Thursday, September 15, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Beth Pearson at Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery in Shelburne

Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery will be showing Recent Paintings by Beth Pearson, beginning with an opening reception with the artist on Friday, September 23, 5:30-7:30. The exhibit will run through October 25th. Beth Pearson is known for her singular style which combines sophisticated technique with often whimsical content. She describes her painting process with the same insight and humor that comes through in her paintings:

In real life you can’t easily paint over a bad choice but in art you can, so it’s ok to go ahead and be reckless. There is something inherently satisfying about creating an image out of pure intuition and letting whims and impulses lead every decision. The beginning of each new piece can be fun and lusty like a new love and so for the first three or four weeks of building my paint it’s almost constantly boasting and flirting and changing. I think it’s at this point that I am most inspired by it. The colors are singing and the surfaces and compositions are filled with flaws. I usually have about 30 of these beginnings going at once in my studio on small boards and large canvas.

There is a longer and more frustrating period in the life of the piece where I’m trying to finesse and uncover the heart or idea of it and also to control the chaos and flaws of its childhood. It’s like writing a story without knowing the plot. Mistakes are made, shallow ideas played out, thoughts trashed and rehashed and reborn. I’m just hoping it will deliver a message soon. Some of my paintings flow quickly. Some take years to resolve to the point where I can title them and some and some never will. It is interesting when those young marks and flaws are obscured or changed by influence from a sister painting but they never fully disappear. Lately I am conscious of how much more beautiful it is to see them peeking through and they have become an increasingly important elements of my mature work.

Building paint in this way opens a path to experimentation with composition and layering that gives the paintings their own histories as well as life as group. Watching whatever emotional content or narrative message take root in a composition is the final reward. It is what I am after and it presses me to interpret the work. I have slowly accepted and invited viewers to solution the work as well. It is truly satisfying to find the completed thought and to watch others try to find it. It is the reason I have continued this visual conversation for so many years.

Drama With Consequences, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40"
Over the Fence, Oil and acrylic on panel, 5x5"