Monday, November 18, 2019

No Art Rules for Two Weeks--Just Create

Turning cardboard boxes into art
(this will be finished with many more boxes
when the artist gets home)
Once again I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Southern California working with Katherine Chang Liu, while surrounded by more than 20 other artists creating art. I am always amazed by the variety of art making among this group. Many of the artists paint, but others use found materials, stitchery and fabrics.

Sculpture using insulating materials

Using fabric with paint

Assemblage art in candle trays

There is something very special about being with this group. We all become very productive and focused on creating. With a few prods from Katherine, I find myself expanding my visions for a series. In fact, several years ago it was with this group that I began series work. So after a very slow year of painting, I really was motivated to keep working on my new series, Teach Me.

I worked solidly for the two weeks in Oxnard, coming home with four completed paintings to add to the whole of ten pieces so far. The piece below was done prior to the workshop and I just entered it in a competition.

Teach Me: South Sudan

A few paintings in this series leaned up on the mantle.

A final request from Katherine was to write an artist statement regarding this work. Here is an early draft. 

Teach Me

Education! Girls and women throughout the world have fewer opportunities to become educated. This issue has inspired the paintings in this series. Around the globe (including the United States) girls are reaching for an education. Education will lead to equality, empowerment, employment and self-confidence.

The series captures only a small portion of the countries and cultures that have low rates of schooling among the female population. As a symbolic painter, I have chosen a framework to talk about this topic. Each painting has a fabric pattern which represents the location. Another element in each piece denotes the place itself with architecture, landscape, or cultural symbols. The hands call to mind children in a classroom, ready to learn. All the arms are reaching for the infinity symbol, representing knowledge. Teach Me is a series of hope.