Mark Golden: Can you tell me when you knew you wanted to be an artist?
Stacy Brock: From birth. I was born a painter. I never wanted to be anything else.
Mark: Were there specific mentors or inspiration at home, or at school, in grammar school or high school?
Stacy: My father was and still is a Doo‐Wop musician and my mother was always into theater. She taught English and Drama and she’s been directing plays for as long as I can remember, but I’m the only visual artist in my family.
Mark: So creativity was encouraged at home?
Stacy: Absolutely. They completely encouraged it. I was never interested in any sports or anything. I wanted to take art classes. They always had me in after school art classes or Saturday art classes, mostly for painting.
Mark: And that continued in high school?
Stacy: Yes, I never stopped making art. I had a really good art program in high school – I was lucky that way. I took a great jewelry making class in high school. I had great teachers and there were a lot of arts and music classes in my school, so I took a lot of both of those.
Mark: Stacy, was it a special arts high school that you went to that had those kinds of resources?
Stacy: No, I’m proud to say I went to public school. It just happened to be a good school system and they encouraged arts. Back then…I don’t think they do anymore, but when I went to school there was a lot of focus on the arts and people were encouraged to pursue their art interests. You could pick and choose, it was your choice. You weren’t forced to do art or music.
Mark: And where was it?
Stacy: In Spring Valley, New York in Rockland County.
Mark: And did you continue onto college?
Stacy: Yes, I went to Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford and I majored in painting and I had extensive study in ceramics as well.
Mark: So, what were some of your favorite academic subjects?
Stacy: My favorite academic classes were English and Math. I took many English classes during college. I had wonderful professors and stuck with them through Literature, Poetry and Creative Writing. My favorite subjects were painting and ceramics of course. I had never done Ceramics before and I took to it very quickly.
Mark: After graduation what was the next step?
Stacy: Well, two weeks after I graduated I moved to Seattle for three years. I really wanted to get away from Connecticut and as much as I loved my school, I wanted to get away from that whole area. I wanted more excitement and to start my own life. I wound up living in very creative cities where you didn’t need a car and it was inexpensive to live. I would work for six months and not work for six months and make art in the time I wasn’t working.
Mark: And then moved back to New York?
Stacy: No. From there I moved to Northampton, Massachusetts where a bunch of friends from college had a recording studio and I moved back there to make music with them. I solely made music for the year and a half that I was living there and then I moved back to New York City.
Mark: What was your instrument and do you sing?
Stacy: I play bass and I sing.
Mark: What kind of music was it?
Stacy: Well, I grew up on punk rock so I can’t help but be influenced by it. It was in that genre, but also influenced by other types of music I like. There’s a heavy metal influence, ’50s garage and the Doo‐Wop that I grew up on. It’s a mix of all the things I like in one. The influences come out inadvertently. They just happen.
Mark: That’s great. And so are we able to hear any of the music?
Stacy: I have records. We put out a single and I do have it in MP3 form, but we recorded analog to vinyl because I collect records. I still collect records. I think they sound better so I’m kind of that side of an audiophile.
Mark: So then after that time playing music, tell me what happened next.
Stacy: Well, I moved back to New York and I started to get back into painting. I paint very large so it’s difficult living in a 350-square foot apartment. To paint large it’s impossible, so I wound up finding spaces to do it and I also decided to take continuing education classes at Cooper Union so I could have a place to paint. From there, I also started taking pottery classes in Brooklyn so that I could use their studio to do that as well.
Mark: So all during that time in New York you were going back and forth between painting and ceramics.
Stacy: Yes, I was doing them both at the same time. I still do them both at the same time. I switch off now between the two and it’s nice to take that physical break from doing one to the other.
Mark: And your preferred medium in painting?
Stacy: Acrylic. It has been for the past 20 plus years I have been working in acrylic paints.
Mark: And why?
Stacy: I like the immediacy of it. I absolutely can’t stand waiting for a mistake to dry for days and having to look at it or having the color get muddy because you can’t just go and paint on top of oils. Acrylics are immediate. Twenty minutes and they’re dry and I can rework a section, I like how fast it is and I like using water as a medium.
Mark: And so during that time you were a full-time artist?
Stacy: No. I had other full-time jobs, but making art in any spare moment or space is what I focused on. I have to make art. I always have to make art. I don’t care if no one ever sees it. I still have to make it. I’ve always felt that way.
Mark: So let me ask you what brought you to Golden Artist Colors in New Berlin, New York?
Stacy: When I realized the company was here I actively sought out employment and it didn’t matter to me how I got into the company. I had been using GOLDEN paints throughout the years. I think they’re amazing and just the fact that I could get involved with this company was just an amazing thought to me.
Mark: Great. Is there any project work that you helped with when you joined the technical group that was the most exciting or exhilarating for you?
Stacy: They’re all exciting. My position in Technical Support and Applications is amazing because I get to do all of these things I’ve never done before and learn the Lab side of it as well as the pure artist application side of it. I get to experience products that I may never have used had I just been painting on my own, especially all of the Mediums and Additives. I get the opportunity to get my hands in all these products and try and learn every aspect about them, so that I can help other people use them. It’s an incredible opportunity.
Mark: Stacy, that’s one of the things I’ve seen with some of the working artists and the folks working in the technical group is that in ways that you’d never imagine, your work here actually influences your painting career.
Stacy: Absolutely. It seems everybody that I’ve spoken to who works at this company who is an artist has experienced changes in their artwork since working here and mine already has changed.
Mark: Could you say in what ways it might have changed?
Stacy: The biggest change has been with the addition of Mediums and Additives. As beautiful as the GOLDEN display is in the art store, when it came to Mediums and Additives, they are white products in white jars and to me that was really confusing. Now that I’ve been introduced to them and can see what they can do, I’ve started using them in my painting. I’m obsessed with Interference Colors and adding mediums and textures to my work has changed it drastically.
Mark: Thank you Stacy. We’re thrilled to be able to introduce you in this issue and to share your story with our customers!
To learn more about Stacy Brock and her artwork, visit her website: www.stacybrock.com.