A Group Exhibition in Celebration of WMG's 25th Anniversary
CHICAGO —Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is proud to present the exhibition ‘Reunion I,’ the first of two group exhibitions featuring WMG artist members in celebration of WMG’s 25th Anniversary year.
WMG Co-founder, Beate Minkovski, selected the work of 38 artists for ‘Reunion I’. A reflection on the growth of WMG from 1992 to 2017, ‘Reunion I’ is also a salute to WMG member artists across the years and the growing visibility of women’s art in the world.
Reunion I artists include: Macus Alonso, Annette Barbier, Stephanie Rose Bird, Laurie Cohen, Mary Ellen Croteau, Katie Kaelber Davis, Peggy Dee, Cat Del Buono, Char Downs, Linda Gleitz, Joann Goetzinger, Leah Golberstein, Barbara Grunewald, Pat Guizzetti, Pearl Hirshfield, Indira Freitas Johnson, HoJung Jun, Elzbieta (Elka) Kazmierczak, Itala Langmar, Kim Laurel, Laurie LeBreton, Susan Lehman, Peggy Lipschutz, Elaine Luther, Robin Malpass, Chandrika Marla, Suzanne Massey, Lily Mayfield, Bobbi Meier, Joyce Patterson, Mabi Ponce de Leon, Edna Porter, Sonia Pratt, Cherry Rahn, Ruth G. Sikes, Dian Sourelis, Pat Spear, Cynthia Staples, Erin Waser.
The opening reception for ‘Reunion I’ is on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. Works are on display through June 17, 2017. The closing reception will take place on Saturday, June 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. In addition, a literary reading, ‘Environments: Where We Find Ourselves,’ will take place at WMG on Sunday, June 11th from 1 to 3 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
Woman Made Gallery, 685 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60642.
(Banner Image: artwork by Laurie LeBreton)
© Macus Alonso
Untitled from Weaving Series
threads and recycled plastic bags
20 x 16 in.
As an artist, I begin my process with materials. Largely inspired by West African markets and the chaos within them, I am drawn to bright colors and abstract lines. Before beginning a piece there is no telling what direction it might take, the threads, be it through knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving, or wrapping, guide me as I add element upon element.
© Annette Barbier
8 x 10 in.
Having lived for many years on the edge of a forest preserve, Barbier came to know intimately the daily moods of the wildlife, the little lake, the insects, plants and trees. Upon close and repeated inspection, it became clear how compromised and un-natural our nearby “natural” places are. Her work came to change in focus from the personal and domestic to a consideration of our place in the environment, focusing on our estrangement from the natural world. It addresses the anthropocene, suggesting that humans are not above or outside of nature, but rather embedded in it, even in an urban setting. It calls attention to human organizational strategies such as printed books, contrasting them with nature’s more organic approach. Issues such as overpopulation, extinction, the impact of invasive species, and the unforgiving nature of the built environment are examined and critiqued.
© Stephanie Rose Bird
Sumi-ink and resist on paper
16 x 28 in.
Art is a vehicle for expressing joy and finding oneness with the universe. My vehicle for this route of expression is nature. In the process of exploration, I tap into my intuition, spirituality and sensitivity to daily observations of all that is around me and the feelings that run through me when I am in the natural environment. My approach to art-making is to stay in the moment of each painting session and present my visions with fresh immediacy. I enjoy working with a wide variety of media, approaches, genres, and styles, yet my subject matter typically revolves around a spiritual response to plants. The unifying factor in my work, is a tendency towards rendering small, intimate elements of nature that would otherwise go unnoticed.
© Laurie Cohen
Tai Chi in the Clouds (2015)
mixed media encaustic
8 x 10 in.
Laurie Cohen’s fascination with places off the beaten path and curiosity about humanity provided the impetus to start recording what she found along the way. This took the form of drawing, painting and photographing. Her photographs and encaustic paintings attempt to evoke the mood of the place and the people as she sees it.
