Art 2 & 3 – for Critique 5/15


art of Stephanie Pierce

Look at the work and read the interview at the site above.

What were her visual challenges as an artist and how did she find a personal path?  What was her creative process?

What is another interesting idea she brings up in the interview?

Which work is most compelling, meaningful, or interesting to you?  Explain why.


11 responses »

  1. Her artistic challenges were pushing the limits of the context in which she painted, having a difficult time seeing beyond traditional landscape designs. She also had trouble drawing movement in a non-literal way. Her art is very much a personal journey, not so much for viewers, but for herself to decide where the delineation between classical and new ideas meet in her art.
    I found the piece Contract to be the most interesting of her works. It shares a balance between bold, heavy shapes and finer, lighter brushwork, creating a very interesting dynamic. The values are also very well incorporated drawing the view in and out of the piece. As her art is part of her personal journey, it is very interactive for the viewer.

  2. Working out of her comfort zone and painting things not from urban landscape was one of the challenges for her. She wanted to paint movement and first found out that after painting a landscape that had been hit by a tornado. She worked on the side of roads or highways to capture the movement of cars.
    An interesting idea she introduced is the idea of painting on a large scale, in this case, always bigger than herself, because of the directness of the scale of what she’s actually painting.
    My favorite of her works is “More of This,” the first one, because of the colors. It kind of looks like a bedroom; a bed with a comforter falling off and a window in the background.

  3. She followed a ‘normal’ progression in her personal art development, understanding how the elements and principles of design work together to create a whole. The more complex issue seemed to be trying to work out non-literal interpretations of her environment. She ‘struggled’ with concepts such as time, marks related to size relationships of the subject, capturing movement and change….landscape painting, while a personal delight, failed to provide the results she sought in her efforts to define these concerns. Turning to the subject of her living space, her bed as a shape and form within a finite area of physical space on her painting surface brought the results she imagined in her mind. Repeating this scene differently allowed for more gathering of information both externally visually and internally mindfully. Creating something she had never seen before provided a way to see her subject more objectively. Tension resulted in the movement she wanted to express. She became aware that every decision regarding a mark was a moment in time that can seem both charged emotionally or passive in the same moment. Wonderful, beautifully chaotic! Identifiable subject matter but equally abstract. Objects CAN trigger an idea OR a response. So much life in the entire surface of the paintings. No specific favorite – love her growth and colors!

  4. she had trouble seeing beyond urban context since that was what she started out doing. Something she brings up in the beginning of the interview is her work with visual fragmentation. I really like how she says she uses visual fragmentation “as a way to re-order the observable world, to undo the veil of perception and recreate it.” My favorite work is April and May because of the way the bright colors and not as tightly packed fragments represent the happy and peaceful mood of spring that is around during April and May.

  5. An interesting idea that she conveyed was about how she paints and uses the shapes in her paintings. She said she doesn’t try to make the objects in her paintings obvious, or have an obvious outline. She uses shapes in different colors and patterns to suggest the shape of an object, but not in a way that you would recognize it right away, but just enough so eventually after looking at it for a second you can figure out the general landscape and objects that are in the painting. She had a difficult time painting things that weren’t an urban landscape, but decided to start painting things that were in motion.

    I think my favorite work was “Contract”, of what looks like a bed with a bouquet of flowers on it and windows with more plants in the back ground. I like it because of the scale, shapes, colors, and movement. It’s very relaxing, in a way, because of all the soft tones and simplicity of it.

  6. Stephanie Pierce fragments her paintings into little diamonds and shapes that bring the subject into your face. It creates a flat 3d effect, if you get what I mean. She splits her Mirror into 2 inch squares to see the small parts that make the image. I can’t choose a favorite painting, but the set of bed paintings is original and clever.

