We selected Baileigh as our first Spotlight interview because she has been such a creative force at the shop. She has quite a list of achievements, so it was difficult to focus on just a few. We hope you enjoy reading about her and her art.
What type of artwork do you do?
I have been working in the decorative arts field for 20 years, and I have painted just about any surface you can think of from ceilings to walls to furniture. My favorite medium is mixed media. I have an immense attraction to furniture and lighting design. I am planning to explore these later this year.
When did you first know that you wanted to create art for a living?
I've wanted to be in the arts since high school, but it wasn't until college that I finally decided to major in it.
Were there any classes – or people – whose influence changed your outlook on – or manner of - creating?
I loved Professor Steven Langdon. I took drawing and oil painting classes with him. He taught me that if something inspires me, to just do it. He also advised me to work the entire canvas - not to get stuck on a detail. This has affected how I do everything! Another memorable lesson was to pick one thing that I like to do, and to do a lot of it. That was in college. As far as a professional inspiration: I was inspired by Don Estes, a furniture and lighting designer whom I worked for in Memphis, Tennessee. He taught me about production. And, also, Jill Turman, a metal fabricator from California, who encouraged my working skills as a metal artist.
What inspires you?
I get inspiration from design magazines and other artists. I am drawn to color and light, which naturally ties-in with stained glass art. I find inspiration in nature's textures and patterns.
Do you have any rituals or follow any processes when you are about to start a project?
Sometimes, if I don’t have a clear vision of a finished product, I surf the web for inspirational photos. When starting a decorative finish, I like to focus my attention on one project at a time and get really involved with it. I plan out every detail before I begin, so I'm on the same page with a client and their vision. When doing a piece of art for myself, I usually like to make a sketch of the idea and then use the sketch as my guide. In general, though, the art speaks for itself, and the direction becomes guided by the work.
What was the best – or personal favorite – piece of art that you’ve created? If you can’t narrow it down to one, give me your top five.
Top five is easier.
1. Tapestry: This was thirty-two textured, double-sided, aged blocks of wood which were stitched together with copper wire and suspended in a custom metal frame.
2. A folding screen: This was a screen that was designed with stained glass windows. The frame was upholstered in crushed velvet.
3. A contemporary copper and steel dish (or bowl) which I designed and created to raise money for MIFA (Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association).
4. A Fantastical Twang: A two-sided sculpture using stained glass, which was lit from within. Two different colors of glass were used, which created a third color where they overlapped. The entire piece was shaped like a guitar.
5. Martinis and Matisse, which is a fundraiser for The Clearwater Free Clinic: I have produced many pieces for this fundraiser, many of which, rank up there with my favs…
(Martinis and Matisse #1) The first was a pair of martini light sconces, which were a copy of a Matisse painting. The glasses were made from canvas and were painted in oils, the stems were fashioned from copper, and the olive was made from stained glass. The glasses were attached to purple-heart wood, and then both sconces were mounted on a backboard whose frame was painted with Matisse-like flowers. The sconces could either be displayed on the backboard or used independently from it.
(Martinis and Matisse #2) The second was a mixed-media, martini glass. It was collage of antique mirror and glass with dripping, chandelier, crystals as a stem. It was mounted on wood and then framed in a painted frame of Matisse-like flowers.
(Martinis and Matisse #3) The third was a contemporary design, using acrylic paint, on canvas. It was detailed with beads stitched on with red wire.
(Martinis and Matisse #4) The last entry was titled, “Mary, Mary, How Does Your Garden Grow?” It was a mixed-media piece, with gold stenciling, copper, wood, antique mirror, and copper wire on a black canvas.
What was your worst – nightmare – can’t sleep at night – project that you wished you had never taken on?
Nothing really keeps me up at night. But I did take on a kitchen project last year with a lacquer finish. It took me two, long months of hard labor to complete that project. I told God that if He helped me get through it, I would never take another lacquer job again.
I understand you have new professional goals lined up for this year? What are you taking on – and what are you leaving behind?
The decorative painting field is a very time consuming and physically exhausting line of work. It takes many hours to make samples, track down supplies, and mix custom colors. It takes time to get those colors just right. And all of this transpires before I even reach the job site. Although helping others achieve a visual aesthetic in their homes has been gratifying work, I am looking to begin a new venture. Lord willing, I am very excited about starting a couple of product lines. One of the products is taking outdated and unloved chandeliers and turning them into works of art. The other product will be a line of mini, canvas paintings.
Now that you know my plans, I am bound to be accountable for these ventures, and I look forward to sharing my progress with you later this year.
If your work was found in any celebrity’s (author/ famous historical figure/ musician/ etc.) house, where would we look?
I don’t have a specific name per se, but it would be someone who has an eye for art meets unique...especially in art-furniture design.
Which famous people would you invite to a dinner party? Do you think they would get along? What would the conversation be like?
I would invite “behind-the-scenes” people. They are the ones who do the work to make others look good. I am sure the conversation would be varied and interesting, and I think they would get along because they share a common rank of employment. Lots of behind the scene stories to be shared...
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A natural, medical doctor… hands down!!! My hobby has always been learning about how to stimulate the body to heal naturally without pharmaceuticals.