Elizabeth Shull

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Artist’s Statement

A central rhythm in my work is the exploration of texture and is often combined with the disclosure of the unexpected. I am intrigued with the nuances of the natural world and the endless supply of subject matter with all its subtleties and surprises. I don’t tell you what to see but remind you to be observant and investigate beyond the surface. By layering and creating texture there seems to be an archeological direction with what is clearly visible and what is more obscure. My art practice is about the process, risk taking, discovery, and the magic of research.

Elizabeth Shull was born and raised in Southern California and lives in Los Angeles. As a painter her predominant intention is to encourage visual exploration and trigger thinking beyond the predictable. Elizabeth’s undergraduate degree is from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She holds an MFA from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She has participated in many exhibitions and has pieces in several private collections.

Mary DiDoardo

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Artist’s Statement

There is a visceral connection between viewer and painter through the surface reading of a painting. All of my research is made visible in the sensuality of oil paint, its luminosity and chameleon shifts of color. I find it difficult to breathe new life into a brush stroke but can charge expression into/out of these uniform lines through process that comes from alternately working line within, around and through the field. This process integrates and embeds the line and keeps it from being simply a design element. It draws the space. The many stages are visible and are there for the viewer to read. Consistent in most of these paintings is the underlying evidence of previous stages rising to the surface through layers built up and scraped down, enriching the final version.

Mary Didoardo is a long-time resident of Long Island City, NY. She was born in New Jersey and has lived in New York City since graduating from Pratt Institute, where she majored in sculpture. Over time, painting prevailed over sculpture, but her paintings manifest a physical and process-driven sensibility oriented in early explorations with materials. She has had two solo shows at the Kathryn Markel Gallery in 2016 and 2019. Her work was represented in “ROY G BIV,” a 3-person exhibition in 2018 at the Chautauqua Institute. She is a two-time recipient of The Enrico Donati Foundation Grant. Her work was reviewed in Too Much Art, Writings on Visual Culture by Mario Naves, who wrote: “Didoardo’s abstractions are characterized by a bracing sense of freedom. They evince an artist working not only with an enviable surety, but one welcoming of risk – which, of course, puts surety to the test. That approach may be standard operating procedure for certain strains of abstract painting, but it’s one thing to make the claim, another to pull it off. Didoardo pulls it off, and then some.”

Suejin Jo

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Artist’s Statement
As an immigrant, my work deals with the inner journey between the physical and mental landscapes of Korea where I grew up and the Western world where I have spent most of my adult life. Migration as it applies to all living creatures, including humans, is close to my heart as a subject. At Westhampton Beach, I have watched endless lines of Monarch butterflies trying to head south, fighting the strong ocean winds turning them around. It takes only a few seconds for these tiny creatures to realize something is wrong and turn themselves back to continue on their journey. I am reminded of Sebastian in Tennessee Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer.” I have seen God!

My painting process is not unlike the Monarchs’ journey. I am seeking the heart of the matter, the deepest places my emotion carries me. Often I do not know which form this will take. But I know if it is a wrong direction when I lay down my strokes, shapes, and colors. Often this takes many trials and errors. But every hour I spend with a canvas takes me closer to the essence of what I want to say. Accidents along the way often turn out to be the right path. I think of Lee Krasner saying she got up in the morning thinking she would do a green painting but at the end of the day it became a purple painting.

I care about the picture surface. For many years I used oil and dry pigment, which required me to wear a mask and be very careful not to inhale the powder. After a decade I had to give this up for health reasons as well as the difficulty of storing and exhibiting without damage. Although I miss the deep yet clear surface yielded by the kneading of the powder into the oil paint, I have come to appreciate the way acrylic and oil paint often simultaneously create an interesting picture surface.

Suejin Jo is a Korean-born abstract painter based in New York City. She studied with Stamos and Vytlacil at the Art Students League, winning a McDowell Award juried by Richard Pousette D’art and Romare Bearden. For many years, Jo painted with a unique medium of oil and dry pigment using the process of “inlay” like Korean potters of the eleventh century. Helen Harrison of The New York Times described Jo’s painting as having “the character of an ancient wall painting.” She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Exhibition Award, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Jo’s most recent solo show, Migration_Passages, opened at the John Molloy Gallery in New York City in March, 2020, but ended up in quarantine as a result of the pandemic. Her work is held in many public and private collections, including the Library of Congress and the WTC Memorial Museum. The US State Department selected Jo’s painting “Pontchartrain” to be included in its 2012 desk calendar “Homage to American Women Artists.”

Alex Stark

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Artist’s Statement

My work considers memory, vision and physicality. I have double vision and see dimensionality differently. When I create a space, I think of the eye and mind processing, understanding, and navigating the pictorial space. I self identify with the bird and birds have been appearing in my work as symbols for many years. Birds have graceful and majestic qualities: long necks, delicate feet and graceful forms but, are also fragile and clumsy on the ground. Birds have the unique perspective of flight, allowing them to travel, and explore an alternative point of view. My most recent work focuses on an intimate relationship with birds that are often supporting or entangled with a body. Using intense and often contrasting colors and expressive line work they create a relatable visceral connection.

Alex Stark is a painter and curator and practices in Boulder, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and presently works at SAIC as a Disability Advisor. Stark has recently shown work in Chicago, New York and Colorado.

Susana Amundaraín

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Artist’s Statement

The idea that, sometimes, the experience of a painting can stay with you all your life has always had a strong resonance with the way I feel about place. I usually remember it as an intense connection in abstract form, imbedded with a singular atmosphere, a unique signature. These are ‘pictures’ that have stayed with me without aging, images that become paintings to share. They surface again and again as I paint, evolving and becoming new forms of reality. Acrylic is my favorite medium because of its versatility. Sometimes it feels as fluid as inks, and then, it can reverse to being textural and thick. Occasionally I play with fragments of paper collaged to the canvas, or canvas collaged to the paper. Many years ago I started incorporating natural mica pieces as accents in my paintings. Their transparency and tangible reality had a particular appeal to me: small windows of Earth substance and presence.

I am always in awe of the possibilities of color in areas of very low light, or very diffused light, and I am continually attracted to the poetic in quiet pictorial surfaces. This I find to be the closest to an active form of meditation, which in turn allows us a path to our unknown selves.

Susana Amundaraín is a Venezuelan-born American artist. Her drawings, paintings and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Amundaraín’s work is represented in museums in South America and the United States, including the Galería de Arte Nacional and Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, and Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá. It’s also included in many private and corporate collections, such as PepsiCO, Fundación Polar, and ALCOA. Her work has been reviewed in Art News, Art Nexus, El Papel Literario de El Nacional (Caracas), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Viceversa magazine (NYC) among many others.

Susana generally builds her paintings through a multiple layering of color transparencies and eroded surfaces, in a balance between structured and atmospheric space. Amundaraín holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Denver in Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Metropolitan State University, CO. She has also been a Visiting Scholar in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, in NYU, New York City. She currently lives and works in Minot, North Dakota. Please visit susanaamundarain.com.

Matthew Schommer

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Artist’s Statement

Through my work I’m aiming to evoke a feeling of hazy nostalgia. To create an atmosphere reminiscent of elusive, lingering dreams. Iconic imagery and found photographs serve as a spring board for me to explore mankind’s foggy past and uncertain future. With watercolor and acrylic paints and layers upon layers of graphite, my work prompts the viewer to analyze the human condition and society at large.

Born in Michigan, Matthew Schommer started learning drawing and painting from his father Dennis at an early age. After studying art at a local college he moved to Chicago to study film and then onto New York to work for Christies auction house and to further his art career. Matthew’s work is exhibited in galleries in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. He currently lives and works in Chicago.

