Entering the world 21 years ago in Queenstown, New Zealand, Mackenzie Woolvett is now an artist coming into her own in Long Beach.
Like many young artists, she’s a busy person– working as a lifeguard, swim coach, water-polo coach and student assistant at her school’s equine unit when she’s not making art or working toward earning a registered veterinary tech certificate from Mt. Sac Community College.
Though watercolor is her go-to medium, since, she says, she can use it for quick sketches as well as more “thought-out” paintings, she also loves oil-based clay and simple graphite pencils.
What would you say is your point-of-view as an artist?
I have never really thought of this before! As an artist, I’m always doodling the things around me, sometimes I try to replicate it exactly, other times I’ll try to draw it in different styles. One of my favorite things to do is distort the human figure in a way that pushes the boundaries of joints and muscles, yet when you look at the figure, it still makes sense.
Why do you make art?
I make art because I’ve always had the urge to. I can’t speak for other artists, but for me there is the drive to create, and I honestly don’t know where it comes from. All I know is that it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, and I don’t ever intend on stopping.
If, for some reason, you could no longer create art, what would you do?
Oh, man. First off, I would be really sad! Making art has been a part of who I am for my entire life. If I couldn’t make art for some reason, I would most likely turn to other forms, like music. However, if I’m struck blind, I could still sculpt. If I’m deaf, I can still draw and paint. Regardless, I would become a very sad person if I could no longer create.
Is there anything that blocks you as an artist?
A big block that I have had to get over is creating art for the purpose of selling it. Creating art is personal, and a lot of my inspiration derives from the thought of giving my art to friends/family as gifts.
Do you have a favorite piece of art you’ve created?
Yes! In my life-sculpture class in college, we were sculpting a costumed figure out of water-based clay. It’s a very simple piece, just a man sitting down on a stool with a jacket wrapped around him. I’m not 100-percent sure why I love this piece so much, but it’s one of my favorite sculptures so far.
Do you have a favorite piece of art that someone else has made?
My life-sculpture professor has this beautiful sculpture of a dancer her friend made for a final project while in Italy. The movement of the sculpture is unreal, and the woman looks so peaceful and content. The flexibility in her joints looks as if they have been exaggerated, but it only adds to the fluidity of the piece. I believe the sculpture is a resin cast, with vinyl wax dripped over it for texture.
Do you have a least-favorite color?
Not necessarily. All colors come in handy for different pieces. I think it all depends on the look you’re going for. Personally, I’m not a big fan of neon colors for my own art. I’m a fan of earth tones and more subtle color schemes.
Woolvett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .