Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In the spring of 2010 I took a graduate level art class in Charlottesville that emphasized  drawing  but being through VCU took on the mulit-media approach I know and love. Here are some of the finished pieces. 
I create collages with varied objects as my subjects. Alone they are recognizable objects but combined in a composition they take on a symbolic meaning, working together to create a new purpose. It fascinates me the way our brains need to construct meaning and purpose and these pieces serve as a way for me to explore those connections. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Large Works

Media Studies

These works are playful exercises with no expected outcome other than to just make art and be in the moment. They are media studies and experiments for larger works. Combining different materials allows me the opportunity to find unexpected or natural connections in my art.

 Study 1- "The Promise Land" Mixed Media on Panel 2011

 Study 2- "Conflict/Resolution" Mixed Media on Cardboard 2011

 Study 3- "Close Shave" Mixed Media on Panel 2011

Study 4- " Missing Link Meets Paparazzi" Mixed Media on Paper 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Influence and Artists

Thursdays gallery walk was an exercise in contemplation and perspiration.  The work we viewed was as diverse and exciting as a chic rummage sale where everything is unaffordable (at least by my standards) but tantalizing and inspirational.  I saw a few works that resonated in me and many more I just enjoyed looking at. For me inspiration is an invitation to open my investigative art tool box and like a forensic scientist explore the details and mediums used by the subject and extract them for myself. Turning these investigations into a personal and unique piece of artwork is a journey. So that being said, my journey is well under way and the artists whose work acted as fuel to keep me going are listed below.

At the Reynolds Gallery I saw a few artists whose artwork and mediums piqued my interest.

Jiha Moon
Alexander's Bands
Ink and acrylic on Hanji paper over canvas 18 x 18 inches

What excites me about Jiha Moon's work is necessarily her reference to Korean and Western painting styles but her lose and whimsical use of the traditional mediums and the composition. Her surfaces explode with clouds of color bound together and grounded by icons of her Korean heritage and line that is sometimes indicative of calligraphy. I see and admire layers of color that create an immense depth in her work. My eyes struggle to rest on part of her painting and feel as though they are being navigated by a typhoon of information and decadent color. The control in composition is something I desire to take control of in my own work. As I add layers I sometimes find beauty very quickly and rest on the notion that that what I have created is enough and start move in a different direction. Comfortably exploring "mistakes" with willingness to push my layers further and see value in the steps I've taken is something that I am working on. Iconography is something that is also very important to me as I feel like my work delves into abstract expressionism and surrealism. While the latter may be my only reference, Jiha's blend of eastern and western icons speak of a very concrete place in a very abstract work. I feel my use of imagery is sometimes abstract and more about color or shape or composition than meaning. I like to think that the images are a touchstone for viewers to derive some information but perhaps its just a ruse. Jiha's work has given me much to think about as I start new work and explore and find meaning or maybe just the joy of creating beautiful things.

The next artist I will speak briefly about because it's really only the acrylic medium he uses that I want to explore.

Ron Johnson, The Way It Always Was, 2011, 24 x 24 inches

I enjoy this work for it's beauty but more for the semi-transparent layers of acrylic medium he uses to create them. There's a depth that is created beyond the use of the acrylic medium that I think is achieved with a masking compound that is used as each new layer is created. The end result is a multi-layered surface of color incised by line and shape that refrence color below. The above picture does not represent this well but I didn't get pictures of the smaller works which were on a table upstairs in the Reynolds gallery. I want to explore this process for my own work to add depth and hide or focus on certain elements in a piece of art.

Suzanne K. Arnold
Earth Bones: 
Alianthus and Wax

A piece of work shown by sculptor Suzanne Arnold at the Visual Art Center in Richmond inspired me in a way other works viewed that day inspired me but because it was sculpture, a little differently. What I see in Arnold's work is a love of material, invention and creativeness in found objects, something I can relate to in my own work. A lesson gained from viewing Arnold's work? Simplicity is beautiful. As complex as I might want my work to be and a packed with interesting tidbits to temp the viewer, sometimes simplicity is best and can speak volumes. Arnold's figures, as she states, are "unearthed" from found objects and though the artistic process come to represent, loss, pain, transformation and renewal. The simplicity is an inspiration and a thing of beauty.

Lastly, a piece of work not viewed on the walk but at the Anderson Gallery was by another artist whose work I find interesting, not for it's subject matter but for his use of color and composition. Artist Barnaby Furnas explores history and contemporary genres in his watercolor paintings. At a distance his work is very abstract and colorful. It's not until the viewer gets closer that you realize Furnas is depicting scenes of battle with torrents of red blood spatter and yellow gun fire grazing black lines across the blue sky. It's a scene of the Civil War with a large confederate flag as a focal point and soldiers rendered in a style reminiscent of a video game. Again, for me it's not the scene that's so interesting as the action, the color and the lines that guide my eye around the canvas.  It's exciting and gory and has a message. Why am I drawn to this work is all I can think of? Like Jiha Moon's work, there is care are chaos and a balance struck between the two that allow the work to live in harmony despite it's message or intention. This is true artistry. The work shown below is not the work in the Anderson Gallery