An Interview with Alice Lee Andreottola, Local Artist
Southern Living Magazine has proclaimed Madison, Georgia, to be one of the South's prettiest towns, and it's easy to see why. Madison is home to a rich and well-preserved history, beautiful homes, lush gardens, and a charming historic district. It is also home to an extraordinary amount of talented local artists. The Madison Artists Guild and Gallery proudly displays and sells their work, and I took the time to interview several local artists to find out more about their creative process, inspiration, and work.
I began this series of interviews by reaching out to MAGallery, located in downtown Madison. For our latest feature, I spoke to Alice Lee Andreottola to discuss her work and creative process. Here's what she had to say:
What is your background?
I have a Masters degree in Art and Architectural History.
Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
Yes, but I never felt I had the talent until I discovered I could mix colors and paint in my early thirties.
What is your favorite artwork you’ve ever created?
My favorite is a painting of a duck flapping its wings.
What time of day do you feel most creative?
I usually feel creative in the afternoons unless I am motivated by a new piece that is making me smile.
How do you make time for your art, and would you say you have a healthy work/life balance?
I try to work for at least 3 or 4 hours after I have finished taking care of my lists for the day. I could work more but sometimes the creative flow is not within especially if I am struggling with my subject and or model.
Tell us about the space where you create.
I have been moving around lately while building a house. I have managed to find an extra room to turn into a studio.
What inspires your work?
My work is inspired by “Southerness" or a sense of place. My main focus has been on farm animals and wildlife.
Who are your biggest influences?
I think my biggest influences are my environment and the places I am living. I have been moving around since 2013. Being from the south, we moved to New England in 2013, and my art was definitely influenced by my surroundings while living up there. When we came home, my subject matter shifted to farm animals that I would encounter riding the country roads.
Tell us a little about your workday as an artist.
When I am able to paint, I will work for several hours, and then break for the head and eyes. Afterward, I can then go back to see if and where I am off track. I have a style of realism and animal “portraiture” so anatomy is very important.
As an artist, do you have a favorite tool you use to create?
My paintbrushes, especially shaders to blend areas of color and long fine round tips for fine detail, are my favorite tools.
How do you share or promote your work?
This is one of my shortcomings. I am working on getting my work onto social media. I have relied on the Madison Artists Guild for social media exposure, and that has been helpful. I am also a member of The Artisans Village Guild in Eatonton.
Do you have any routines that help you be more creative?
I don't really have any other routines for creativity--except going out to galleries and museums to enjoy art.
What is your biggest barrier to being an artist or creating art, and how do you address it?
My biggest barrier is time management, and I am not good at addressing it lately since I have been moving quite often in the last few years. The best way is to get started on a painting, and that usually gets me into the groove.
How do you determine what you charge for your work?
I want my paintings to sell so I try to price them to be worth the effort but to also end up on someone’s wall. Small pieces are a challenge so I try to stay on medium to large scale.
What advice would you give to new artists starting out?
I would recommend keeping in mind creating a cohesive composition. Originality is a must. Each piece should look as if it is by the same hand in order to create a body of work.
Follow my work for more features on local artists, and be sure to stop into MAGallery to see the art in person. When we make an effort to shop local and support small businesses, it's important to remember that this includes the artists who call our community home. The gallery is located at 125 W. Jefferson Street in historic downtown, Madison, Georgia.
Madison Artists Guild is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to education and encouragement of artistic endeavor in its members and the community through outreach programs, classes and workshops, social gatherings, and support of local artists through MAGallery. For more information or to become a member, visit www.themadisonartistsguild.org/