ARTIST'S PORTRAIT * KERRY IRVINE


I'd like to introduce you to Manhattan based artist Kerry Irvine. I first discovered her colorful work via my exposure to decorator Eileen Kathryn Boyd. She has graciously agreed to share more about herself here.
Enjoy!!
Where were you born?
 I was born in Huntington, Long Island and at 23 years old I moved to Manhattan where I currently live.
What would you take if your house was burning down?
Logically, my Mac would be the smartest thing to grab as I made my quick escape. It contains all of my cherished pictures of family and friends  as well as  a record of all the art I have created in the last ten years or so.  It would be the easiest thing for me to carry as I maneuvered my way  down the fire escape from my second floor apartment. Additionally, I would probably receive minimal eye rolling from my local fire fighting friends  as I emerged with fairly light hands. 
I do  have a " fantasy escape" too. In it, the fire would be of very little danger, small and slow burning.  I would have enough time to toss all of my canvases, art supplies and heaps of clothing and shoes into the open arms of the fire fighters below. One might scream up to me "Don't forget the vintage leopard coat we all love so much!"  I'd put on all my good jewelry,  a brave smile and gallantly climb down into the cheering crowds who were still holding all of my belongings. Then a moving truck would whisk me off to some church basement or school gym which I would promptly re decorate for them as I waited for some gorgeous new apartment to materialize
Your favorite book?
When I am blocked or need an escape, I find solace in books of all genres.  Often I will  follow an author through every book they have ever written. Here are a  few of my favorites :
 I love the dry, sardonic humor of Davis Sedaris,the soulfulness of C.S. Lewis.and  the wit and the weirdness of  Chuck  Palahniuk . I find Tennessee Wiliams to be  deeply thought  provoking and often tragically autobiographical.  Joan Juliet Buck is someone I discovered when I was eighteen,  I was fascinated to learn she had also  been the Editor in Chief at French Vogue.  I get lost in biographies  and autobiographies  of all kinds ("Life" by Keith Richards is fantastically entertaining and irreverent all the way through) I love the  the stacks of art,music  and photography  books I have collected over the years and use them for reference constantly.  I will also admit to sitting on the beach and  escaping into the world of  "Twilight" .....Yes, I know what you're thinking, but maybe I'll call that "research" .....



If you could have only 1 last meal, what would you want on the menu?
 I am not much of a foodie and I can barely make toast. My small Manhattan kitchen has become my art studio and my unused stove, a work table. Sounds  hazardous but if I were to attempt to cook for you, there would be real danger.  Obviously, I eat out a  a lot.  If possible, I would do a tasting menu made  up of all of  my favorite restaurants. I would start with The West Coast Gigi salad from The Palm. Then I would dig into their Surf   'n' Turf  where they do all the lobster cracking  for you.  Next, I would inhale the Cavatelli Pugliesi from Grano in the West Village and a few bites of  delicious turkey burger from Tavern on Jane. Hopefully an Ilegal Mezcal Margarita would  be delivered to me along the way.  Dessert would be the decadent chocolate bread pudding  from my friend Janet French's Preston Street Gourmet. My night cap would be  at another neighborhood  favorite,Highlands  in the West Village. While sipping a Jameson with friends, I would have to wonder  "Why was  that was my last meal ?"...… 

Do you prefer hot weather or cold? 


   I find inspiration for my paintings in all seasons and weather conditions. A warm summer day at the  beach would be a more preferable place to set up and paint, but a snowstorm can be just as beautiful to watch unfold. 

Favorite artists?

I am and continue to be so inspired by so many different artists. It is so important to always be looking at other peoples art and to continue to feed your eyes. Some of my favorite painters are:  De Kooning, both Willem and Elaine. Rothko, Arthur Dove, Matisse, Kahlo, Modigliani,Van Gogh Kandinsky, O'Keeffe, Botticelli,Klimt, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner and the list goes on.....Living artists would be Helen Frankenthaler, Emily Mason, Jennifer Bartlett, Wolf Kahn, Kara Walker, my sister Michelle Irvine Schleider and two of my mentors Stan Brodsky and Catherine P Mac Donald.


 Most importantly, my biggest influence and favorite artist is my late mother, Toni Wagner Irvine.  She lovingly  showed me how to open my eyes and use  the world around  me as my  palette.  I see her  love of  life and color in every brush stroke I make.



Pet peeve? 
I am infuriated by closed minded individuals who are unwilling to evolve emotionally, morally and intellectually. Change is hard, but necessary for growth. 
 I also get a little upset by dried up paint I forgot to store correctly.
Best childhood memory?
I have an excellent memory, often remembering moments my sisters have long forgotten. One of my favorites is the summer days  we spent painting on long sheets of  unrolled butchers paper, spread across  the backyard  lawn by my mom. My four sisters and I would spend  hours painting away and  without a care in the world.  Some of us  took it more seriously than others, who seemed to paint on everything but the paper ; i.e., the lawn, each other, the dog. 
No matter what, she would always gush over our creations and crown us "creative geniuses". 
Then she would thoroughly hose us down. 
Favorite travel destination? 
I am a big fan of long sandy beaches with warm turquoise colored water. Hawaii is a favorite place I am lucky to have visited many times. Bali, a little more difficult to get to, but equally as beautiful.



Favorite shop?
For art supplies:  Guerra Paint and Pigment in East Village, NYC,  Pearl Paint and Utrecht (available on line).I also love a good tag sale. You can sometimes find canvases that are still in amazing shape. Cover them up with a few coats of gesso and you have an "almost new" canvas to work on.  
For  clothing : For amazing and original pieces I shop at a home town favorite, Rexer Parkes in Huntington, Long Island.  When I've got some cash or they are having one of their awesome sales, Barneys on Madison Avenue in  NYC is wonderful. The windows are the most creative windows you will ever see. They are like miniature theaters and art galleries.  For a deal I love  Century 21 and  Loehmann's and Uniqlo. With so many endless possibilities behind their doors,  vintage clothing stores hold a special place in my heart. You never know what you will find until you step inside.


Most visited links?
 www.NewYorkMagaazine.com, for great articles  and updated news on everything from politics to design and  fashion. 
www.googleartproject.com is a great way to visit museums around the world you may never get the chance to step foot in. You can zoom in so close to the  paintings that you can  actually see the  brush strokes. 
 www.EKBInteriors.com for her ever so  beautiful and inspiring  interior designs and style. 
www.iggyand Loulou.com have the coolest jewelry and one of the most creative and clever web site I have ever seen.
www.tiltonfewick.com and www.habituallychic.com for cool and creative design stories,   
www.dearblankpleaseblank.com for a really good giggle.       
and of course, www.annechovie.blogspot.com 
What is, to you, the best thing about being an artist?
As an artist, I have discovered the freedom to express my thoughts and feelings without having to give a direct narrative. I can divulge or keep as much of myself as I wish. I allow viewers to fill in the blanks and come up with their own stories. Surprisingly, they will sometimes put as much of themselves into my paintings as I do.


Thank you, Kerry!
Have a great weekend, everyone and don't forget to check out Kerry's site here