Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mike Southern

Links to Mike's Etsy shop and Blog at the end of this interview.


I am an artist/printmaker living in Christchurch on the glorious South Island of New Zealand. I have been here for a year now and prior to that I was living in Portland, Oregon. Our move was precipitated by our sense of adventure and to take a break from the chaos of American life and to begin raising our children in a calmer, more peaceful place. I have been a practicing artist for nearly 15 years and during that time I have done a lot of teaching at art schools, community colleges and other venues. (NOTE - there is more on Mike's blog, linked below, regarding his move to New Zealand and how it has impacted his artistic pursuits - a very good read).

Why printing?

I love process. I love learning new techniques. I love drawing. All of these things drive my art making and printmaking fills those needs oh so very well.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

Etching because it rules the universe with its awesomeness. It is direct and very physical and it allows for an endless amount of mark making. You can do anything with etching.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I made my first print back in 1988 at Amherst College in Massachusetts. I have been hooked ever since. My vision of what my prints should look like has changed very little over the years, to be honest. I am very focused on producing mainly realistic, slightly romantic visions of the natural world. I have dabbled stylistically in other areas but this way of working just holds the most meaning for me. A genuine, faithful homage to the natural world is what I’m after.

What or Who influences your work?

George Inness, Rembrandt, Durer, Rubens, and Oregon artist James Lavadour are all artists I look at continuously and admire greatly.

How do your promote your work?

I sell on Etsy, Artfire and I just started an art blog but I don’t “promote” stuff there, just vent and play around with art related themes. I also have work in galleries here in New Zealand and back in the US. (More on this on Mike's blog, linked below).

Any good printing tips or funny printing stories (or both??)

Printmaking is hard. Getting comfortable with it takes many years if you are doing it right. As far as “funny” stories go, I don’t really have any but I have plenty of disgusting ones to share. It’s Halloween time back in the US but I just can’t bring myself to share them.....

Mike's Etsy Shop
Mike's Blog


Plate said...

I have a few pieces of his in my house - he is such a talented artist with a keen eye for the world around him; both big and small. Glad to read this post, will certainly look at what he has been doing since leaving one place of beauty (Oregon) for another - New Zealand.

- PlateInkPaper/ Carol

Almost Monday said...