With an economic and financial background, Laurie typically focuses on the economy of an area and how it impacts the land and its inhabitants. She is particularly interested in beautiful places which have experienced economic distress.
© Mary Ellen Croteau
Her Way (1994)
(Set of 4: Normal Anatomy, Clitoridectomy, Modified Sunna & Pharoaonic Circumcision)
ink on women’s cotton underwear
each 12 x 12 in.
This work is primarily concerned with exposing sexism and deeply embedded cultural misogyny. I use various media, including painting, installation and sculpture to lay bare the sexist assumptions in our social icons, from art to religion to consumer goods. My work is about taking a closer look at our culture, about seeing things in a slightly different way.
© Katie Kaelber Davis
Fanfare (from the Portal Series)
paint and paper on wood
8.5 x 5 in.
Katie uses a wide variety of sources to get her imagery. From maps, bird murmurations, telephone lines, origami, and a house plant, she studies what is around her and visually weaves this information into something new, also drawing on memory and intuitive feelings about a space.
Many times there are busy, chaotic areas of her work that feel jumbled and stacked, in the midst of open, airy spaces that give a sense of order. Her imagery also flows in and out of abstraction and representation, with no barrier between the two.
© Peggy Dee
Seated Figure with Screaming Crow March 2017
oil on canvas
48 x 36 in.
What drives the concept of my current paintings is our inescapable connection to the physical universe and thus the natural world. I begin with the pose of an isolated female form in an interior space. While I map out her body in paint on the canvas, a need arises for her inner life to reveal itself in another physical form – a biological metaphor, that coupled with her isolation, will hold the viewers’ eyes long enough in my paintings that they will reflect on their own isolation and their own conflicts and connections with the natural world. The physical and psychological rhyming of figures and birds evolves, as does the suggestion of the figure’s inner life that cannot escape her own connections to the creatures that invade her space and share in her evolution.
© Cat Del Buono
How Not to Get Raped (2014)
I use video, installation, and street art to address social issues. My inspiration comes from the latest discussions on the internet. I deliberately simplify issues such as gender bias and inequality by exaggerating the obvious. I find humor can be an effective method in the attempt to break down complex topics such as rape culture and society’s arbitrary beauty standards. On the opposite end, showing the disturbing reality of these issues can also make a big impact. Whether my medium is multi-channel video installation, performance, or social practice art, my goal is to influence society to move beyond the status quo.
Copy and paste link in your browser to view video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57KXo13Z8nI
© Char Downs
plaster strips,cardboard, deer antler
16 x 24 x 10 in.
Artist images are the concrete manifestation of the exploration of thoughts, dreams and imagination: …a glimpse of the mystery of soul. What ancient secrets and symbols inherited from ancestors are carried within us… unchanged by the supernatural power of death’s magic.
I am fascinated with the visual inner workings of the mind. Awake or Asleep, Thoughts, Imagination and Dreams… the mystery of the soul of us. I bring dream and soul images to life.
© Linda Gleitz
News, US Border
oil on canvas
36 x 36 in.
My work is about immigrants, refugees and victims of wars. Perhaps these people are in search of reunions, they are certainly in search of a better life.
© Joann Goetzinger
acrylic on wood
40 x 24 in.
My work is based on shapes. Both the outer shape and the combination and relationships of spaces within the piece result in the final art work. In my recent work I often take a piece of wood which may either be a purposefully designed cut out shape or a remnant left from other work and make something of interest from it.
© Leah Golberstein
tree roots, handmade paper, pomegranate, salt crystals
18 x 18 x 6 in.
Part I: The Roots
The wound sites: those points where the tree roots were severed from the tree as well as damaged or broken roots located further down–are carefully bandaged in skin-like handmade paper.
Part II: The Pomegranate
A splayed pomegranate, baked in the heat of a scorching sun. Its dried and shriveled seeds commingle with salt crystals, tears from the ocean. Ocean tears that took as long to form as the mother tree took to germinate and bear fruit.
