June 19, 2008
10 Questions With... Tina Frugoli!
"Denny's on Sunset" acrylic on wood, 48"x 48"
I have admired artist and friend Tina Frugoli for years! Her work is wonderful and thought it would be nice to know a bit more about her and her work...
A photo of Tina from a 2002 group art show.
1. What is your name, where do you live?
Thousand Oaks, CA
2. When did you discover you were an artist?
I was very young; maybe 5 yrs old.
"Emily" acrylic on wood, 4'x 8' or 8'x 4'
3. Can you describe your art for us?
acrylic on canvas / bright colors / flat / abstract / size range 2 ft to 13 ft
My paintings are based on snapshots of everyday moments. I photograph these moments just as I see them. I don’t adjust the camera much to avoid or include details. For example, I take pictures while driving. Sometimes the inside of my car will be in the photo. The picture might include the rearview mirror, frame of the windshield and whatever caught my eye outside—like a street or gas station.
Initially I translate these snapshots into loose line drawings accentuating unusual composition and perspective. Enhancing and dramatizing characteristics of the environment makes the picture exciting to me. I strengthen lines and shapes that would normally fade out into the background. For example I love the lines where walls meet the ceiling in a corner, or where something is poking in or cut off by the edge of the frame. These elements really are there—but are often disregarded by our minds. I think our expectations and how we value certain forms determines what we see. Although my paintings are abstract, enhancing these “background” elements makes them more realistic to me.
I color in these line drawings using vibrant color fields. Bringing all the shapes onto one plane unites the elements; giving objects, figures, and shadows equal value. If there is a person in the painting I see that figure as simply another part of the landscape.
I’m mostly drawn to the aesthetics of a moment in time and space. I paint things I see from the perspective in which I see—like the view of the freeway, from my car, or my dad standing in his cluttered garage. These are not profound moments, or visually special images—they are just snapshots of an instant of time. I like to take a frozen moment and activate it—make it visually fun. Some pictures may be more exciting or may have more dynamic compositions, but to me any moment can be made
"David Block" acrylic on wood blocks H7.5" x W15" x D1.5"
4. Tell us a little about your creative process. Is there a jumping off point for you? Where does it begin?
I’m constantly seeing moments that I would like to paint, I have a notebook full of ideas for paintings and series of paintings, and I’ve got a stack of photos ready to paint. Some of the photos I shoot myself and others I get from friends. When I go to paint I like to have everything tidy and ready so all I do is blast the music and paint.
5. Can you tell us about your most current work and how you got there?
I like to paint ordinary moments—a lot of what I see is through a car window.
Right now I’m working on a series of images taken from inside cars while driving. I shoot these pictures really quickly, just hold up the camera in the direction of what interests me and click (I do this safely! –sometimes stopped at signals—sometimes I’m the passenger). The paintings I’m working on now include traffic, gas stations, bus stops, fast food joints. Some contain people as part of the landscape.
6. Describe yourself in one word...
7. What is important to you as an artist?
It’s important to have fun and do whatever I want!
8. Tell us a little about where you work?
I work in my barn. It’s big, I think that is why my paintings got so big. They grew like a goldfish in a big pond. Now I’m doing smaller paintings too—they’re easier to transport.
"Target" H48" x W48"
9. Who or what inspires you artistically?
I’m inspired by music, exploration and fun.
10. If you are stuck creatively, what do you do to get unstuck?
I don’t really get stuck. I keep moving, clean my barn, organize and blast the music.
Thanks Tina! Check out Tina's website for show updates!