Who are the AAF 12? They are the dozen artists joining us at the Affordable Art Fair 2012.
On the tenth day leading up to AAF, my UGal gave to me: Christine Soccio
Ugallery painter Christine Soccio recently undertook a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a painting trip to Litchfield County, Connecticut. With the help of 23 backers, Christine travelled to Connecticut and produced 11 paintings inspired by the area’s “slight of light” that falls on the hills and farmland. We checked in with Christine to learn more about her experience fundraising on Kickstarter and creating in Litchfield County.
What inspired your Kickstarter project?
One of the clients that I do some advertising work for resides in Northwestern Connecticut. Each time I spent time up in that area, I felt completely energized. I began to wonder what the effect of this renewed energy would be on my artwork and if it would enhance my creative path. Now that I have completed my paintings, I realize that the area gave me an enhanced inspiration than I have never experienced before.
Where did you paint when you were there?
The house I rented, although rather small, was surrounded by wonderfully scenic property. At first, I thought I would paint by the open garage area mainly because the ground was level. With canvases as large as 48 x 60, the level ground in this area would help me avoid any mishaps.
As I worked, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the surrounding areas and quickly decided that confining myself to one area would not be conducive to my creativity. So I experimented setting up my easel in different parts of the property, which added many different perspectives on color, form and texture. Additionally, I went on several day trips to explore the surrounding areas, hiked and even went horseback riding. The colors of the horses inspired “Equestrian”. The vivid blue and green river stones that I came upon while hiking inspired “Cobalt”.
You created a whopping 11 paintings on your trip! What inspired all that work?
The pieces I created were inspired strictly by my surroundings and the energy that emanated from the rural Connecticut setting. When I’m at home in New Jersey, I face periodic disruptions while creating. Away from all the hubbub, I was much more relaxed and in tune. I didn’t feel pressured or rushed in any way and took all the time necessary to make sure that every element in my paintings fully captured the energy and inspiration I was feeling at the time.
I constantly asked myself “Is this complete feeling I want to convey and the story that I want my viewers to share with me?” It was not uncommon for me to redo a painting that I had thought was complete the day before. A perfect example of this is my personal favorite “Kerosene”. I had originally created “Sol” as an interpretation of a particularly sunny day and blue skies. I attempted to set my canvas on fire with that energy, but upon a second look, saw that I didn’t quite capture what I had intended. “Kerosene” was created in its place. It really is an amazing feeling to destroy one thing and recreate something even more beautiful.
We’ve noticed more and more artists are beginnign to use Kickstarter to fund their projects. How did you find your experience fundraising on Kickstarter? Do you have any advice for other artists interested in doing a Kickstarter campaign?
Kickstarter is a wonderful concept and excellent platform to raise money. Of course, I had to most of the marketing myself, but I enjoyed coming up with ways to get the message out there. I utilized my art school, Ugallery, old bosses and friends to support my endeavor and was so so surprised at the number of people that wanted to see me succeed. I was completely overwhelmed by all the love and support and feel very fortunate that I was able to carry out this dream.
There was one drawback, though, that I feel I should mention: dealing with Amazon for the money end of things. They were difficult to work with, to say the least. The process would go much more smoothly if Amazon was not involved and there was a simpler means for artists to deal with money issues.
I would also like to offer this advice to anyone interested in becoming part of the Kickstarter project: work really hard on your video! Make sure your idea is clear and concise. The message should to be something all people will understand - even your grandmother!
What’s next for you?
I’m currently in the process of moving to a new house. My new home studio will be in the sunroom. I’m very excited to be out of my small basement studio into the daylight! I’m also planning on attending the new De Kooning show at the MoMA. I’m always influenced by the shows I attend - who knows where De Kooning will bring me on my journey? The idea of a new space and a new inspiration excite me and am looking forward to a very productive fall season.
Want to see the paintings Christine created on her trip? Be sure to take a peek at our collection of all her “Slight of Light” pieces.
Ugallery artist Christine Soccio has undertaken a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a trip to Litchfield County, Connecticut. Christine hopes to create a series of abstracts based on the landscapes in Litchfield. Her goal is to raise enough money to spend the month of August there, drawing inspiration from the magical “slight of light” as it’s called, that falls on the surrounding hills and farmland and makes everything seem more vibrant and alive. Christine says “I’ve never experienced a wonder quite like it anywhere else.”
Help Christine reach her goal by visiting her Kickstarter page and enjoy the video (it features clips of Christine painting!).