Mother’s Day is right around the corner, Sunday, May 12th. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have your Mom’s (or loved one’s) portrait done as a gift? I know I would love it or a portrait of me with my two daughters and I know just the artist to do it- the exceptional Bonnie Hoye. Now you don’t have to rush to have it done before Mother’s Day. You can always write a sweet note that you have commissioned her portrait and wrap up the note in a box with a bow. Then mom can work out with Bonnie a convenient time to have her portrait done. You can reach Bonnie at her studio number, 516-426-8145 or via e-mail, email@example.com. I recently had the pleasure of chatting in depth with Bonnie and I wanted to share some of our conversation with you so you know a little bit more about her and what drives her passion. -Lynn Butler Beling
Lynn: What inspired you to become an illustrator?
Bonnie: Ever since I was young I have been drawing, and always had a pencil and paper with me wherever I went. I remember even as a two year old, I would sit and draw in the morning for hours, as I would wait for Sesame Street to come on, and then wouldn’t want to stop drawing once it finally came on. I just loved it and have always felt a strong desire to do it.
Lynn: What are your favorite pieces to date?
Bonnie: My favorite pieces are the ones I’m showing you here today. They are titled “Viviana” and “Lidia”. I like “Viviana” for the raw emotion that comes through her eyes and “Lidia” I like because of the detail of her clothing. I love to draw faces and clothing and I think both of these pieces portray a good example of my work.
Lynn: What inspires you?
Bonnie: I love to travel! When I travel I get inspired and then look forward to getting home and concentrating on my work. I drive my fiance crazy snapping pictures throughout our entire vacation because everything I capture I feel is a piece of artwork. I can’t wait to get home to transfer them onto paper or canvas. My fiance says that I spend our vacation always ten feet behind him because I’m constantly stopping to snap pictures.
Lynn: Are their artists that have inspired you?
Bonnie: Alice Neel, Alex Katz and Larry Rivers. These three artists inspire me because in their work they all like to concentrate on people and each piece tells a story about the person they have painted or drawn. From facial expressions to hair and clothing, to the colors that they choose, these decisions all add to the story. I also feel inspired by Larry Rivers because of the quality of his draftsmanship and his ground breaking style. I feel he is extremely talented and he doesn’t get the recognition his work deserves.
Alex Katz’s 1970 portrait of his son, entitled Vincent with Open Mouth
Lynn: What movies or books have inspired you?
Bonnie: A movie and book that has inspired me is Bridges of Madison County because of the incredible cinematography and the beautiful story line. I also loved Meryl Streep’s character, an Italian immigrant who married a farmer from Iowa. Her face and her clothes tell her story throughout the whole movie and I think they did a nice effort in portraying that. She is a woman who I would like to draw if I had crossed paths with her. I also really enjoyed reading Just Kids by Patti Smith. It really gives you a good idea of what the art world was like in New York during the 1960’s and 1970’s and the incredible love that Patti Smith and artist Robert Mapplethorp shared.
I also felt inspired by the movie Pollock because of his strong, natural desire to create his own work and because of the connection with the east end of Long Island, where I also live.
Below, Bonnie’s studio and adorable companion, Bailey, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. (Bailey introduced us- I think he had a keen sense he’d be good friends with my King Charles, Gunnar)
You can write a sweet note to mom telling her you commissioned her portrait and put it in a box and wrap with a bow so you can present her the gift on Mother’s Day. ( I love this idea! But it’s not only a special gift for Mother’s Day- it’s a great wedding present, birthday present, Father’s Day gift or anniversary gift.)