Celebrating Women in Art! — Part 3: Jonde Northcutt


by Hanna Zorilla

My next interview was with Jonde Northcutt, a master printmaker. Our conversation was rich with stories about her life as a skilled artist and teacher. As I tried to quickly write down details of our interview, I learned about the creativity and playfulness that goes into creating her wonderful works of art. 

When did you decide you wanted to be an artist, was there an eye opening moment where it  was like whoa I love this? 

“My mother was a great art mentor for me. Her name was Tookie and she was a wonderful  ceramic artist. I watched her work in her studio and create fanciful objects; so a light bulb was  already starting to glow. I was pursuing a B.A. in Sociology at Chapman University and during  that time I added studio art classes. During my sophomore year, I decided to ‘double major’. I  added one more year of art studies (studio classes and art history) to my curriculum. Upon  graduation, I knew sociology was not my passion and I veered toward art. I wasn’t sure what art niche I was interested in, so I enrolled for my M.A. in Illustration and Graphic Design at Cal State Fullerton. During this time, I met my husband, Nick Capaci, and we teamed to create Bluestone Editions, a fine art printmaking atelier.”

How do you determine success?

“Success, for me, is being content with creating something unique that taps into a different reality.  It is not monetary, even though a monetary cushion allows a safety net from which to work.”

You practice some very old mediums. What made you interested in encaustic, intaglio, and monotype? How were you introduced to these mediums?

“I’m going to credit my husband, Nick Capaci. I was already introduced to intaglio and  lithography from classes at Chapman. Nick was a ‘master printmaker’. He had graduated from  California College of the Arts and further pursued printmaking at Cal State Fullerton. He was  well versed in all the fine art print mediums. We printed limited editions for artists worldwide  (intaglio, photogravure, lithography, serigraphy, monotype) in addition to offering hand-tinting  services to hand-painted editions. Nick and I taught printing and book arts workshops both at our  studio and Idyllwild Arts (summer adult programs). We further were contract artists for UCLA’s  ArtsReach program (teaching in many of the men’s and women’s prisons throughout California).”

I know you have started to create digital art, what made you move from acrylics and mixed media type artworks, encaustic, intaglio, and monotype to digital art? 

“I actually have not moved away from any of the mediums you mentioned, but I added the digital  tool into my art satchel. My digital images are Mixed Media Photographs that use elements from  my paintings, monotypes and photographs.Years ago, I took a wonderful series of workshops by  Walter Nottingham. He was an American Craft Council Fellowship recipient and professor emeritus at University of Wisconsin (River Falls). His week-long workshops were entitled  “Mystical Symbols”. In this Mystical Symbols class we were instructed to bring whatever  supplies we wanted to use. I thought … the class does not have a printing press available, which I  had been accustomed to using to create my monotypes … so I thought I would focus on collage. I  thought about Joseph Cornell’s work and the work of another one of my favorites, Nathan  Olivera. I brought scissors, glue stick, cutting board, x-acto knives and volumes of printed material (vintage paper, photographs, magazine pages, stamps, prints). I was laboriously cutting  and pasting my collages.  

Someone came up to me during this workshop and asked why I was doing this “all by hand and not using Photoshop?” I had taken a class on how to use Photoshop, the software was on my computer; but, I was an extreme novice at using this software.  

This person was right … I was enamored with the work of Joseph Cornell. I had seen his collage  work in books and finally viewed a few in person. When I saw the work up close, his gluing and  cutting techniques diminished my appreciation of the work as a whole. Fast forward > I started  using digital mediums in the creation of my collages. The true beauty of using digital mediums is  that objects can be seamlessly merged so that the process does not interfere with the artist’s  vision. I can think and create much faster; however, the gamut of available tools and options can  be both distracting and alluring. One of my recent mixed media photographs is centered around  an iron rabbit that I still have from my childhood.”

In your “About the Artist” on your website, it seems that traveling and collecting items (which you mentioned you learned from your mother)might represent a facet of yourself or your life, in which your art can stem from is often how you gain inspiration. Due to this, how connected are you with your art, do you have a hard time letting it go, and do you take inspiration from anything else?

