Q & A with Artist Erin Fitzhugh Gregory
Many of you will already be familiar with Erin Gregory and her incredibly beautiful work. If she's new to you, you're in for such a treat! If you already know of Erin, you'll enjoy learning more about her and getting to see these seriously GORGEOUS paintings. I've been dying over her work for a very long time, and am thrilled to get to share her with you.
How/why did you first begin creating art?
I remember a piece of art I brought home from pre-school and the feeling of satisfaction I got from being able to express myself on paper. It was a ball rolling down our staircase with a light fixture hanging over it. I have a terrible memory in general, so it cracks me up that I still have that image burned in my brain! I also remember reading a book in the library of my elementary school. There was a beautiful garden illustration on the inside of the cover. I was fascinated with the idea that someone was able to create this beautiful little world with just paper and paint. I wanted to be able to do that!
What influences your work most?
I guess my influences change gradually over time. I used to be obsessed with contrast and value. Color wasn't all that important. Now, color seems to be in the forefront of my mind when painting. Expressing light has always been my passion, but I guess I've changed my way of going about that. My subject matter has changed gradually also. My colors used to be more realistic.... local color, I guess. I also used to paint more realistically. I guess living around my 2 little girls, my art has become very colorful and whimsical. Not serious....
How has social media affected the world of art and beyond that, you specifically?
Wow! It really has become an immense tool for artists! It's incredible how large of an audience you can reach.... for free! Instagram has become a nice selling tool for me as well as a great way to connect with other artists and designers. I get so much daily inspiration from scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest. I seriously don't know how I functioned without it. It's so funny that for years I didn't even have a computer in my studio and now I have 2 that are always on!
How do you create your optimal environment for painting? Do you use music? Share 3 things from your favorite work playlist. If not music, is there another way you generate a climate conducive to painting?
As I just mentioned, I have 2 computers in my studio. One is covered in paint and is used strictly to show photos I'm working from. (Flowers, scenes, color swatches, etc) The other computer is for emailing, record keeping and music! Pandora and Rhapsody get me through my day. Because I paint so much, I listen to music a ton. I bounce around from genre to genre to keep from getting bored. Right this second I'm listening to the Alabama Shakes station on Pandora. Sometimes, I'll "listen" to movies. I also like the occasional podcast. My favorite lately is an NPR show called "On Being". Very inspiring.
What item in your studio do you consider indispensable?
Emily, my assistant!! She's the best thing that has happened to my career in a while. She checks my emails, organizes my receipts, creates spreadsheets, delivers paintings and then keeps my daughters busy most afternoons. Plus, she's a great sounding board for my ideas. I'm so lucky to have her help!!
What is your favorite museum?
MOMA! I love modern and impressionistic art. Such an incredible place! I fell in love with it in high school and have been back several times over the years. It gets better every time!
What priceless, well-known piece of art would you most like to own? Boy, that's a fun yet tough question! I don't know..... a Gauguin Tahitian girl painting would be fun. Or maybe a John Singer Sargeant portrait..... Any Edouard Vuillard painting would work!
Thank you, Erin! I know everyone loved getting to know you better, and were so happy to get to look at these lovely images. I, for one, will check out "On Being." And, if you could ask Emily if she has a sister or a friend in Dallas... : )
Erin's website has more information about her and more spectacular paintings to enjoy. You can see her paintings in person at the following galleries:
Gregg Irby Gallery
996 Huff Road
Atlanta, GA 30318
The Atelier Gallery
153 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Two Sisters Gallery
1330 Thirteenth Street
Columbus, GA 31901
The Lyon's Share
330 De La Mare
Fairhope, AL 36532