What an amazing experience in October during the Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowhip reception in Little Rock! So grateful to be one of the nine recipients of this generous grant for 2016 and to have the opportunity to speak that evening about my artwork. Truly an honor.
So honored to be one of the recipients of the Arkansas Arts Council Fellowhip awards for 2016!
Arkansas Arts Council Article
I had an opportunity this year to be part of a women's art show called WomanMade:NWA opening in April 2016.
I've been working on two distinct sides - first as the one who proposed, crafted, and helped curate the show, but also on the artist end - participating as a painter and creating a piece that will be shown alongside the other women artists.
We asked the artists to submit a piece that represented their “signature” creative work. Optionally, it could include or explore a topic, symbol, or idea that comes from a uniquely female perspective.
I chose the latter and created a painting called Flower Portrait (Woman) shown below.
Flower Portrait (as a Woman)
Originally for the show, I was going to create a large painting that studied and explored the color pink, as this is a hue that is typically associated with women and being feminine.
But I shifted to thinking about the piece more in terms of the current series I am involved with called Flower Portraits, where I paint large abstracted drawings of flowers.
I decided explore both of those ideas together to represent what is to me a distinctly feminine symbol – a pink flower.
This flower is not a specific bloom, but one that is made-up - a compilation of the lines and shapes of flowers that I keep with me in my mind.
The shades of pink in the painting express the full life cycle of a flower in terms of color.
The colors speak to the grit and perseverance of the journey where a flower seeds, grows, buds, blossoms, then slowly starts to fade, eventually falling back to the ground where it began.
There is beauty throughout the changing stages of being a flower/woman – the colors tell that story as they fluctuate between vibrant and muted; fresh and withered; dewy and ashy; pale and deep.
The underlying surface is rough and gritty, representing where a flower comes from symbolically – dirt or soil.
Above the horizon line, the upper canvas focuses on the time in the life of a blossom when it is in the state of being exquisitely and most abundantly alive – fully beautiful.
The lower horizon tells of the fading, quieting, and greying that happens as the flower’s life cycle is winding down - when it will be brought back into the earth.
On the horizon line itself; the colors cross over into one another – swaying between youthfulness/blossoming and quieting/aging.
The piece was done in two parts because I thought one canvas could not express or hold the full story of the flower and her life cycle.
Even though this is technically a portrait, I wanted the painting to read in a landscape format with a firm horizon line because I consider the landscape to be extraordinary – something that feels monumental and expansive. I represent the “woman as flower” symbol as the same – powerful, beautiful, intricate, complex, with a presence that spills over the edges of this canvas.