Studio Visit: Caroline Blum

Caroline Blum is an artist working in New York. Her work can be seen in PLEAT's September 2016 exhibition as well as 

Please describe your work.
I am a visual artist working in painting and sculpture. My paintings are colorful and imaginative and are often based on grids, combining geometric and organic forms. They refer to architecture and books, but also include my response to everyday experiences. They are relatively small to medium in size and I often use collage and pencil in them. I frequently use saturated colors, repetitive shapes and forms, and patterns that take viewers some time to figure out. My sculptures are made out of wire in woven organic forms that are mostly influenced by nature.

What internal and external factors guide your formal and conceptual choices?
The internal factors that affect my artwork are my strong desire to keep on creating and learning from my artistic practice, and the persistence to keep positive. The daily hours of painting day after day and year after year are part of a process of discovery that is always interesting. My friend the artist James Siena told me "If you're working on work you really like and it's personal--it usually shows".

Externally, I'm always learning from my surroundings, both in the city, when I travel, or in from art that I respond to. it's always been a challenge finding time to paint, work, and raise a family. Being an artist you have to give up a lot and I am always conflicted by that. I am lucky that my family is very supportive and that my studio is in our home. I don't need it to be quiet to do work--it can be noisy with records playing and the kids in the room.

Who are your artistic influences and what have you learned from them?
There are so many artists whose work I appreciate and respond to, and each one has taught me something important. I'll focus on my current influences because there are too many to list them all. The paintings of Alfred Jensen have shaped my recent work. His work has increased my appreciation of grids, color patterns and the uses of math in art. Tom Burckhardt is another influence for his colorful patterns and serious yet loopy paintings. James Siena, because he taught me that I have to work at my art every day, push it forward and keep at it. Also, my husband writer and artist David Reisman offers advice and has encouraged my career. Others are Ruth Asawa, Pierre Bonnard, Georgia Okeeffe, Thomas Nozkowski, and Susan Rothenberg, to name a few