Sunny Taylor: 3D Sculptures

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Sunny Taylor is talented painter and sculptor who received degrees from BYU and The Ohio State University. She taught as an assistant professor from 2008-14 in the Studio Arts program of BYU and now lives and paints with her family in Utah. Taylor was featured previously on The Krakens for The Objecthood of Painting.

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Talk about your career developing. You have gotten into galleries, taught at BYU, and had a number of solo exhibitions.  When I contemplate my career development over the past decade, I feel so grateful for a few select people who championed my work, saw potential in me, and pushed me to strive for things that I thought were out of my reach.  One of my professors at BYU, Joe Ostraff, basically shoved me towards grad school.  I never planned on it. I didn’t think I had it in me to pursue a graduate degree, and I wanted to shy away from the challenge.  Little did I know at the time, that a graduate degree would go on to shape my career completely. Upon receiving my MFA degree from the Ohio State University, I had the credentials, but felt completely inadequate to teach at the university level.  When a full time position opened up at BYU, I reluctantly applied, and miraculously found favor with the faculty in the program, and was invited to join the ranks.  I taught for six years in the Studio Area at BYU, and it was marvelous!  I can’t say enough good things about my experience teaching there.  My colleagues were wonderful!  They taught me so much, achieved so much, believed in and supported me, and inspired me to stretch myself in many ways.

My position as a full time assistant professor placed some pretty high expectations upon me with regards to exhibiting my work.  It was expected that my work would be shown steadily on a regional, national and international basis.  The high expectations kept me applying to juried shows, and exhibiting my work in solo and group shows often.  Those expectations were so essential for me to continue producing work and exhibiting even while leading a very busy life.

Less than a year ago, I made a very difficult decision to resign from my position at BYU so I could be at home more with my children.  I am currently a full-time mom, and a part-time artist.  With my simplified job description, I’m surprisingly making more work than I have been in years, and it’s pretty amazing.  I recently began exhibiting with the Julie Nester Gallery in Park City.  They are really great to work with and for.

Visit Sunny Taylor’s website.

Follow Sunny Taylor on Instagram.


Sunny Taylor: The Objecthood of Painting

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Sunny Taylor‘s website explains, “In her work, she is re-engaging painting’s geometric tradition, positioning herself within a network of influences who explored the “objecthood” of painting, as well as the surface’s potential for formal expression. Her works embody a built, almost sculptural aesthetic, with strong ties to architectural influences. Her compositions and patterns develop through meticulous, labor-intensive processes and spontaneous interactions with paint, color, texture and meaning.”

Taylor received a BFA from BYU and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She taught as an assistant professor from 2008-14 in the Studio Arts program of BYU and now lives and paints with her family in Utah.

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Sunny Taylor

How do you conceptualize your shapes, colors, and designs. Do you do color studies? Sketches? All of the above.  I sketch patterns and forms often, and always in black and white.  Color is so difficult.  With most works, I begin conceptualizing color by compiling a rough color study sketch of my intended painting in photoshop.  Then, I begin to paint.  The painting NEVER turns out like the sketch, and at a certain point in the process, I stop referring to my sketches, and begin struggling with the paint and the painting itself. That’s where the real gratification comes for me.  The process of painting can be so amazingly challenging.  I use my sketches and studies to get me started basically, and then during the process of painting, color changes, surface texture builds, edges develop, and patterns and shapes move and change in order to “resolve” the image.  Towards the end of the process, I spend a lot of time just staring at the painting.  I stare, I turn it upside down – I experiment with cropping out edges and shapes – then I stare some more.  I know the painting is finally complete when nothing leaves me feeling uneasy.  It just feels “right”.

What is next for you and your art? I will be showing a couple of paintings in a group show at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City this July.  The show is about “Clothing.”  The work I’m making for the show is killing me!  I decided to make some paintings that have a really intricate fabric weave pattern, with the thought that the tedious and repetitive process would help me to understand and empathize with the countless individuals throughout the world who work in factories in the clothing industry.  These paintings have been mind-numbing and physically exhausting.  Although I will never understand what its like to perform tedious and repetitive tasks, day in and day out, for years — I do know now what it is like to do so for at least several weeks.  I can empathize to a degree with those individuals behind the scenes of our garment production, and I appreciate them and my clothing much more than before. – I look forward to this show.  It will be with several of my good friends and colleagues from BYU.

Visit Sunny Taylor’s website.

Follow Sunny Taylor on Instagram.