Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Carrol Ann Smedley - November 2014 - Artist of the Month

I first began painting and selling my work when I lived in the deserts of Arizona.  There the landscapes are so vast, the skies so amazing, the rock formations so compelling that I had to find a way to express the joy, wonder, and serenity they instilled in me.

Naturally, in my search for a voice, I ran smack dab into Georgia O’Keefe, followed closely by the “Blackware” potters of Acoma, the Navajo blanket weavers of the Four Corners, and the Hopi “Kachina” carvers.  Kokopelli and the Grand Canyon worked their magic on my heart, and my imagination began its wild journey.  I drew, painted, collaged, de-constructed and re-constructed everything. 

The local desert junkyard, (where, lacking moisture, things one throws away into the dump are preserved for centuries!)  became my treasure trove of small bits of metal, glass, pottery, wires, springs, that found their way into assemblage paintings.

 A tree was no longer a tree, but a shape. And, light, oh that amazing desert light!  It became the mirror for the shadows I could now see everywhere.  I lived in an entirely new world. Somehow, it was similar to the one that had always delighted me from childhood, but so beautifully, utterly changed by this new way of seeing:   line, shape, colour, contrast, repetition, horizons, vanishing points, negative space.  What wonder!

Slowly, ever so slowly,  I began to absorb the new language of art.  Even more slowly a style of my own began to emerge from the chaos of my eclectic, random productions. I learned to appreciate and trust my own unique perspective.

Now, I paint what moves me emotionally…those things that make me gasp, or compel me to sit down and quietly observe.  Usually, I find those to be shape, shadow  and colour.

My art is not terribly learned, nor would it likely  stand up to much academic critique.  And, although I find it very useful, and pleasing, to follow some of the longstanding rules of composition and colour, mostly I am concerned with creating, or expressing emotion.

I hope that you will find within my paintings some little thing that makes your heart leap, that touches some place of memory, or that draws you into the piece for a deeper search.  If it does that then I have got it right…..for the moment.


Carrol Ann has a show at the Little Fernwood gallery  from Nov.8 to 29, 2014.
The opening is Nov. 8th from 1 to 4 pm

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