Arlington
 
Virginia

Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

I tackle both the cool, “field painting” aspect of the mountains that lean towards a repetitive flat pattern and, conversely, depict the mountain’s ability to stir deep emotions. Mountains draw from us aspects of challenge, intimacy and something therapeutic. The two opposing approaches, the landscape in its realistic perspective and the flat abstract repetitiveness, present the same dichotomy that challenges me in picture-making. The mountains are the perfect paradigm for the dilemma I have set myself as a contemporary painter. Committed to working on a flat surface, and accepting the “medium is the message,” my dilemma is to rectify the urge to celebrate the ‘flat rectangle’ of the two dimensional canvas and the urge to forge forms and in turn, use those forms to frame a story.

The four edges of the canvas play an important role in inventing a composition. How to keep the viewer’s eye from sliding off the edge? How to keep the eye moving and making additional discoveries over time? Here a nod to illusionistic space: here a mark that draws attention to the surface. My painting involves a dichotomy: is the picture plane flat or spatial? I work to keep these two divergent paths alive.

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All work by Sue