Alyson Provax

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I was born in California, and I currently live in Portland, Oregon.
We love your Time Wasting Experiment, can you elaborate on how this idea came about?
In 2009 I was learning how to make work outside the structure of art school, and I found myself often spending hours in the studio without much to show for it. The first one I printed, which reads “38 minutes doing nothing important at all” was just a reflection of how I’d been spending the time in the studio since I arrived that day. It was very flippant and maybe a little chiding towards myself, but it had the seed of the project. After printing that first one I decided to try to identify and categorize all of the time I was wasting, which lead naturally into the project.

Do It Until You Can't

What is your process for defining “wasted time”?
This is something that has shifted for me over the course of the project. When I began I had the sense that all unproductive time was a waste, but the process of tracking and identifying wasted time has really made me question what I believe truly to be a waste. The prints have become important to me as a way of cataloguing all of these amorphous, unsatisfying experiences. Of course we all find ourselves doing things that we wish we weren’t, or perseverating over something or another, but having named these experiences individually has changed my relationship to them - for the better, I think.

it won't

The printmaking process is a complicated one to master, when and how did you learn your technique?
I have a BFA in printmaking from Pacific Northwest College of Art, and I learned letterpress there from Abra Ancliffe, who was a wonderful teacher. She gave me great support and a good base to work from. I now have my own tabletop letterpress, a C&P Pilot made around the turn of the century. I love the meditative action of setting the lines of lead type to print, and the translation of turning words thought into words written, and words written into words printed. The very nature of letterpress gives you an intimacy with your text.
Is there something people would be surprised to discover about you?
Dr. Seuss is a distant relative of mine.

Again & Again

More From Alyson Provax

More from Meet

Browse Artist Interviews
B5e56cb1 acd6 4322 99d1 7d17889abfa5
Meet Bbblob

Bbblob (pronounced blob) explores the rhythmic harmony of color and form, and the transient quality of emotions.

More from the Journal

Browse Posts
Bdbd55d9 9634 4127 9eaa 4d6a15eb51c7
Inside the Studio Visit with Laura Naples

Join us on a tour of Laura Naples' expansive Ohio studio where she created her newest suite of paintings for a special collaboration with Design Within Reach.