Art Feature of the Week-Angela Schwengler

Artist: Angela Schwengler

“I specialize in portraiture and figurative artwork. Although I create art in many mediums, I am concentrating on utilizing oil painting, sculpture & drawing to unravel my artistic vision of exploring the universal feelings about the ups and downs of life.

Currently, I am immersed in the art scene in Corpus Christi and I teach privately and in small classroom settings.

The themes of my personal work are about the interconnectedness of the human experience and the mystery in all things. The life I live in is part of a grand illusion and the people around me reflect parts of me and my beliefs. I explore this connection through the portraits and figures of others.

Otherwise, I create art out of pure study and pleasure.”

When did you first discover your creative talents?

Angela: I think I did when everyone really does, but I was not cognizant of it at the time. I just did what I knew was fun. I was still in diapers and I could hardly read, but I drew all the time when I was a toddler. I see art as a way of seeing – a skill that someone can develop overtime through observation. I think that everyone is made to create, but my artistic abilities just developed the more I practiced.

Could you tell us about some of your work?

Angela:My goal in my art is to show the beauty in all things, ultimately. Whether I create art based on celebrity or my own ideas of self, I want people to be able to see the beauty in them. I have a series coming up of imperfection to highlight that we are perfect just as we are and that our imperfections are part of what makes us beautiful. So often, in our society, we “erase” or disguise our imperfections, but we need to be able to be at ease with them because they are part of us. I also like to see art as therapy for myself and for the viewers in this way. I have a series of portraits that I am going to be continuing in which I send silent/visual messages to the subjects based on how I hope that their lives will improve. The color for the background has a meaning for them as well as the
title of the piece.

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?

Angela: Motivation and inspiration comes from within. Whenever I find myself becoming lazy about creating art, I remind myself of how much more at ease I feel when I am creating on a consistent basis. It is what I am made to do and if I am not doing it, I don’t feel productive which can lead to depression for myself. I look at how amazingly positive I feel when I am creating and that inspires me to keep doing it. Sharing it with others also gives me inspiration because they get excited about it and that energy transfers over to me. I get joy from knowing that my art can inspire others, and knowing this inspires me.

WHO is your favorite artist?

Angela: Currently, I love The Gryllus. They are a husband and wife team of painters. I love their technique and their subject matter. Their art resonates with me on a deep level. Alyssa Monks, Adam Beane, Ron Mueck, Tim Bruckner, Jamie Salmon are all other contemporary artists that I absolutely love and look to at times where I feel that I need to motivate myself even more. I also love John Singer Sargeant, Anders Zorn, Caravaggio, Bernini, Michelangelo and Rodin. It is VERY hard to pick a favorite. I’d say if I had to pick two, it would probably be Jamie Salmon and The Gryllus.

WHAT types of art do you prefer. Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

Angela: I prefer to sculpt and paint. Sculpture is my passion. I paint because I like to and it is fast for me. I currently have art hanging in the Janet F. Harte Library in Flour Bluff. I’m entering juried exhibitions, but I don’t know if I’ve gotten in yet or not.

What are you currently working on? How is this different from past

Angela: I’m currently working on things I want to do just for fun. They are a break from my past projects because I don’t necessarily have anything in mind. I just finished painting a series of spiritual leaders, so I wanted to take a break from a theme and just work on things which are fun to do. I just finished a digital vector drawing of Robert Downey Jr, and I’m sculpting a mascot. Soon, I plan to be working on those other, more personal ideas.

“What is Art?” is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

Angela: I hope that my audience sees the beauty in what they are looking at. I hope that it opens their eyes a little bit and that they can perceive something in a different light than they had seen it before. This is especially true for the self portrait and imperfection series I am doing.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Angela: That it doesn’t matter where you live or how big the space is, create anyway. You are an artist and have to create, you don’t have a choice, so don’t make yourself suffer through excuses of why you “can’t.” Also, that if you continue to do what you love, great things will happen.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.

Angela: I have a small studio in my home where my easel is always set up and my table for my sculpture always has tools laid out. When I am sculpting, I like to carry it around the house because I don’t feel like I have to be confined to my space – which might sound silly. When I am painting, I feel like I need to be alone to focus. When I am sculpting, I could be watching a movie or doing something else while I sculpt. I sometimes start out with a sketch, but mostly, I will take pictures of what I envision, then sketch it on the canvas, or just start building up the clay. There is no real method to my madness other than to keep looking at what I am doing as a puzzle and to take steps to get to the finished product. Sometimes, the pieces don’t quite fit, so I have to fix them, but it doesn’t bother me to have to do that. It’s a lot like life to me. It’s good to just let
things flow and if they don’t turn out right, you can correct what you do in the future

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Angela: I plan on creating more art that focuses on emotions and more personal experiences. I’ve been creating art based on people I know rather than emotions, so I really want to dig into my sketchbook and bring some of those old sketches to life. I have ideas of self portraits and some hardboiled fiction/noir type of art. I’m really excited about it.

Image List:

Artist: Angela Schwengler

1. You Are Loved

2. Smile

3. Beautiful Day

4. Insight by Obersvation

5. The Unknown


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