Member Since 2011
Name: Amy Eisenfeld Genser, mixed-media artist
Location: West Hartford, Connecticut
Product: Float, White Texture Squares, White Undulation mixed media art works
Though she originally thought she’d be a professor of graphic design, mixed media artist Amy Genser Eisenfeld’s career plans were derailed by a paper making class at the Rhode Island School of Design. From then on, she was hooked on paper and today spends a month at a time making her highly textured, one-of-a-kind pieces.
What inspired you to create the paper art works?
I’m inspired by repetition, textures, patterns and grids. My work tries to capture the essence of an experience or an image I’ve seen. I often look to the natural world for inspiration. I’m fascinated by the flow of water, the organization of beehives and the organic irregularity of plants, flowers, rock formations, barnacles, moss and seaweed. Aerial views of our landscape can also be compelling; it’s interesting how the organization of our landscape becomes quilt-like when viewed from above.
How were these pieces made?
Basically, I play with paper, paint and glue. I decide what kind of piece I’m creating—either more structured and patterned like White Texture Squares or a more loosely constructed piece like Float. I first paint my canvas with acrylic. I then roll, glue and cut up different kinds of paper. I use thin, fibrous papers from all over the world, although usually from Japan or Thailand. I then take my circle modules and create the piece. It's like putting together a puzzle and I don't know how the final picture will look until I see it. I adhere the paper to the canvas with an acid-free archival glue. At the end I coat my pieces with a varnish to protect them from light and dust.
What was the big aha! you had while creating these pieces?
The aha! moment occurs when I've found the right rhythm and balance of color, size, and pattern. It usually occurs when I throw in something unexpected. For example, Float has lots of teeny, tiny, bright pink, orange, and purple circles embedded in it.
Can you describe your creative process?
In my studio, my hands are critical to my process. They inform my design decisions, helping me to grasp new ideas and materials. I experiment and create many compositions that provide clues about where and how my materials can be used. The content and form are molded together simultaneously as flat pieces of paper are transformed. The evidence of a human hand is obvious; perfectly imperfect.
What do you love about what you do?
I love everything about what I do. I love shopping for materials. I love thinking up new ideas for new pieces. I like to challenge myself (lately it has been by working on a large scale). I love painting with bright, vibrant color. I love playing with different color combinations. I enjoy being alone in my studio for hours at a time. I listen to audio books while I work. When I'm in a groove, hours go by without me even noticing. And unlike a lot of artists, I actually enjoy the marketing and sales of my work. It allows me to interact with other people and use other parts of my brain. It's fun to meet people who buy my work. I always wonder where it will end up next. It's exciting.
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
My aesthetic is abstract, textural, dimensional, and beautiful.
What are you working on next?
I am working on commissions at the moment. I am also building up a body of work for a solo exhibition at the Long View Gallery in Washington D.C. in November.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
I already have my dream job.