How would you describe your journey as an artist?

I have loved visual art as an appreciator for as long as I can remember. I took many art history classes in college, and a high point in my life was going to the Chicago Art Institute and seeing in person many of the paintings that I had studied about. But it wasn’t until I took a trip with Michael to Bavaria in 1998 that I thought about painting myself. We were taking a walk through some fields in the gorgeous early morning light and I heard a voice my head saying “you can paint this!” I told Michael about it, and a few months later he bought me some paints and brushes. I experimented and soon realized that I needed instruction. I have studied with many wonderful painters over the years. My work has changed stylistically, but basically it is always about light.

What are your current mediums of artistic expression? What tools do you like to use?

I use oil paint, acrylic paint, oil pastels, pencil, charcoal- at this point I am using anything that will help me make the marks I want. I also like collaging, using paper that I have painted and printed on myself. I have many tools for applying the paint, including palette knives, ice scrapers, rubber spatulas, as well as brushes. I love going to hardware stores to search for tools that will give me new ways to apply the paint.

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

I love artists who let you see the messiness of the process in their work. Joan Mitchell is a big favorite of mine. I am obsessed with Richard Diebenkorn at the moment after seeing the exhibition Matisse/Diebenkorn at the Baltimore Museum of Art. That show left me in tears. I am also a member of the Facebook group High Art Fridays (HAF) which highlights artists from all over the world, mostly abstract artists. Incredible work on that site.

Do you listen to music when you work? If so, what kind?

I always listen to music, especially now that I am working mostly abstractly. I often have a few albums that I play over and over while working on a series of pieces. Lately I have Deep Forest, Classic Yo-Yo Ma, and Love: Forever Changes with Arthur Lee in rotation.

Where can others interested in your work find you?

I am represented by State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca, NY and West End Gallery in Corning. I am also on Instagram.

Ileen Kaplan

Ileen Kaplan

Ileen Kaplan has studied with several painters including Martin Poole, Marc Dennis, Peter Fiore, and Stuart Shils. She is a member of State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca and is represented by West End Gallery in Corning. Find more of her work on Instagram by searching #ileenkaplan.
Ileen Kaplan

Latest posts by Ileen Kaplan (see all)