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  • Writer's pictureHelen C

Gallery Visit

A professor of mine during a critique saw what I was wrestling with on a new piece and recommended I go see Elizabeth Geiger's work at the Gross McCleaf Gallery. I loved looking at her work. She does a lot of still lifes and using methods of color blocking and scrapping, repainting and showing old layers of paint. In her paint application, she isn't super consistent in how she places down paint. I really appreciated how she kind of just scrubbed paint onto the panel in a washy way along with drawing with paint to show the contour of the object. She flattened space a lot and included patterns which I enjoy as well. When she painted a face, it resembled that of a Matisse drawing/painting. I am wavering on how much I want to include in depicting my facial features. She rarely used the local color of the object. She is what the gallery called a "perceptual painter". On, you will see their definition as...

"The name Perceptual Painters references the conviction that each one of us has, in varying degrees, to rely on the power of perception through the sense of sight while working directly in front of the motif. We come from a lineage of painting that encompasses these values with direct approaches to making imagery. In some sense, we have needed to test this lineage against other lineages in painting and have done so with the support of this community. While each one of us works from life, many of the group’s members rely on additional sources to generate imagery such as memory and impressions, drawings and photographs, and invention through one’s sensibilities. Since the formation of Perceptual Painters, the group has been dedicated to painting, exhibiting, and teaching."

Here are some of my favorite moments in Elizabeth Geiger's pieces.

I also really enjoyed the work of Kimi Pryor.

I think it's important to go see other artists' work especially in person, not just digitally. Getting ideas about color relationships, paint application, etc.

Excited to head back to my studio with new ideas.

Here is a song I've been listening to a lot recently. It was one of my favorites in high school--I love the idea of being present, which my generation has trouble with. Not constantly being on your phone, taking photos of your experience as it's happening but just soaking it in with your eyes. For me, this song is about being with your loved ones seeing the world together, not needing to take photos and then sharing them with the world on social media. Just embracing that moment together. He writes her a letter to talk about his experience which is one of my favorite art forms...I wish people wrote letters more.

"Today I finally overcame

Trying to fit the world inside a picture frame"

Ironic that I am trying to fit a moment onto one canvas, but I think the moments I capture in a canvas are expressive of my moment, more than I could have captured in a photograph. At least from my perspective.

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