Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Color and Words

Color.  Words.  I don't know which I fell in love with first.  Early in my life I discovered joyous freedom in learning how to read and write, only equaled by a box of crayons and pad of paper.  As an adult, I've developed into an artist who has, from time to time, combined words with paint.  In some paintings from years past I liked the directness of words that are bold and recognizable.
Bird Soaring
Other times I tucked words underneath the paint or camouflaged them with unusual spacing.
Underneath it all lies the heart

Around 2006 I began using book bindings adhered to my canvas.  I wrote words into a Venetian plaster surface I applied to the empty book, blurring them so they were unreadable to challenge the individual viewer to find their own personal message.
Passages I
Blue Seeps Through
A bit later I created ambiguous paintings.  For instance, a work with gestural marks tht resembled writing is titled Wordless.

Another with a book like object as a focal point ironically had no words.

Sometimes I titled paintings alluding to words although there were none present.
Point of View


Around 2009 I began collecting words in a little notebook, words that had a special resonance for me.  Sometimes I would choose one as a title for a finished painting if it seemed to embody what I saw in the work.

In the autumn of 2015, when I was invited to be in an upcoming group exhibition of artists who use words in their work, I turned to my word collection.  I selected 5, mulling over their qualities.  My belief is that words hold energy, whether spoken or written.  So I wrote a short description of what the word meant to me and each of these paintings has those words underneath the paint, or sometimes peeking through enough to be readable.  


I chose colors and created compositions that reflected the concept and spirit of each particular word.  Even though I have often used text in my work before, this was a totally different process.

Are we, as human beings, much like words?  Do we each have colors and compositions?  If we each were an abstract painting, what would we look like?

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