© Barbara Grunewald
Soda Fired Tulipiere (2016)
7 x 14 x 4.5 in.
Pottery moves me and keeps me in the moment!
I have been working with my hands and creating all my life. I have worked as a photo stylist and as an art teacher. Fourteen years ago I took a pottery class and fell in love with the medium.
© Pat Guizzetti
73 x 48 x 30 in.
I am a Chicago based visual artist and educator. My work is mixed media–sometimes sculptural, sometimes paintings, drawings, prints and collage. I think of my work as social commentary. I consider found objects to be artifacts reflecting urban society and contemporary culture. I am concerned with the consequences of humanity’s interactions with and upon other living beings sharing this world.
© Pearl Hirshfield
found wood, mixed media
28 x 21 x 11 in.
Pearl Hirshfield is an artist/activist. Working in various media, her paintings, sculpture, and installations have focused on women and address abortion, loneliness, mourning, as well as torture, censorship, the Holocaust, and the environment. Pearl was an early member and supporter of Women for Peace. She served on the planning board of the Chicago Peace Museum and is a member/supporter of Woman Made Gallery. She received a BA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
© Indira Freitas Johnson
Human Technology; Seeking IV (2015)
ceramic, mixed media
12 x 19 x 11 in.
For over a decade, I have been using objects discarded by society in combination with my sculptural work to create new objects that explore the constant process of transformation and change in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. My fascination for these abandoned objects has grown over the years leading me to question the issues of permanence and decay, strength and vulnerability.
I combine disparate objects to create a new form, one which still retains vestiges of its original identity yet containing different qualities; figurative, conceptual, experiential. Thus these common found objects in their transformed state have a renewed energy and sensibility functioning physically as well as spiritually, reinforcing the idea of the sacredness of everyday life.
Some of the objects that I have used are often invisible to us, camouflaged as they are by functionality and domesticity and discarded without a second thought with the breakdown of their function. Others are only visible in death, like the inner workings of computers, industrial machines and animal bones found in alleys, along roadways in dumpsters or forest paths. These repurposed works help us think about the wider process of change and what our connections to ‘things’ says about us.
© HoJung Jun
Spring Sunshine (2015)
acrylic on linen
20 x 16 in.
“Exploring with curiosity in canvas is a great journey in an imaginary space. With my art works, I am telling a story as well as looking for a secret garden. Making art works, I also look for my own place where I can mediate and collect my emotions.
I am inspired by nature or landscapes in my everyday experiences and in my memories. Harmony of colors drives me to paint with excitement. I enjoy creating dreamy, whimsical and poetic images which give a cozy, peaceful, and romantic atmosphere.
I want to communicate through my paintings where I can be free from time and space. On canvas, I can be anywhere, anytime and meet someone I miss. In my works, spontaneous paints and brush strokes create subtle depth. Both intentional and coincident effects can express how complicated our lives are. I explore a beauty within such complicated lives.
I like thin layers with absorbed, watery, and unexpected spread. Layering colors can give a moment of soothing meditation. While I want my art works to be a space of contemplation, I wish they also have a sense of vitality. There are various movements with different marks, drops, and lines.”
© Elzbieta (Elka) Kazmierczak
Black on Red (2016)
4.4 x 4.5 in.
My current series of abstract linoleum prints titled, “Energy Works” is about my fascination with the relational nature of life; a human microcosm within the natural ecosystem and macrocosm of life with the feminine energy as their organizing force. This series has been inspired by minimalist abstract compositions of Wladyslaw Strzeminski, a Polish avant-garde painter of the 1920s and 1930s. He was the father of Unism, an artistic approach in which visual unity is achieved through the elimination of strong formal contrasts, the use of organic shapes, and elimination of the illusion of 3-dimensional space.
