Questions for the Artist

How long does it take you to complete a painting?

The short answer: Hours, days, weeks, months, years, and a lifetime.

The long answer: I have been painting for nearly thirty years. The first ten years of painting produced mountains of work. Paintings literally piled up in stacks throughout my house. (I worked on canvas board to save money and space.)
I was refining my craft, solidifying my technique.

As I practiced, practiced, practiced, my work and my artist’s eye evolved. I began painting in my mind’s eye. This is one of the most transcendent aspects of my process. When I paint “in my head,” there are no limits to what I can do. I am infinite. It is when I put paint on canvas that the heroine’s journey begins.
I work spontaneously to capture the infinity I have seen in my mind’s eye.
With acrylic as the medium, I must work fast before the paint dries. This constraint compels me to work with singular focus. The world falls away and paint pours out of me.

There is the percolation process. I may not put paint on canvas for an extended time. Daily I paint in my mind’s eye. I am in my studio every day, touching canvas, pulling out various colors, and meditating on my internal infinity and a blank canvas. Then, there is a knowing deep inside my bones and I must paint!
With a heavy flow of paint applied, I have a longer time to complete a work. This is especially challenging because as the paint dries, the painting morphs. Somehow I must get back to my internal vision and transform the work. For most of the day and night, I am on creative call.

Well, the truth is, rarely my work is worthy of you. I have abundant good, but not amazing, paintings. These paintings go into the “under construction” zone. I ponder them daily, bring them into critique groups, bring in art pals for opinions, dream about them, and try not to tear my hair out! This is a frustrating, lengthy, and iterative process. When I am successful, which happens too rarely, I feel complete and victorious. I often will dance around the house to honor this creative release.

How do you set your prices?

Will my painting need a frame? What are Infinity Edges?

The name “Infinity Edges” was gifted to me by one of my collectors. My paintings overflow onto the edges and are part of the whole. My process is to paint the surface and let it flow and drip onto the edges. I work the edges further. Then back to the surface. And often back to the edges. Back to the surface… you get the picture.

All convex work has infinity edges. Sometimes, it’s my favorite part of the painting. Thus, no frame is needed. The story continues along the edges.
Recent rectangle and square work have different edges. As they’re not convex canvases, I try to honor the beauty of the surface of the painting with integrity to the edges. A window to the process of the painting.

Early square and rectangle works are rougher around the edges.
Rectangle and square paintings can be hung framed or unframed. It’s your choice.

© 2017 Alicia R Peterson, Color Storm. Edge detail, acrylic on 29 x 18-inch canvas. Photo: Peter Scheer.
© 2020 Alicia R Peterson, Spring Excursions (Trilogy). Edge detail, acrylic on 10 x 8-inch convex oval canvas.

I don’t see my colors or style! Can I commission a painting?

My first commission gave me a window into a world I never imagined. From the first viewing of a client’s photos of their living room, I started dreaming of butter-yellow circle chairs morphing into paintings. My view of my process was forever altered.

These commissioned paintings are the culmination of work for an HIV clinic. The charge from my client was to create a painting that said to the beholder, “Love is love. All are welcomed to this space. All are loved.”

If you are interested in a commission for your home or business, please contact me at Alicia@AliciaRPeterson.com.

Still to be named by the client. © 2021 Alicia R Peterson. Acrylic on 16-inch convex canvas. Photographer: Peter Scheer.
Still to be named by the client. © 2021 Alicia R Peterson. Acrylic on 16 x 20-inch convex oval canvas. Photographer: Peter Scheer.

I loved it online but not so much on my wall. Can I return a painting?

I have never had a painting returned. But if you’re unhappy, I will work with you. If you let me know within 30 days of receiving your painting, we can arrange for a return. You will be responsible for the return shipping/insurance charges.

How do I care for my painting?

Avoid direct sunlight and moisture! I use all Golden Paints, which have the most pigment concentration on the market (and are the most expensive). It has UV protection but… I would not risk the glory of the painting by exposure to direct sunlight. Handle the painting by the inside and try to avoid touching the painted surface directly.

Your orientation or mine?

A tricky question. Circles have endless possibilities. With difficulty I choose an orientation that calls the most strongly to me. This is the image you see on the Web. But it’s up to you. In my studio I often rotate works depending on what I want to feel and see. Ovals are often both vertical and horizontal in all four planes.

Many of my rectangle and square works are universal. They too find beauty in both horizontal and vertical hanging.

Where is your signature?

I started out not signing my works because I was uncertain I was a true artist. Then when I reached (semi-)maturity and knew I was an artist, I started signing my works. In 2013, colleagues remarked that my signature was detracting from my paintings. I pondered on this and then started signing and dating on the backs.

Certain works speak to me that a signature is needed. I am so certain of the orientation and mood of the painting that a signature is critical on the front.
If a painting has numerous orientations, I often will initial or sign on all four back sides of the canvas.

Can I visit your studio on the beautiful north shore of Long Island?

Yes and… I am COVID cautious, so it depends on restrictions at the time. Let’s talk.

Private studio tours are by appointment. Reach out to me at alicia@aliciarpeterson.com.

What’s with no period after your middle initial?

I don’t like the way it looks. I like to punctuate out of the box.

Do you give workshops?

Sigh… soon, I hope. Oh, to share the freedom and ecstasy of paint slinging, dripping, and flowing with you! Storytelling without words.

Are you on social media?

Yes! You can find me on Instagram (@aliciarpetersonart) and on Facebook.

Are you still working as an audiologist?

No. In 2013 I jumped into life as an artist–entrepreneur. I believe I will be creating and sharing my work until the day I die. I am working harder than I ever have in my life and loving (almost) every moment.

Yes, I miss Audiology. Don’t get me started: I can talk your ear off about hearing instruments and hearing loss. My specialty was rehabilitation—what happens after the diagnosis. I entered Audiology after observing a life-altering hearing instrument fitting. One hour and the person’s life was forever changed. I said to myself, Science and humanity… this is for me.

If you have questions I haven’t covered, please contact me at alicia@aliciarpeterson.com or
631-637-6937. I’d love to hear from you.