Krista Schumacher / SELECTED ARTWORK / BIOGRAPHY / ARTIST STATEMENT / Interview / PAST EXHIBITIONS
Krista Schumacher Interview
La Playa Gallery: Please tell us your name and where you live.
Krista Schumacher: My name is Krista Schumacher and I live in La Jolla, CA.
LPG: Can you give us a brief overview of the work you create?
KS: As an artist, I explore the relationships between color, form, and texture by applying large quantities of oil paint with palette knives. My large-scale, abstract oil paintings take on a multi-dimensional form and are easily recognized for their use of heavy-texture and bold colors to emphasize nature’s spontaneity and beauty in a modern, abstract way.
LPG: How and when did you get started?
KS: When I was 16 years old, my mother was asked by her friend to take a painting class. The instructor instantly noticed my mom had an innate, raw talent for art. Eager to be like my mother, and also curious to see if I may have the same natural talent, I signed up for an oil painting class. From the moment I started painting, I fell in love with the process.
LPG: What motivates you to create new work?
KS: My motivation to create new work is derived from my desire to express myself and my experiences, surroundings, and relationships. My problem is not lack of motivation, but lack of time. I am constantly doing small prototypes for paintings I want to complete in the future. I keep sketch books and binders filled with ideas.
LPG: I think we all wish we had more time. Is there a specific series you are currently working on and what is the inspiration behind it?
KS: Right now, I am still exploring my current series, ABSTRACTION, which is a body of abstract oil paintings inspired by my recent move to La Jolla, California. My work not only reflects the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Southern California, but also embraces the contemporary design and urban diversity of the region. Although I paint each painting in my distinct palette-knife style, I vary color in each work to juxtapose the city grays and blacks, desert earth-tones, and iconic ocean landscapes that are unique to the West coast. The collection encapsulates the essence of the San Diego experience, a major metropolitan city interwoven with natural wonders. ABSTRACTION sheds light on a transitional and transformational period of my journey, and reads as a raw diary of my first few months exploring a new city with a heightened awareness and sensitivity to my surroundings.
LPG: What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
KS: It is not an item, but rather, nature’s gift, natural light. My studio receives pristine natural light, which is absolutely necessary in order for me to see color properly. I have tried various artificial lights, so I could work in the evenings, but it is not the same. Therefore, I only paint during the day, and only on sunny days (which is why I am thankful to live in sunny San Diego!).
LPG: That’s something I noticed when I went to visit you at your studio. The natural light is phenomenal. Do you have a routine with creating or only work when inspiration hits?
KS: A bit of both. There are moments when inspiration strikes and I race to get into the studio! But, even when inspiration hits, most of my ideas are pre-meditated and thought-out. Sometimes, I spend an entire week developing one idea.
Also, as a professional artist, you cannot only work with inspiration hits. Rather, you have to learn how to channel your creativity. I find that I am a better painter in the mornings, as I wake up refreshed and recharged. Sometimes, I do not even eat breakfast, I’ll just make a cup of coffee and get to work. I make sure to leave my phone behind, as it can become a major distraction. Depending on the amount of commissions, upcoming shows and exhibitions, I normally paint three or four days per week.
I do various exercises to develop my creativity throughout the week such as meditation. It is important to be in a “flow” when you paint. I treat my art career very professionally. I take care of myself to ensure I am my best self and the best artist I can possibly be. People always say, “Isn’t painting so relaxing?” The truth is, sometimes painting is hard. It requires all your energy and focus. Some days if feels like you are piecing together a difficult puzzle. Other days, it does come naturally. It is like a form of meditation. All in all, it has taken the hard art days and the good art days to mold the artist I am today.
LPG: Do you collect anything and does it influence your work?
KS: Yes, I collect images and quotes that inspire me. I have binders filled with sayings, stories, and pictures, that I often reference to channel inspiration.
LPG: It’s interesting that you work in abstracts but you collect and are inspired by words. What artist or artists have influenced you the most?
KS: The artist who has influenced me the most is my mom. She is genuinely the most talented artist I know. From the moment I took my first oil painting class, she has been there to support my artistic development. Painting is a very special gift that we share together. Through her mentorship, she has guided me through the complexities of the art world. She has also been my primary art teacher, and I graduated college a semester early to study under her and learn her techniques. She is a full-time studio artist in Florida and continues to mold and mentor emerging artists in the local community.
LPG: Support for each other is so important. Locally, what artist are you most excited about?
KS: A local artist I greatly admire is Erin Hanson. Not only are her colorful landscapes awe-inspiring, but she is extremely humble and kind. I also enjoy following the works of Sarah Stieber and Letty Nowak.
LPG: Well, thank you for letting us into your creative world. It’s been a pleasure and we are really looking forward to featuring your work at La Playa Gallery!
KS: Thank you for this incredible opportunity! I am honored to exhibit my work at La Playa Gallery.
*** Krista Schumacher will be one of La Playa Gallery’s featured solo artists while being our first artist-in-residence. An artist reception will be held on Friday, June 1, 2018 from 5 – 8 pm and her exhibition will run through June 22, 2018. Be sure to check back for more details! www.laplayagallery.com