Tiny Talks with Amy Guidry

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Amy Guidry from our tenth issue.

Amy Guidry working on a recent acrylic on canvas painting.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity? 

Amy Guidry: Galleries, museums, nature, animals

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to? 

Amy Guidry: There are many artists I admire, but based on many personal reasons I relate most to Frida Kahlo.  I admire her for creating beautiful, intriguing art despite what life threw at her.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work? 

Amy Guidry: The natural world in general inspires my work.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general? 

Amy Guidry: All of my paintings begin as a thumbnail sketch.  Sometimes I have an image in mind, other times it may be a concept that I’d really like to cover through my work.  Either way, I do tons of thumbnail sketches, which may just be slight variations from one to the next or they can be wildly different.  I go through this process just so I can flesh out an idea until I feel like I have the “one.”  I save all of these sketches because I’ve actually created subsequent paintings from ideas that I didn’t feel strongly about at the time.  Just looking at them with fresh eyes can lead to something new. 

Two Polar Bears share an eye, view of the world.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share? 

Amy Guidry: I’m presently working on a painting for an upcoming show at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco.  This group exhibition is titled Beyond the Horizon and features works inspired by star patterns, planetary bodies, and the monumental myths that inhabit the night sky.

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?  

Amy Guidry: I’d highly recommend reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.  For artists, I’d recommend Leonora Carrington’s exhibition, which I have to enjoy online, going on now at Recoletos Exhibition Hall in Madrid.  I haven’t kept up with new music lately but I’ve been listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?  

Amy Guidry: As an artist, one of the more influential genres for me has been Surrealism.  With my “In Our Veins” series, my style was becoming progressively more surreal, and I was looking to challenge myself technically and conceptually.  One of the themes explored with this series is animal welfare.  It’s an important issue for me on a personal level, but I also feel that it is a significant part of the future of our environment.  They go hand-in-hand.  “In Our Veins” explores the connections between all life forms and the process of the life cycle.  This includes the interdependence of the human race to each other and to the rest of the animal kingdom, as well as the planet itself.  One cannot exist without the other, therefore it is of the utmost importance that we care for each and every living thing.  Of course, I believe this is important not just for the survival of the planet, but also out of a moral and ethical obligation as well.

One of the “trademarks” seen throughout the series is my depiction of animals.  I wanted to emphasize their importance and do away with the notion that animals are “less” than humans.  So, each animal- be it mammal, bird, etc.- has been endowed with something we consider a “human” quality.  For example, some animals such as wolves, have more “human-looking” eyes or the animals are posed in a strong, maybe domineering, manner, or they have a facial expression that could be considered “human.”  Above all, even if they are depicted in a state of distress, the animals featured have a strong presence.

Surrealism allows me to delve into environmental issues and animal welfare, creating strange worlds that reflect the current state of our planet.  I’ve been inspired by imagery that comes to mind when first falling asleep or through free association.  What seems illogical can come to life through painting.  Truthfully, I do feel like what I paint is a mirror-image of our reality, though.  Maybe a Through the Looking Glass reflection, but a reflection nonetheless.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Amy Guidry: Website: https://www.AmyGuidry.com

Instagram: @amy_guidry_artist 

Facebook: @AmyGuidryArt