Artist Survey #18: Peter Nordstrom

Peter is a crazy cat I met through the recent Alley Art Show. He is one of the very few (if not only) local artists creating the style of art that he does. He spends a great deal of time on each and everything that he creates and it is obvious in the final product. Read on to learn more.

{Arahan Heart}

{Love Death}

{Harbinger of the Apocolypse}

Name: Peter Nordstrom

Location: Sonora, CA

Medium(s): magic sculpt, super sculpey, found objects, acrylic & oil paint

What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? Sculptor & Painter

Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? My House (by appointment) &

When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? Around 2006, once I discovered new mediums of clay and what I was capable of creating and expressing through sculpture.

Who/What inspired your interest? I desired to create new forms that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Other’s artwork and McFarlane’s monster toys were amazing but I had so many images and ideas in my mind I wanted to bring to life. Recently it has been H.R. Giger as I love his style: the darkness, eroticism, and attention to detail. He is an example of someone who isn’t afraid to show anything and everything; a true master of art and himself (in a good way, like feeling comfortable and understand who he is). I also really like Alex Grey as a visionary artist, and I like the realism of Da Vinci, and the sculptures of Michelangelo. Kris Kuksi was my inspiration for using found objects; his work is very impressive and elaborate; something I want to create in my own work, but in my own style, vision, and expression.

What is your day job? I work part time for my step dad, answering emails and taking care of online orders when he needs help. He is in the business of curing uncurable diseases through alternative medicines, and I fully support this movement against the pharmacies who are only interested in treating the symptoms and not the disease. Other then that, I am doing art every minute I get.

Why do you create? I feel the need to bring my imagination to life in a 3-D sculpture, as a form of expression or some kind of emotion; like a better way of understanding myself.

Is there any recurring theme in your work? My personal work is normally quite dark, erotic, macabre, and very detailed. It often encompasses the interaction between male and female, often love, pain, longing, fear, or other emotions that can’t be said but only felt.

What do you want from your work? I want my work to represent my feelings both emotionally and accurately in regards to the images in my mind. Trying to bring my imagination to life is a true challenge and it keeps me motivated to get every detail perfect. Kind of like OCD.

What do you want viewers to take from your work? I would hope that they understand the complexity and hard work that I put into each piece, and perhaps have some personal emotional reaction; whatever it may be. My artwork is personal to me, so if a viewer likes or dislikes isn’t that important. But I do appreciate it when others find beauty and meaning in my work; it makes me feel like I have accomplished something great for myself.

How often do you work on personal projects? Almost everyday, sometimes an hour, sometimes 8 hours, just depends on other obligations and how much energy I have.

How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? Not very often, I don’t take many commissions because I don’t really enjoy creating someone else’s ideas. I don’t like doing art for money, as I feel it isn’t as true to the meaning of what art is to me. If someone wants something made that I also find very interesting or challenging then I may take them up on it. However, my artwork is very complex and I charge a lot so the average person isn’t able to afford it. I do create art for my friends and family as gifts, as this means a lot more to me then selling something to a stranger.

Does your art support you financially? No, I’m not concerned about selling my art right now, it’s just a form of self-expression and if I wanted to make art just to sell then I wouldn’t enjoy it or want to make it.

Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? I think about it 24/7. Sometimes I forget to eat or do things with friends and family.

What do you do in your spare time besides your art? I play tennis, card games, cook, work out, spend time with friends and family (when I remember!).

Which musicians are you currently interested in? I’ve had what most would probably label an obsession with Tool since 1997 (the depth of the music, lyrics, art, meanings behind their work; like understanding oneself, the earth, universe, relationship with others, deeper love and connections, spirituality, the completeness of the self through accepting the dualities in life, like good/evil, right/wrong, light/dark, love/hate, male/female, etc.). Recently I’ve been engulfed by Skinny Puppy and other projects by their band members (The Tear Garden, Cevin Key, etc), as they are deep spiritual trance-like in emotion and dark industrial journeys of music. Music has a large influence on my mind and ideas, which I use and express through art. One example is the Love/Death sculpture I did a few years ago, the emotion is from a relationship that was very passionate in love but also painful in separation, and the black/white and character design is from a Skinny Puppy music video of their song “Candle.”

Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? Just the Summer Art Explosion, and any other artistic events in the future!

How long do you generally take on a piece? The larger pieces usually take 100+ hours over one to two months. The piece I’m working on now has been ongoing for a few months, but I’ve been sidetracked with other projects and constantly changing the design, so that is slowing things down. I am also putting a lot of emphasis on anatomy, movement, and fine details; which takes a long time too for such a large project.

Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? Well, I quit my full-time day job to focus on art because I felt like I was already dead not being able to do what I loved. I was at the top of my class throughout school yet didn’t find any meaning in mathematics or other subjects, so when I got to college I studied art, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and biology. I didn’t attend further education as I found most of what I was learning was outside of class; through personal research, and just creating new sculptures I learned way more then anyone could teach me. If I ever reach a plateau, or point where I can’t learn any more by myself, then I will seek new teachers and environments to get me to new levels.

Do you work on multiple projects at once? Yes, but I try not to, as I get distracted and sometimes have trouble finishing pieces; so I try to focus all my energy on one piece until it is done. Sometimes I like to balance between sculpture and painting so I don’t get overwhelmed on just one medium.

Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? Sometimes, but most of my work is for myself. I’ve made sculptures for family and one in particular for two of my friends who got married that I feel are some of my best work, so it is sad to see them go but I know they are really appreciated and loved.

Art Community to Honor Celebrated Local Artist Evelyn Sullivan

Art Community to Honor Celebrated Local Artist Evelyn Sullivan with Tribute Art Show of her work at JG Design Studio in Sonora

Friends of celebrated Jamestown artist, the late Evelyn Sullivan, will be holding an exhibition and sale of her work at JG Design Studio on October 10th -11th 2009. The show will celebrate the artist’s creative energy and the many styles and media that she worked with. From ceramics, painting, computer generated images and, of course, her wonderful found-object creations, she worked with it all. Evelyn Sullivan was a victim of cancer and passed away in January of this year.

Sullivan described her relationship with her art:

“My creative mind seems to work in bits and pieces, every object I see I visualize a work of art. I’m a free spirit experimenting with different materials, found objects, not limiting myself to one medium. My works vary from realism, to abstract, to the very humorous. I find the challenge in creating a work of art most gratifying, and most humbling. For the past two years my digital camera and computer have been a new learning experience. These pieces evolved from this process which I find very exciting.”

The show will be open from noon to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, October 10 th and 11th 2009. Works will be displayed indoor and on the street-side entry to the studio.  The pieces will include new watercolor, sculptures and stacked ceramics not previously displayed, along with digital images that Sullivan was working on for the past two years.

The exhibition is sponsored by Judy Grossman’s Studio, JG Designs  and by Don Hukari, who collaborated with Sullivan on the popular Christmas shows at the Bradford Building during the 1990’s until 2005. Bill Sullivan, Evelyn’s husband and now curator of Evelyn’s work, is helping to select pieces for the exhibition. Evelyn Sullivan’s many friends in the art community are joining in providing refreshments for a fun celebration. The public is encouraged to attend and view the artwork of Evelyn Sullivan!

JG Design Studio is located at 226 West Jackson at Seco Streets, Downtown Sonora.

Artist Survey #16: Travis Logan

I met Travis some time after his brother Derrick and I became good friends which would have been sometime late in my elementary school career. He is older than us and was keen to a whole world of things we had yet to discover. He has greatly influenced Derrick’s life and as result mine too. I was introduced to heavy metal, psychotic cartoons and violent comics because of the Logan boys and I haven’t been the same since. Look for some of his work to return to Tuolumne County in the near future.


{Digital Collage : Self Portrait}
{Ceramic : Constructing Deconstruction}
{Mixed : Gambling with Everything}
{Digital Art : Tibet Sweat}
{New triptych in progress : Acrylic on Canvas}

Name: Travis Logan

Location: Las Vegas, NV.

