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ART FACULTY SHOW 2012: Recent Work by SRJC Faculty
February 21 – March 15, 2012
This group of paintings is based on miniature, semi-abstract collages of scenes along the Columbia River in Oregon. The dramatic basalt cliffs, narrow gorges and waterfalls of this place are reminiscent of views from the Japanese woodblock prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige. In this group of paintings, I took liberties with reality, inspired by the Japanese masters. I aim to create equivalents to nature through gestural marks, pattern, shapes and color.
The collage process is one of improvising to uncover a new, two-dimensional reality. Painters from Georges Braque to Alex Katz have experimented with collage as a way to generate ideas. I first came to the idea while teaching Introduction to Art and Design for the first time after a long hiatus I had discovered the 19th century photographer Carlton Watkins’ large format photographs of the Columbia River, and I had a powerful connection to the sites he documented, having hiked there from adolescence through adulthood. I wanted to paint these landscapes.
Since I am against painting from photographs (for myself), and since I like to paint from a visual reference, and because I could not make large paintings on site in Oregon, I ended up making collages to paint from. The colors come from memory. I am limited in what I can create by my supply of paper, and I am inspired by chance and accidental pairings of scraps of material that suddenly come together to represent a place that will always be a part of my past.
Deborah Kirklin, January 2012