Fran Shalom

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Artist’s Statement
I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility.

My work balances the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. To counter the chaos of everyday life, I instinctively gravitate towards elemental shapes, with defined edges resulting in an appearance of control and order (however illusionary it may be).

The shapes reference the human body but are open to interpretation. Animated by bright, cartoony colors and figure/ground relationships, I think of the paintings as ambiguous characters who inhabit my studio keeping me company and often engaging in silent conversation.

In writing about my work, art critic John Yau said, “Can we see things for what they are, even if we cannot name them, cannot in in that regard have dominion over them? I love that statement for it speaks to ambiguity and being comfortable with not knowing.

In Zen there is a wonderful saying: Not knowing is most intimate”. It suggests approaching something with open-minded and whole-hearted curiosity. I try to begin my paintings in this way, with a willingness to be present with uncertainty, and with the confidence that the process will result in work that both satisfies and inspires.

Fran Shalom has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY and the Kathryn Markel Gallery in NYC, the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge Mass, and the Newark Museum. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Rose Art Museum, and the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris. She has been the recipient of a Pollack Krasner Artist Grant in 2019, a MacDowell Colony Residency, and an Art Omi Residency. She is represented by the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York and the Kathryn Markel Gallery in New York City.

Scott Kahn

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Artist’s Statement
 
I consider my work to be a visual diary, a record of my life, a reporting of the places and people I encounter. It is not easy to begin a painting, despite the variety and complexity of the world. It is important to me to have a reason to paint, for the impulse to be strong. If I do not feel compelled to work, how can I expect the viewer to respond to what I am reporting? If I am successful, hopefully, the painting will have depth, poetry, and honesty. The effect should be direct and clear. To achieve this result, a creative person calls upon every tool available to him: technical, emotional, intuitive, and intellectual. The act of creating, therefore, teaches us and reveals to us who we are and our relationship to life. This is why I paint.

 

Scott Kahn is an American painter with a long exhibition history, including numerous one person shows, primarily in New York City, and a retrospective in 2004 at the Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His work is included in corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. He is the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants and spent three summers at the Albee Foundation in Montauk. His most recent solo exhibitions were with Nicelle Beauchene in New York and Harper’s Books in Easthampton, L.I.

Azadeh Ardalan

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Artist’s Statement

My recent paintings are in large part a reflection of contemporary individuals who are showing different states of mind. These figures are mostly a record of some images in my mind which I make visual. In the recent years I have developed a new view in painting, focusing mostly on figures who are sitting, standing or doing things as if in a theatre set.

Azadeh Ardalan is an internationally exhibiting artist. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in Italy, France and elsewhere. She studied languages and literature at Bologna university in Italy and continues to work on developing her proficiency in different languages.

Miriam Hitchcock

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Artist’s Statement

Making art is a function of living, a material practice that allows me to examine the ordinary and illuminate the familiar. My creative attitude and working process are largely informed by the inherent displacement and fragmentation characteristic of contemporary life and the landscape we now inhabit, against a diminishing wilderness. Allusions to aftermath and anachronism reflect my fascination with the experience of time. Finding that text and sound are potent collaborators, I now make short time-based media projects alongside painting, which constitutes the core of my studio practice.

Miriam Hitchcock lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. Born in San Francisco, she grew up in a nature loving family on the peninsula, attended University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to complete an MFA in Painting from Yale University. Miriam has taught Painting, Drawing and Design at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and Cornell University. Returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1990, she instructed studio Art courses at Stanford University, San Jose State University, and continuously from 1992 to 2012, the University of California at Santa Cruz. Miriam has led studio intensive courses in Rome, Italy through the Cornell University Dept. of Art and Architecture and The American University in Rome as well as University of California at Santa Cruz. She began incorporating animation and time-based media into her life-long painting practice in 2012, and received an award for Best Experimental Film in the 2018 Annual Copenhagen Film Festival, Denmark.