Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Hi, my name is Abby Davidson Korotney.
I grew up in a very conservative Jewish househhold. My Grandfather was an Orthodox Rabbi and my brothers and I were immersed in Hebrew and Jewish tradition.
My family valued education, reading and the arts. My Grandfather was a “Lincoln” scholar and had read every one of Shakespeare’s works. My parents imparted this love of learning along with the love of music and other creative pursuits.
When I was growing up, my mother gave me art and piano lessons. Although I studied art in high school (figure drawing and sculpture), I decided I needed a more practical degree in college. I got my MBA in 1989, but I always said I was a right-brained person in a left-brained world.
I retired from my career in Market Research earlier than I had planned so that I could care for my husband after a back injury. Once he recovered and my kids were old enough, I had more time to pursue creative outlets.
So I began my formal instruction in painting, and combined with a lifelong love of knitting, I evolved into the artist I am today.
After years of hard work and perseverance, I feel ready to share my work with a wider audience.
After the death of my father in 2011, I expressed my grief through drawing, mostly pastels. That evolved into charcoal drawing and mixed media work. When my youngest son turned two and he was more mobile, I starting knitting and created everything from clothing to woven and fiber art pieces.
Along with my creative pursuits, I have a love of doing service for others and for my community. I volunteer at my local humane society; I teach literacy to the poor and underserved and through Jewish Family Services, I was a companion to a lovely woman who recently died after a long battle with cancer.
My kids are grown and in college now, so I have focused on doing artwork, knitting garments for others and creating items for foster children. Recently, I have taken up jewelry making which I enjoy immensely doing bezel work and metal smithing.
After drawing for so many years, I only really starting seriously painting 4 years ago but my artistic life has taken off at a rapid pace and this year alone I am doing 7 shows, including one juried show.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I have always been very visual and tactile. I enjoy color and putting images on mixed media. I have been inspired by many great artists especially Chagall. When I was 17, I lived in Paris, which is such an artistic city. I spent many hours at museums and visiting great architectural sites.
What is your specialty?
I have dabbled in many different mediums. I am essentially an abstract colorist.
I really enjoy working with alcohol inks. I have used inks on many different surfaces including yupo paper and ceramic tile. I have done a number of floral paintings and recently I finished an alcohol ink painting using gold leaf, which enhanced and brightened the floral quality.
I also love working with acrylics and gel medium to create abstract designs. In addition, I have done a fair amount of poured paintings using pouring mediums.
How and where do you work?
I work in varied places. I have a studio in my basement and I also work out of my teacher’s studio which is close by. When I am doing poured paintings, I often work outside due to needing large spaces and also due to the process which can be messy.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
I would have to say my palette knife. Used along with my acrylic paints and gel medium, I am able to create wonderful textured surfaces.
Where do you take your inspiration?
I love water and floral themes. I took an abstract landscape painting class awhile back and painted a waterfall using pouring medium. Since then I have done a number of “waterfall-like” paintings. I also enjoy flowers and color and have used mixed media to create interesting designs.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on doing some more abstract acrylic palette paintings. My references include modern abstract artists such as Clifford Still and Bryan Ruttenberg.
What are your favourite items in your current collection?
My paintings are like my children. All beloved and intricately crafted. I like my set of alcohol ink paintings on ceramic tiles.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
My answer is very subjective. My paintings evoke a lot of emotion and show lots of energy and color. I am a very intuitive painter so I get a feeling of completion when a project gives me that evocative response.
Do you do bespoke work?
I have been asked to do work on commission but it has not yet come to fruition.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
I was 12 years old believe it or not. I had done a newsprint collage with colorful handprints on it. I actually received a prize and someone bought it!
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
It would have to be the pastel/mixed media picture I did after my father died. It was entitled “From Sorrow to Joy”. It hangs on my living room wall to this day.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I continue to build up a body of work for shows and also to display on social media for the enjoyment of others. My wishes are to continue learning new techniques and apply them to my work.
Where can we find your work?
There is also a link to instagram on my webpage.
© Abby Korotney
© Abby Korotney