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Inspired by the honesty of nature. Nothing weird. I just watch what happens.

 

Currently Located in Boston, MA
Contact me at maureen@m-andersonart.com for more info on paintings or handmade poetry booklets. 
 

 

INTERVIEW / ARTIST STATEMENT

To what extent do you acknowledge the particular aesthetic of your work and what standards do you make comparisons to? 
I do acknowledge the particular aesthetic of my work but I do not prioritize it. My process in creating an image has much more to do with investigating my motif and putting marks on canvas which represent my reaction to that motif. So I suppose I compare my work to the nature of what I am observing.
As far as other artists, I like to look at Van Gogh, Giacometti, Rembrandt, Goya, and I quite like drawings by Kokoshka.

What do the representations, history, functions stand for in the 21st Century, with regard to your subject matter; are they culturally specific? Is culture an important issue for you?
Culture is absolutely an important issue for me. It is inescapable and because it is so inescapable 21st Century culture often frightens and upsets me. I’m not sure exactly what you mean about what its representations, history and functions stand for but if I’m interpreting the question correctly I think that the representations, history, and functions of the 21st Century stand for large egos and impatience, people wanting to be right and rich rather than curious and honest. I think some people are working to prove a point rather than to create meaningful relationships to the world around them.

Where is your main source material acquired?
I find inspiration in nature and paint from life, as I find reality to be the source of real mystery and deserving of real attention.

Are you concerned solely with the way the formal characteristics look; line, color, shape, space, texture, time etc.?
Formal characteristics are extremely important in painting, as they are in any art form. In literature, for example, the painter’s tools of color, line and texture are replaced with the writer’s tool of words. I could say “My sister descended the staircase slowly with her eyes on the novel she was reading. The morning light from an upstairs window illuminated her long brown hair from behind, which slid softly off of her shoulder, finally falling behind her as the cedar stair exhaled beneath her soft periwinkle blue sock.” Despite the fact that I’ve just told you specific concrete details, what the reader pictures is something very hard to pin down because with these formal, identifiable tools comes opportunities to imagine and feel. The reader would react very differently to these concrete details: “My sister’s short hair bounced with her as she hopped down the steps, each squeaking in a crisp staccato beneath her”. Every word has a very specific connotation, and put in combination these concrete details force our imagination to look at the whole of the world of this character, and the reader develops a sort of relationship to it. It becomes something we remember because it is something that we have experienced, and the recognition and investigation of this experience brings us not only closer to the work of art but to our true selves. In this way I think formal aspects of painting are important. It is not necessary to say: this is a sad painting, or: this is a happy painting, because neither of those things are possible. It is only possible to say: this painting is grey and makes me feel sad or: this painting is yellow and makes me think of my grandfather or even: this painting is many colors and does not make me think or feel anything at all. In short, the formal characteristics are vital, but if I was concerned solely with these concrete, observable things, I hardly think I’d have anything to paint.

Who is your audience and what systems/strategies do you put into play to best get your content across?
My audience is anybody who has a moment to stop and think and recognize the profundity that can arise from simple relationships of light and form. Humans who want to be human. My only strategy is to work, and to work quickly so that nothing I do is calculated, only felt. This puts my motif in direct communication with my canvas and allows my sentiments, good or bad, to be integrated into the painting. This is the only way I know how to wrap my content up within a form and make them invaluable to one another.

What place does interpretation have in the creation and understanding of a work of art?
Interpretation is the purpose of a work of art. Its meaning exists before the work is started, but should be discovered as the painting is developed. The only way to put true meaning into art, in my opinion, is to work genuinely in search of that meaning. If you want to control your painting, you work on it by constantly opening it and letting it speak to you as you work on it, not by planning every stroke beforehand. By working on a piece with no expectations one can discover the potential of the canvas without the interference of ego.