In this series, I experiment with layered gestural drawings and color sequences in an improvisational process, during which I look for unexpected relationships and meaningful arrangements. At any point, in my work, I envision a provisional final outcome but then give-in to the open ended process of visual exploration until I see what I have conceived in my mind’s eye. I have created “Dancing Pisces” to honor my mother’s good-humored connection with life and her compassionate concern for others. My mother was born under the astrological sign of Pisces. I lost my mother to cancer recently. Making this work has given me solace.
© Itala Langmar
acrylic and mixed media on canvas
12 x 24 in. (diptych)
“I have been an artist since the age of six. I lived and studied art and design in Venice, Italy, and continued my studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and with private teachers. My work is reminiscent of reality, but obfuscated while retaining some evanescent semblances to things dressed in opalescent coloration. Since I have always been a poet, I started to infiltrate some lines of my lyrics into my painting. The art I am sending–“Knowledge,” a diptych–features a fragment of one of my best poems. The entire poem is printed in back of the paintings.”
© Kim Laurel
White Patch Sode (2014)
monoprint and mixed media collage
12 x 9 in.
“My work investigates symbolic forms and shapes. Icons and totems with personal significance are symbolized in this private world. I love making images with plant, animal, kimono and deconstructed kite forms and have found that monoprint and mixed media collage are the most authentic and subjective tools to express my voice. For me Art is about persistence, a life study and discipline. It is part of my life. If you pursue it a lot or a little at any one time makes no difference…just return to it again and again. Let the presence of touch back into your life and embrace the new with reference to all that you have learned.”
© Laurie LeBreton
Preparing for the Ritual, Number One (2017)
handmade abaca paper, mixed media
28 x 24 x 9 in.
How do people understand what it means to be human? How do we endure contradiction, uncertainty, fear, suffering and loss? How do we celebrate joy and beauty? Over the millennia people have created supernatural spirits in an enormous variety of forms and temperaments to deal with their humanity. Their creative interactions with these spirits are a constant source of inspiration for me.
I create my own images of spirits and of their artifacts through sculpture with handmade paper. Many of my influences come from popular religious culture: Haitian altars, Indian roadside shrines, 15th century Japanese Buddhas and the simple artifacts sold outside South American cathedrals.
Working with multiples is a strong component of my work. It is both a metaphor and a strategy. Multiples, especially those with variations, point to the simple yet complicated nature of most things. As an artistic strategy, they offer an opportunity for experimentation within a structure, for stillness with many variations. As a visual strategy, they calm a busy eye, with each object informing the others.
These multiples hang from the ceiling, are mounted on pedestals and stand on the floor. Their installation actually completes the work. Each installation is site-specific, reflecting the space, the inclination of the installer and the ephemerality of the spirit world.
© Susan Lehman
All That Moves Me (2016)
mixed media on cradled wood
12 x 9 in.
Working abstractly and intuitively, Susan Lehman creates mixed media acrylic paintings that evoke the landscapes that she loves and revisits. On the rugged Oregon coast nothing is ever still; clouds, wind, trees, ocean. In the desert lands of the Southwest the color palette is entirely different. Comparing and contrasting these two areas of visual information have evolved over the last dozen years to inform her art practice.
Classically trained in the art school tradition at the California College of Art Lehman graduated with honors in Textile Fine Arts. Bringing that love of texture and layers of color to her mixed media acrylic paintings, her art work has developed to include artist created papers, surfaces embedded with collage, and tissue and rice paper translucence overlays.
© Peggy Lipschutz
acrylic on canvas
24 x 16 in.
Born in England in 1918, Peggy Lipschutz received formal training from the Pratt Institute. A longtime Chicago area resident, Lipschutz worked as an illustrator, political cartoonist and served as editor for the newspaper, Labor Today, before devoting herself fully to painting in 1992. Her work has been shown at the Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the ACA Gallery in New York. She contributes to the arts through her powerful and expressionistic works that celebrate female achievement.
