I had the good fortune to have a wonderful studio visit with paper carving artist Maude White this past week in her new Hudson, NY studio. The studio is beautiful and Maude is just such a delight. I'm honored and thrilled to be able to show her work. Maude graced us with some wonderful insight into her work & below is a little interview I wanted to share.
WC: Why paper? How did you come to it?
MAUDE: I really love paper. I love the history of it, the versatility of it, and how differently so many people have used it before me. On the surface, paper is so simple and straightforward, but people have used paper to tell so many different stories in so many innovative ways. I am constantly inspired and surprised by how strong, how powerful paper can be.
WC: Always white?
MAUDE: I enjoy constancy and continuity in my work. At first I worked in black paper, because traditionally, in many cultures, silhouettes were cut with black paper. I moved to white because I wanted to try a different weight of paper. I was astounded and moved by the change. I do so enjoy the lightness and peace of white. I love how subtle white can be when hung on the wall.
WC: Do you know before you start what you're going to do or does the work evolve after you start?
MAUDE: When I start a piece I usually draw out a rough sketch beforehand to work from. That being said, every piece does change, even though the changes may be slight. It evolves as I cut. Similarly, the work will never look the same as any sketch I draw. There is so much difference between pencil and knife!
WC: How long have you been cutting paper?
MAUDE: I’ve been cutting paper for roughly four years. When I first began I was making simple pop-up and carousel books and shadow puppets. That gradually evolved into what I create today.
WC: What are you finding to be a particularly strong influence / inspiration right now?
MAUDE: I am constantly inspired by so many things, most notably patterns in nature. Recently, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the concept of ‘genius loci’ in architecture and landscape design. I am fascinated by what that may mean if applied to interiors and the creation of personal space and what part art can play in such an investigation. I’ve also recently become fascinated by the history and various interpretations of the tarot deck.
WC: You recently moved, do you think new location/new studio will change/influence your work?
MAUDE: I hope so! So far, I am feeling very hopeful and inspired by my new city (Hudson, NY). I feel like this area is very welcoming and encouraging towards artists. I feel very safe and comfortable in my new studio.
WC: If you could pick one other artist to exhibit with, who would it be?
MAUDE: I would like to someday do a joint show with Fotini Galanes, a truly remarkable artist. I feel like our quiet, obsessive love of detail would complement each other very well. As far as dream exhibitions go, with living OR dead artists, I have to say I’d love to exhibit alongside Maxfield Parrish. And Andrew Wyeth.
WC: Are your studio life and personal life intimately intertwined or are they fairly separate?
MAUDE: Very entwined! A great deal of my life revolves around my work. I’ll even say that ALL of my life is fashioned around my work! It is all very connected…
WC: tell us something about your studio practice that maybe no one knows or you think might be unusual?
MAUDE: I listen to audiobooks while I work. I have a DEEP love of old Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie mysteries.