Last June, we had a wonderful conversation with our Featured Artist, Angela Saxon. This coming month, Angela will be displaying her newest works, once again as our Featured Artist. Angela’s highly colorful and expressive paintings are based on her observations of nature. We spoke with Angela again this year regarding her new exhibit, expanding on her comments from last year. Check it out below!
Your current exhibit focuses on water, namely creeks and waterfalls. What inspired you to pursue this subject, particularly given that your previous work focused much more heavily on beaches and shoreline paintings? Were these paintings inspired by trips that you took?
Over years I have made many paintings of a small creek that flows into Good Harbor Bay on Lake Michigan. It's clear and sandy and beautiful though contains nothing that you'd call a waterfall. The waterfalls entered my scene as a result of a trip last fall to the southern Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. I spent a week hiking and painting along a lively creek there. Those paintings were the spark for this new series.
What was your process for creating these works? Did it differ from approaches you have used previously?
I always find the inspiration for my work in nature, specifically from direct observation. I work directly from that source and those drawings and paintings are the basis for larger canvases in my studio. But there's no doubt that I was completely captivated by this creek in Tennessee. As I continued to work in my studio a more imagined space began to emerge on the canvases, with an emphasis on the memory of felt emotions. I dreamt about these paintings.
These works focus on rushing, moving water. Was that difficult to paint? What did you learn as you progressed through this series of paintings?
My painting vocabulary did evolve to contain marks and shapes to represent rocks and waterfalls and flowing water. An intentional focus on mark making has opened an expanded understanding of the underlying abstractions to me.
While you were painting this series, you began to experiment with Monotypes. How did depicting this subject matter in Monotype differ from painting?
The monotypes came near the end of this series. Much of the language and vocabulary had developed around this general subject matter. But the monotype process freed me to articulate the paintings with a fresh perspective. Spanning across a variety of media reveals the underlying structure of the work.
Do you see this focus on creeks and waterfalls continuing in your work moving forward? Or do you see yourself exploring other aspects of nature?
At the moment I am eager to return to that familiar creek on Lake Michigan. After this long exploration of up close flowing water and contained deep, rich forest spaces, I sense that a familiar subject will spark new inspiration.