  7. Well this article spans a lot of time, so she was concerned with many different things. At the beginning of the article she was concerned with movement and how to capture it because she always worked very literally. She escaped this in a way by painting the site of a tornado which was broken up and had movement and had the effect she wanted to achieve. Later she questioned working from observation entirely which she solved by working in a windowless studio and taking a mirror and dividing it so that the images in it were fragmented.
    She works with a lot of different shades of primary colors in opaques. It takes her about 6 months to do a large piece of work. She discovered that diamonds are reoccurring in her work and she developed that aspect a lot.
    I think that it’s really interesting that she closed herself in a windowless room. I often struggle with the feeling that I don’t know exactly what subject matter to work with and I don’t think I would know what to paint if I couldn’t see things. This year I feel that I have worked in realistic terms too much and I wouldn’t know where to begin if I began working with surrealism as I really want to.
    My favorite piece was the “Untitled (Something Else)” because of the movement and the messiness of the bed sheets that is portrayed by the diamond shapes. I also love how much light there is in the painting.

  8. The challenge she was facing was:” As a student I was pretty much always a figurative painter. Being at Norfolk I had to face the question of what to paint out of my usual context; I had been working from urban landscape prior to being there. I couldn’t see beyond the pastoral aspect of the landscape, I kept trying to go out and paint from the side of the road or highway because I knew that I was interested in movement, but I didn’t know how to deal with that in a non-literal way. ”
    I did that, too. Sometimes I have lots of interesting ideas which came to me after I’ve planned for the whole thing. And when I added the thing into the piece, they didn’t go together.

    “I was influenced by abstraction as much as figurative work; the force, color, gesture and structure of de Kooning was amazing to me. The last place I painted from while there was a fairground that had been hit by a tornado, it was a landscape of tangled color and form, left as if in the act of coming apart. It was exactly what I wanted to see in my work.” She figured out how to overcome the difficulties and use her personal way to solve the problem—abstract the object into color, form and shape.

    She was working with some really good famous artists that inspired her and gave her lots of fresh ideas.

    “The paintings take months of accumulation to get to a point that I feel like it’s becoming a painting. “is an interesting point. Cause I’ve met an artist who painted a wonderful piece but stopped and put it away for more than six months. Cause she wasn’t sure if she’s done with it. And after a long time, she can see things int he piece again, and have some fresh ideas, so she continued and finished it.

    I really like “Everything is Germinal”. It just seem like a book to me, two spread pages. The light and dark changed in an awkward way but I like it.

  9. The challenge she was facing: She says that she was always a figurative painter. It seems like she has trouble seeing past the urban and pastoral aspect of the landscape.

    Personal path/creative process: She is interested in movement and abstraction. She says it takes her from 3-6 months to finish a painting because they are large and complex. She works in layers, overlapping shapes and shifting objects. The scale of the objects changes as the painting progresses because she makes decisions impulsively. Her palette consists of mostly earthy colors.

    Interesting idea of hers: I liked the idea that her paintings were very large. She says that she usually tries to make her paintings around 6 feet, which is bigger and taller than her.

    Most compelling work: “Everything is Germinal” because the colors were amazing, the way the moved from light to dark so quickly. The technique was also very good.

  10. The biggest challenge for Pierce is how to create something that out of her usual context- figurative painting. She started from her daily experience in her daily world. Using a visual fragmentation and opaque shapes of color, Pierce gave a new perception of her personal stuffs. Space, color and light play an important role in her painting. My favorite painting is the May and April. It appeals to me at the beginning because it is set on perception through a thick glass. The subjects behind a thick glass are melted into colors-the vivid colors of the spring. You could not see the face of the woman in orange, but the character is coated with a transparency. It reminded me of the poem April girl, I simply like it because it’s merry and fresh. Another interesting thing is that Pierce draw a parallel between music and her painting; both attempts to make it flow, and connect the smaller ideas with a larger meaning. This is art.

  11. Her visual challenges involved not knowing how to represent movement in a non-linear way and painting landscapes that were different from what she was used to. She found a personal path to overcome this by focusing on abstraction. She grew through school, as well. Her paintings took months to complete and were usually very large. She worked in layers and focused on shapes. I think what she said about working in new ways to challenge yourself is interesting and insightful. My favorite painting of hers is the untitled one that shows a man lying on a bed because it looks like it has a story behind it.

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