© Elaine Luther
Precarious Tea Party 2
wood assemblage + ceramic miniature tea pot sculpture
10 x 10 x 8 in.
“Motherhood, art, death. It’s all tied up for me. My brother Joe died during “the time of death.” That’s what we call it. In fifteen months, eight beloved people—family, friends, an infant—died. For a while, my husband and I would say, “It can’t get any worse.” Then it would get worse, so we stopped saying that.
In 2005, my baby daughter died.
Before I had kids, I had lots of time, but nothing to say. Now, with three kids, I have no time, but I have something to say, and I’m not afraid. There’s tremendous power in tremendous loss.
I see the little bits and pieces left behind at the playground—a barrette, a pencil, a scrap of ribbon. Who left it? Did they notice it was gone? I see the mystery of a little piece of a broken toy, how it becomes unrecognizable. What is it? What was its purpose? Ordinary things like a bread tab inspire a new design in my jewelry. These are the things that make up my daily life as a mom— bread tabs and lost barrettes and parts of broken toys.
I find meaning, and solace, and remembrance in the ordinary things that are left behind.”
© Robin Malpass
Divorce Storm (2015)
acrylic on canvas
36 x 30 in.
With nature as my inspiration, I work intuitively, creating works on canvas. I am as tempted and easily devoured by consumption as the next person. However, the natural world is my refuge from the excess and waste of the material world.
My paintings begin by applying a variety of natural composites to the surface. While working soft pastels over the textures I eschew brushes and palette knives for my favorite mark-making tools; my hands and my credit cards. Using my credit cards to create art began as a symbolic act to put my plastic to better use.
I am inspired to have the plastic not only allow me to consume beauty but to crate beauty as well.
Along with my hands, I find these symbols of excess give me the most direct contact with my materials which allows me to express my internal state authentically.
© Chandrika Marla
Her Silence was Golden (2013)
acrylic and Japanese handmade paper and oil paint on canvas
30 x 30 in.
My work explores female identity. I am inspired by women, their relationships with others, and with their own selves.
I was a fashion designer for many years and as an artist, still express my ideas through depictions of the female torso. The torso itself is suggestive of the fragmented lives that women lead in their desire to have it all. Despite achieving so much, there is a sense of loss that leaves us feeling incomplete.
In my recent work, parts of the form are likened to landscapes. Our memory fills in the missing pieces, and we subconsciously imagine that which is not there. My paintings push us to find the whole that we crave and deserve.
There are many layers in my work, scraped and scratched to reveal past colors, as if cajoling a response from our own lives to process what we have lost and gained. The lines are blurred, and I add paper to help resolve the shapes. I have always been inspired by Rothko and find myself dwelling on these words, “We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.”
© Suzanne Massey
Full Speed Ahead (1999)
11.5 x 12.5 x 5 in.
“Full Speed Ahead” is one of a number of ceramic sculptures I have made using a boat to carry a human story. Each sculpture is a voyage. Some are individual voyages, some are group. “Full Speed Ahead” is a political voyage. It was created in 1999 in the spirit of racial, gender, and ethnic equality. There have been rough seas since. I hope our ship stays on course.
© Lily Mayfield
Night Swim (2016)
archival inkjet print
16 x 24 in.
This project ‘Brood’ began as a documentation of my first pregnancy and quickly evolved into an ongoing and nearly obsessive photographic series of my daughter and family. I have been photographing directly from life experiences for nearly 20 years. As a feminist, my interest in family stems from a deeper need to legitimize and make visible the lives of all women, mothers, and domestic work.
Brood depicts my daughter, husband, mother, and myself in ordinary moments of life. What is not ordinary is the particular moment stilled by the camera, emphasizing light, color, and gesture. With portraiture specifically, I am moved by the infinitely variable and expressive qualities of gesture, posture and gaze and drawn to domestic space as a backdrop for private dramas. Brood consists of a mix of both documentary and staged moments; the blurred line that lies between the two fascinates me. This is what happened, and yet it is not at all what happened. These photographs reflect a transcendent moment, how it feels when the world seems to fall into alignment. By photographing my family, I commit myself to finding the extraordinary in everyday life as it unfolds. It is the subject before you, if you only choose to see it.
