I am a contemporary artist with an Old World soul residing in the Chicago-land area. I emerged as a serious artist in 2009 after the passing of my father, and I have been honing my skills and crafting my style ever since. Creating cityscapes with skewed perspectives and romantic, heart touching figurative paintings is where my passion resides. I love to create art that has a story and draws the viewer into the painting.... making them an integral part of it.
“When did you first realize you were an artist?”
I always loved to draw and paint. I was doing creative things from the time I could pick up a pencil, but I never considered myself an artist unit 2009 when my father passed. Two things happened to me that brought me to this realization. First, the idea of someone passing away at a young age with so much knowledge that didn't get fully appreciated, slapped me in the face and woke me up saying "You have this talent and you are wasting it! What's the matter with you? Get out there and use it, share it!".
Second, I started going to galleries and reviewing works by many different kinds of artists. Previously, I used to think my work didn't compare, but I saw through new eyes, and found my work was good. I have always had drive and persistence in other areas of my life, but now I knew I had to use it for my art.... and here I am!
“Please tell us all about your art... style, mediums, themes, and process.”
I have always loved working with acrylics. I use them today, however, I have been morphing into mixed media and my new love.... frescos! Being from Chicago, I have grown up loving all the great architecture in the city that ranges from Victorian to modern to art deco and we have Frank Lloyd Wright! I love being from a "Neighborhood" where people know you and have known your family for generations. Perspective and the skewing of it is what I strive for in my cityscapes, and also to show everyday neighborhood life. Especially a top-down view because it tells a story you don't always see in most paintings. Then there are my figuratives!
I am such a romantic, and I love capturing the joy, love, tears and the expressions of people in romantic situations. Now I am also doing frescos, and I love them because my Old World personality gets to come out! Beautiful colors and romantic situations done in a process being followed for hundreds of years! It is amazing! I can't wait to create more!
“What kind of music do you listen to while creating?”
When I am doing one of my romantic paintings, I listen to love songs or mood maker songs by Enrique Iglesias, Michael Buble, Robin Thicke or even country songs by Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw or Trace Atkins. I mean c'mon....what woman wouldn't be romantically inspired by at least one of they guys?
Really, I have such a wide range of music, but classic rock like Journey, Aerosmith, Van Halen or new country is what gets me motivated.
“How do you get inspired when uninspired?”
I get in the car and drive around to look at buildings, I people watch or I go visit my favorite willow tree by the lake near my home. I know it sounds weird, but he is very old and big, and I figure he has seen many things in his lifetime. I draw energy from him. It always works!
“What do you do in your spare time besides art?”
I hang with my family, including my two four legged kids. I'm starting to work with Habitat for Humanity which is a charity I love, and feel is important. I read a lot. I love mystery novels. Especially ones that have romance involved! Of course, love is a mystery in itself, isn't it?
“What are you working on now or most recently?”
I go through periods where I work in black and white with just a touch of color. That is where I was recently. I love the drama of black and white, just like the old movies of the 40's. Again, here is where my love of art deco and old buildings come from. I was inspired to paint horses though this time. A bit out of my norm, but still...they are very interesting. Now I am back to vicariously painting my way through Europe via about 2000 photos a dear friend gave me from her trip.
Where am I now? Well, I have been stuck in Greece for about 6 months now. I would say, visually, it isn't a bad place to be stuck! Who wouldn't want to be immersed in a sea of Mediterranean blues and greens and stark white buildings with vivid blue domes, and wonderful people? You can catch up on my trip via my blog!
“What is the best artwork you ever created, and why?”
I have 3 works that while they may not be the most technically best created, they are the most sentimentally important to me. "Silently Sensual", which I use as my logo, describes me to a "T". I have always been a background person with a great passion within me, smoldering underneath and letting it out only for a select few. "Missing Him" is one of my black & white romance paintings that brought tears to the eyes of a gallery owner that ended up representing me. That was the first time I experienced such emotion to one of my paintings first hand. It was a beautiful moment for me because I knew I accomplished what I set out to do..... generate emotion.
"Stargazing & Reminiscing", another painting where I got to experience first hand the emotion of the buyer. It caused a flurry of memories about the journey she and her fiancé took to be together. These reactions are what I strive for in my work.
“What role does the artist play in society?”
So important! Artists can drive a mood, can drive innovation, can transport from a bad situation to a good one. We have such power to make the world a better place, and use our talents for good.
“Have you sold many artworks? How?”
I have sold a fair number of artworks over the last 3 years. Word of mouth is the best way and the way I have almost all of them.
“What are your favorite ways of promoting art online?”
“Can you tell us about your main art influences?”
Monet and Paul Signac for color, Escher for my black and whites and perspective. You may mention any artists, past or present... or anyone else that has influenced your art.
“Can you recommend a great contemporary artist and tell us a little about their art?”
I have recently discovered Antonio Masi who does gorgeous cityscapes of New York. I love his style, and admire him very much. He is an Italian born immigrant to New York city who has a true love for the history of the city and for his own history growing up there. His series on New York bridges is just beautiful, and the reason I love his work is because he creates paintings at such odd angles and views. You should check out his work at www.antoniomasi.com.
“Please tell us something interesting in your life.”
Part of the reason I paint top-down views of cityscapes is to help with my fear of heights! I can remember vividly visiting Toronto and going to what I call the Space Needle, but it's called something else.... and they have a glass floor that nearly made me pass out! I was trying to peek over the edge of it and one of my family members thought it would be funny to push me onto the glass! My legs immediately turned to Jello, and I literally fell on my hands and knees and crawled off of the glass like I was a wounded animal! Yep... I was kind of a spectacle that day! Everyone was laughing, and all I wanted to do was pass out!
“Where do you see yourself as an artist 10 years from now?”
I see myself being a prominent artist in the Chicago and Nashville areas. I just love Nashville as much as Chicago! I think I was a Southern belle in a previous life! I cry every time I have to leave there! Both places have such a rich art life. I am admirer of anyplace that embraces art, and I want to be a contributor to its history!
“Do you have any parting advice you can give to aspiring and emerging artists?”
Don't give up! Art is an innate and integral part of life to an artist. You wouldn't give up breathing would you? Strive always to be the best you can, and to express what you have to say. Never think you aren't good enough! Take classes onsite or online, but continue to learn, learn, learn.
Camille Roman - A Journey Through Visual Expression