Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Aug 26, "Sunstruck Sleek" and Otter Art Statement

I thought I'd include this art statement in here, so that I can find it when I want, and so I can hear any comments from you all, my faithful followers and let me know where I've screwed it up~  below the painting...
36x24 acrylic on black gessoed canvas, $1725 click HERE to purchase or contact me for inquiries~

Otters have intrigued me since I was a child visiting the New Minnesota Zoo, watching them perform their acrobatics through the glass wall of their tank. There is an approachable connection in their joy in their physicality, a familiarity I feel and seek to explore by painting their bodies' movement through that alien element of water. Motion and response, flow and surrounding self with bubbles... seems a great way to spend a life.

Otters are my favorite animal. I was given the book “Tarka The Otter” when I was about twelve, along with a set of calligraphy pens that I used to teach myself how to draw their muscles and fur by perusing the illustrations in the book. I am enraptured by their lively, lithe, nimble aquatic acrobatics and the shapes and forms they make in their underwater playground. They entice us to join them, making the alien environment of the underwater world enchanting and joyful.

These paintings began as a childhood dream, sliding wetly off the side of the pool into the water, believing I could be as sleek and weightless as an otter, effortlessly gliding below the surface. Animals were my refuge as an introverted and bookish child and otters reflected back to me the joy I knew was in the world around me.

As a painter I am drawn to the negative space around my otters, the water supporting them as they surge and float, they themselves the active force in their liquid world. They create their underwater environment and invite us as viewers to be more aware of our own surroundings, the shapes we create in our space as we move through our lives.

I have greatly appreciated my growing sense of color and light as I attempt to paint the reflected and refracted light of the surface of the water. It is abstract and real at the same time. To reference the above water world while painting the otters below the surface has been a challenge for me. I am continuing to learn more about how I want to make my otters seen. They are themselves abstract in their rolling and twisting away from the rules of gravity that bind the rest of us. 

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