I was particularly interested in.  It’s not really the new places, but more the people, culture, values, and perspectives that intrigue me. So traveling and sightseeing was never something I found especially interesting, I mean no more than any other young person. When I was young I just gravitated to people from different countries without really noticing it or understanding why.

  When I was a child I always had to be standing up for someone, protecting and defending. I’m not really sure why but I’ve always been drawn to the underdog, the downtrodden and the undervalued, the misunderstood and rejected. I always had to play devil’s advocate. I used to spend recess at school protecting insects from getting stomped on and getting into occasional fist fights or yelling matches with anyone who picked on my friends. I have no idea where this fire came from because when I got home and was alone I would just quietly draw. I honestly wish more of that fight had stuck with my as I grew older.

  Unfortunately, now 99% of the time I find it much easier to be passive and agreeable and only speak up with a contrary opinion when with very close friends. However, I do still love to be quiet and alone drawing and I hope that I still take some of the fight with me into my paintings. People who are different from ourselves can be so easily misunderstood, dismissed, or worse, especially if their differences are seen as strange or threatening.  So I use my fire now in the hope that my work can help people from different worlds seem more accessible to one another, and to show how much of life they actually share.

If you are interested in seeing more of my work please visit my artists blog or art portfolio website.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Art Elemento Cover

Tessa Guze, Art Elemento Cover, 2013

I provided a write up about my work for May's issue of Art Elemento an art and culture magazine based in Gwangju, South Korea. I'm so excited that they chose my piece to be featured on the cover.

I haven't seen May's full issue yet or the article about my work but hopefully I'll get my hands on a copy soon and share pictures.

Here's a photo of the original painting, which was featured in solo exhibition of my oil paintings last summer.

Tessa Guze, Thoughtful, oil on canvas, 2012
If you are interested in seeing more of my paintings and illustrations please visit my full painting portfolio on my website or my other painting blog.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Sketchbook Project

This year I submitted a sketchbook to the Sketchbook Project created by the Art House Co-op. My books serial number is #S97404 and call number is 195.8-3. As part of the sketchbook project my book will first tour galleries and venues though the US then become part of the collection at the Brooklyn Art Library. 
Tessa Guzé, Sketchbook Spread 1, 2012
My sketchbook is a combination of oil and pencil sketches.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blue Sari - painting process

Tessa Guzé, Blue Sari 2012, 16"x20"
This is a painting of a young girl from Mumbai wearing a blue sari. This painting is currently on display at the Durham Arts Council. 

I took a few photos as I worked on this painting to show my painting process. 

I started by toning the canvas with a thin layer of blue oil paint because I knew I wanted this painting to have blue undertones. 

toned canvas
After the canvas was toned and dried I drew a rough charcoal sketch on the canvas. I like to do a sketch in charcoal instead of an underpainting because it is quicker, but it still helps to map out the painting and determine values.

charcoal sketch
After the sketch was completed I sprayed it with workable fixative, this stops the charcoal from running and muddying the oil paint. Then I did the painting in oil paint, using turpentine and linseed oil. 

Finished painting
If you would like to see more of my work please visit my painting portfolio or my fine art blog.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kiva - make a loan for free!

Tessa Guzé, My Umbrella 2012, oil on canvas

Kiva, an organization that allows people to make loans to people in need throughout the world, is having a promotional offer. Give a loan for free for a limited time. Follow this link and help someone at no expense to yourself. It only takes a couple of minutes and you could really help to chance someone's life for the better.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Real People Exhibition

Tessa Guzé, Looking into Light 2012, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

The Real People Exhibition is run every August by the Old Court House Figurative League. It is a national juried show of figurative work. The theme is "Real People - Celebrating the Arts through Faces and Figures." The exhibition serves two purposes. The first is the give artists like my self a chance to showcases and sell their paintings, while competing for prizes. Secondly it raises funds for the Figurative League to offer year-ground life drawing programs to local artists.

The Real People Exhibition is being held in the Old Court House Art Center, in Woodstock, IL. There is going to be an opening reception on Saturday, August 25th from 6-8PM.