Allison Gildersleeve

Abstract Painting and the Freedom to Create, with Allison Gildersleeve

Allison Gildersleeve

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What is the evolution like for an artist that focuses on abstract painting? How can the work of abstract painting provide additional avenues that encourage a freedom to create? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve was generous with her time and candor as she opened up about her journey as an artist and her work with abstract paintings. We also discussed her time working in Vermont and Sweden, why she paints with layered images, navigating her career as a parent, and so much more! I can’t wait for you to get a glimpse into the journey and story of this talented painter!

Layered artwork and evolving as an artist.

When was the last time you really stretched yourself and experimented as an artist? Is it something you do often or do you have intentionally put yourself in situations where you can experiment? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve was kind enough to share about her time working with a printmaker in Sweden. During that time, Allison was able to experiment with layered drawings. You can tell from how she describes her time in Sweden that this was a very formative and liberating time for Allison. I hope you can catch the joy and enthusiasm that was evident in Alison’s perspective like I did!

The struggles and inspirations of navigating an art career as a parent.

What has been your experience as an artist and parent? Do you find challenging, inspiring, or a mixture of both? How can you encourage and support your fellow artist who is at this stage of life right now? Artist Allison Gildersleeve discussed with me her experiences as an artist and parent, the challenges and the inspiring points in our conversation. While her life as a parent and artist was difficult at many points when her children were little, she also looks back at early parenthood as a time that required her to focus more intentionally on the time she had to create. What lessons can you learn from Allison’s experience? Do you resonate with what she shared?

The value of being part of a thriving art community.

Are you a part of a local art community? Do you connect with other artists to commiserate, collaborate, and get encouragement? Or do you find that life separated and isolated from the hustle and bustle give you more freedom to create? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve shared with me about the impact that being part of an artist community had on her years ago and continues to impact her today. She looks back at her time as an art assistant for Joan Snyder as being a pivotal point where she was able to connect with other artists and enjoy being part of that unique type of community. How has being part of an art community impacted your journey?

The hard work of slowing down and paying attention.

Do you ever find it challenging to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you? What about your process, do you find that you have to make a deliberate effort to make sure you are challenging yourself? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve says that her challenges at this point in her career as an artist are to slow down and yet at the same time continue to challenge herself. They sound like they’d be opposites but both of these areas really make sense for Allison’s current stage in her career. I hope you can find some encouragement in Alison’s story and don’t forget to check out images of her work located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:20] I introduce my guest, Allison Gildersleeve.
  • [3:30] Allison talks about how she got started as an artist.
  • [7:30] The value of being part of an artist community.
  • [10:00] A key moment of personal success for Allison.
  • [13:00] Allison talks about leaving behind certain aspects of her work.
  • [18:00] How has Allison’s work changed over time?
  • [23:00] Allison talks about disconnecting and creating a space for free form.
  • [30:30] Advice for artists with young kids.
  • [37:30] Rituals and habits that empower Allison in the studio.
  • [42:30] Learning from setbacks and challenges along the way.
  • [49:00] Why it’s important to slow down and think things through.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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