© Bobbi Meier
“Attachments” from the installation “My Mother Always said I Looked Good in Red” (2016)
my daughter’s dressing table bench, fiber, pantyhose, hair, house paint, spray paint, various textiles
18 x 16 x 24 in.
I create fiber-based sculpture, installations, drawings and photographs, exploring themes of sensuality, emotional struggle and loss. Subversion, ambiguity and humor are primary considerations as I encourage the psychological impulse to see implications of the body in my abstract forms. I am interested in sewing as an act of aggression. Suturing, stabbing, holding together, and constricting, binding my work literally, and figuratively. Seduction, revulsion, and humor exist in objects built from fragments of clothing, toys, medical paraphernalia, and household furnishings. Thrifted furniture and found materials are selected for their seductive qualities and are shrouded, stuffed and stretched into anthropomorphic objects.
© Joyce Patterson
Texture Combinations #1 (2009)
ink on watercolor paper
17.5 x 21.5 in.
Through a variety of media, I present my impressions of persons, material objects and their surroundings. I use art to explore the nuances of tangible and implied relationships, seeking to register the density of our lived and perceived experiences. My goal is to touch others emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. I received my undergraduate degree in Non-Traditional Studies with concentration in Fine Art from Northeastern Illinois University where I graduated cum laude. I also earned a Drawing Certificate from the Art Institute of Chicago.
© Mabi Ponce de Leon
Pasajero Verde (2014)
14 x 14 in.
Feeling both foreign and at-home in the world, I explore what it feels like to ‘be’ from two places and belong to neither. Intellectually, one can understand moving long distances across the globe. The resulting disorientation is inexplicable and daunting. Through the layered juxtapositions of found and new images, I analyze symbols and meanings – interpretation and misinterpretation.
© Edna Porter
I need Space 2
watercolor on paper
16 x 11 in.
My art work reflects my childhood growing up in rural Mississippi, with wildness surrounding and animals. The nights were dark; we depended on oil lamps, fire place and the moon.
I was told ghost stories before bed time. I can hear the wind outside howling, I can see shadows and noises larking in the house. This experience helps my imagination and creative abilities in art.
© Sonia Pratt
24 x 18 in.
The agrarian and coal mining culture of Appalachia, where my ancestors have lived for generations, has inspired my work. My experiences and personal history have provided me with a firsthand view of mining communities, the natural world, and the culture of this specific region. This series focuses on the history of the land. based loosely on family photographs from different time periods, the paintings portray the interaction of man, nature and industry and their impact on the physical and cultural community.
© Cherry Rahn
Pair of Glasses (2016)
acrylic on canvas
24 x 18 in.
I don’t set up still-life compositions, but rather I stalk them like wildlife. Whenever I sit down at a table, there is no guarantee that subject matter will present itself. It depends on what is contributed by light sources, table color, object constellations, the colors worn by people sitting around the table, etc. Most of all there must be the potential for transformation beyond the objective in the next process, which is not always evident at this point. I take speculative photos with my phone.
In the studio, I zoom into the image and crawl all over the “surface” to find one of many potential compositions to work with. At this magnification, everything is up for re-interpretation and re-purposing. Visual elements become equalized and decontextualized. I paint what I decide to see, as painters have always done. I enjoy playing with the readable/unreadable continuum, hopefully balancing in the middle. For me it is about discovering the “daily cosmos”, the universal potential in mundane surroundings, and the joy of seeing.
© Ruth G. Sikes
Deserted Welding Studio, Evanston Art Center
digital photography, archival print
11 x 14 in.
