Sneak Peek: ART*SPARKS

Marian Osher’s solo exhibition, ART*SPARKS, is on view starting next Wednesday.  The opening reception is Saturday, March 3, 1-4 pm (with an Artist Talk at 1:30).  If you have ever suffered from creative block–as a visual artist, writer, or even just in not knowing how to re-vamp your living room–this talk will be an interesting one.  Marian will discuss how she over-came her own bought of creative block.  Read the show statement below for more insight into this exhibition and also enjoy some of the prints that aren’t currently on the website, but will be in the show!

Like a river running through my life, my art continues to evolve, taking new directions, influenced and inspired by my life’s experiences. I feel that art strengthens my appreciation for the infinite variety of colors and textures in all forms of nature. I try to share this connection with others through my art.

Whether figurative or more abstract, I enjoy experimenting with printmaking, mixed media and painting. I like to listen to music when working in my studio to enhance the process of letting go that leads to intuitive color choices. I usually work thematically on a body of artwork that provides new insights and opportunities for personal growth.

Just 10 months before this show, I suffered an episode of the dreaded Creative Block! I pulled out my stack of self-help books for artists. Then I turned to the internet, where I found many strategies and antidotes from other artists. Actually, for me, the solution came from my Yoga instructor, who had taught me to focus on my breathing. I realized that creating is like breathing. It’s natural but it can’t be forced or rushed. You have to breathe slowly and deeply, first in, a short pause and breath out. Then pause again and repeat. When I overload my creativity, it’s like hyperventilating. There isn’t enough coming in to allow the creative energy to flow out. This “aha” realization removed the pressure and anxiety. I relaxed and allowed the process to work naturally. And it did.

Rediscovered gifts from family, friends and nature provided the starting point for creating almost 60 new monotype prints for ART*SPARKS. Flowers expand and evolve as layers of petals continue to open. Shells are found nested inside other shells, broken or not, and mixed with layers of sand. Exploring subject matter and processes has pushed me past the flat plane of the paper into mixed media, multi-dimensional monotypes on painted canvas.

ART*SPARKS has led to an expansion of the way that I work with printmaking. I like the intimacy of viewing the art surface directly, without glass barriers or frames. I decided to cut apart my monotypes to make multiple levels, mounted on canvas. By painting each canvas with colors related to the monotype, I extended the creative process. I have also made 6 relief monotypes molded to sculpted canvas. Through research, I found an archival means to preserve my artwork.

It felt scary to tear off the white paper borders and then cut up my monotypes because I could have destroyed them. I now feel that choosing to take this risk and exploring new processes has re-energized my creative flow — and I am having fun again!

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