Walter C. Chaney
What's In The Title?
I wind up coming up with the title after the work is completed. That is because I'm not always sure where each piece, once begun, is headed. So, why a title? You may never have any real unadulterated choices in your lifetime where you are the total pilot, but as the maker, this is your right, your decision. So what else is in the title? To me a title is another way of saying "this is all that I am willing to say about this piece. " The rest is up to you, the viewer.
You're either going to walk right by this one or it may cause you to stop (and I hope you do). So if you stopped, the title is there just in case you want or need some kind of explanation, not too much cause life is short, and anything more would ruin it.
Alexander Clayton Johnson
I paint predominantly people and animals. However, their role as content is incidental and parallel to their primary function, which relates to the impetus to work.
There is nothing more fascinating than the morphology of animated form. But my decision to paint it need not be construed as necessarily stemming from a desire to excite the viewer, or convey the beauty or character of nature.
I need to paint something all the time–every day. This is a compulsion. The speculative fiction writer Phillip K. Dick was afflicted by what he called hypergraphia, or the overwhelming impulse to write constantly. He wrote hundreds of pages per day eventually filling tens of thousands of pages in his lifetime. I am afflicted with a similar disorder, but my urge is to paint rather than write.
In this series, my eyes fell upon old family photographs. The identities of the individual subjects have been obfuscated by time. My family oral historians have all either died of old age, or become unreliable due to dementia. The faces in my source material are both related to me and removed from me. There is a vague familiarity.
In painting from them, I scratched, stabbed, scraped, blurred and treated the paint film in an attempt to mimic the vagueness and obscurity of the source material.
Much of my current work explores the thematic undercurrents of family dynamics and interpersonal interaction, often played out against the backdrop of familiar settings with which I feel a strong emotional connection, both in the interior and exterior landscape. I attempt to delve into the spiritual trajectories of the individuals depicted and the mystery of revelation and its transformative effects, while imbuing the figures and their surroundings with energetic color and an almost palpable, flowing animism.I favor a spontaneous and varied approach to paint handling and mark-making with a strong concern for structure and solidity of form, and seek to express the underlying rhythms of my chosen motif. Regardless of style, I am attracted to paintings which exude a sense of excitement; a human presence within the handwriting of the brushstroke is important to me.
My creativity has been formed by the gifts I find in nature. As a child there was a meadowland by my home. As an only child for six years, I enjoyed the meadow as my private play land where milkweed pods became unopened treasures and vines became twine to weave, and berries became decorative ornaments. A simple pleasure ride in the countryside allows me to enjoy and absorb the free forma and wildness that translate into my work. I see shapes and patterns in nature that inspire me to create in the studio with endless possibility.
Roots and braided vines become a vessel or a basket that later can be used as a treasured item in the home, a special gift or even a simple functional container or vessel. Color is also found on my country rides. The deep russets of the woods, the soft greens of the grasses and marshes and the neutrals that complement the natural landscape are also a major influence in my work. When I begin a design, I often put shades and colors together that are unexpected. I work intuitively but with the palette of the woods and often rearrange what one finds in the natural world. This basic idea is the heart of my work and the results are unique and special to my vision.
For this exhibit I am using all natural materials such as hemp, jute, roping, and natural gourds. Recycled antlers and tree fungi, pine needles, sea grass, and fragrant sweet grass are also employed along with twisted vines. My sculptural pieces range in size from very large to very small. When a piece is begun I work intuitively with the texture and surface of a chosen material, which ultimately determines the size and shape of the finished piece.
B. Lucy Stevens
We went to live in Indonesia last year. My husband had research to do, and my daughter and I happily tagged along. All of us felt that our world was about to open up, and we were giddy with hopes and dreams for our big exotic adventure.
One of my dreams–kind of silly, I know, but I've had this dream since I was small–to have a green bird–a beautiful green bird that would ride around on my shoulder wherever I went. Once, in a market in Denpasar, I spotted my green bird, high up in a cage fluttering with reds and yellows. We were rushed that day, we had no time for bird-shopping, but I knew I would go back for him.
But I never did. A few days later my husband was almost killed in a horrible car accident. His neck was broken, and his back. We had to be air–lifted to a hospital in Singapore, where we spent the next six weeks.
We didn't go back to Indonesia.
Many months later, back in my studio in cold and dreary Pawtucket, I was playing with color and shapes, waiting to see what they turned into. Exhausted and preoccupied, I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing. And then I saw that what was taking shape under my brush was a green bird. A flood of sadness and longing opened up inside me. Sadness for my poor husband, who was still recovering (he's ok now). Longing for things to have turned out differently, for the loss of our dreams, longing for my beautiful green bird. Things I hadn't had time to feel.
Many of my paintings happen like that. It helps me a lot.