Artist Profile: Judy Wise

Judy Wise is an Oregon artist, writer and teacher whose work has been published over several decades in book and periodicals and on greeting cards, textiles, educational materials and calendars. Her work spans the mixed media spectrum, from journaling, painting and encaustic to stenciling and printmaking. Her book Plaster Studio Workshop: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Sculpting was co-written by Stephanie Lee. It will be published by North Light Books in May 2011.

Q: Why do you make art?
A: Because I am nervous, moody, excitable, depressive, compulsive and hyper. It soothes me. It compensates for all the aforementioned.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: Teaching classes, journaling, painting in encaustic, collage and acrylic.

Q: What’s your current favorite, can’t-live-without-it tool?
A: I’m currently madly in love with a brayer that a student left behind from one of my classes and told me I could keep. It is old, with a wooden handle and crusted with paint. I wish it could talk and tell me the secrets of its previous owner as I love her work very much. I think it has magic.

Q: What is on your workspace right now?
A: All the unpacked supplies from teaching a journaling class for 2 days in Malibu. I have to put all that stuff away.

Q: What’s your favorite tool or material?
A: Pens and pencils. All kinds.

Q: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
A: Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. Great books about the craftsmen of the middle ages. I relate to those industrious people who loved to work with their hands.

Q:What’s the most inspiring trip you’ve ever taken or adventure you’ve ever had?
A: There have been so many. I love travel. I think my most recent trip to San Miguel, Mexico has stirred my passion for paintings with texture and for connecting me to so many artists who live in that community. I’ve seldom wanted to pack up and move to a place like I did during and after this trip. Mexico is in my blood.

Q: What’s the last thing you cooked?
A: I made some enchiladas for a recent encaustic class I held here in my studio. They were really good. I’m not a regular in the kitchen though. I love to cook but have little time for it.

Q: If you could surround yourself with only one color, what would it be?
A: Yellow. Without a doubt.

Q: Do you have a talisman/power garment/magical thing you wear?
A: A small pinkie ring that I purchased in Santa Fe after my mother passed. It has a chip of turquoise and a chip of coral that I think of as each of my parents and it reminds me of my Arizona roots.

Q: What’s your favorite place in all the world?
A: Wherever I find myself at the moment. Every place is the best place when my eyes are open.

Q: What’s the best day you’ve ever had?
A: I can remember the first best day I ever had. I was in the 5th grade and my cousin Nancy Jo got to come to school with me. We ate hamburgers for lunch at the drive-in restaurant across the street from my school and I felt like a million dollars. As I write it out it sounds mundane and makes me laugh but I just remember being so happy all day long.

Q: What’s today’s Word to Live By?
A: Do it now.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: Taco Bell spicy bean burritos with extra onions. ‘Nuf said.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: To stop people from using the world’s wealth to wage war and instead to put that money into education.

Q: What is your earliest memory?
A: Waking up on the floor of a new rented house in Mesa, Arizona, listening to the doves coo. I was 4 years old and the furniture hadn’t arrived yet from Illinois.

Q: What’s your one favorite material thing?
A: My freaking iPhone. I can’t believe I just said that. Oh, and my computer and software too.

Q: With whom would you love to spend one day making art?
A: Discounting my friends with whom I do make art I will name someone I don’t know and that is Marcia Meyers. How did she get those surfaces?

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for artists?
A: Be single-minded.

Click here to keep up with Judy Wise on her blog.

Click here to visit Judy Wise’s web site.

Click here to learn more about or purchase Judy Wise and Stephanie Lee’s book Plaster Studio Workshop.


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