Bold is Beautiful Says Folsom/El Dorado Hills ArtistJun 29, 2015 11:44AM ● By Style
Artist photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group. Artwork images courtesy of Bonita Gohler.
Bonita Gohler showcases her bold, colorful, nature-inspired greeting cards, bookmarks and paper creations both online and locally at the Bag Lady Boutique. After joining the Folsom and El Dorado Hills Arts Associations, Gohler uncovered the perfect venue to meet and network with other artists. “I didn’t initially consider myself on the same scale as an oil painter or watercolor artist,” Gohler says. “But over time, and with support and encouragement from fellow artists, my confidence and abilities emerged and blossomed.”
HLB: Have you always been artistic?
BG: Since childhood, it seems I’ve always dabbled in some form of arts and crafts. My card-making career started with a small rubber stamp and some embossing powder. I stamped the image on an envelope and used a toaster oven to heat the powder, adhering it. I soon realized I was singeing the edges of the paper and knew [it was time] to graduate to more sophisticated equipment. Once I completed classes in rubber stamping and card making, I was hooked and never looked back.
HLB: What about paper art appeals to you?
BG: Making card-sized works of art really appeals to my sense of color and proportion. I love working with paper, which comes in many different varieties, textures and patterns. I tend to add many layers to my cards, and I always challenge myself to come up with creative color and design combinations that work together to create a unified, finished product.
HLB: What inspires you?
BG: I read specialized magazines that include photos of cards and outline step-by-step instructions, and I frequently attend rubber stamp conventions. I recently [attended] a quilt show with colorful and original artworks, which inspired me to create cards with a more abstract quality where I use mostly colored paper pieces as the main focal element.
HLB: Your work is very intricate—what is your process?
BG: I get lost in the creative process and enjoy being immersed in my artwork. I rarely make only one card at a time, since it’s more efficient to make a series of four to six. To start, I often find one piece of inspiration—such as a particular stamp, an interesting paper pattern or even a piece of ribbon—and then look around my studio for coordinating design elements and build from there.
HLB: What advice do you have for other artists?
BG: For new or emerging artists, my advice would be to do what you love and what inspires you—whether it be bold and vibrant colors, or a certain medium or style. If your heart and soul are in it, that joy will resonate with your audience.
HLB: What’s next?
BG: Over the past few years, I’ve branched out from making greeting cards [and discovered that] I also enjoy creating small artwork and collages using watercolors or acrylics. Framed artwork is a relatively new endeavor for me, and I like the challenge of expanding my artistic repertoire. •
-by Heather L. Becker
Visit bonitaspapercreations.com for more information.