A monthly column that keeps its finger on the pulse of Forsyth’s artists and their inspiring stories
This month’s featured artist, Abby Williams, finds intrigue and expression across the different dimensions and color that only nature can provide. From flowers, landscapes and abstracts, Abby’s talent as an Impressionist Painter truly lies in her ability to see beyond what’s right in front of her and add beauty to the world in ways only she can see.
Abby Williams | Impressionist Painter
How would you describe your work?
I claim impressionism as my style. I work with acrylic paint and use a lot of color & texture in my pieces. The size of my work varies based on the subject – anywhere from 4×6 to 48×36. I prefer to do the majority of my work on canvas, but I will paint on paper occasionally.
What influences your art most?
Color, texture, nature, and emotions. I am often taking photos of things that inspire me, and will use those photos as references for painting. Most of my pieces are inspired by something in nature – anything from an interesting looking rock to a beautiful flower or a pretty landscape.
The inspiration for my abstract pieces varies more from nature or emotions. The painting may be a fun piece I have an idea for, or used as an outlet to process my emotions – both good and bad. Art can be so therapeutic. Even if the final product doesn’t look that great, sometimes the process of painting through my feelings is more important.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist?
In art school, I focused on oil paint as my preferred medium. Over the last few years, however, I have shifted to using acrylic paint. When I first became pregnant, my studio space did not have the best air flow to continue using oil paints. Acrylic paint became the more practical choice. It took me about a year before I really felt comfortable with the shift from oil to acrylic. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure my style still translated with the change in medium. To keep my style as “oil-like” as possible, I use several layers of paint to make it feel thick. I also like to use a gloss varnish to finish off my pieces. I think the gloss adds a richness to the paint.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? Do you have a favorite age student?
I love when students are able to see their own progress and get excited about what they have accomplished. I truly believe anyone can grow and improve with practice. I want my students to feel safe enough to try new things. As far as an age group, I really don’t have a favorite. I love that being the art teacher allows me to get to know every student in school. It’s neat to walk down the hallway and know every student I see.
How do you carve out time to be creative?
Because I work from home now, I have learned to balance working alongside my children. They still have afternoon naps which gives me a big chunk of time to work without interruption. I am homeschooling for preschool, and will work alongside them some days, too. I created a space for them in my studio, and they love working in ‘the art room’ with mom.
What are you working on that excites you right now?
Right now I am working on several small series of landscapes from my travels. I love painting from nature and it has been so fun to relive these memories as I paint them.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists?
Practice – and don’t wait around for motivation or inspiration to hit you. While you’re waiting, work on a still life, a scene from a photo, or recreate a masterpiece. I have a folder on my phone of “painting ideas.” I am always taking pictures of things that I think would be fun to paint. When I’m in a rut, I look through that folder and pick something.
If you are interested in learning more about Abby Williams you can follow her on Instagram @abbywilliamsart as well as find her work online at www.abbywilliamsart.weebly.com. You can also check out her work this month locally at Every Corner Gallery.