Interview: Eileen Noonan
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Interview: Eileen Noonan

Abstract art is a far reaching genre of the visual medium. Most of the pieces displayed in the world truly open the viewer’s mind to various emotional interpretations through countless moments. Eileen Noonan’s work is a prime example of such exemplary style. While her paintings seem explosive and chaotic, there is a sense of precise accuracy that is apparent. Each stroke, drip and flow seem intricate and important. Even the color schemes are prominent to the viewing experience as well as the creation. Thick strokes blend in with fine lines that add a certain flair to the movement overall. A constant dance is shared while the music is heard in every piece.  

Despite such a talented skill, Eileen’s current art did not come by happy chance. “It was not a conscious choice, more of an evolution. I have always created. I especially enjoy paint as a medium. I love working with the vibration of color. Art, more specifically painting, was not so much an endeavor as a life line. I lost my son to suicide almost three years ago. When a parent loses a child the grief never ends. It becomes part of your life. I paint to process and transform my pain into something beautiful. Painting is healing because while I paint I am connected to the greater consciousness where there is no death.”

All of Eileen’s collective work is distinctly different but carry a common pandemonium of expression. She shared her favorite one to date. “There is a painting I call ‘Black Ice’ that is my current favorite. If I were to guess why it is probably because it opened a door. I took some risks with this piece that in a way showed … creativity in me that I had been, up until that point, blocking. This painting opened the door to a more bold … way of painting [and] releasing.”

As her art progresses, she shares the same sentiment most visual artists have. “[Its] funny, every piece, when it is the one just done is the ideal piece, until it isn’t. A better term for an artist is probably a creative. The thing about being creative is that you are never truly satisfied. You will feel satisfaction in a moment but very soon the desire to go further will rise. You always want to see what is hidden behind the curtain that you can possibly bring to this three dimensional reality. I am idealistic, so the next piece is always the ideal piece. However, the ideal piece is more than just the piece but also the process. It would flow through me from the greater consciousness. I would be a pure vehicle for its expression without any of my human doubts and fears inhibiting the flow. That would be ideal, the process and the piece.” The same goes for the difficult pieces that pop out of nowhere. “My most difficult piece is always the one that is just not right. I can obsess for days over a piece trying to make something that feels ‘right.’ I literally will torture myself. I’ll turn into the ‘tortured artist’ where I just want to destroy the canvas. However, I fight through the crazy and sometimes it turns into something quite special and sometimes it is just never right and it receives a respectful burial.”

The art world itself does not fully permeate her career as she creates. “I really pretty much function outside of the ‘art world.’ I imagine it the same way it has been for a long time. I have the same questions that I think most have about the ‘art world.’ What makes art valuable? Some artists that produce what some consider basic work or gimmicky are ‘successful’ and other artists who create amazing pieces are never considered. Something I have thought a lot about is what is best for the artist. If an artist achieves success too soon it seems they are pressured to produce. I imagine, for some, that could spur on your creativity for others possibly stifle it. I wonder … is it best to just work quietly unencumbered by the pressures, free to expand and grow or would the pressure light a fire of creativity. I guess it is a personal thing.”

Eileen’s art could become a greater adventure as her ambitions grow for complementing the viewer’s scope. “What I would like explore is enhancing the experience when showing my art. Creating an experience where the audience is engaged in the joy beyond just viewing but actually experiencing. I want the audience upon walking into the gallery to experience being drawn into a world where they are experiencing the art beyond a visual and intellectual analysis but rather feeling the energy as if they walked in a dimension that have yet to experience in this world. When they walk away, I want them to remember it as we do a vivid dream. Ultimately the experience, at a visceral level, becomes a part of them, a very positive and beautiful part of them.”

The growth never stops as a creator as well. “The great thing about [the] nature of creating is that it is a constantly changing, evolving and shifting energy. I am always experimenting with ideas and materials. What I like to experiment with most are tools for apply paint. I hardly ever use a paint brush. Rather, I am always on the lookout for unusual vehicles of paint delivery. The tools do not need to be traditional painting tools nor do they need to be considered tools at all, maybe they are just random objects but with a little imagination they become a wonderful extension of the hand. It is fun experimenting, every object delivers the paint in it own unique way. Personally, currently, I love anything that rolls, drags and pushes. I am also so interested in how colors work together, especially unlikely pairings. It might be that I am making something that is dark navy blue and beige and it is fine but throw in a the right tone of yellow and all of a sudden it takes on a fun fresh feeling.”

Artists across the globe excite Eileen. “I am inspired by all the artists out there that are pushing themselves to create. I started on Instagram @eileennoonan_art last year and it opened my world to all the artists out there, everyday, doing it for the sake of doing it. It is like going to galleries and visiting studios all over the world everyday. I am inspired daily by all these artists.”

When not creating, Eileen is exploring the countryside.“[I’m] going to head east, probably to Oakland and do what we call free styling. We like to just get in the car and drive and see where the day takes us. It is always fun and always a surprise how the day unfolds when you do not have any set plans or agendas other than to just go with it…”

This talented artist shows no sign of slowing down. “Right now my next big project is a fantasy, which is where it always begins. I have plans to have a solo show in a gallery that is in the heart of San Francisco. I love this particular gallery because they allow the artist to transform the space into an experience. They have no idea I am planning this or even who I am, yet, so, I am free to let my imagination soar. I am working toward this goal. This is what I do, imagine an outcome and work at it as if it is reality. There is something about setting a goal in your head and working towards it everyday, you set the energy in motion and if you stick with it, it happens.”

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Written by Myles Hunt

Music fan, simple and sweet.

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