greenpointers thursday spotlight

Thursday Spotlight: Deniz Ayaz On the “Unpredictable Nature” of Watercolor and More

Whimsical, precise, and meditative, Deniz Ayaz’s illustrations and watercolors may make you hungry. She often creates tempting portraits, though her skills reach far beyond illustrations of food. Deniz has had works featured in leading outlets including The New York Times, Print Magazine, and more, and below we get to know the Greenpoint artist who dishes not just on her drawings but her favorite places to get baos, ice cream, and more.

Greenpointers: You mentioned you’ve lived in the neighborhood for a few years! Any favorite spots? How has Greenpoint treated you?
Deniz Ayaz: I remember the first time I went to Greenpoint. It was a small field trip with my illustration class to Pencil Factory in 2011. Meeting some of my favorite illustrators there was very inspiring and I can say that this neighborhood has always treated me well. I’ve met inspiring people (including my husband), discovered new spots, and never felt like I was not in a concrete jungle. 

Some of favorite spots in the area are Lot Radio for Saturday afternoons, Baoburg for yummy baos in the backyard, Polka Dot for homemade apple pie, Van Leeuwen for coffee ice cream, Maha Rose for soundbath, and Magick City for dancing, which I’ve recently discovered and been amazed by the space and events.

You dabble in a few different mediums: watercolor, ink… any favorites, and why?
I love the fluidity and unpredictable nature of watercolor. In the past, I’ve painted with various mediums including oil, acrylic, and gouache and it was great to experiment with all of them before finding the “one.” I enjoy creating abstract patterns in watercolor and most of the patterns I like tend to be the ones that are less structured.

Nowadays, it’s quite common to see people planning every second of their lives and try to control every little thing. As a result, it becomes hard to enjoy spontaneity. For me, painting with watercolor is a great way to let go, and it’s quite meditating.  Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Sara Radin – It’s Not Personal

Photo of It’s Not Personal co-founders Sara Radin (left) and Vanessa Gattinella (right) at their first workshop at the New Women Space

Sara Radin is a writer and curator living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Full time, she is the Youth Culture Editor for WGSN. Outside of work, Sara is the co-founder of It’s Not Personal and she has previously curated 20+ events including workshops, pop-up exhibits and more in New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and London.

Recently, Sara and I met to discuss her work in today’s political climate, and about her current project, a growing anthology and collective that creates opportunities for women to share their dating experiences in a positive environment.

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Thursday Spotlight: Isaac Arvold, “later” Opens at Greenpoint Hill – TONIGHT!

Greenpoint Hill presents their second exhibition, later, works by Isaac Arvold, which opens tonight! We interviewed Greenpoint Hill’s Kim Brown when she first opened the gallery and retail shop on Freeman Street, and for this week’s Thursday Spotlight we’re showcasing Isaac Arvold, whose exhibited works are the harvest of a month-long artist’s retreat on a rather secluded beach in Costa Rica.

“I wanted to get away, be alone, and just make art,” says Isaac Arvold. “I think I was getting distracted in New York at the time and I wasn’t owning my craft. In my luggage I packed 2 pairs of shorts, 2 tops, sandals, a significant amount of ink accompanied by paper. Lots of paper. My favorite paper. 1,400 sheets of paper. I made my little beach office cabana out of drift wood and various fallen palm fronds. I would strip my bed sheets from my bed bring them to the beach with me and tie the corners to upright sticks which would give me sweet beautiful shade during the day.”

Sometimes working his Brooklyn studio, Arvold will feel the pressure of not having enough time to work on something or not be able to resume right away the next day. That was not an issue on the beach in Costa Rica.

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