Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Lydia Riegle. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Lydia, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. Can you talk to us about how you learned to do what you do?
Learning the craft – do artists intrinsically “get it” or do they develop over time and effort? For this artist, it all came together after a rich life of family, children, expected and unexpected life events and time moving forward – often a similar back-story for so many others. Because one of the prompts to this interview is “If I had it to do over again”, I would have focused earlier on the creative process, and the technical skill set needed to become more fully knowledgeable in my late-start journey as an artist.
As an adult, I studied at the Art Students League of Denver, University of Colorado, Denver for an introductory class that was a teaser of what might become. Printmaking workshops with Mark Lunning, Michael McCabe, Dan Welden were important. Painting classes with Homare Ikeda, Jordan Wolfson helped to develop an understanding of abstract painting – both internally and externally. Many studies, many workshops, much effort, staying curious, staying engaged, being persistent – all that and more were behind my efforts to understand more, be better, and do the best that I can do. As an artist, I believe we all have back-stories that we share; line work, to me, represent connections, organic and hard line forms must interplay well together – my work needs to provide room for the other to enjoy and relate to so that we are able to start the conversation. I am grateful for this creative journey.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
A painter, a printmaker – making contemporary abstract fine art – that’s me! Something I read a long time ago but, as is often the case, don’t recall when or where (so I can give credit) is still relevant and perfectly states what I believe when I read it initially and what is still true for me today. “Art helps to bring memories to the surface to start a dialogue which acts as a catalyst to stretch thinking and boundaries adding to the richness of the human experience”. Shared back-stories, connections, discovery, room to hear the viewer story as it relates to them after viewing my work – all of these are important, and I delight in hearing those stories.
2021 and early 2022 were and are a busy time for me with exhibitions at the Littleton History Museum, the Lakewood Cultural Center, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Bleue Tile Gallery, D’art Gallery, and the Red Brick Center for the Arts, Aspen. At the Red Brick Center for the Arts, Aspen, currently showing are my printmaking images and paintings. And it’s always fun to exhibit with my friend, Jean Smith, who creates dynamic ceramic sculptures for the wall. The exhibit has much to offer!
I am grateful to have heard those conversations and to understand the connections – always discovering!
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
One of the most rewarding aspects of being an artist is answering the self-driven questions of “what would happen if” or “how can I show this idea most effectively” on 2D work. Sometimes it happens quickly, other times, it’s more time and thought.
And then, another rewarding aspect of being an artist/creative is to have conversations with others about art and life in general. Art starts the dialogue and helps to form the connections. That’s super rewarding.
Additionally, the ability to show my work also factors into reward – great venues provide the formalized space to have work displayed. Good walls, good lighting, great owners and staff – those components make it gratifying for the artist. With that, the conversations follow and as added bonus – sometimes the work is purchased when it strikes a chord. Everyone benefits.
Lots of rewarding events in the life of a creative – matter of perspective, I would imagine :-)
Is there something you think non-creatives will struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can provide some insight – you never know who might benefit from the enlightenment.
Generally speaking, I think creatives and others who think of themselves as non-creatives occasionally distrust their decision making and judgement. For me, as an artist, I strive to learn fundamentals, then let my decision making come from learned skills and knowledge in order to trust my judgement. I can now feel when something coalesces – I try to go with it!
- Website: lydiariegle.com
- Instagram: @lydia_riegle_artist
Lydia Riegle, Wes Magyar, Anson Wigner