The shared thoughts and artwork of Carol Schena.


Margery is a local Artist from Melrose, MA. Her work will be on exhibit at the Melrose Arts Festival from April 26-28, 2013.

Carol Schena_001Q. What does Art mean to you?  

Art to me is an expression of feelings through sight.

Q. What is bas relief? What influenced you to create art in this medium? 

I like to describe  bas relief as sculpture with a flat back, similar to carved tombstones.  I became interested in bas relief while I was in college studying sculpture.  I discovered that being able to hang my sculptures was a much easier way for me to present my work to the public.  There is much more opportunity to show work that can be hung on a wall than free standing work.
Carol Schena_004
Q. Many of your pieces reflect children? What is your inspiration?  
There is so much sadness and worry in this world that I like to  capture a moment in time to bring a smile or a  happy memory  to the viewer’s mind.  My grandchildren inspire me and I tend to take pictures of them in action for subjects in my work.   I find it interesting to talk with people about their memories of happy days gone by when they view some of my pieces.
Q. What is your creative process of creating a bas relief?
There are several steps in making a bas relief. I start out with a flat slab of clay.  I will then draw the picture on the clay with a sharp tool.  Next, I will carve (subtract) or mold (add) the subjects to the slab.  When I have finished the piece the way I like it, I will then make a plaster mold.  After separating the mold from the slab, I will begin the process of cleaning up the mold to make it ready to be cast.  It is important to wet the mold thoroughly and put on a separator before casting it.  After removing the cast, it is time to clean it up and prepare it to be finished.  I then usually paint the surface and sometimes stain it to complete the piece.
Q. How would you describe the style of your artwork?  
My work is pretty realistic.
Carol Schena_007
Q. For your wire pieces, was this a self-taught technique?
I guess you would say I was self-taught  with my wire pieces.  They start out as a wire “drawing” and evolve from there.  Some are left as stick figures and others are filled in.  I have a subject in mind when I start but I don’t know where it will lead me.  It’s always fun to see a piece develop.  Sculptor Alexander Calder has been an inspiration to me and my wire work.
Q. What importance does your artwork hold for you? 
My work is a form of meditation for me.  I can remove myself from the day to day issues and I find creating something is very rewarding.   I find it challenging but also fun.
Carol Schena_010
Q. How is your artwork a reflection of you? 
I am generally a positive person and I hope my work reflects that.
Q. What role did art play in your life as a child? 
I was always interested in art growing up, particularly in drawing.  I was always creating something.
Carol Schena_006
Q. Do you have any words of wisdom you can share to aspiring artists?
Follow your dreams!  Art can give you joy and peace.  Don’t ever stop creating!
Q. What is your current work about? What are you trying to explore and how has that evolved since you started? 
I have recently started doing while-line block prints.  It’s quite a bit different from my sculpture as it involves color!  The process involves carving lines in wood to create a picture and then adding the paint and transferring the color to the paper, one section at a time.   I am also exploring complete 3-D subjects rather than reliefs and am experimenting with “etching” (drawing) on plaster slabs.
Carol Schena_002

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