Cheryl Prisco

Yellow (2019)
acrylic, wood, maple frame
12 x 12 x 1.25 in.

Like the old jumping rope rhyme of my childhood, “Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief,” I have been many things – a package designer for the cosmetic industry, a promotions manager for an amusement park, a paraprofessional, a real estate agent, a crafter of a small production retail line, a political protester, a wife, a mother and now a committed artist. My medium is wood.

I am addicted to color and pattern, drawn to irreverence and visual dissonance. In place of paint and brush I cut, color, and shape wood elements creating abstract low relief assemblages/paintings. Rather than fused geometry I like the sense of suspended energy, as if the frame is a spring-loaded constraint and the assemblage is under internal pressure…dare to remove one piece and the painting will erupt. Painting with three-dimensional elements allows me to create environments that change with the light, casting shadow and revealing new detail, like a traveler’s change in perspective.

My technical approach is radically free wielding by traditional woodworking standards. My desired effect is not symmetry or exacting ornamentation as in inlay but rather a more expressive, fluid, and painterly approach characterized by qualities of color and texture. Like Tramp Art of the early 1900’s, I utilize discarded wood. In place of cigar boxes and shipping crates, I primarily utilize cast offs from local furniture makers.

© Cheryl Prisco