Lately I’ve begun to merge the figurative with the abstract in my work. Miles Davis’ jazz fusion, Turner’s mature work of storms, fire and vague buildings in the background, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles ’d Avignon, Kandinsky’s improvisations, Gorky’s subliminal imagery combined with lyrical color, DeKooning with his women’s series –all used figuration and abstraction, and serve as my models. Themes of pursuing vision—trying to see what blocks understanding; entrapment; relationships between people -- are all subjects for my work,
There is some chance in my drawings when I put white acrylic over gray chalk and charcoal and end up in a fit of pique, slashing the white with more charcoal and finish up with a texture and a degree of dark- light that works well with the whole drawing. That moment of chance is stored as experience.
An image to pop into my head. It's not a completely formed image. I don't want it to be. I want something spontaneous to happen when I start to draw or paint. After losing and getting back the drawing many times, and developing the space, I can recapture the original image. German Expressionists like Gorky, Max Ernst, Schiele, Bacon, and most especially Munch have influenced my work greatly. I'm not completely an expressionist, though. There's objectivity and logic and subjectivity in the space I create, and some realism in the image, usually a head. So I'm not entirely self-indulgent and personal!
Janet Snell is a magna cum laude graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where she studied painting with the late Edward Dugmore. She has been included in many group and solo shows, including New York’s Drawing Center, Washington’s Strathmore Hall, Cleveland’s Spaces, and Akron’s Summit Art Space. The author of FLYTRAP (Cleveland Poetry Center) and an E-chapbook, HEADS (March Street Press), her collection, PRISONER’S DILEMMA, with Cheryl Snell, won the Lopside Press Chapbook Contest. Snell regularly publishes in the small magazines, contributes to chapbooks for Scattered Light Library, and paints semi-realistic portraits on commission. Reach her at email@example.com
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