Medium(s): Oil, water, and acrylic Paint; Ceramic, plaster, steel and fiberglass sculptures; Graphite, charcoal, and ink drawing; Photography, digital and S.L.R, digital image creation, film-making and cartooning.

What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? I am an artist but I still have trouble labeling myself as one. I know I’m an artist but feel that there are negative connotations as well as certain stigmas connected to being an artist.

Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? when my web page is up. Right now I’m working on updating it and have taken it down.

When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? When I was very young, maybe 4 years old.

Who/What inspired your interest? On the surface, I originally wanted to draw and make things that I thought looked cool and that others might like as well. I can’t name one individual inspiration because the list would probably be several pages long. Deep down I’ve always had the desire to create and turn ordinary items into art. Whether that is a painting with hidden images and meaning or sculpting something unnatural but visually intriguing.

Where do you first remember being exposed to art? I would say preschool. The first project I remember was tracing my hand on a plate that would be made into a dish. Of course this was something Cavemen did well before I had this idea but none the less, that got the gears turning and they haven’t stopped since.

What is your day job? Artist

Why do you create? I just have to! No matter where I am, good or bad, if I can at least draw it has a calming effect on me and gets me into a peaceful state of mind.

Is there any recurring theme in your work? I like to create images inside of larger images or objects. The idea is: nothing is what it seams! The material I use and the imagery may be different and constantly changing style but there is always a “surrealistic” dreamlike theme to my work.

What do you want from your work? A feeling of completion, satisfaction, accomplishment and pride is probably what I look for most with a finished peace.

What do you want viewers to take from your work? I would like viewers to be entertained. I want the viewer to get caught up in the image or object and truly take some time looking at it and possibly become transfixed; not just glance and say, “oh that’s nice, this would go well in the bathroom next to the shells and candles.”

How often do you work on personal projects? Everything I do is personal, some pieces are more heart felt than others but they are always personally meaningful; However I work on art projects not related to galleries or work daily. Unfortunately I have to many ideas and not enough time.

How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? In the past I have not worked on anything besides the ideas that came to mind with the exception of school projects. Recently, I have been working on paintings and some clothing designs for a couple of individuals who have commissioned me for my services. I would say fifty percent of my time is spent on projects for others.

Does your art support you financially? For the most part no, I could survive on what I make but I would have to sleep in my car and eat bugs for lunch (haha).

Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? Yes but not in a negative way. Art is just part of life. I analyze the shapes, colors, images, and composition of every thing around me. I often wake up in the middle of the night or can’t sleep because I have to get ideas out or create something. I often feel like I have too many projects going at once and more ideas surfacing all the time. Life is too short for everything I want to create!

What do you do in your spare time besides your art? I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking and rock climbing. I used to love to go to the movies and still do occasionally; however I can’t stop my self from criticizing and picking apart all the flaws in the plot, editing, and cinematography. Blockbuster films have far too large of  budgets to be pumping out such crap, but I digress.

Which musicians are you currently interested in? NIN, Pearl Jam, Black Crows, Mudvayne, Beastie Boys, Tool, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Frank Sinatra, Digital Underground, E-40 and Credence Clearwater. I am really interested in the Beastie Boys most of all.

Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? I don’t have anything planned but I would like to go see Dov Davidoff, the comedian, soon.

How long do you generally take on a piece? It can take me any where from a few weeks to a few years to complete a piece. If I really don’t like the way something is coming out I will put it up for a while and wait for inspiration. If it ends up I’m not feeling right about it after a while it becomes recycled in to another project.

Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? Yes, I guess you could say that I didn’t see eye to eye with the last company I worked for. I was framing and matting art at the time. In short, they wanted to make a profit any way they could and I didn’t think the corners being cut (No pun intended) were ethical.

Do you work on multiple projects at once? Yes, I have to work on a few at a time. I bounce around from piece to piece, partly to keep myself thinking but mostly because I have a short attention span.