“My inspiration can come from almost anything … My dog’s ball that is sitting in the sun could be  a springboard. I’m sitting with my two labradoodles and the geometric shapes of their ball are  casting an interesting shadow. Almost anything can be a stepping stone… ordinary and mundane  objects taking on mystical qualities. When you allow your vision to see other realities, the  playfulness can give you inspiration. You asked if I have a “hard time letting it go”? No, since I  hold back a few pieces for my own collection; and I have the documentation of my work to look  back at and remember.”

You create abstract works of art that often represent metaphors. Is there a particular metaphor that you have gone back to from time to time that resonates in your work?

“A house shape… Because even though it can be as simple as a foundation of twigs, it is a safe  arena to tell and assemble a visual story. Also I love Orbs … circles, vintage balls, marbles,  planets. Nick and I play golf and there are these wiffle golf balls that you can practice your swing  with so you don’t break your neighbors window. I took a picture of the light perforated wiffle  balls and changed their color. Nick and I bounce ideas off of each other in our art and I showed  him the photo. He remarked that there was nothing mysterious about them, ‘just’ a wiffle ball. I re-thought the image and used photographs I had taken of Nick’s fused glass. I manipulated the photographs into glass spheres, spectrums, and crystal balls.”

How do you know when an artwork is done, do you ever have to force yourself to stop?

“I know when it’s NOT done. Sometimes an artwork will take minutes or days or years to revisit  and to complete. I can’t describe the “when” moment, but I know once I reach that finish line.”

What advice would you give to young female artists?

“I think for any artist, it is important to search out a variety of mentors, some being outside of  one’s own art niche. Be inspired by their creations and submerge yourself into their techniques  and imagery. Once you understand their techniques, reinsert your own magic and tell your own  stories.”

 

 


One of our longest exhibiting artist’s, Jonde Northcutt has shown her work at Chemers Gallery for more than 30 years. The stories she weaves through her art explore both her personal & work life experiences.  To see more of Jonde’s work click this link to our website. 

In case you missed our interview with Kara Bullock, click here
For our interview with Maria Counts, click here

Celebrating Women in Art! — Part 2: Maria Counts

by Hanna Zorilla

Maria Counts is an inventive and diverse ceramic artist. Her own magical and whimsical artform captivates the imagination as anthropomorphic beings. My interview with Maria shows she is just as creative and imaginative as her art in real life, taking inspiration from the wonder of nature all around her. 

How did you discover your love of ceramics and why ceramics rather than another medium?

“I was taking classes at a community college, playing around and wasting away my life. Then I discovered ceramics. I like painting and drawing, but ceramics is hands-on and very therapeutic. I believe that when you touch something for so long you’re putting your own energy in it.” 

Your work is inspired by mythical beings, deities, animal hybrids, and such… Why does this interest you and inspire your work?

“Nature, animals, and our universe… It’s just magic. Magic from my surroundings and the universe inspires me to create.”

How do you determine success?

“Success to me is less about financial gain and more about what I can contribute to society. I view somebody who is successful as kind, a great character, and cares for our planet.”

What connection do you have with your artwork?

“It’s funny because I make them and don’t really have an attachment. I hope they go to a good home. Very little connection, I feel connected when creating. Sometimes I get attached to a cute little face and want it around for a while, but my home is filled with other wonderful artwork from other talented artists.”

What do you do if you have a block or lack of inspiration? 

“If I can’t find inspiration I’ll go back and look at pictures or go to galleries to see wonderful artwork. I’ll go on social media, Instagram, to look at pictures. I’ll go to the coast and walk in forests to find inspiration.” 

How do you know when your artwork is done? Do you ever have to force yourself to stop creating?

“I always have to force myself to stop. Time just flies when I’m creating, I always stay up way too late. How do I know when I’m done? I don’t know, it’s weird, it’s like a feeling. Sometimes I’ll finish, glaze, fire the anthropomorphic beings on top of the animals and I’ll have a feeling that it needs something else… wings, or something. It’s just a feeling.” 

What advice would you give to young female artists? 