I’m drawn to scenes that might otherwise be overlooked or dismissed as ruined and useless. I find myself longing to know the stories behind the scenes – who passed through and where are they now? What were their lives like? Why did they leave? Where did they go? Their ghosts haunt my pictures.
I love the zen-like philosophy of “wabi-sabi “ – beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.” This is what I try to capture, knowing that nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect. I see beauty, with all its imperfections in a broken window, a deserted building, an abandoned truck, an ancient tannery, a Venetian archway.
© Dian Sourelis
(no) series: simply doing housework
mixed media collage: found, waxed papers/graphite and type/oil
20 x 20 in.
For as long as I can remember, I have found beauty, depth and balance in what others cast off. A tiny scrap of rusted metal, a worn square of cloth or paper, discarded family photos, old nails…….
It is a peaceful practice. I gather up these odd, but beautiful, objects and materials and combine them to tell stories, to evoke emotion. My work is quiet, yet strong, like the sturdy, repurposed materials themselves.
I work with a variety of materials: reclaimed silk, wood and canvas, silkscreen frames, found paper and cardboard, wooden tools and sharpening stones, thread, screen, wax and rusted metal. These materials provide a richly textured starting point, complete with old tape, staples, wood joists and other functional elements, sharing their own history of careful use.
My use of repetitive imagery, linear and graphic forms, and often, the written word, have produced an ethereal, peaceful body of work that explores the themes of gender, family, memory and purpose.
Look closely! It is in the tiny surprises, the subtle areas of image and texture, that I find the fun and the comfort.
© Pat Spear
Raccoon Bite in the Web of Life
encaustic mixed media; paper left overnight soaking in rainwater, and a raccoon played with it, tearing it, biting a hole
8 x 8 in.
I love nature and I draw my inspiration from its tracks in time—wet leafprints on a sidewalk, metal rusted by the elements, and animal tracks on my paper. My approach is energetic; rather than superimposing myself or trying to control the process, I connect with the spirit of nature and follow with my instincts. My process is organic, and is as important as the product. I soak my paper in rainwater, and use watercolor with lots of well water, seashells, plants, paper, stones, and found objects in layers; and let each piece dry naturally under the sun and moon. Lately I’ve been using the alchemy of encaustics to add richness, depth and texture.
© Cynthia Staples
November 8, 2016 (2017)
original charcoal, showing photo print
11 x 14 in.
“This is how I reacted to the election. I started working through anger and grief with charcoal. There is now a series of eight, more happening. They reveal a desolate landscape. I hope they will become lighter and more optimistic as time goes by. These drawings are so unrelated to my previous work, that they feel like something else entirely. The process is most akin to how I drew as a child, on brown wrapping paper with whatever I had. “
© Erin Waser
oil on panel
32 x 32 in.
-A painted pixel, a small element, made complex through its relationship to the whole.
Similar to my paintings, in digital imaging thousands of tiny pixels merge together in a grid to form a picture. Removing, altering, or changing the individual pixels impacts our perception of the whole image. This notion of perception serves as my reminder that everything I encounter is only as I perceive it in that moment based on the details present: a combination of my personal history, projected experience, and knowledge. In my work I explore how controlling or manipulating the smallest details changes the perception of the whole.
Using round painted pixels as a vehicle of manipulation, I explore how individual pixels interact to create a painting. The painted pixels provide a common shape through which I merge color, texture, value, and mark making to layer individual pixels and gestures into a unified piece of artwork. The multiple layers within each piece create a relationship between the surface and background, where objects at once form and disintegrate. This additive and subtractive layering process builds a visual history and personal story within each painting, questioning the relationship of subject and context as objects become clear and fade away again. The process influences the final outcome, where each mark dictates the next step. Displayed as a series, the paintings find their cohesion through pixel-fields formed as a result of the similarities between the gridded process. I utilized the pixels to draw out the details, or at times they even becoming the focal object of the painting.
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