“I’ve been involved in art with one media or another since I was a child. Although I spent many hours sketching, drawing with pen and ink, and painting with acrylics and oils, my first love has always been sculpting and mixed media. I currently use both ceramic and oil based clays. It is the three-dimensional and textural qualities achievable through sculpture that satisfies me creatively. I feel that being able to experience a piece by holding it in one’s hand is most fulfilling. In the case of my figurative pieces, it becomes an interaction…with “eye contact”.
My work can be found in galleries both internationally and across the US and has been shown in art publications and was the cover feature for the arts and entertainment magazine Pasatiempo. It is also in the private collections of several notable celebrities.”
Name: Denise Bledsoe
Birthday: February 15, 1955
College: Saddleback and San Jacinto
Book: Anything by Dr. Seuss
Movie: Road to Perdition
Quote: “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” Dr. Seuss
For how long have been in art? How did you start? I’ve been involved in art of one medium or another all my life. As a young child, I was always drawing or “sculpting” in mud, etc. Waking up means looking forward to working on the art piece of the moment. It’s a way of life.
How would you define yourself as an artist? I’ve always been the “different” one in the family so I guess that would also apply to my art style. The more unusual, the better is kind of my motto.
Would you tell us some things about yourself? Please include a few little known facts about you as well. Those who know me well, know I’m somewhat reclusive but do enjoy chatting with people about art. I love the beauty of nature – especially animals. Dogs are my favorite “people”. Also little known – my age but that was answered above.
Where do you find inspiration? Inspiration comes from animals, the honesty and real expression of children and the elderly.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? There are no heavy messages in my art. Rather I try to inspire some kind of emotion be it happy or otherwise but smiles and chuckles are best!
What art do you most identify with? I am fascinated by stop motion animation characters and aspire to one day be involved somehow with that. I would say my work could be classified as pop-surrealism.
Why do you do … what you do? I don’t believe I could NOT do it! As I stated before, it’s a way of life for me. It makes me happy to work on these characters, complete them and have others be made happy by them.
What does “being creative” mean to you? Being creative is using and developing the talents you were given. Everyone has them in one way or another.
Any shows, galleries, or publications where our readers can find your work? My work can be found in galleries both across the US as well as internationally. It is included in the hard cover book The Art of the Contemporary Doll by Sandra Korinchak. Through the years, it’s been shown in many magazines and other publications and recently, Beautiful Bizarre, Pacific San Diego, and A for Artistic.
How do you cultivate a collector base? Most of my clients have found my work through the internet however “pre-internet” we met at art shows and galleries…and we still do.
Which is your most cherished piece? The one I’m working on at the moment.
If you had an exclusive collective exhibition with other artists work, who would you choose? In the past twenty-five plus years, I’ve done many group shows with fabulous artists. It would be difficult to choose.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? The comment I hear most is that they look needy or that they need a hug. People seem to like that – so do I.
What aspect of your work do you pay particular attention to? I spend the most time sculpting the eyes as that’s the part that makes contact with the viewer first.
What Role does the artist have in society? I believe art can lift spirits, moods and be a needed escape.
What is your most treasured memory? With regard to my art career, my most treasured memories are those of the people I’ve met, many of them celebrities but the ones who stand out most are the everyday people.
What for you is the most enjoyable part of your art? I enjoy the process of a little character coming into being. I also like the atmosphere in my studio. There is always music, my dogs and the tiny house finches outside the window.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? The vintage, fine line work of Arthur Rackham draws me in to study each detail. Another favorite is Joe Sorren and how he portrays his character’s disproportionate features with warm appeal. Michael Sowa inspires me for the way he personifies whimsical animals in an almost Hudson River School background or environment.
What other interests do you have outside of art? The biggest part of my day is working on art but in my free time, I enjoy playing with my dogs, playing at the beach, visiting art galleries or reading art books.
Some short questions now:
more Colours: Brown – any shade, deep oranges
Textures: Rough surfaces mixed with smooth appeals to my eye. I like the contrast.
Define your art: I have heard my art referred to as being “creepy”, “sweet”, “scary”, and “adorable”, etc. I like all of those.
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… Maybe casual, funny, bohemian, avant-garde.
Prizes: Many years ago, my work was awarded people’s choice awards. I haven’t submitted for a very long time.
Art Fairs: Contemporary Crafts Market in Santa Monica – juried art show.
Museums: Many art galleries in the US as well as internationally. Currently exhibiting at Distinction Gallery, Escondido, CA, Curly Tale Fine Art, Chicago, IL, Cactus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA to name a few.
Music: Almost all
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? I would have to find another creative outlet.
What do you think about the art community and market? The business end of the art world isn’t my strong suit but I am always excited to see the up and comers – the young people and their enthusiasm.
Should art be funded? Why? It would be nice to have supplies available to artists who cannot afford them yet have art to offer the world.
Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction? Each new art show is always exciting to me but I also like the fund raiser pieces that might help people in need.
What else are you working on at the moment? Next projects? Finishing up some commissions and gearing up for the new year’s shows.
Share something you would like the world to know about you? I guess that I’m nice. LOL
Define “Klassik Magazine” for the audience? Where to look for international culture!