Ones to Watch October 2016

INGUNN MILLA JOERGENSEN | The Story Teller, 2016, oil on canvas, 20” x 20”
RAGNA BRUNO | Abstraction in Blues, 2016, oil on canvas, 48” x 48”
PATRICK PIERCE | Have Day Nice, 2014, varnished copper and steel, 93” x 39” x 30”
JEREMY MIRANDA | Early Evening, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 40”
HELEN LEWIS | Begin Again, 2015, encaustic on wood panel, 40” x 30”

INGUNN MILLA JOERGENSEN | The Story Teller, 2016, oil on canvas, 20” x 20”

For as long as I can remember I have had a huge fascination with texture and aging objects, particularly simple, everyday things with stories that are equally important to me as the object itself. Standing inside a huge old barn when the sun is beaming through all the gaps fills me with great respect for those who, with such perseverance and hard work, created it. The function is first and foremost, but I always find a proud touch of simple decor. These buildings are not pretentious, but honest. To me they are beautiful monuments. Built to shelter, they are such essential constructions, left standing for generations. Then there is that sense of mystery, the darkness and dust, silence and presence. This  is what I try very hard to achieve in my work—the sense of something timeless, grounded, peaceful, quiet, and the presence of something absent. I work in layers, adding paint, scraping off, often mixing the colors directly on the canvas. Being extremely tactile, I often paint with my bare hands. I find that I simplify more and more. There is so much clutter and noise surrounding us— by paring things down to the bare essentials I can breathe. That’s what I am working toward, my paintings being a mental pause for viewers. By only suggesting half the story, the rest is up to them. In The Story Teller I have removed everything that I find distracting, leaving just the barn with all its silent secrets.

RAGNA BRUNO | Abstraction in Blues, 2016, oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

From early on, music, dance, and art were at the center of my life. I was born in Spain into a family of painters, architects, and musicians, a multilingual environment that led to my being fluent in four languages. I have traveled and studied in Europe, Central and South America, and India; no matter where I have been, I have always felt at home in museums. I love to see the work of contemporary artists and have drawn much inspiration from the art of the past. Classical music, poetry, and reading also inspire me. Walks near my home in Maine, where I have lived for 38 years, are crucial to my work, as is silence and solitude. In this painting, as in my life, many layers make for a rich surface, which shows the process as well as the other colors beneath.

PATRICK PIERCE | Have Day Nice, 2014, varnished copper and steel, 93” x 39” x 30”

In an increasingly virtual world, the physical interaction with unyielding materials opens the way to authentic experience. I hold fast to the practice of art as the fiery connecting rod leading to and from the source of life. I have worked for years inspired by an early insight concerning the tension between the organic, flowing forms expressive of growth, life, and expansion and the geometric, analytic forms of the mind, and the unity arising from their interplay. Art opens the path to wholeness and a unified being by integrating thought, reflection, feeling, action, and essence. It’s not embellishment, not decoration, but the very energy of the life force itself made manifest, the natural and spontaneous expression of being. The results are both sophisticated and brutish. I work directly with the materials, hammering, carving, bending, and shaping them to my will. I am following a script that unfolds as I read it. The work itself is the script, as improvisational as a jazz riff.

JEREMY MIRANDA | Early Evening, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 40”

My work in the past 10 years has been focused on the spaces where the natural world and the human-made world intersect. The results, based mostly on photographs, combine exterior spaces with interiors to create environments that are both ambiguous and surreal. More recently, however, I have abandoned that way of working for something more grounded and personal. I no longer use photographs as a primary source and have begun observing and recording the things around me in an attempt to convey the sublime in the everyday. I am endlessly fascinated and inspired by the New England coast and spend spring and summer months outdoors making as many small seascape and landscape oil studies from direct observation as possible. The process feels akin to foraging and preserving, where the gathered imagery is meant to nourish future ideas. When winter arrives and I’m forced to hole up in the studio, I live off the cache of studies and sketches collected throughout the warmer months. These studio paintings, in contrast to the quick, immediate paintings of the summer, follow a much slower, intuitive process that puts as much emphasis on the physical qualities of the painted surface as it does on the content. Through it all, I attempt to create imagery depicting simple narratives that convey a sense of longing for a connection to the natural world.

HELEN LEWIS | Begin Again, 2015, encaustic on wood panel, 40” x 30”

Working primarily in the medium of encaustic, I am fascinated with texture, patina, old script, typography, and ephemera that speak of the passage of time. Weathered, aging brick, peeling paint, lichen, and moss on rocks are all intriguing to me. These elements and marks made beautiful by human hands and by nature frequently inspire the layers and marks within my paintings. My creative process is an extension of my contemplative nature; it is when I feel the most peace and where I find joy. When I paint, I’m able to quiet my mind and there is an inner stillness and focus that comes. It is out of that place that I create. In essence, I am invited deeper, and I seek to reflect that invitation through the layers of my art. Typically, I have an initial plan when starting a painting, but then work to follow the intuitive nudges within my spirit as the wax and pigments react to the blowtorch. I build on the developments that occur from the intrinsic characteristics of the encaustic medium. I particularly love the luminosity and depth of layers that emerge. Ultimately, a quality of peace and serenity are what I most want to convey in my work. In Begin Again, I allude to sky, water, sand, and stones through my use of color, texture, and form. Dry pigments add subtle variance and shades to the color fields in the work, along with the beeswax, resin, and oil-pigment sticks I use while building up, scraping away, and incising into the surface.

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