SALE! Start your year with EBSQ for just $6.50/month! Click here for details.

Vicky Knowles

Artist's Interview

How long have you been making art?
I've been drawing my whole life, but I first started painting seriously in my senior year of college, about 20 years ago! I haven't been painting that whole time however, I took a break of about 12 years when my older children were little. During that time I did a lot of colored pencil work.
What other artists and movements inform your work?
This is difficult because I love looking at other artists' work, but I really try not to let myself become too influenced. Some of my most notable artists/ inspirations are: Mark Ryden (my favorite!), Max Ernst & Rene Magritte, Dr. Seuss, David Kirk, Jim Woodring, Gary Baseman, the Clayton Brothers, Windsor McCay, Edmund Dulac, Children's book illustration up through the late 1950's, Sci-Fi illustration from the 50's, Halloween stuff from the 20's - 40's, toys from the 40's - early 60's, I could go on & on. & on & on.....
How would you describe your work?
I always have a hard time describing/pigeonholing my work. My husband calls it "Nursery School Nightmares" and interestingly my college art professor said I should illustrate a children's book of nightmares! I don't think my work is that bad though! I guess I'd say I do portraits of creatures who tread that fine line between cute & disturbing. Humor is extremely important to me as well, I try to convey that in my paintings without being too obvious.
What are your motivations for creating?
A lot of my motivation comes from my kids, especially my 10 year old son who has the most fascinating way of looking at the world. He'll come up with bizarre statements which will immediately trigger a great visual or title for a painting. These are the paintings I'm most compelled to do. Other times I'll just sit down in front of the TV & draw random characters from my subconscious. My 2 Boston Terriers have great faces which inspire me as well, they're my muses! Those faces have popped up on many a character.
How, if at all, have the events of 9-11 impacted your painting?
While the terrible events of 9-11 have certainly affected me as a person (especially living in a town that lost quite a few people) I don't feel they affected my art making much. I don't use my artwork to make statements, it is what it is. I pretty much clear my mind when I'm working, so maybe it has been affected on a subconscious level. On the other hand I really haven't done very much artwork since then, so who knows.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
Color and eyeballs.
Has having a daughter recently changed either how you work or what you create?
Having a baby has certainly affected my painting schedule! Violet is a very busy little girl and is not big on naps, so for months I was not able to work at all. Since oils are my medium of choice I'm not comfortable painting with her in the room, so I was limited to her erratic sleep schedule. Recently however she's started going to bed in her own crib at about 10:00 so I can paint late at night. I don't think having her has affected what I paint, with the exception of my painting "Queen of Babies". I did that when I was pregnant - it was originally "Prince of Babies" but halfway through I discovered I was having a girl, so the prince got little curls & became a queen! Interestingly that painting does bear a resemblance to Violet, although she's much cuter.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
I'd like them to know I'm still around, even though I haven't been putting much on Ebay lately due to my personal schedule and some commissions I've been working on. I will be back selling on Ebay soon however, I'm very much looking forward to coming back. I'm also planning on branching out into a couple of new directions - doing miniatures as well as working in a looser style. And finally, I'll be offering prints of some of my past works, hopefully within the next few months.

2000-2024 EBSQ, LLC - All rights reserved - Original artists retain all rights
EBSQ Self Representing Artists - is a division of EBSQ, LLC