What do you see when you look through this window?
Linda Lowery painted Harmonies in Pinks and Blue, above, as part of an series experimenting with value and flat color. This month it appears in our “ColorField” exhibit, where juror Timothy App gave it the Juror’s Choice Award. We asked the artist to tell us more about this trompe-l’oeil-meets-Color-Field painting and her artwork in general:
What was the idea behind Harmonies in Pinks and Blue? What did you want to accomplish?
Linda Lowery: I had been working on a series of paintings with bands of flat color and noticed that, if a band had a dark value on one side and a light value on the other, the band seemed to be graded in color from light to dark, even though it was actually only one flat color. I decided to see if I could do a painting in which I could make something appear that wasn’t actually there. So I did a series of “window” like paintings with different values of a color around a flat blue “sky.”
I don’t know that I was totally successful at making something appear, but maybe, if you look carefully, you can see the glow of a “UFO” in the blue area of the painting. I think I see a bright area in the blue space and thought maybe I could think of it as the track of an unseen UFO, but maybe, if you see it, it reminds you of something else.
Why pink and blue?
I worked with lots of colors, but found something special in the contrast of pink and blue. Maybe it was because it was satisfying to create a serious painting out of colors that we usually think are sweet and associate with babies.
Is this a usual subject for you? What do you typically paint?
I did do a series of these paintings but have moved on since then. Lately, I have been concentrating on portraits of newborns. (Babies again – maybe there is something there!)
What is your creative process like, from an idea to a finished piece?
After the idea, I usually do sketches on paper, sometimes in color, sometimes in black and white. Then I may do a small painting to see how the idea works out. From there I go to a full size painting.
Why are you a painter?
I love paint. There is something calming for me in the act of painting. It draws me in and then I am in another state as the piece I am working on takes over my mind and complete attention. Being in this “altered state” is what brings me back again and again. I suppose I could achieve this state of creativity using another medium, but, for some reason, painting is the one that has resonated with me the most.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I loved to paint and draw as a little kid. By the time I was in high school I knew I wanted to be an artist.