“My advice would be to create what you love and don’t care what others think. It’s hard to not listen to the critics. My mom would ask me if people really buy my work, and they do! People will make fun of your work, but create what you love. I think what’s beautiful about humans is that people have different taste. Also don’t hop on the trendy stuff, create your own work and trends.”


Maria Counts has been showing her ceramic creations at Chemers Gallery for 16 years. She continues to enthrall us and our clients with her out-of-the-box imagination. To see more of Maria’s work click this link to our website.

In case you missed our interview with Kara Bullock, click here

Celebrating Women in Art! — Part 1: Kara Bullock

The following posts “Celebrating Women in Art!” were written by Hanna Zorrilla. The inspiration came from a project she worked on at UC Santa Barbara, where she is currently in her sophomore year. We love having her here during the summers and “pandemications”. 

We will post one artist each week for six weeks… Enjoy the look into their artistic lives!


Celebrating Women in Art! — Part 1 Kara Bullock
by Hanna Zorilla

Becoming a successful artist is a difficult feat; one that takes lots of patience, hard work, and dedication. However success doesn’t always mean monetary gain, as I learned from the wonderful women artists I had the pleasure of interviewing. 

Here you can read my interviews with six women artists all with incredible artwork at Chemers Gallery. Learn about their life as an artist, how they define success, and what advice they would give to young female artists!

Kara Bullock

Kara Bullock is an immensely talented artist, focused on portraiture. Along with creating her own works of art, she runs a business offering classes and more to help others create inspired artwork. Even talking over the phone, you can hear her passion about people through her friendliness and sincerity.

When did you decide you wanted to be an artist and was there an experience that really sealed the deal and determined this profession was for you?

“I always loved art growing up. All throughout school, middle and high school, I took art as an elective and my teachers were always very encouraging. Drawing portraits was always my favorite. My last year of high school I was burnt out from art and I decided to go to college to become an elementary school teacher. In my senior year I took an art elective and my love for art was reignited. I came home and told my parents that I wanted to be an artist, but they said ‘no’ because I was graduating soon and getting an elementary school degree. I taught elementary school for ten years. During that time, I started teaching early childhood and education courses, online, for several different colleges and universities. Basically, I was teaching others how to teach.

Around 2014, my sister, who is also an artist, sent me a picture of a mixed media giraffe she made. I asked her how she did it and we started talking about online art classes. I discovered online art classes and I started creating art from home. I wondered if I could possibly create an art class since I had experience teaching and teaching online. I decided to try and do it. So I bought a camera and filmed a class. I created a website and put the class for sale. To my surprise, several people purchased the class! Now I collaborate with artists all over the world and help them to create online art classes so that they, too, can live the dream of being an artist full time. My journey to owning and running an online art school was very organic. It just sort of happened bit by bit over time.”

What do your paintings represent? Do you think they represent parts of yourself and how do you use loose brushstrokes and other stylistic elements to get this representation across?

“I’m a huge lover of people! Building an art community for people, where they can have a safe space to learn and develop their art, has always been really important to me. I like people so much, I think that is why I am drawn to painting them… I try to paint their story. I think 100% I’m in my paintings because I’m trying to understand the story of the person I’m painting and because of that I’m conveying that in my work. I often paint my daughters now that they are teens and want to portray the feelings and experiences that children go through as they are growing up…feelings of insecurity, uncertainty, excitement, etc. The teen years are tough and I want to capture those feelings.

I’m drawn to more expressive impressionistic type artwork. I like to put my own spin on it and I think texture and brushstrokes are more interesting to look at. There seems to be more feeling in the looseness of brushstrokes. I suppose the strokes are representative of the stories that I am trying to portray to others, a bit rough and raw, but together it unites, sort of like how life works.”

How do you determine success?

“I think success is when you are living a life that you love. Success is not a dollar sign, it’s not a big house, or a fancy car, it’s doing what you love, every single day… creating art, being with my husband and kids, driving my kids around town, creating a safe community for artists. These are all of the things that I love and am grateful to get to do them every day. This is what success is to me.” 

Do you ever get caught up in the creative process and how do you balance other aspects of your life with art?

