BerkleyOctober 23, 2013
Business background helps Berkley artist
By Joshua Gordon
C & G Staff Writer
BERKLEY — Art and business are usually not two careers that intertwine, but for Berkley resident Candace Law, she seemed to have a knack in both fields.
Law said she always enjoyed art as a child, but she went on to earn her Masters of Business Administration and open her own custom furniture store. It was there that the artistic itch crept back into her life.
“I loved art as a kid and thought at a point about being an artist, but it was not really in the cards for me, and I actually ended up going into business and had my own company for a while,” Law, 60, said. “When it closed in 1990, I realized I loved the art end of furniture, like the interior design, and I went back to school at Lawrence Tech and got a degree in architectural illustration in 1998.”
There was no change in heart from that point on as Law continued on the fine arts path and explored different mediums to see what worked for her.
This month, Law was one of a handful of artists to receive a special international recognition as part of the 15th annual Abstraction Juried Online International Art Exhibition, hosted by Upstream People Gallery, an online art gallery.
Law’s encaustic piece, “Stratum,” which includes hot wax with pigmentation, was hand picked by the juror, Laurence Bradshaw, a professor of art at the University of Nebraska.
“It is wonderful to know that abstraction is still a mainstay throughout the world,” Bradshaw said. “Candace has a work that sings visual textural quality. ‘Stratum,’ in encaustic and rust, although small, speaks loudly with effectiveness.”
In the last 15 years, Law has worked with painting, papermaking, photography and figures. However, encaustic painting has been one that has kept her interest for quite some time.
The process includes melting wax and mixing it with pigment so it looks like warm oil. Then, she uses a paintbrush on a rigid board or canvas.
But Law doesn’t stop there, adding another layer to give it her own personal touch.
“I had been working on this piece for the last year, and it was a combination of the hot wax and working with rust prints,” Law said. “I take a damp piece of paper and put it over a piece of rusty metal, and the rust transfers to the paper, creating a rust print.
“I like to work with some experimental things, and this body of work, it developed a brown layer above and it reminded me of driving through Pennsylvania and seeing the layers of rocks on the mountains.”
She submitted the piece, titled after her inspiration, to Upstream People Gallery. Law said she didn’t expect to be included in the nearly 100-artists exhibit, let alone receive special recognition.
“I have been hearing more about online galleries, and, as an artist, it is a nice way to show your work and get your work out there,” she said. “I really like doing abstract work, and I entered to see if I was good enough to get it; a little bit of validation is what I get out of it.
“The fact that the juror took time to call out my work is really thrilling, and I feel very honored about getting that kind of recognition and being one of just a select number of artists to do so.”
Law works in a studio only a few blocks from her house in Berkley alongside her husband, who has gotten into photography in recent years. While Law always hopes she can sell some of her work, she just enjoys having a hobby she has liked enough for the past 15 years.
And, while the change from the business world to the art world was dramatic, she is glad she made the leap.
“It sounds like I had a breakdown and went in a different direction, but it was very freeing, and being able to create and do my art is wonderful and gives me the ability to express myself,” Law said. “I think what I learned in the business world has been invaluable in terms of setting up a website or working with galleries and making deadlines for myself. Things that artists should be doing but find hard to do come to me a little easier because of my business background.”