Artist Interview: Don Edmonds

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Q&A With The Artist

What are your ear­li­est mem­o­ries relat­ed to art?
 As a kid grow­ing up in West Texas, the out­line and mys­tery of Med­i­cine Mounds, a site that was sacred to Comanche Indi­ans broke that vast, flat land­scape that was my home. It was, I real­ize now, an artis­tic expres­sion of these ancient people.
How and when did you start becom­ing an artist yourself?
 As an adult and long past stu­dent days, my curios­i­ty and grow­ing inter­est in all things artis­tic, lead me to take my first art class at Kil­go­re College.
What was the evo­lu­tion like toward find­ing your cur­rent voice and visu­al vocabulary?
 Some twen­ty years lat­er, I found my free­dom to take big­ger steps in defin­ing my own artis­tic expres­sion. I had resigned my job, moved to San Miguel de Allende and dove head­first in to all things art. I sur­round­ed myself with books by many artists. Art exhi­bi­tions became “must go to activ­i­ties”. I dared to teach myself the dif­fi­cult art of water­col­or. In time my trav­els took me to Peru where I was fas­ci­nat­ed by the ancient art of the indige­nous peo­ple of these great moun­tains and the Ama­zon Riv­er. The hum­ble gourd, used for cen­turies as a ves­sel, was devel­oped into a sur­face that could hold the intri­cate imag­i­na­tive fig­ures of these native peo­ple. I had found a new medi­um — the art of gourd pyrography..
What is your process like?
 All of the images on my gourds are burnt into the sur­face of the dried gourd with a hot nee­dle. I then use acrylics for col­or­ing. I incor­po­rate
a vari­ety of dec­o­ra­tive items includ­ing cabo­chons, seashells, vin­tage cos­tume jew­el­ry and var­i­ous oth­er unique items that help to car­ry my the­mat­ic designs. These range from native Amer­i­can and Mex­i­can motifs to con­tem­po­rary and others.
Is there any­thing from your artist state­ment that you wish to expound on, that you nor­mal­ly don’t have the chance to discuss?
 I find plea­sure in intro­duc­ing this ancient art along with the his­to­ry of the hum­ble gourd to the curi­ous who ask “what it is”!
What do you try to con­trol in your sur­faces, and what do you leave to chance?
 Each of my art gourd pieces car­ries out a theme. But those themes are artis­tic as opposed to “crafty”!
Where do you see your work going from here?
 I am con­tent with the steady progress I con­tin­ue to make with this ancient art.