I work in ceramics, metal, and various forms of assemblage using found objects and organic materials.
What motivates you to create art?
I am amazed how diverse art is and became interested in color/design/pattern. After retiring, I joined the local city cultural center and began to work in clay. It was fun, rewarding, and became a good foundation for my art.
How has your practice changed over time?
I used to work with more standard materials (clay and glass). But moving forward I have become more interested in representing the spirit through totems and also focus on more abstract print work with the emphasis on color/texture and incorporation of found objects and “tras” printed material.
Do you ever get artist’s block? If so, how do you combat it?
I work on several projects at the same time. It allows me to stop and go. If I get blocked on one, I just move to the next.
What do you think your life would be like if, for some reason, you could no longer create art?
Unable to create art, I would still enjoy the sharing of information and debate that would encourage others to pursue the arts.
What role does the artist have in society?
Sharing ideas is necessary for human growth. What more vibrant and exciting way to share than through art?
How do you feel when people ask you to explain the meaning of your art?
Art to me is individual, and the only thing that matters is what you take from it. My art makes me happy in its process and creation. If you are pleased by the composition, color, form or whatever, then I am
excited by that.
Have you ever been banned or censored to any degree as an artist? If so, how did you react? If not, how do you think you would react in that situation?
I have never been banned or censored. I feel people have a right to their opinion as I do. If they don’t like my art, fine– go look at someone else’s art. Everyone’s eye is different.
Does your artistic life ever get lonely? If so, what do you do to counteract it?
I’m never lonely but sometimes need a change. I attend shows, go to gallery events, drive to new towns to look for galleries that would be a good fit for my type of art.
What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I love it when someone is pleased with my art and likes it enough to purchase a piece and place it in their home, and enjoy looking at it every day!
What are one or two primary areas of fear for you as an artist?
My main fear is not being able to put a finished piece together. My best friend retired from special effects at the studios. He sometimes must step in and make much needed suggestions on assemblage.
What are one or two factors that, when they’re in place, enable you to really flourish artistically?
I work in silence. There are times when the phone doesn’t ring and it seems to make everything come together more easily. Allowing creative juices to flow without interruptions is a blessing.
What jobs have you had other than being an artist?
My career was in retailing. I worked for Bullocks and Bullocks Wilshire for years. I began by teaching selling, became a buyer, and ended by running the everyday operations of the Bullocks Wilshire store on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
What’s your favorite color?
My art is filled with bright colors. I love them all!
Butler will be one of the artists participating in the Long Beach Open Studio Tour on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13. For more information, visit lbopenstudiotour.com . To see more of Butler’s work, visit mountainartsnetwork.org/artists/butler-candy/index.html .