“I get caught up in the creative process all the time! There are many periods where I don’t feel like creating… periods of prolific creativity and periods of rest, where I’m still creating in my mind, but not on a canvas. I create as time allows me too, and cherish those times. When I’m painting and just not feeling it, I try to find inspiration from other artists and artworks. Sometimes I’ll look at past work that I really like to try and see if it fuels inspiration. Even if I’m not making art and painting, I find that I’m still always creating… Whether it’s for my business or the building of a second story of my house where I’m designing an art studio, my wheels are always spinning.”

How do you know when your artwork is done, do you ever have to force yourself to stop? 

“I create in small increments of time, never for more than a couple hours. During those few hours, I spend twenty to thirty minutes painting and then I’ll work on other things, like checking my emails for my business. I’ll put the painting around ten feet away or on a wall and while I’m working I’ll spend time looking at it. Then, when time permits, I will go back to work on it. I’ll sometimes bring my paintings home, and I’ll set them on the piano so I can see it while I’m cooking dinner or just “living”. I ask myself “Can I live with it like this? Have I done enough?” If the answer is no, I’ll keep painting. Then once I’m over it or I can live with it, the painting is done.”

What advice would you give to young female artists?

“First and foremost, I absolutely believe anyone can be anything they want to be. Whatever your dream is, you can make it happen! A lot of people think you can’t be successful as an artist, but I think that’s not true. Especially in today’s world, I believe it is much easier. I do think that you have to be a hustler to be an artist, you have to work very hard. However, anyone can become an artist, no matter who you are! Find others that are doing what you want to do and ask them to mentor you, or be a go to person, ask lots of questions. Find people who will support your dream so that you know it’s possible. It’s a lot of hard work filled with lots of sweat and tears, but also with so much joy. I would not trade it in!”


Chemers Gallery has been proud to represent Kara Bullock for four years. Her artwork evokes emotion and energy through every brushstroke. To see more of Kara’s work click this link to our website.

To read our interview with Maria Counts click here! 

Our Holiday Artisan Faire 2021! Oh, what a joy!

Another successful Holiday Artisan Faire as seen through a camera’s eye. Thank you clients, artisans, volunteers, friends and family for your loving support!

December 4th & 5th, 2021

Although we were once again masked, spirits were high! Festive holiday fun was had by all enjoying the wearables, giftables and gourmetables!

Click here to see more photos from our Holiday Artisan Faire 2021 Facebook album

New friendly faces and long time favorite artisans joined the pARTy 

To shop more of our artisan handcrafts visit our Contemporary Crafts page

You came! You shopped! You made it jolly! 

For more information regarding upcoming events join our email list here.

New Art December 2021

Click the artist’s names or images below to see more of their work.

 

New ART

Ebrahim Amin

Oil Landscapes

Marilee Nielsen

Watercolor Collage

Anita Heckman

Mixed Media Chine Colle

Pete Roberts

Watercolor Landscapes

Dori Dewberry

Pastel Landscapes

Jason Li

Landscape & Figurative Watercolors

Jim Wodark

Oil Landscapes

New CRAFT

Maria Counts

Imaginative Ceramics

Deanna Deeds

Hand-woven Scarves, Towels & Napkins

Mary Hammond

Intricate Fiber Arts

Lisa Mertins

Organic Nature Inspired Ceramics

Jerry Sawitz

Crystalized Glaze Ceramics

Jonathan Weaver

Hand-Turned Wood

NEW Jewelry

Krista Bermeo

Lampwork Glass

Michelene Berkey

Nature Inspired Sterling Silver, Gold & Gemstones

Anna Balkan

Colorful Gemstones, Sterling Silver & Gold

Joanna Craft

Sterling Silver, Copper & Enamel

Elizabeth Nadler

Delicate Sterling Silver, Gold & Gemstones

Janet Seward

Ethnic With Sterling Silver, Antique Beads & Charms

Ithil Metalworks

Mixed Metal Meditation Rings

Houri Borjian

Organic Mixed Metal & Gemstone

 

 

 

 

Save the Date! The 2021 Holiday Artisan Faire is jingling on its way!

Click the artisans’ name for some of their handicraft!

