Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Katherine Chang Liu's Ventura Artists' Retreat--A Place to Grow and Mature as an Artist:Untitled Part I

Even to me, at 66 years of age, talking about maturing seems silly. But as an artist, it is totally the correct word. Although I've been painting for 20 some years, I am still discovering things about myself, my art skills and my art voice!

This past year my paintings have been full of deep personal thoughts and symbolism. Katherine Chang Liu,the workshop leader, used the word "poetic" when looking at my Salmon Series. (I'm still blushing from that high praise.) We both agreed that the series was mostly done. I felt it before leaving home, and she could see it in the work. I have said most of what I have to say about the "Life Cycle Imperative" of the salmon.

Beyond the artistic concept of the"Life Cycle Imperative," I discovered a comfort zone in using a kimono shape composition. With the combination of flat quiet areas along with the detailed areas with more dimension and activity, I think my work has become more recognizable. My paintings done in the retreat continued with that design and composition, but my subject matter moved on to an extension of the series I had begun this past year about my daughter and our shared experience with her stem cell transplant and recovery.

Untitlted (so far)
30" x 22" mixed media
I arrived at the workshop with the drawing for this painting done. I included collage materials, too, because I had envisioned that being a good way to bring the hats to life.

Do you see the kimono shaped composition of this piece? I think this painting speaks to all women who have experienced, or have close relationships with women who have experienced, the loss of hair. I like that the whimsy of the hats present a juxtaposition to the seriousness surrounding hair loss and chemotherapy. I used paint, collage and line drawing to this piece, looking for a contempory feel. The floating hats give it a surrealistic flair.

Please feel free to send me comments and title suggestions!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am envious of Katherine's input into your artistic travels. This is a wonderful piece. I've always admired the composition of your pieces, a firm grounding for organic subject matter. I really like this current piece. That experience in Seattle had to have an effect and, as an artist, that effect will come out in your work. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next!