Thursday, August 9, 2012

Artist Statement

Come to my show at the Sight of the Sound exhibit at the Shipbuilders' Pier in North Vancouver, Sat. Aug 11th, 2012 4-8 pm!

Reality Bites – It’s My Life

I am a spontaneous artist who envisions moments and brings them to life through my paintings. “I’ve got these pictures in my head and I’ve just got to get them out!” They are
direct acts of expression and connection, perception and understanding that occur between me, the viewer and the world.  

My muse is the life experiences I have witnessed or the emotions I have faced. The images just come out of me. One can liken it to surrealistic automatism. A thought strikes me, I prepare preliminary drawings, begin the canvas and the painting takes over.  I work “automatically” and quickly to produce the initial sketch on canvas to avoid being deliberate. I let the painting be itself from my subconscious and develop the image to make the mysterious comprehensible. As my teacher and mentor, Gordon Smith, would say, “There’s a point where the painting takes on a life of its own and you work from there.”

My characters are put into situations that are connections to myself and life around me. From the classroom to the coffee shop, to the bar and nights out on the town, my images bring experiences together in a cohesive manner.

Music is a huge influence and many of my pieces come from songs or bands with which I have a relationship. One character sits at the brand name coffee shop pondering life, looking for truth and hoping to find her salvation in a cup of “joe” while listening to the latest “Pick of the Week” music download.

At first glance, my work appears simple, cartoonlike almost childish. I take great care to create line, apply color, and develop the image. When the viewer digs deeper, there is richer meaning below the surface behind the haunting nature of the dark, brooding eyes lay darkness. No one can tell what the character is thinking but the expression in the eyes seem to portend an anxiety to what may come, worries, concerns with no assurances that life is easy. Life is cynical with ups and downs that are never even keeled. That is why “Reality Bites.”

Carla Sumarlidson

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