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SHERRI BELASSEN uses shapes and colors in a contemporary manner to create her unique artwork. Her work often portrays animals and figures in earth tones resonant with her Arizona home. She was born and raised in Indianapolis and attended the University of Missouri on a full track and field scholarship while majoring in fine arts. Her dreams of making the Olympics were derailed by a sports injury. She then channeled her energies fully into art, graduating form Indiana University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She credits her inspiration in design and composition to trips she took as a child with her father in his two-seater airplane. The patterns and colors of the landscape informed her later aesthetic, which is built around defined blocks of color. “In life and art, I try to stay true to myself and listen to my own voice.”
My paintings are meditative studies done with rich color and bold graphic compositions-I often incorporate circles, grids, and stripes. The universality and appeal of this symbology pulls the viewer in and holds them there to explore the subtle details. I try to create work that both captivates and calms. I work with abstractions because I want to put forth something universal that can be open to interpretations that are unique to each individual and can continue to evolve over time.
Duy Huynh’s poetic and contemplative acrylic paintings symbolically reflect geographical and cultural displacement. Drawing inspiration from a variety of storytellers in formats that range from music and movies to ancient folklore and comic book adventures, Duy creates his own narratives of the human condition with ethereal characters maintaining a serene, precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting. With his figures, Duy explores motion along with emotion in order to portray not just the beauty of the human form, but also the triumph of the human spirit. Images that recur, such as boats, trains, suitcases, and anything with the ability of flight relate to travel, whether physical or spiritual. His work creates a mood for the viewer to explore. While much of Duy’s work is deeply personal, his clever and often times humorous use of symbolism and wordplay invites the viewer to create their own storyline.
As an artist, I find difficult to answer: is it I who defines painting or is it painting that defines me... Either way, it is both a transpersonal and a narcissistic relationship. The process of painting creates a state of Liminality, which leads to the discovery of my own essence. It is like writing a fable, one without words and one that is rather suggestive in nature. In that progression, I forget all that I know, for originality can only be achieved by reaching into my infinite possibilities. The abstract mechanics of art are same as making music, where the musician by use of an instrument transcends the process of playing; a painter transcends the limitation of medium, thus creating work that can produce an emotional response. And when that happens, art completes life, bringing to focus what nature cannot bring to finish.
The new series is called "Soundtracks." Painting to music has always been integral to my work. I need the music to clear my mind - to make room for my thoughts and emotions to express themselves. By combining my two great loves of music and painting, I am able to concentrate and lose myself in the moment. I decided to paint to music I listen to this time, instead of using it as background. Therefore each painting is a direct result of an actual soundtrack I listened to while painting.
My process may be complex but my images are simple. They are a slice of life past and present that tell a story. As I develop a montage of images a story emerges which invites the viewer to experience the tale. The creative process I use comes from my skill set and life experiences. I use vintage images and my own photos always choosing images that I connect with. I hope the viewer finds a connection that either evokes a feeling or thought. My topics are iconic imagery mixing the current with the past, may times I use images of women to give a voice and sense of empowerment. A universal connection is what I strive for. My art is a metaphor for life, the complexity of everyday life reveals that we are all simply human.
Craig Mooney’s paintings translate the emotional impact of a places that he has visited. His imagery feels familiar but is not specific. The sky, most notable for the weather, is a dominant force in most of his works. In Vermont, his current home, Craig witnesses drastic shifts in weather in a single day that results in storms to sun and back again. The shifts of lights across the surface of valleys are captured beautifully in his landscapes. In addition to expressive landscapes, Craig also creates elegant figurative paintings that allow the viewer to observe someone deep private thoughts.
John Schuyler was born in Long Island, NY in 1965. After early success as a business entrepreneur, Schuyler looked toward Europe for inspiration. He found it in the Old World art technique of fresco and in the colors, smells, and textures of the Tuscan countryside. Schuyler began experimenting with fresco techniques when he returned to the United State. As he explored the possibilities of fresco, Schuyler became absorbed in the coarseness created by different applications of the plaster to his canvas. Thus, he is able to produce very rich and dynamic textures. Looking at any of his pieces, you are given to a sudden urge to run a hand over the surface of his paintings. As Schuyler's captivation with texture progressed, the content and form of his paintings became simpler. Color, studies replaced traditional forms of content in his pieces, and the balance and contrast of color became the second focal point of Schuyler's paintings. He infuses pigment into wet plaster so that color becomes part of the texture, rather than being applied to it. Schuyler strenuously scrapes acrylic paint and pigmented plaster from the surface of the linen in a style known as scraffito. This technique produces very deep and luminescent colors that heighten the effect of Schuyler's composition. Warm, earthy tones dominate his most recent work, the Paesaggio series, a reflection of his memories of a Tuscan summer. Schuyler's unconventional approach to fresco culminates in paintings that leave a powerful impression on the viewer. His rough texture alludes to a passionate physicality while its simplicity in form reflects a cool logic, a balance inherent in all his pieces.
Karen Tusinski lives and works in the Cape Ann region of Massachusetts. She graduated with her B.F.A. in Painting from Montserrat College of Art in 1998. Her first passion in her work is color relationships. Her palette is balanced, earthy and vibrant. With flat space as her agent, Karen paints images that remind us of the comforts of home. Bowls, vases, bottles, flowers, and textile design serve as shapes to inform/inspire color dynamics. While in the process of painting, Karen challenges herself by playing with the space between and around her subjects; composition is a playground where relationships between space, color, and form develop. In her work, she often calls upon one of her favorite muses; the fleeting, red bloom of the Poppy flower. Karen uses her imagination to create whimsical and wild arrangements of poppies, grounding them in hearty vessels. Often, she’ll use geometric patterns acting as banners at the base (and occasionally up the sides), of her paintings to further anchor her subjects in space. Her paintings easily tap into joy and the effervescent quality of hope.