Sunday, November 18, 2012

Zoya Scholis

Name:  Zoya Scholis
Website: &

What do you do?
I paint mostly. I also like to dabble in ceramics and assemblage, even some writing. I lead workshops.

Where can we find your work?
I participate in solo and group shows in California and enter national and international shows four to five times a year.  A group I started, abstract7 will be showing at the El Marie Dyke gallery in Pacific Grove in January of next year (2013), and probably at Presentation Center in Los Gatos in the spring or summer. We hope to get a gig at the Toll House in Los Gatos for their Art walks this summer. 

I'll be doing Open Studios at Fort Mason (San Francisco) this year. I've also given interested parties private tours of my studio from time to time. Otherwise, I usually have one large piece displayed at Kaleid gallery, 88 4th St, downtown San Jose. I had a window spot but that may change. Then of course there is my website: 

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
hmmm motivation. Seeing other art I like is inspiring. I make a point of going to see art in galleries and museums. Lately I really like the Oakland art Murmur. Looking in books, magazines or websites can get me excited too.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
Content and process are inseparable and equally important. One without the other might not even be art. 

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
All the great painters from Velasquez to Cassatt to DiebenKorn, Joan Mitchell, Klee I could go on and on. Lately I'm interested in Jessica Dickinson, Maya Kabat and Howard Ikemoto.

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Fictional character? I don't read much fiction anymore except the short stories int he New Yorker. I don't think I can answer that question.

When do you get your best ideas?
My best ideas come as I'm painting. I can start with an idea but it always changes in the process. I welcome that.

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
I love oil paint with plenty of stand oil mixed in. It makes a delicious texture!
When I paint with watercolors I like to use atomizers and stencils, and Mop brushes. I wrote a book about it, Tape and Spray Watercolor, available on my website.

Are you self taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I have a BA in Studio Art from Cal State East Bay. It was a great time but only so much can be taught and I hate being told what to do, especially when it comes to art. This is ironic because I teach art. I think maybe 20% can be taught mostly by demonstration. 60% is practice and learning from ones own mistakes which can be supported by a good teacher, and 20 % is Divine inspiration.

What would your creative work taste like?
Oils, like salted ice cream, watercolors, like water mellon. It occurs to me, in winter I might have a different answer.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
It takes faith. Art is my religion.

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
Take workshops with artists you admire and remember, copying may be challenging and fun but it is not art.

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