CPS Studios-Summer 2010

MN Women's Press-Oct 09



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Why Abstract?



This past year my work has become increasingly abstract in nature. It is what speaks to me. But as I approach the opening of my two-person exhibit Vantage Point, I have been thinking more and more about how to talk to others about abstract work in general and my abstract work specifically.

I understand that abstract art is not for everyone. Some folks feel they just can't make "sense" of abstract work. I think it can be more difficult for viewers to understand abstract work when they stand in front of the piece and look for something they can readily identify--a face, an object or perhaps a landscape. Some may say it is "human nature" for people to look for that recognizable object, but I would challenge you to look at abstract work, and really all art, in a different way. 

My suggestion when viewing abstract work is to "step away" from looking for that landscape, or recognizable form. Instead focus on colors, shapes, energy, movement... Notice the brushstrokes or how the paint is applied to the canvas/panel. Pay attention to layers of paint and texture.

How does the painting make you feel? What kind of emotional response do you have to the piece? Does it convey a dark, somber mood? Or is it filled with light and energy? 


In my abstract work, I am trying to explore moments/events in life that are emotional in nature, but difficult to express or explain with words. We have all experienced significant life events that burn an impression in our memory. I hope to give a creative voice to those moments of despair, terror and even joy that we carry deep within.

And how do I do that (or try to do that?)

When I am painting, I feel as if I am communicating very intimately with the paint and canvas. Often times it is as if the painting reveals itself as I work. Sometimes that happens very quickly and sometimes it takes a great deal of time--it can be a back and forth process.  Working with a palette knife or a brush, I lay down many layers of color and texture, often using a cloth or even my fingers to blend or wipe away colors to reveal the mysteries of what lies beneath.



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