Give the gift of art this Mother’s Day! Atlanta Artist, Augusta Wilson is featuring a special collection in her May gift shop or you can shop the rest of her paintings for 25% off with code MAYGIFT.
Where do you draw inspiration from in your work?
I seek inspiration from a multitude of sources— books, films, interior design, fashion, dinner party conversations. I’m constantly on the lookout. I think my best work comes when I have a million things going on (which is often these days). I focus on my life, and before I know it the paintings are spilling out of me.
Who are the artists/individuals you admire and why?
There are so many fantastic creatives to admire, especially here in Atlanta. On the painting side, I love Sally King Benedict’s work. Her paintings, especially her woman series, are this fantastic mix of cubist and abstract expressionist. They have a retro vibe that I find to be so on-point with the mid-century modern look that seems to be everywhere. I also can’t get over the Bitter Southerner. I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, so nothing makes me prouder than highlighting the creative and wonderfully cultured hot bed that is the South. Combine that with gorgeously written stories delivered once a week and I’m sold.
You describe your art perfectly as the interplay between fun and sophistication. What do you think that says about the typical buyer of your work?
Most of my buyers are women (of all ages). The interplay between fun and sophistication is a concept that I not only seek in my paintings but also in my life; I think most women feel this way. Of course there is so much talk about it these days, but I do believe many women strive to have it all—myself included—a full, fun, refined life. My work, coincidentally, embodies this notion.
Thank you! I’ve always relished in my materials. The first two lessons I learned at The University of Georgia (where I received my BFA in painting) were to be generous with my paint and that every area of the canvas needed to be active. Building on those lessons, I also think that mark-making, or showing the artist’s hand, is incredibly important. In order to achieve all of this, I use a range of palette knives and brushes to apply my paint, as well as torn gold leaf sheets applied directly to the paint to build texture. I finish each painting with marks made with a graphite pencil, directly into the wet paint, to evoke a child-like sense of play.
How long does one piece usually take to complete from beginning to end?
I get this question a lot, funny enough! Of course, I never have a straight answer. It varies. Sometimes the work flows, and sometimes it’s a fight to get the painting from head to hand to canvas. I do work on several canvases at a time. I love the push and pull from multiple canvases going at once.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what’s typically on the playlist?
Absolutely! I’m an old soul when it comes to music. Fleetwood Mac, The Talking Heads and The Police are standbys. I’ve recently been listening to Milky Chance and The Head and the Heart. I had the pleasure of having an intern from one of the local high schools in January (a whole other wonderful story) and on her last day she sheepishly revealed that she didn’t know Fleetwood Mac. Of course, I immediately put on Rumours. I clearly stated that if I taught her anything, it was the crucial importance of Fleetwood Mac.
How would you describe your personal style?
Curated, sophisticated and elegant. I love fashion, but am careful when it comes to trends. Unlike my work, my closet consists of mostly neutrals mostly black. The je nais se quoi of the French girl (Clemence Posey and Caroline de Maigret come to mind) is what I’m after.
Favorite shops and eats in Atlanta?
For home décor, Lee Kleinhelter’s Buckhead shop, Pieces, is unstoppable. For women’s clothing, G Gilbert on the West Side is smartly curated. I love Baby Braithwaite for my infant son (I’m super traditional when it comes to his clothes). For Brunch, Emory’s Rise-n-Dine is our go-to (I dream about their sweet potato pancakes). JCT Kitchen will always be my favorite for lunch (their angry mussels and a glass of prosecco is my typical order). I love The Bishop in downtown Avondale for dinner (great wine list and their oysters with pickled green tomato butter are to die for).
Augusta Wilson currently resides in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and young son. Her work can be found all over the United States or online at www.augustawilsonstudio.com.
Local Love is our new section highlighting Atlanta artists and designers. Want to suggest someone to be featured on AB? Email us!
Monday, March 16th
2 pm to 8 pm
Augusta Wilson + Avril Walker Art & Jewelry Show
Home of Amanda Wilkins Gomel (Atlanta, Georgia)
551 East Wesley Rd NE Atlanta, GA, 30305