Q&A: Big Island artist Jodi Fuchs

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Jodi Fuchs, an award-winning contemporary abstract painter who loves to work in solid, bright colors, recently moved to the Big Island after a successful career in California. Her first Hawaii show was held April 18 at Soul Center during the Our Night Out Kona event where she displayed such pieces as “100 dolphins,” an acrylic on canvas.

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Jodi Fuchs, an award-winning contemporary abstract painter who loves to work in solid, bright colors, recently moved to the Big Island after a successful career in California. Her first Hawaii show was held April 18 at Soul Center during the Our Night Out Kona event where she displayed such pieces as “100 dolphins,” an acrylic on canvas.

Fuchs recently took some time to tell Big Island Entertainment Scene about her work.

Q: How did you get involved in the arts? What was that turning point where you knew you were meant to be an artist, and nothing else?

A: “My art education was a never ending series of strange creative jobs – working for photographer’s hand-tinting photographs, as a production assistant on several TV shows, assisting graphic designers on rock star’s tour books, etc. I took some evening classes at Otis Parsons for graphic design but felt like the surface areas were too small for me. I then moved onto classes for faux finishing after working as a set painter on movies and got some great painting gigs. The first was working with a team of artists that marbleized an entire shopping mall in (Las) Vegas. That skill set lead to working on high-end homes where I learned all about the decorative arts and enjoyed creating painted environments. The house was the canvas. Then after 20 years of physically challenging work, climbing ladders and painting ceilings, I decided to focus more fully on making my own paintings. I felt I had developed the skill set to move forward exclusively into the realm of my fine art.”

Q: How do you describe your art to people?

A: “I describe my work as contemporary abstracts and that I’m painting, in abstract form, what is currently fascinating me at the time. It could be about chaos and stillness, energy structures, boundaries or the lack thereof, color studies, etc. I think of my work as my psyche working it out on the canvas. It always tells it like it is.”

Q: Who would enjoy your art and why?

A: “I think people with a modern aesthetic enjoy my work as well as those interested in yoga and energy. Also color aficionados like my painting since I love to work in bright bold colors.”

Q: What inspires your art today?

A: “Yes, moving to Big Island has had an effect on my work. My work feels more fluid to me, probably because I swim almost everyday in the bays near my house. The colors of the tropical fish, the flowers, the sky and the ever changing light here inspire me. It all comes into the work somehow though not always in an overt way. Well, except for my painting called, ‘Vog.’”

Q: What are your artistic influences and why?

A: “I love the abstract expressionists like Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Willem DeKooning. The act of painting for painting’s sake. A painting is a capture of what’s going on in my life, but unlike a photograph, it can speak to a series of moments or an extended time frame. I like what artist Joan Mitchell said ‘My painting is not an allegory or a story. It is more like a poem.’”

Q: How do you hope your art makes people feel?

A: “I hope my art creates a sense of connection with the viewer and makes them smile. People bring their own perspective to what they see in the work and that is always interesting to me.”

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Q: What is the most fulfilling part of being an artist?

A: “When a painting finally starts to make sense after not making sense. When someone connects with a painting and they buy it because they can’t stop thinking about it. That’s when I know I’ve made contact.”

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