Candice Bohannon (b. 1982 Sacramento, California) earned her BFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design. Her paintings, drawings and sculptures include penetrating, emotive figurative pieces, and intensely studied works from life and nature. Bohannon will be teaching and demonstrating at the 2nd Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo (FACE) this November in Miami, Florida.
“I strive to portray the real yet intangible emotions, experiences, memories, and expectations of a living being; to capture the glimmer of life, the ethereal nature of the human soul, and our eternal search for comfort and familiarity in the sublime unknown. “
Her award winning work is contemporary yet naturalistic, soulful yet rational, and explores the deeply complex realm of human experience. It has been featured in dozens of publications, exhibited in several countries and museums, and is currently available through her website and several galleries throughout the US. She is married to fellow artist, Julio Reyes. The couple recently relocated to Texas, had their first child, and has begun offering workshops together.
Q&A with Figurative Artist Candice Bohannon
Cherie Dawn Haas: Please tell us about your painting titled “Fire Cloud” (above).
Candice Bohannon: The inspiration for “Fire Cloud” came while I was living in California. It was another dry summer, and there was an enormous wildfire burning through the forest. The fire burned so hot and fierce that it created mile high cloud systems that loomed ominously over the land and rained ash upon us for weeks. At the same time, someone dear to me was at a pivotal moment in her young life, the transition from childhood to adulthood. It was a tumultuous time for her at home, it weighed on her, and as she emerged from the naivety of childhood, there were many unanswered questions. The painting captures a moment’s pause while everything is uncertain except for the fire in her eyes. There is no going back. The future is as visible as the murky distance at dusk. The past goes up in smoke like the raging forest fire off in the distance — and truly, from such a great distance, there is a tranquil beauty to the smoldering ruin, if caught in just such a light as this. The same distant raging fire lurks within the calm demeanor of this girl; only a whisper of its true nature can be glimpsed. It is within each of us, a force of nature, a power untold. I feel this quote from Vincent Van Gogh expresses it in a way I can not:
“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”
CDH: What draws you to the figure in comparison to other subjects?
CB: I have always loved working with the figure, and find that for me personally, it is the most difficult and rewarding subject matter. Nothing inspires me as fiercely as another human being, with all their exquisite flaws, personal struggles, and emotional complexity. My favorite works of art have always been figurative — a stunning landscape will take me on a personal journey, a still life will give me endless aesthetic pleasure, but a great figurative piece gets to the heart of what it is to be and leaves me changed for having seen it.
CDH: Please tell our readers a little about what you are doing at FACE this year.
CB: At FACE, my husband Julio Reyes and I are doing a main stage demonstration together, and will also take part in a panel discussion with other artists. We have decided to do our presentation about oil painting on copper, and will be performing live painting demos on this material for the audience in Miami. Together we will share our experiences with painting on copper, let the audience know how they can get started with the substrate themselves, show some fine examples of work on copper plate, and demonstrate oil painting on copper painting from a live model onstage. This will be our first time demonstrating in front of such a large audience and we are excited about it.
CDH: What are you looking forward to the most about FACE?
CB: I will be presenting and demoing at the conference, so I am really looking forward to helping the attendees to learn something new, meeting new people, seeing old friends, and enjoying the company of my fellow artists. Going to an art conference immerses you into a community of artists from all over the world, and you end up feeling connected to them afterwards. Some of the best moments from conferences like these are after all the demo’s are over, conversing late into the night with new friends. FACE will be packed with likeminded people, interesting presentations, and great art materials … it is an exhilarating experience I am looking forward to.
Visit www.candicebohannon.com to see more of her art.
Learn more about the Figurative Art Convention & Expo here.