Monday, July 28, 2014

Alicia Hunsicker - Nature Provides A Constant Source of Inspiration

Convergence - Alicia Hunsicker

As I have explored the world through cyber space I have connected with many talented artists.  Alicia Hunsicker is one of the first artists whose work I discovered and have continued to enjoy her magical and mysterious work.

Alicia lives in Leyden Massachusetts where she works surrounded by nature which is her primary source of inspiration.  She states in her Bio/Statement that she has felt called to be an artist from and early age.  She earned a BFA in Printmaking with a Graphic Design concentration and now works from her mountain top studio.

Celestial Cartography - Alicia Hunsicker

Alicia has exhibited extensively throughout New England as well as internationally and has received a number of grants and residencies.  Currently she has exhibitions at the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY and Gallery in the Woods, Brattleboro, Vt.

Drift - Alicia Hunsicker


Terry - What is your background relating to your art life?  How has your work developed to its current status?

AliciaI have always had the calling to be an artist. I received a Bachelors’ of Fine Art degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Printmaking with a Graphic Design emphasis. After graduation I moved to Vermont and worked in a photo lab where I  learned about photography. It was also at that time I became very interested in painting.  I had taken one class while attending UMass but consider myself, for the most part, a self taught painter.  I married, left my photo job in Vermont and moved to western Massachusetts where I worked as an art teacher for a K/12 special education program. I found this very inspiring and spent a few years in the regional school system teaching art and mathematics.  

When I became pregnant with my son who is now 12, I left teaching and committed myself to a personal studio practice while balancing being a mom. When my son turned 3 an opportunity came up to head a local gallery which I ran for one year. I enjoyed it very much but it ate up most of my time and I missed having the time to paint.  I decided to leave gallery administration and rededicate myself to my painting process and studio practice while doing graphic design work on the side.  It is then I started showing my work seriously and eventually applying successfully for grants and residencies.

As my artwork began to go places I yearned to travel and go place too. I have been lucky to have been able to travel as an artist to residencies and for other projects. Most recently my work brought me on an exciting whirlwind trip where I visited Austria, Switzerland, and France. 

I can see how my path in life has informed my journey as an artist and interestingly enough also my artistic process. What I thought were random decisions and chance occurrences reveal themselves to be a logical progression that has brought me to the place I am today.

New Dimensions - Alicia Hunsicker

Terry - What mediums do you incorporate into your work?

Alicia - Over the years I have developed an interesting process for my work.  Initially I translate my ideas into preliminary “sketches” using digital photographic techniques and manipulation through computer software. Once I have arrived at a composition I feel passionate about I make a print in reverse. Bringing this print to a copy center, I then experiment with black and white xeroxing to play with scale. After deciding what size will deliver the strongest impact I prepare a surface and apply the “sketch” using an acrylic transfer process. I am then left with a black and white image on which to establish an initial layer of acrylic color. From there I build up the surface with oil paint using traditional techniques. My process opens up exploration into concept, imagery, and paint application, which allows me to grow and discover while painting.

Source Stream Alight - Alicia Hunsicker

Terry - What keeps you working?

AliciaI don’t really see painting as working. For me it is a way of life. 

I choose to live simply so that I can continue exploring the big questions in life. I approach painting as a tool for self discovery and enjoy the ongoing dialog with the universe that I am participating with through my process. 

When I am painting I am able to attain a level of deep surrender and sense a profound connection with the divine.  I would even go as far as to say that painting is part of my spiritual practice.  Like the meditative process of a yogi or monk painting enables me to move from analytical thinking to an intuitive perception.  It expands my consciousness into bliss and clarity and allows me to see the deeper connections in life.

TerryWhat art experience would you love to have that you haven't had to this point?

Alicia - I have become a huge fan of Golden brand paints the last two years. I especially love the liquid transparent acrylic paints.

I would love to be awarded a Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for theArts Residency, where artists participate in a completely unique opportunity to explore the widest, most innovative range of materials and technology available today for professional artists working with paint.

I have not yet applied for this but plan to for next year.  The deadline is in September....fingers crossed!


Terry - What does being an artist mean to you and what kind of  art/artists inspires you?

Alicia - Being an artist to me means following your inspirations and sharing your unique perspective of the world we live in.
What I admire most in an artist is a clear and unique voice, an artist that shows not only what they are being inspired by, but how they as an individual perceive and interpret it. I have reverence for artists that infuse their own spirit or soul into their work.  I do respect good painting technique as well.

Alicia Hunsicker in the studio

Here are additional links about Alicia and her work that will be coming up in the future:

‘Whole Terrain Journal’ a publication of Antioch University, Keene, NH.

A visual essay of paintings by Alicia Hunsicker on the theme Metamorphosis 

Curated and published by Whole Terrain is New England’s journal of reflective environmental practice is dedicated to the experience of those who have chosen the environment as the basis of their professional work. It cultivates reflective thought and mindful awareness in an effort to create a balance between humanity and the Earth.

‘New York Spirit Magazine’ Brooklyn, NY (either fall or winter issue)

Cover artist and editorial. 

For people who are passionately interested in personal growth and transformation on the East Coast.

Wavelength - Alicia Hunsicker

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