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Artist Interview
by Amber Lea Easton

Artist Interview with Gail M Austin

Q: Have you always known you would be an artist?

A: "I have been doing art for as long as I can remember. My dad was an artist and the art director of a commercial art firm in Chicago. I remember him taking me to the Chicago Art Institute when I was really young and seeing him get tears in his eyes. I didn't understand why back then, but now I do."

Q: Do you have a media preference for your artwork?

A: "I enjoy many media. Oils, watercolor, photography, charcoal, silk painting, tile making, ceramic sculpture, sewing, embroidery, etcetera. Watercolor has been my main media for twenty-two years, ceramics for about ten. Majolica is my specialty in ceramics. Mojolica is a 13th century technique of decorating terra cotta earthenware. I use my watercolor knowledge on these pieces. Sometimes this is referred to as 'tin glazing'."

Q: What do you hope to inspire in others through your art?

A: "My artwork speaks to the inner senses, through symbols obvious to the viewer and 'knowing to the soul. I like to keep my expressions mostly open and free, creating expansion and 'Inner Light'. My intention is to express my heart, and somehow in being vulnerable, connect others to their own hearts. By doing my art, I am expressing inner wisdom, connecting other beings to the nature kingdom through the sense of sight. When their inner knowingness of all things expands, it encourages freedom or inspires an AHHHH moment that brings tears to their eyes. That touches me. We then have achieved a common ground, a safe place of peace."

Q: It's obvious that spirituality influences you. Can you explain how you integrate spirituality into your art?

A: "Art is creativity, freedom, and for me, an intermingling and communing with the Great Divine. When I'm painting, sketching, molding clay, whatever the medium is, I feel grounded in the NOW moment. I am fully present. On another level, I am Bi-locating to another space and time as I reach for Spirit. My body-temple is my vehicle. My hands are the expressers. I connect to the Great Mystery and everything makes sense. Art creates Spirit through a visual experience."

Q: You've stated that nature inspires you. Can you elaborate on that?

A: "I feel that nature is the most beautiful creation of art possible. As an artist, I desire to express my appreciation of nature and the love I feel in nature's presence. Nature gives us insights to life itself...the unfolding of a flower and the returning to earth of that flower with its seed to bring forth new life...trees reaching toward light...fields of vegetables...sun and planets moving effortlessly through their magnetic forces...stars giving us dreams and Divine intelligent's all an inspiration."

Q: Do you believe that everyone has innate artistic ability?

A: "People have told me that they can't do or create art. Everyone is a work of art. Now I've heard that being said negatively, you know, 'you're a piece of work.' I take that as a compliment. We are all expressions of Spirit! We express our own Spirit differently, but we are all expressing the same thing, our humanity. Everyone is an artist. Look at how we create our lives! The webs of parallels and waves of energy come upon us like a gentle tropical wave on a sandy shore or crashing upon us like a tsunami. The lows, the highs, and all the experiences we create for ourselves let us know we are alive! So, with that being said, be who you are in your natural way, not forced, not controlled, but naturally in your wholeness, like a flower you are the artist!"

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