Artist of the Week: Briana Taylor

Briana Taylor is our Artist of the Week. While Briana is a relatively new artist (she joined UGallery a couple months ago), her graphic flowers deserve some recognition. We caught up with her to learn her inspirations! Here’s what she had to say.

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What is your earliest art memory?

Oh dear, that’s a tough one because I’m notorious for my lousy memory. I do remember around 10 discovering that I could use paint to make things look they way I wanted them to. I had gotten a new blanket that was purple and green and I decided that everything should be purple and green (please disregard the use of “purple” instead of the artistically correct “violet”) I remember every day mom would come down to my room and go, “was that green yesterday?”. (insert guilty face of a ten year old). Anyway, I think that was a bit of an epiphany that I could use color to change things and to make them better or exert my influence on them. I think that led me into
graphic design originally and then later into (or back into) painting.

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Growing Forth

How do you begin a painting?

It usually starts with seeing something and then thinking about how I could make it look better, or just how I would like it to look different. Sometimes it’s something in nature, sometimes a photo, sometimes just staring at another piece I’ve done and thinking, “Oh, I should try this…” sometimes it’s someone else’s art. Color is a big influence, for sure. Design still influences me as well especially in terms of balance and white space. I’m a big fan of white space.  So then after I get an idea I do a bazillion sketches. I’ve learned the hard way that if I can’t draw it, I can’t paint it. Perhaps bazillion is a bit of an overstatement, I’m not nearly patient enough to do a bazillion of anything before I can get to the fun part….the paint.

What is your favorite piece on your UGallery portfolio?

Definitely "Elegant Subduction". That was one of the first in this series that I did with the pale blue-violets and oh I’m so happy with it. It’s one of those where the magic just happened…I don’t think I even sketched it like that but the layout of it is so pleasing to me. There is interest, balance and rest. It’s funny though because there are some pieces you do and you can’t really put your finger on what you like about it. Just that (to sound totally pompous) “je ne sais quoi.” Ok, sorry I couldn’t resist.

Who and what inspires you?

I think I pull the most from Van Gogh, his use of color and outlines and perspective oh and the missing ear thing too…no, not that. That was a joke, ok a bad one, yes. Sorry. I’m also a big fan of some of my fellow UGallery artists, Robert Joyner’s messiness, Sidonie Caron’s landscapes, Colette Wirz Nauke’s flowers, to name a few.

What do you want people to know about your art?

Hmmm. I hope to convey optimism in my paintings. Part of that is based on my faith in God. Believing that there is real and tangible hope makes me optimistic about life and that plays out in my work. Also I guess it goes back to the idea of being able to create something the way you want it to be. You can take that principle and apply it to art, for instance, the centers of flowers…gross. I hate them. So, I took them out. I left what I feel to be the best the flower has to offer. But you can apply that to other areas in life too, the whole life give you lemons analogy.

What’s one word to describe your art?

I guess I’ll go with, life. But really, I’d love to hear what you’d pick.

For fun, what’s your favorite flower?

To paint, irises. To receive, orchids.