The Artistic Life: Angie Simeone-Rzasnicki

  I am delighted today to be featuring Nashville artist, Angie Simeone-Rzasnicki. Angela's creativity never ceases to amaze. Last year her uncanny ability working with paper was showcased on the blog (to read that article click here). Readers from across the nation were mesmerized by her unique perspective on such a commonplace material. It seems that in everything she does, via marketing savviness or creative channeling, Angie sets the bar higher and higher and we can only wonder what she will do next. Interior Canvas is focusing today on Angie's clear talent and skill in the painting world. Her abstract canvases have been the talk of Nashville.  When I found out several of her paintings were featured on "Nashville" (the hit TV show), I couldn't wait to chat with Angie to learn more about her creative career and, of course, her TV debut! Enjoy!

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You are so artistic in a wide variety of mediums. How/When did your talent for painting begin? I began working with an art teacher turned mentor, David Guidera about two years ago, finding him was a stroke of luck. Over the last eight years, I have taken college courses, attended local classes and participated in groups all to develop my painting skills and technique. Driving to East Nashville, in the cold weather, for 7:30 am class with blue-haired 19-years olds was what it looked like for me to get started and made me feel like I was learning again. The "10k hour" rule is an absolute in painting and important in locating your style -- which classifies me as a complete newbie. Historically apprenticeship has made trade generational and that's a beautiful thing no matter what you are learning. Ultimately though, both research and by "just beginning" allowed me to create this new opportunity in my life -- taking that first step creates happen-chance.   Working creatively as an artist, yet with a business degree from Georgia, touch on how these two elements have woven their way throughout your life and career? My aesthetic-aspirations comprise interior design and painting of which I have developed through several amazing clients.  All of my clients have been people who have seen my home and want the same look and feel, its eclectic and sophisticated without being serious.  Painting a custom piece for a space finishes and adds the exclamation point.  Finding homes for my paintings is satisfying and it frees up creative space in my head so I can continue to paint.  If I have too many paintings at a time, I tend to get a little bogged down. Creative outlets come in varied forms. Having and raising three boys is my greatest creation, privilege and reason-to-be, so all my life and professional decisions filter through this primary focus. However, pre-children, my career made me complete and it is nice to begin to again put energy towards work. In my perfect world, I would paint, have a couple of design clients and develop marketing initiatives for health care companies. That may sound arrogant to think I can do all of that but having a supportive husband can make anything a reality and has for me. Working as a team has allowed me to develop my interests

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Walk us through your steps (both literally and creatively) when you begin a new painting.
Painting like anything else takes work as well as many decisions to keep a forward momentum -- it has to die and be reborn a couple of times. Re-building anything is scary, frustrating and humbling. Standing back and getting perspective is apart of painting and an acquired skill set, one I am hoping to develop and add to my day-to-day.
I measure out my own canvas from a roll and most paintings begin on the floor, with black and white line. I am a gestural painter who creates details by happen-chance and doesn't like detail. I usually work on one concept and paint it in four to ten paintings. I've done buildings, birds and floral abstracts that all rely on color to create depth and differences. The movement in a painting and its stillness is what I find interesting. Finding quite moments in the work is important to me and I am hoping to grow towards less chaotic and more cohesive paintings.
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A custom piece for Lauren Leonard, designer of the Leona line.
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Do each of your paintings represent a specific message or mood you are trying to convey?
"Proving" something in a painting takes working through a mental checklist and reason -- as I am not methodical when I paint-- I hope to improve with time and age. Sometimes, I get anxiety about all of the good work I did the week before on a painting but know it needs to move forward with change, and then I see all the amazing work my mentor has repainted, and I feel better. My best works are when I was time intensive in laying the ground work, give it a rest and then come back to it fresh and finish it quickly.

This is a work started on the ground that became 4 pieces.

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How did your paintings end up on the set of "Nashville"? Give us they story! Also, did they give you any direction for what to paint, color schemes, etc? A scout for the show Nashville, Trish Tallon-Blanchard, heard about my work from my mentor and contacted me.  She came to my house and went through my pieces and loaded up about 10 to take back to Ruby, the show's art director.  Both the art director and the set designer liked my work and decided on 4-5 pieces of already existing paintings plus requested I paint several additional pieces in red.   The guest director, Eric Stoltz from "Some Kind of Wonderful" was feeling the color red.  I lived for John Hughes movies so I painted as much red as I could --six total and they used three.

                  Six Red Paintings Angie painted for the "Nashville" show to consider. They chose three in addition to the others already taken from her existing portfolio.

Angie's painting behind "Nashville" character, Rayna James

Another of Angie's paintings behind "Nashville" character, Juliette Barnes

Trish also wanted me to paint a custom piece for the hotel entry for a specific scene so I met her downtown at  the Hotel Indigo and we measured the space and took pictures for inspiration. The piece "Coming Off the Bloom" is a sequential abstraction of a flower losing its petals.  The episode was about Juliette Barnes being duped by her manager boyfriend.

 Angie's piece, "Coming Off the Bloom" hanging in the Hotel Indigo lobby during a "Nashville" episode

Coming Off the Bloom

Where can we see more of your work?

My work can be found on my website at angiesimeone.com and the Beth Haley Design showroom from January through March.  For Interior Canvas readers, January and February, some of the pieces on my website will be at a 50% discount and any custom pieces size 6' and under would be a flat fee of $1,200. Contact me for more information.

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Original Print

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Angie Simeone-Rzasnicki

www.angiesimeone.com

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Nashville Interior Design Blog