Guests at SOHO will often find their eyes captivated by the artwork gracing the restaurant’s walls. Works by local artists Emmy Dudley, L. Renay Kabus and Laura Bowman each add to the restaurant’s atmosphere. This Saturday a new series of paintings by Emmy Dudley will be installed at the restaurant, so I figured it was a good time to chat with her about art and food.
Martini Drinkers by Emmy Dudley
The new series you have created for SOHO focuses on themes of martinis and jazz. What draws you to those themes?
I enjoy that they have a fun and lively energy. They focus on enjoying time with one another. I really like to paint themes that are positive and uplifting. I’ve actually explored the themes in the past, so this time the challenge was to re-envision the topics. As an artist, it was interesting to see what my imagination brought forth at this point in time.
In what institution would you love to see your art hang?
Locally, the Mason Murer gallery. Eventually, I’d love to be shown in different cities, such as San Francisco, London and Amsterdam.
Do you ever get ‘stage fright’ when displaying your work?
In the beginning of my career I did get nervous. Now I have tougher skin. I struggle with my work in the studio. If I consider it finished then I am generally happy with it. I’ve learned that not everyone is going to like what I create and I can’t take it personally. However, most people are very complimentary. And, of course, if I am proud of what I’ve created that’s really the key to confidence.
You’re essentially a self-taught artist. Any advice for other artists? What was your biggest learning experience?
If you have a passion – just go for it. When I started I just had this passion for painting. I didn’t think it would become my career. Then I started putting my energy behind it and it evolved. The first year I dedicated to forming a style all of my own. Soon galleries were showing my work and it began to sell. I really enjoy seeing how my work keeps changing and growing.
Since you paint martinis and display your work in restaurants, I have to ask – what are you eating and drinking now?
I love a good glass of red wine. And, I’m actually a vegan, so any vegan foods – I love them all.
Any upcoming shows in the Atlanta area?
I’ll be at the Norcross art festival on October 3 and 4.
Ready to check out Emmy's latest work over a great dinner? Please join us at SOHO soon!