This statement applies to my most recent show at the Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Iowa, which ended March, 2013.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT for “Inspired by Poets”
For many years, my artwork has been influenced by poems, especially if they have a strong visual element. The paintings in this exhibition were inspired mainly by the lyrics and poems of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, but also by Billy Collins, Sara Teasdale, Kay Ryan, and Rebecca Christian.
The paintings are divided into eight pairs, one realistic and one abstract, to reflect my feelings about and reactions to the themes of Betrayal, Freedom, Love, Mortality, Passion, Silence, Strength and Solitude. My goal was to make the pairs relate to each other by their color palettes and yet be totally different in concept, medium, and size. They are intended to look compatible hanging side by side and to strengthen the impact either one would have alone. The visual element of each theme is present in the realistic painting and is reflected in the painting’s title. The conceptual element of each theme is present in the abstract painting and is reflected in its title.
The poems that inspired me are not posted with the paintings because I want the paintings to speak for themselves without the viewer trying to tie them to too closely to written words. The curious, however, can find the poems that underlie the themes in a pamphlet available at the desk.
I enjoy working in both realistic and abstract styles. Realism requires close and sometimes tedious control, while abstract works are more spontaneous and free. I find that moving back and forth between the two approaches stimulates my interest and enthusiasm and makes me better able to transfer my artistic vision to two dimensions. I loved the process as I worked on the exhibit, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to show the results.