Michelene Berkey  |  Krista Bermeo Joanna Craft  Deanna Deeds
Mary Hammond | Beth Marx | Lisa Mertins  |  Elizabeth Nadler
 Monique Berman Selwitz  |  Janet Seward  | Jerry Sawitz |
Karen Nan Jonathan Weaver

Gourmet goodies from
Nuvo Olive Oil  |  Harris Family Apiaries Collery Cookie Company

Join us! On Saturday, December 4th and Sunday, December 5th, 12pm-5pm for our 8th Annual Holiday Artisan Faire featuring handcrafted jewelry, wearable fiber, ceramics, turned wood, glass and gourmet treats from 15 artisans. Make a purchase and win a raffle prize from drawings held throughout the weekend.

Holiday gifts galore, all handcrafted… no supply chain shortages here! Discover jewelry in sterling silver, gold, mixed metals, crystal and precious & semi-precious gemstones from jewelry designers Joanna Craft, Michelene Berkey, Krista Bermeo, Elizabeth Nadler, Monique Berman Selwitz, and Janet Seward. Delight in wearable fiber such as scarves, shawls, purses, hats, household soft goods and more from Deanna Deeds, Mary Hammond and Beth Marx. Enjoy contemporary ceramics with a twist from Lisa Mertins. Adore unique hand-turned wood bowls from Jonathan Weaver and glass creations from Karen Varela.

In the tent, we are happy to welcome back Nuvo Olive Oil for a tasty selection of olive oils & balsamic vinegars and Harris Family Apiaries best ever local honey. Introducing, the delicious baked treats of Collery Cookie Company. All enticing for your holiday table and hostess gifts.

 

New Art November 2021

Click the artist’s names or images below to see more of their work.

 

New ART

Marie Tippets

Pastel Still Lifes

Patricia Prescott Sueme

Pastel Landscapes

Linda Karagozian

Wildlife Oils

New CRAFT

Houston Llew

Spiritiles

Lisa Mertins

Contemporary Ceramics

Tom Borusky

Wood & Stone Pens and Vessels 

James Minidis

Mixed Media Music Boxes

 

NEW Jewelry

Krista Bermeo

Lampwork Glass

Yed Omi

Silver, Gold and Gemstones

 

Book Signing with Illustrators Robin Preiss Glasser & Raúl Colón

Saturday, October 16th 1:00-4:30pm all the fun happens here at Chemers Gallery!

It has been a long 8 years since our last illustrator book signing! We know you have missed it as much as us and we can’t wait to bring back this popular event! Meet the minds behind the imagery that has brought color and wonder to so many families.

Robin Preiss Glasser will be signing her yet to be released ballet book, “Grand Jeté and Me”. These will be first edition copies not available anywhere else! Not to mention, she will also be signing your favorites from the Fancy Nancy collection!

Raúl Colón will be signing his newest releases, “Already a Butterfly”, and “Child of the Universe”, as well as other popular titles. Fresh off of his award for the 2021 Carle Museum Lifetime Achievement and Innovation Award, you won’t want to miss your chance to take home signed copies of Raúl’s wonderful books.

Original illustrations and limited edition prints will also be available on October 16th and as always at Chemers Gallery.

This event will take place indoors and outdoors. Masks will be required when inside the gallery as well as when visiting the illustrator’s tables.

More updates to come! Join the Facebook Event here

 

New Art October 2021

Click the artist’s names or images below to see more of their work.

 

New ART

Robin Preiss Glasser

Robin Preiss Glasser Fancy Nancy Grand jete and me

Children’s Book Illustrations
Illustrator of Fancy Nancy Books

Marilee Nielsen

Watercolor Collage

Janine Salzman

Contemporary Impressionist Oils 

Ebrahim Amin

Traditional Landscape Oils

New CRAFT

Houston Llew

houston llew spiritiles adiamio

Spiritiles

Maria Counts

maria counts butterfly ceramics

Imaginative Ceramics

NEW Jewelry

Ceci Rincon

Geometric Colorful Enamel

Ayala Bar

Black eyes Ayala Bar necklace

Israeli Jewelry Designer