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State of the art: What inspires creation

Talented artists descend upon ArtWalk @ Liberty Station on Aug. 12-13.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but when that means differentiating between a mass of 200+ artists at the upcoming ArtWalk @ Liberty Station, then it’s best to rely on the expertise of Director Sandi Cotrell to identify the best of the bunch.

From expressionism to mixed media and printmaking, 10 hand-selected artists, whose works will be on display at the Aug. 12-13 event at Ingram Plaza in the Arts District at Liberty Station, talk about their art and divulge what inspires their creations.

AkZhana Abdalieva & Maxim Maximov

Birthplace: Almaty Republic of Kazakhstan (former USSR)
Current place of residence: Oceanside
Website: AkZhana.com 
Instagram: @akzhanart

How do you describe your art and/or genre?

Figuratively decorative expressionism; bright expressions of a complex emotional world.

What inspires you?

We are inspired by the sun, flowers and hummingbirds in San Diego… San Diego is the best place in the world for life and creativity.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

Gustav Klimt (Austrian painter, 1862-1918) and Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez (Spanish painter, 1599-1660).

Catwoman. (AkZhana Abdalieva & Maxim Maximov)

Gustavo Santana

Birthplace:  Jalisco, Mexico
Current place of residence:  Los Angeles
Website: gsantanaglass.com

How do you describe your art and/or genre?

Old-fashioned, glass style, classical old European.

What inspires you?

Love, nature, safari and sea life are my inspirations.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

Although it’s not really in my category, I would have loved to meet Salvador Dali (Spanish artist, 1904-1989). Not only do I admire his work, technique and style, but I love his crazy persona.

Ruby and Clear Coral Bowl. (Gustavo Santana)

Hannie Goldgewicht and Leo Gotlibowski 

Birthplace:  Costa Rica and Argentina 
Current place of residence:  Los Angeles 
Website: hanniegold.com, leogot.com 
Facebook: Hannie Goldgewicht Art
Instagram: @hanniegoldart 

How do you describe your art and/or genre?

We both are mixed media artists. Hannie combines ceramic with pine needle basketry, as well as copper sculptures that also combine ceramic and weaving. Leo designs and fabricates sterling silver jewelry that integrates resin. 

What inspires you?

Nature is always a big inspiration for us. We strive to give character and beauty to each piece, making them an expression of our love of form and design, with time-mastered workmanship.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

(Alexander) Calder (American sculptor, 1898-1976) has always been an inspiration for both of us. Not only his art, but his way of life and how he strived to have art in every aspect of his life. Another artist we would love to meet and pick her brain would be Beatrice Wood (American artist, 1893-1998). 

Levle rings with sterling silver. (Hannie Goldgewicht)


Erin Hanson

Birthplace:  Portland, Ore.
Current place of residence:  Mira Mesa
Website: erinhanson.com
Facebook: The Erin Hanson Gallery
Instagram: @ErinHansonArtist

How do you describe your art and/or genre?

I am a contemporary impressionist, bringing vibrant color and nature-inspired beauty into my oil paintings. I call my style “Open Impressionism,” since it is a contemporary blending of early impressionism with modern expressionism. The brush strokes are thick and expressive, full of movement and texture.

What inspires you?

I am painting a series of California wine country landscapes inspired by my wine tasting and exploratory trips around Paso Robles and the Central Coast.  I love the spring greens and the summer golds, and especially the gnarled, abstract-looking oak trees tucked among the softly rolling hills.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?
It would be amazing to meet (Vincent) Van Gogh (Dutch painter, 1853-1890) and talk to him about the colors he sees in the world.  I feel like we see the world in the same way, full of motion and textured color.

Torrey Dawn. (Erin Hanson)

Gregory Bada

Birthplace: San Diego
Current place of residence: City Heights
Website: gregorybada.com
Facebook: Gregory Bada
Instagram: @GregoryBada

How do you describe your art and/or genre?

I am a printmaker specializing in the traditional and experimental processes of etching and engraving, hand-pulling prints from metal plates.

What inspires you?

The human figure and the whimsical, curious world as seen through a child’s eye. I love to tell a story through my work.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

Rembrandt (Dutch painter, 1606-1669). In addition to being a master painter, he was a groundbreaking printmaker. His use of line is the standard to me.

Love Letter. (Gregory Bada)

Niki J. Sands

Birthplace:  Detroit, Mich.
Current place of residence:  Las Vegas, Nev.
Website: nikijsands.com
Facebook: Niki J Sands Fine Art
Instagram: @NikiJSandsFineArt

How do you describe your art work?

I would describe my art as being a cross between cubism and surrealism, usually using the human figure as my subject.  Although I am a self-taught artist, for the past 18 years I have been continuously experimenting with various styles, mediums and concepts.

What inspires you?

I am currently inspired by the cross between fine art and digital art.  Now that there are computer programs that allow art to be manipulated, the creativity and ideas are endless and help artists explore with other tools. 

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

I recently saw Sir Anthony Hopkins’ (actor) work in a gallery and was mesmerized by his use of color and expression.  I would like to know if his craft as an actor has played into his role as an artist. He is more of an abstract and figurative artist and he uses bold colors that I am personally drawn to.  It would be interesting to learn his creative process.

Parea. (Nicki Sands)

Sally Samins

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Current place of residence:  Ocean Beach and Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Website: sallysamins.com
Facebook: Sally Samins

How do you describe your art and/or genre?

My art is an abstract expression based on observations, memories and impressions of oceans, landscapes and metro influences. My graphic and geometric style comes from my roots as a graphic artist and America’s Cup photographer. My work features textural impact, linework, layering and excavated.  

What inspires you?

Currently, I am inspired by ocean landscapes, mid-century architecture and pondering what is next in life.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

Minnie Pwerle, an Australian aboriginal woman artist (1915-2006).

Retro Morning. (Sally Samins)

Wade Koniakowsky

Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas
Current place of residence: Carlsbad
Website: koniakowsky.com
Facebook: Ocean Art by Koniakowsky
Instagram: @OceanArtByKoniakowsky

How do you describe your art and/or genre? 

Oil paintings of the ocean.

What inspires you?

I am working on a series of the movement of water in ocean waves. I’ve been in and around the ocean my entire life and yet there is always something new to see. The movement of the water and play of light, motion and reflective surfaces fascinates me.

If you could meet and learn from any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?

Joaquin Sorolla (Spanish painter, 1863-1923). His representation of people and landscapes under the bright sunlight of his native land and sunlit water have always stopped me in my tracks.

Silver Shorebreak. (Wade Koniakowsky)

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