Q & A with Leslie Fandrich

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This month at the gallery is “Finding Power: Women of Courage, Passion and Character”. Leslie Fandrich, Maureen Winzig and Helen Hosking have created works that depict powerful feminine virtues, strengths and vulnerabilities. Below is a Q & A with Leslie that you can also find in her catalog, available at the Gallery.

Q: Is there an artwork in the show you are most proud of? Why?

A: I really love Despair Event Horizon and Good Bad Girl. (shown above) They are the biggest collages I’ve done and that scale was a stretch for me. They are also the most personal. Those two pieces contain the story of me leaving home at age 16 to move 800 miles away to the big city with my 21 year old boyfriend. Together they form this landscape of what I felt like when I was 16 and the challenges that I faced.

Q: How do you know when a work is finished?

A: Generally I am looking for balance. Balance in the colors, in the composition and in the ideas. I’ll often walk away for a while and see how it looks when I come back. I ask myself if it needs anything more to communicate the idea I was going for, or if it feels like there is something missing. I trust my intuition. I’ve also shown work to other artists and they will tell me if it’s missing something, or if there is a problem with the composition. When I don’t feel compelled to add more, I know it’s done.

QuoteQ: What inspires you?

A: Well, the true answer is everything. Life. My own story. More specifically, I am inspired by the things that move me. Great music that gives me chills. People with passion living brave lives. Injustice that I see and want to fix. The desire to heal myself. I’m listening to Alt-J, Alabama Shakes and Agnes Obel. I’m reading a lot about feminist art and the history of that era. I’m also reading Brene Brown and Seth Godin. The podcast On Being has also been fantastic for my soul searching.

Q: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

A: Since I learned Jonathan Talbot’s “dry” collage method I need an endless supply of Golden’s Polymer Gloss Medium. It’s basically acrylic paint without the color and everything I use in a collage is coated front and back with it. I also need a wire mesh drying rack, a small tacking Iron and “release paper” which is made with silicon. Those are the tools. I also have quite a collection of paper! I love old maps, letters and newspapers, as well as fabric patterns, wallpaper patterns and decorative papers. I rarely use magazines, most of my modern fashion images come from books, the paper quality is better.

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Leslie Fandrich will be donating 10% of the proceeds from the sale of her work to Strengthen Our Sisters in Hewitt, NJ and Safe Homes of Orange County.

Finding Power: Women of Courage, Passion and Character” will be up through August 2nd. Gallery hours are Thursday – Sunday from noon – 6pm.