Name: Helene Weiss
Current exhibition: “Weiss’ Women” at Miami Light Project, June 5-12, 2009
Â· Do you make a career out of or hope to make a career out of art, or is it a sideline for you?
Painting is my bliss. I’ve been painting for 50 years and have had exhibits in Miami and New York City. Painting is a gift and I need to fulfill my purpose daily. Painting is the highest level I can reach.
Â· What is it about your work that makes it speak to people or to the community at large?
I’ve been told my work has a definitive feeling and spirit to it. The color, line and shape is from my heart and mind. People respond to this and I continue to strive for a deeper yet whimsical expression each day I paint.
Â· How do you let people know about your work?
Interest in my work comes in several ways: Ongoing exhibits, my website and those who have seen my work in the homes of other clients. I was also one of the artists selected and included in the book, Miami Contemporary Artists.
Â· What do you feel inspires you to make art in the particular medium you have chosen?
Life around and in me inspires me to paint. I chose to easel paint because it is the most challenging and – I think – the purest form to paint in. I work in oils and acrylic because each holds a special challenge for me artistically. Right now I’m using acrylics because it dries quickly and allows me to paint several canvases simultaneously.
Â· Why Miami?
Miami is a great place for the arts right now, still developing but the atmosphere is conducive to painting and the energy is tranquil, allowing artists the ability to work on their craft.
Â· Do you have a favorite artist from the past or present?
I admire Mark Rothko, Picasso and Van Gogh very much. But I’ve really learned a lot from dozens of artists.
Â· How would you compare the art scene in Miami to other cities you have lived or worked in?
I’m from New York where the art scene is very difficult to infiltrate. Miami is new, refreshing and open to artists.
Â· If someone wanted to get into being an artist, what would be your first suggestion to them?
Open your heart and mind. Study and work hard. It takes a long time to find your own voice so don’t be overly concerned about selling; instead continue to learn and search. As Picasso said, “Success is 99% sweat and 1% talent.” Also you have to deeply love the craft without thinking about fame. You’ll reach your highest potential if you have faith in what you do. Believe in yourself. Being an artist is a lifetime commitment.