Fellow New Jersey artist DaiJonae Clemons recently interviewed me on Facebook as part of her series about local creatives. I’m sharing the link to the video below in case you didn’t have a chance to see it:
DaiJonae is also a talented artist in her own right! Here are links to her social media pages:
Like many other artists, I have a full time job in the “real world.” I have, for a long time, also accepted that this means that my artmaking has to accommodate the schedule and demands of my job. I do not complain about this fact, but, sometimes, it’s been challenging to give my art the attention it deserves.
Now the Coronavirus has disrupted my work life, as it has that of so many other people.
At first, it’s hard to believe that I now have so much time to work on my art… more than I’ve had for many years! At the same time, it’s also bewildering to suddenly not have the structure of an outside job, and to have to create my own schedule and set my own goals.
I have done my best to keep myself busy. I have been trying out new ideas, such as my photomontages. (See The Ghost Birds above.) It is easier to work on these projects with undivided time and attention, and I’m encouraged by progress that I’ve made. I’ve also been trying to improve my photography skills. This morning, I went out to a local park and took some photos of the blossoming flowers and trees, trying to take shots of things I found interesting. And while not all of them are great photos, I think I’m learning and hopefully bringing fresh things to my work. And I also try to appreciate that I have this opportunity to create art, that I have my good health, and the support of my friends.
Like everyone else, I hope that the virus outbreak will go away soon. It’s been a time of anxiety and uncertainty for everyone. I’ve tried to make the best of a totally unexpected and scary situation and make something good of it. Hopefully, we will all come out of it strong and with renewed purpose!
My name is JoAnn Telemdschinow and I’m the founder of Imagined Past. I’ve always loved and been fascinated by art, but I haven’t always been sure how I should express it. While I have a background in art history, I have not studied painting or drawing. On an impulse, I started playing with collage, and found I liked it very much. In 2014, I started learning Photoshop Elements. Since then, through magazine articles and online tutorials, I’ve been developing my skills and exploring how to create different effects.
What inspires my collages? Perhaps the most obvious influence is the art and architecture of the past, medieval times, eighteenth and nineteenth century painting, as well as Chinese and Japanese art. I can happily spend hours in a museum! I also love to travel. I recently went to Paris and took photographs of beautiful old streets and buildings, some of which I’ve turned into collages. I’m interested in languages and scripts, both ancient and modern.
A collage may originate from an image that captures my attention, or from an idea that I want to express. I often utilize vintage art to build my pieces, although I also use my own photographs. I am also fond of incorporating old texts, such as handwriting, book pages, or advertising, into the composition. I try to use texts that relate to the subject of the piece, either through content or cultural origin. Textures play an important role in my collages as well…old paper, distressed surfaces.
What am I trying to convey to the viewer? Well, I myself am deeply moved by beauty so I try to make my compositions visually beautiful. Beyond that, I attempt to express a feeling or atmosphere. My pictures (like myself) tend to be reflective and nostalgic. I also sometimes imply a bit of a narrative, as in I Loved You with its forlorn woman and titular inscription.
I’ve displayed my work in a number of area venues, such as The Gallery at the South Brunswick Municipal building and Inspire Art Gallery & Studio in Dunellen. Recently, I’ve also been honored to receive awards from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (Chair’s Merit Award, Annual Juried Art Show) and the New Brunswick Free Public Library (Third Place-Adult, 2019 Visual Arts Contest and Exhibition).
What do I have planned for the future? I would like to explore photography further and use more of my own photos in my collages. I’m working to promote my artwork through social media and my website. And I’ll be exhibiting in more shows in the upcoming year. I enjoy meeting and talking to people at shows…perhaps I’ll get to meet you at one soon!