Interview with Lynne Perrella
a)Columbia County in the Hudson River Valley, New York, USA
q)How did you get started making art?
a)I’ve always considered myself an artist, and think I was probably born with an art “gene”.
More importantly, I always got a lot of encouragement and affirmation for my creative
interests and that certainly allowed my fascination with art and imagination to flourish.
I often find myself returning to wisps of ideas that I had as a child…almost like trying to recover the images of a dream.
q)How would you describe your art?
a)I consider myself a mixed-media artist. My interests are in collage, assemblage, art
journals and one-of-a-kind books. I like to strike a balance between the solitary activity of working in my studio on my own projects, and also organizing art collaborations amongst colleagues and respected peers.
q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?
a)I think one role of the artist in society is to use everything. I like to translate my everyday experiences into art as a way of creating Reflection and Reverie. As a lifelong
keeper of written diaries and visual art journals, I tend to work with anything at hand.
The smallest thing will start the flow of ideas……for instance, this morning in my kitchen I noticed a sticker on an onion that said “Jumbo Red” and I just knew there was an idea lurking behind those words. I try to be as open and receptive to my environment as possible.
q)What other artists inspire you?
a)One of the most meaningful things I have done in recent years is to make up a list of the 10 biggest art influences in my life. Just the process of listing, editing, revising and living with that list created a breakthrough for me. The list changes all the time, and the hierarchy shifts around……but some of the mainstays on the list are: Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Kerouac, Milton Glaser, Hannelore Baron, Andy Goldsworthy,
q)Where can someone purchase your works?
a)Please visit my website at
q)What is your medium of choice?
a)I like to work with very low-tech materials. Acrylic paints, paper, canvas, string, glue,
found objects. Anything that has a well-worn, non-precious feeling to it. One of my neighbors is a master print maker, and he saves his used cheesecloth tarlatans for me. These wonderful “rags” have become one of my favorite things to use in collage and
q)What are you working on now?
a)Recently, I have been doing a lot of reading about the Ballet Russes, and Diagliev.
I have been doing a series of miniature paper “costumes” inspired by this research, using just about everything and anything in my studio. Great fun!
q)What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an artist?
a)I think that living an artful life is easy, once you remove the daunting titles and art jargon.
For instance, I think anyone who creates a beautiful welcoming dinner party for friends and sets a lovely table is expressing themselves as an artist. The way we arrange a room, or put a wardrobe together, or write a personal special thank-you letter, etc. These are all ways of expressing personal creativity, without the pressure or angst of questioning “Am I really an artist?”. On the flip side of that, I also feel that being an artist requires a strong work ethic in order to propel ourselves forward and keep the creative juices going.
Two conflicting concepts – But I think both are important.
q)What are you doing when you are not creating your art?
a)I travel throughout the US, and abroad, giving creativity workshops. I do this about five or six times a year, and I consider it a big privilege to work with people who are exploring the depths of their creativity and taking risks. Also, I write books on my artform (my latest book, “Art-Making; Collections & Obsessions” will be out in February) and am usually working on manuscripts or articles.
q)What does music mean to you?
a)Music is my ticket, when I instantly want to go to a state of mind, or a mood. For instance, I have a 1960s juke box in my studio, full of 45 rpm records. If I want to turn up the volume on my energy and verve, I select some Motown or Doo Wop on my jukebox and let the music carry me. If I want to hide out and be quiet and reverent, I usually listen to chant music, like “Anonymous 4”. Jazz, from Miles Davis, usually loosens the tightness in my work and helps me feel the flow. When I come into my studio in the morning, the music comes on even before the lights!
q)What does art mean to you?
a)My answer to this question changes daily. Today, without question, the response is….
“Participation”. I think the arts are an open invitation to participate, express, contribute.
No matter how complicated, complex, and “techy” our world gets, I always sense that the arts bring us back to our most authentic emotions and allow us a positive opportunity to move ahead while honoring the past.