Getting to know Alyce Gottesman

Who is, or has been, the biggest influence on your art?
An important early influence on my approach to art is Wassily Kandinsky. When I first began to paint, I had read his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art and it became a guiding force in my creative process. My strong connections with both music and the spiritual aspects of nature were reflected in his discussions about creativity and his thoughts on abstraction made clear to me how to go about making art that reflected my creative energies. I am also really inspired by Frank Stella’s work, particularly the way he evolves in his art through the use of a variety of processes and materials that keeps expanding on his vocabulary. I have a propensity to do the same!

Which of your works is your personal favorite and why?
Over the years, my art-making process has included painting and drawing with oils, acrylics, encaustic paint, ink and gouache, graphite and charcoal. Each materials expresses a different energy and feeling. I have my favorites but it would be impossible to name just one.

Of all your travels, which city or place inspires you the most? Why?
I have lived in California and since that time, I have made it like a second home. Each year I spend a couple of months in Northern California near the coast to experience the beautiful light and energy of the place. My work becomes infused with what I absorb there.

What is your creative process like? 
My creativity is best expressed when I work on multiple paintings at any given time. In my yearly body of work, several series emerge, with each one reflecting a different thread and varying materials. I like to experiment to see what happens each time I begin something new. In my painting, I like to drip, pour, brush and throw paint onto the surface of canvas, board, aluminum or paper. I draw into the painting, roll images into the paint, scrape, and layer to create depth, overlapping color and to generally allow the painting to reveal itself to me. 

What is something quirky or unexpected about you that most people don’t know?
I was a metal smithing major in art school, and began painting near the end of my time in college. I am just now beginning to design jewelry again.

How has your practice changed over time?
Over the years, I have learned to work on many paintings at once in order to maintain a freshness in the work. My penchant to integrate new materials into my repertoire has increased over time. I listen to the creative impulses that come to me when I am in the studio more carefully now and allow them to manifest in whatever manner they need to become visible.