Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Emily Blaschke

Maine.  My grandfather started Down East magazine in 1954. My dad and his three brothers would mimeograph copies of the magazine and collate them around the kitchen table. Although I was raised in California, I spent every summer in midcoast Maine. 


Inspiration.  I have a passion for any art form, especially contemporary art. I am a visual learner and am inspired by color and texture. My eyes dance when I see a palette full of color. World events (both positive and negative), the American flag, American folk art, fabrics, quilts, and textures all drive my creativity.


Medium.  I am constantly mixing media. I don’t use one particular medium. I am constantly experimenting. One month I’ll use resin; the next it’s all about nail polish, and now I’m doing mixed media collage pieces. 


Artist Hero.  I love Anselm Kiefer, a painter and sculptor. The gigantic size of his works and the materials he uses—straw, ash, lead, and clay—make me want to run home and start working. I also love Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.


Studio.  I work in a barn. I keep the barn door open and constantly take work outside to work on it and/or to let it dry. I am extremely messy and usually find myself covered in paint. 


Where in Maine.  I live in Yarmouth with my husband, Ken, and our two daughters. I’m surrounded by extraordinary cultural opportunities, numerous art exhibits, the Portland Museum of Art, and terrific college museums. 


Fun Fact.  Because I have dyslexia, I found it particularly rewarding to teach art to kids (K–8) who had learning disabilities. I worked with these children for ten years in the Bay Area of California.


Education.  I discovered painting at the all-girls school I attended in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I had an art teacher who told me that my paintings were similar to a well-known figurative Bay Area artist named Joan Brown, who taught at University of California, Berkeley. A couple of years later I was lucky enough to major in art at University of California, Berkeley, and have Joan as my professor.