Bonny Wagoner - Artist/Illustrator
Merging watercolor and colored pencil to create magic.

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AN INTERVIEW

Why do you do what you do?
I love to draw. For me the process is very much like meditating.

How would you describe your own work?
My art is a reflection of the world I live in. I have a wide range of subjects I like to work on... the unmistakable love for my rabbits, the incredible landscape around me and the beautiful flowers that grow in the northwest. The past two years I've made an effort to witness the sunrises announcing a new day. No two has been alike and they have been breathtaking to experience.

Why did you choose the kind of materials you’re currently working with?
For the most part the materials I work with are chosen because of the ease of portability. My life rarely affords me the opportunity to work where I want so I take my materials with me. If I have free moments, I can fill them doing something I love - drawing and painting. Without exception, everything I use is archival quality.

What makes your work personal to you?
As we muddle along through life we all have things that grab our attention. What I find intriguing in every day life is the combination of light and dark, negative and positive spaces, and texture in tandem with color. While my drawings appear to be very realistic, it's all of these components, about stopping to notice, to take it in and then convey it in my images. For me this process is very much like magic.

Who taught you how to perform your art or craft?
I began my studies intending to become a master calligrapher under Jaki Svaren. A master herself, she wisely encouraged me to do some career research on the job opportunities available as a calligrapher. It didn’t take long to realize I had to expand my horizons if I ever wanted to make a house payment. I first studied Commercial Art earning my Associates Degree from the local community college. I planned to continue my education but was very practical about how I was going to make that happen and enlisted in the military so I didn’t end up with a nightmare of a student loan. In the process I had working experience as an Illustrator/Draftsman and earned the GI Bill to help pay for my continuing education. After completing my active duty tour I re-enlisted in the Oregon Air Guard Reserves as an Graphics Technician and returned to my studies to finish my Bachelor of Art degree at Marylhurst University.

You as an artist what life experiences shaped you as an artist?
The American society has evolved in to an extroverted society. Silence is an uneasy friend so now what people think is an empty space is filled constantly with noise. The opportunity for quiet introspective is next to impossible so my work is intentionally designed to be a break from the craziness out there, the calm in the storm.

When do you feel most inspired?
When it's quiet.

Did you set goals for yourself? Have you met any?
I want to work faster so I can finish more pieces and with more detail. Working in mixed media allows me to do both. My goal is to show a minimum of six times per year and eventually get my art in select galleries. My work has been well received in shows and has consistently won awards. I am very pleased with the notice my work has been receiving.

Where do you live? Is it an inspiring place?
I live along the Columbia River in Columbia County in Columbia City. What a beautiful place to live.

Do you have a family? Are they helping you in your creative business?
I met my husband on a blind date 37 years ago. We have three grown children, two grandsons and one granddaughter.

Where do you like to spend most of your time?
If it were possible, I’d spend most of my time drawing. Hours feel like minutes. It is amazing to watch something on a piece of paper literally come to life. It's a surreal form of magic for me.

What other things, next to creating, do you enjoy in life?
There are lots of things that make me smile. As you have probably figured out already I very much enjoy working with my rabbits. We've traveled all over the United States and Canada and I've meet some truly wonderful people along the way. I love watching the sun rise on a perfectly clear morning, before the world begins it's hustle and bustle. I enjoy sitting in the sun with the smell of honeysuckle in the breeze, being wrapped in fog with the sounds of the world muffled out, rain drops on newly opened flowers, the wind on a crisp fall day, the smell of the first rain, dappled sunlight in the green grass and awesome food that tastes as good as it smells.

How could owning your work enrich their life?
Everything I work on is created using archival quality materials. The colors in the pigments aren't going to shift, the paper won't fall apart or yellow. You can expect the work to last hundreds of years. I hope my work instills a sense of peace or a memory, a wholeness, to take you away to your quiet place.

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Copyright 2017 - Bonny Wagoner. All rights reserved.
Contact: bonnywagoner at msn dot com (written out because of the pesky autobots out there)