Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interactive Blogpost-Rituals/Collections-Time: Rebecca Crowell

Contemporary Abstractions
What is predictable about nature is change---change of seasons, birth, life, death and ultimate decay. Built into that predictable cycle of change seems a core of randomness that ultimately enlivens existence and life's experience. But it isn't nature so much that Wisconsin artist Rebecca Crowell is addressing in her paintings. Rather, the random effects of nature's cycles on man's intrusions into nature. Our walls and buildings. With her process of selectively adding and scraping away, she makes paintings that at first glance, resemble aging and ancient walls. But the palimpsest-like surfaces of her work take us beyond "the wall" to another level of thought becoming parallel markers of the passage of time.

Old Wall: Pyrenees, oil and wax on board 24 x 18 inches, 2009

Rebecca Crowell's Statement:
One of the remarks people have about my work is that it seems to embody a sense of time--that my surfaces often appear ancient, eroded and weathered. This is a result of a process in which I build up layers of paint mixed with cold wax medium, and then selectively scrape, scratch and apply solvent to portions of the upper layers. I like the idea that form/process and concept merge in this process--although my work draws on many sources, weathered and worn surfaces in nature and old human-made objects are among the most important--and the way I interpret this source is by building up and then tearing down the paint layers. As in nature, there is a random quality that results from this process, though of course, I also edit and select in order to reach aesthetic goals.

Recently I spent time at an artist retreat in a small, medieval village in the Pyrenees Mountains of Catalonia, Spain, and later a few days in Barcelona. These were perfect places for feeding my love of ancient surfaces--old stone and plaster walls, worn paths, crumbling slate cliffs, and ruins of old barns--all very beautiful to me. Abstracted interpretations of these surfaces have become an important thread in my recent work.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lisa Pressman - "Searching the Narrative-New Encaustic Works" at Jack Meier Gallery, Houston

Time, Memory, Abstract Narrative
Continuing the conversation about time and ritual, New Jersey artist Lisa Pressman, whose works are on view at Jack Meier Gallery this month here in Houston, speaks about her work as
"reflect(ions) on the passage of time and the internal events that change and shape us."

Shift in Time, 24x18 inches, Mixed Media Encaustic

She says that "The paintings reveal how, over time, memories are given broader scope and are incorporated into an ongoing abstract narrative. "

Lisa Pressman: Page 3, Mixed Media Encaustic, 11x14 inches

Nature-based and light-infused as are the paintings of Diane McGregor, Pressman's paintings tell a different story, one about memory and significant moments of our past that somehow leave a mark in our lives, embedded there but not always remembered.

The process of living an abstract narrative? Yes. I like that.

Above and Below, Mixed Media Encaustic

Pressman works in various media including Mixed Media Encaustic, Oil and Acrylic. Most of the paintings in this exhibition are Mixed Media Encaustic.

Jack Meier Gallery is located at 2310 Bissonnett in Houston. Lisa's work is on view there through March 7th.