Niki Hare is a self taught artist working with many mediums but enjoying paint the best. She admits that painting is a language that she is more comfortable with, it has an honesty, it is what it is. Niki works with layers, building them up and scraping back, finding stuff she had forgotten about, the painting starts to get interesting, to develop its own past. We ask Niki about how she became an artist and the atmosphere in her 'crazy old kitchen' studio.
Q1: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started and what made you want to become an artist?
I started at art college when I left school, but it didn't work out. I went off and rode horses for the next 20 years. I started to paint again a few years ago, just making it up as I went and experimenting with all mediums. I never wanted to be an artist, I guess its just what I am.
Q2: What are some of your initial inspirations when starting new series?
My work is not planned, the word paintings come from my head, of that moment. I might be inspired by surface/ texture/ color that I have wandered past, but I am not really aware of these inspirations, they have just been absorbed. The words themselves are created from my thoughts and emotions.
Q3: How do you gather your thoughts and initial inspirations when starting a new project?
I don't think when I paint, the whole point for me is that it is very direct. For the overall thoughts/ plans behind a series of work, these just come as ideas in the night, then I find a way to make them happen.
Q4: What is the medium you use when creating your work? Why?
Mostly I use acrylic for the word paintings, for its speed of drying, it means I can layer over and over quickly. I also use household paint, glazes, charcoal, graphite, varnish, just anything lying around .
Q5: Tell us a little about your creative & technical process when working
Most of the word paintings are made using stencils, though sometimes I work freehand as well. I just write the thoughts in my head, without much thinking, and carry on till the words have been said. The words end up layered, some clear some buried, the color and texture turns the painting into something of itself, like it becomes a painting, not just the words. Mostly I work at night, somehow I have more head-space then.
Q6: What is the atmosphere of your studio like? Do you have any sort of rhythm or process when starting a new project?
My studio is a crazy old kitchen, I am very happy working there because anything goes, I can create mess! It is a bit chaotic, but I have a rough idea where every thing is. Of course it would be better if it was bigger, I like large scale work and it is difficult here.
Q7: What are some emotions you try and bring to some of your work?
Each painting is of a moment in time, my thoughts/ feelings at that moment, they become like a catalogue or diary. The emotions are just whatever is there at that moment.
Q8: What are some of the things you like best about being an artist/designer?
I can choose my own hours, I feel a real sense of freedom from that. Also, the whole process of making things, being creative, expressing myself, it is not always pleasant, but keeps me sane.
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